Number in brackets indicates a team’s ranking coming into the playday.
Holy Harry (7) — Debowy (8): 1–1
I saw Harry talking to someone about mid Clockwerk, mouthed ‘oh lord no’ under my breath, and opened the Dotabuff for game 1 only to see exactly that — a Phase-Orchid-Aghs mid Clock. Let’s just say it didn’t work out against Takeshi’s TB, who may or may not have ended the game with a score of 24/0/10. Guess what Harry picked game 2? Not Clock mid, and they won the game (shocker!) off the back of another excellent Xela performance, this time on Luna.
Darba (1) — Play (2): 1–1
Denden whipped out the carry Mars once again which I love to see — it feels like he always performs on these innately playmaking oriented heroes, despite his, uh, historic preference for more farm intensive ones. Play also debuted his already infamous Aghs first LC in this match, with the crucial difference from the oft-mentioned scrim being that it did work out this time. Over in game 2, though, we have a slightly odd match in which Play’s draft presumably just didn’t end up working out, and Darba and his team just took over the game.
Joll (11) — Kimer (5): 0–2
While my prediction hinged on Joll’s team carrying their prior momentum forward, Kimer’s squad wanted to hear none of it. A firstpick Boelens Lycan, a lane win from Kimer’s Centaur, and a dominant performance from Nils on WD closed out a quick win, and they weren’t going to let up afterwards, with Boelens and DmWp putting in a shift on PA and Troll to seal a 2–0 in less than an hour of playtime.
Severe (10) — Brainy Gonzo (4): 0–2
Mom they let Gonzo first phase Dusa again, waah; another somewhat short series in which Severe’s team didn’t end up having much of a say, as Swag did what he needs to — carry his team.
Thronplunder (12) — exZ (9): 1–1
A change of pace with a slightly longer series than usual for this week, game 1 saw plenty of back-and-forth, but Szajtek did what he does best on his Luna — waited to take a good fight and then ended the game. Game 2 was just as close, with swings up and down, but perhaps lacking the building hitting capability they had in game 1, Thron’s team didn’t manage to close out the game after won fights, with the map ultimately being split up by a Nullagon Furion and exZ and his team eeking out the win.
Crispy Bacon (21) — Madsen (17): 1–1
With a lane win as decisive as the one Nappa gave me in the first game, not even my Morphling could ruin the game, but game 2 saw a flurry of throws both ways in a somewhat close game that eventually ended with a 63 minute win for Crispy Bacon and his squad, with a massive step-up from Hiboo in the offlane role on Furion.
Moyo (13) — Stl (16): 0–2 (By Forfeit)
Another week, another forfeit. Not much to be said here, except to note that this forfeit by Moyo has almost certainly crushed their playoff ambitions.
Drakesfjord (6) — Laavi (19): 1–1
Drakesfjord’s team seems to be crumbling a bit, with another underwhelming performance in a match where they should be looking towards a sweep. With a Mikel Pango, as well as a solid game by Laavi on DP and a massive step-up from Jeremy on Void, Laavi’s team stayed disciplined throughout the game to close out the win. Game 2 saw Drakesfjord’s team reset a bit, with PONPO and Drakesfjord having much better games and the team as a whole displaying the discipline their opponents did in game 1 to close out the series.
Haraway (15) — Reddydas (22): 1–1
Zakke Dota showed up as the standin for Reddydas, and show up he did, with a dominant Zeus performance featuring a double rampage, which Haraway and co. couldn’t exactly deal with. Undeterred by that loss which they could probably chalk up to Reddydas’ team having the last pick in the draft, Haraway’s squad came back strong, grabbing the signature Dazzle 3 for the captain, paired with a dominant performance from Steg on the mid Riki, going 20/0/12 and essentially stomping the game with 30 kills more than their opponents in about as many minutes.
Anstar (3) — Kalisdar (14): 1–1
With Falls popping off on Night Stalker to create space for Acid’s 1k GPM Alch, Anstar’s team quickly lost the slight lead they had and couldn’t keep up. In the (unticketed) second game, however, Ben was back and this seemed to be a positive for the team, as Anstar took over the game on Ember, with Regu seemingly having a massive impact on a 4 Disruptor, putting up a 7/3/27 score with the second highest hero damage in the match.
Wesside (18) — Schuffi (20): 0–2
When working on player rankings, Haraway mentioned that Schuffi’s full of high praise for his teammate and real life friend Hanswurst, and while we didn’t end up changing the rankings, it seems like they took it personally — Hans popped off game 1, slapping around Jihadi swamp and setting the pace for the rest of his team for a 32 minute win. The following game was closer, but this time it was Blackjack wanting to make a statement, going crazy on Ursa against Wess’ mid Ember, giving Schuffi’s team a much needed 2–0.
Melalez (24) — Waloo (23): 0–2
Waloo’s had enough! No more losses, time to carry some games, and that’s exactly what he did — a combined series score of 31/3/25 on QoP and Morph, posting up the highest number for most attainable stats, this series was entirely the Waloo show, but it might be too little, too late for this season.
None this week!
Prediction Total: 5–7 (1 forfeit)
Number in brackets indicates a team’s ranking coming into the playday.
RampagingBench (9) — hi5 (8): 1–1
The KTZ formula is well-known by now. If he has a good time in lane, he’ll carry that momentum and confidence forward (and ultimately, carry the game as well), especially on his most comfortable heroes. This was the story of game 1, where hi5’s team managed to grab a first phase Skywrath, in what is a very obvious reflection of the impact the draft order changes can have on RD2L games. Game 2, on the other hand, was a massive stomp for Bench and co., racking up 44 kills to the 8 of hi5’s team in a 29 minute game, featuring the now infamous Laavi Riki.
Madsen (2) — Cardinalstar (14): 2–0
In what was a bit of a stomp, Cardinalstar’s team didn’t seem very prepared to deal with the pace at which my team plays, resulting in two sub-30 minute games. Shoutout to Nils for having the highest hero damage both games from 4 — just wait, I’ll start getting Paladin Swords and Orbs as often as he gets Nether Shawls and it’ll change up.
Neox (16) — Grimmjow (13): 0–2
I’ll admit I reconsidered my initial prediction for this series when I found out both Neox and Kalimoo would be replaced for the series (by Severe and Bloodyu respectively), but despite Severe’s best efforts, Grimmjow’s team still managed to grab a pretty convincing sweep. I’d wager the addition of Agnitos and his shotcalling ability came into play here as well, but it’s more an indication of the discord in Neox’s team than anything else.
Play (1) — Ovidiu (12): 2–0
Another predictably straightforward series, Play’s team once again put their foot down and claimed another clean sweep to maintain their lossless record with two sub-40 minute games.
Kevin Richardson (6) — Reddydas (7): 2–0
Yet another fairly short series, in which Kevin’s team — aided by Blackjack standing in for Raffie — managed to overpower Reddydas’ (previously Neon’s) team. Big shoutout to Kalisdar for two very good performances.
Syrphx (5) — T-Reds (4): 0–2
Welcome back to the Mikel show. He’s had some fairly good games as a core here, but I think this series more than any of the previous ones are a throwback to the good old days of Mikel as a terrifying core player to go up against, putting up an overall scoreline of 22/1/12 on PL and AM in the kinds of games where how his team did doesn’t really matter.
Harbinger (11) — Sakoh (10): 0–2
Harb usually tends to do quite well on Alch, but despite grabbing it at 23 here, he had a rough time against Shnoor’s mid Riki, and okay item timings didn’t help much, as Shnoor and Szajtek took over the game before Harb’s team could object to it. Game 2 was a closer affair, in which Harb seemed to have had the lead before the classic throw into instant loss against a Luna. Notable detail: the highest hero damage dealt in game 2 came from Ogreboy’s pos 4 Sniper.
Maus (3) — Rinku (15): 1–1
After an expectedly bad start to the season, Rinku’s team has started stringing together some impressive 1–1s (albeit perhaps a little too late), often off the back of standout performances by ElNino, who’s proving that there might be some viability to the first-pick offlaner. They extended this run against a perennial tier 1 team in Maus, with Rinku managing to catch Waloo off guard to win the lane while Nino kept Kuro at bay and Jeremy managed to farm up, in what was overall an impressive team effort to upset a top team. Game 2 was a return to the norm, with a fairly decisive win for Maus, but a 1–1 here is nonetheless a big achievement for Rinku, even if it doesn’t do much for their playoff ambitions.
Prediction Total: 4–4
Week 6 Predictions
While there is another week of play after this upcoming one, this one will be very important in molding the group of teams that will make the cut.
Brainy Gonzo — Darba: 1–1
The two 8–2 teams left standing, this is really a battle for the first seed, but also a challenge for Gonzo and his squad to prove they’re actual champion contenders, now that they’re faced against the favorites.
Play — Kimer: 2–0
We keep going with the equal winloss matchup, both of these teams being currently 7–3; while at this point I feel like I might be continuously underrating Kimer’s team, I do think that Play’s has an edge here.
Kalisdar — Stl: 1–1
These teams are fairly close, and as part of the 5–5 group of teams, they’ll both want to grab at least one game, so I think we’ll see an effort by both to make that happen.
Laavi — Schuffi: 1–1
While Laavi’s team is, at this point, a bit more consistent, I think there’s quality in both of these teams, and they’ll both want to come out of this with a win.
Waloo — Madsen: 1–1
Both of these teams desperately need a 2–0, but it’s hard to tell whether either will be able to get it. I think a 1–1 is fairly realistic, but will also result in very slim playoff chances for both, making this perhaps one of the most important matchups in this week.
Severe — exZ: 1–1
The 1–1s might be getting tiring by now, but I feel like the core setups of both these teams are fairly interesting, and I think each will have a good game, resulting in a trade of wins.
Anstar — Debowy: 2–0
Debowy’s team has been significantly weakened by the loss of Maslyy, and I think they’re going to feel it, more than ever, in this series.
Joll — Thronplunder: 1–1
While Joll and Kuro have stepped it up this season, I think Szajtek is fairly consistently getting at least one good game a series.
Wesside — Reddydas: 2–0
Wess’ team has been slipping up a lot, but I think this match is going to go his way since there’s a big reliance on him to perform, and going up against a team with a non-mid player against him in lane, this will be his chance.
Holy Harry — Drakesfjord: 1–1
Drakesfjord’s team has some quality players, but they’ll need to show up for the lanes against Harry, who might have two weaker lanes in a vacuum, but makes up for it with overall teamplay.
Haraway — Crispy Bacon: 1–1
My first instinct here was to call this a 2–0 for Haraway, but the role swap has proved to be a massive improvement for Crispy Bacon’s team, and while a 1–1 is unideal for both of these teams, I believe it’s the likeliest outcome.
Moyo — Melalez: 2–0
With Raffie out and no chance at the playoffs, Melalez’s team might either forfeit the game or just have some fun with it. While Moyo has lost his (by far) best player in Neon, a 2–0 might give him a tiny chance at making playoffs (I think? I’m not a math guy), so they’ll certainly gun for it.
SUN (Group A)
RampagingBench — Kevin Richardson: 0–2
Kevin’s team has been doing well recently, and although I have questions about how well they’ll adjust to Blackjack as their Raffie replacement, I’d argue that FA is a slight upgrade when taking into consideration performances this season, so I’ll give them the upper hand.
hi5 — T-Reds: 0–2
T-Reds’ team is pretty dang good, and I think hi5’s team is too inconsistent due to their reliance on KTZ to have a great game, so I’ll give the win here to T-Reds.
Cardinalstar — Reddydas: 1–1
Cardinalstar’s team is essentially already done with the season, with no possibility of making playoffs, while Reddydas’ (previously Neon’s) team still has a shot. However, their FA for their old captain is honestly a massive downgrade, so unless Cardinalstar lets them have an easier time here, they might struggle a bit.
Madsen — Syrphx: 2–0
Syrphx is fortunate enough to have a realistic chance at getting through to the playoffs even if they get swept, which they might need against the top team in the group.
SUN (Group B)
Grimmjow — Maus: 1–1
Whereas Maus and his team are somewhat worry-free in terms of making playoffs if they grab at least one win here, for Grimmjow, it’s a matter of life and death, and I think this imbalance in investment is going to be reflected on the scoreline.
Rinku — Ovidiu: 1–1
Both of these teams probably won’t make the cut, so it’s tough to predict how much effort they’ll put in, but I’ll call it a 1–1 in the hopes of seeing another game of Nino popping off.
Sakoh — Neox: 2–0
Neox’s team is done, both mathematically and seemingly mentally, and I think Sakoh will aim to snatch up a 2–0 to get better seeding.
Harbinger — Play: 0–2
Harb shares Syrphx’s unfortunate fate of meeting the top team in such an important week, and I don’t think Play is likely to let his lossless group record slip, so Harb will be cheering as much for Maus’ team as he will for his own.
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