Hey guys, usually the weeks leading into a tournament you see loads of threads about predictions and team analysis but this time around there hasn't been much so I figured I'd start a trend . These are always fun to read and great to discuss so here it goes.
PREFACE: Honestly, after taking a second to look at the entire bracket and dissect the tournament, I have never in my history seen a tournament that has so much competition and so many teams that can place top 8. There are around 18-20 teams that legitimately have the chance to place top 8, so making a predictions thread was harder than ever
Top 8 Predictions for the Hypefestation 2 Tournament this weekend in New Jersey (not including my team):
1. Infinity - Atmo, Ribs, Terror, Flamez - No matter what anyone says, Infinity is still the team to beat and most people know it. A lot of talk has been going around saying that Infinity hasn't necessarily been practicing or putting the time in required to repeat, but despite all that talk, they've been getting some work in. The fact that they were already on such a higher level than most teams going into it makes it almost even out with how little they've been practicing, but they do put in at least 1-2 scrim cycles per night which is more than enough for this team. Ribs has been putting in loads of individual work and you always see him playing Gears, so he'll be sharp for sure. Atmo is Atmo and will definitely perform, and Flamez continues to improve as an individual player and is proving why he's the rookie of the year in 2012. Terror is the wildcard of this team, I feel like he's the most consistent player and is obviously the team leader but emotions and attitudes could possibly get in the way. Definitely think they'll still perform, but I'll certainly be looking forward to the SYNERGY vs. Infinity matchup round 2 for a possible upset.
2. Vision - PuFF, Affinity, KnocK, FraNchiS - vSn will be on point at this event, as they always have been. They've been putting in the work and I think they found a solid roster combination with KnocK joining the team. Just like us and The NSAN3Z, they've been putting a great amount of time into practicing and they wouldn't let that go to waste. Affinity, IMO, is the best player on this team despite what everyone may think. He's very consistent and overall a strong player - great shotgun and lancer play, mixed with amazing decision-making and ability to make plays with power weapons. PuFF is one of the most consistent and historically a top 3 player in GoW history and he'll prove that he's staying at the same spot in his first GoW3 tournament. He's definitely great for making midround plays and opening things up for the team. KnocK definitely impresses me and is a great individual player, IMO he was a great pickup for vSn with his indi skill and shotgun play. Speaking from personal experience, Franchise keeps this team in check and is the perfect man for the role of leader on this team. IMO, Fran is one of the best leaders in the game and always puts in the behind the scenes work to perfect strats and what not. In GoW2, I considered Fran to be one of the best players in the game but I haven't seen him play too much in GoW3 so we'll see how he performs individually come Hype.
3. apeX Afterlife (EU Kidz) - Reece, Reaxion, Fitzer, Loco - It's definitely hard to talk about this team seeing as the only time we've played against them was on a horribly laggy Chicago connection for them and wasn't too fair. However, expect big things out of this team. The entire squad is used to nothing else but winning since that's all they've ever done, so you can bet that they're coming to Hype with big expectations. Reaxion is one of the best players in the game - there I said it - and is so absolutely disgusting individually that people are going to be left in awe. Reece to me seemed like the very consistent and overall great player of the bunch, didn't lose many shotgun fights and always kept his composure. Fitzer is the one I don't know much about because I didn't see him do too much in our scrim (due to him lagging probably), and then there is Loco, the "face" of this team and the entire EU community. Loco was an interesting pickup for this team seeing as he hadn't played GoW really since GoW1 and had been playing Halo, but honestly there was no doubt in anyone's minds that he would work his way right back to the top with the great attitude and professional mindset he has. Loco is the wildcard of this team, and I think the team's performance really rests on Loco's individual performance. If Loco performs well, the team will do good but if not, I feel like all is ruined. Keep an eye out for what will definitely be an exciting, fast-paced team to watch at Hype v2.
4. The NSAN3Z - KILLA, ZKILLER, Wildebeast, Prison - The NSAN3Z are definitely a solid overall team with this new roster. They've been practicing a good amount and they are prepared, but IMO I think there's just something missing with this combination of players. KILLA is a solid overall player, but I don't think he's as flashy and skilled as he was in GoW2 (thought he was a top 5 player in GoW2). Zkiller has impressed me and definitely stepped up as of late in terms of individual skill. Wildebeast was a top 5 player in GoW2 and is equally as scary in GoW3. And finally, Prison. Prison just came back to the game about a month and a half ago after taking a long break. I don't think the break held him back too much, but I don't see him being as strong of a role player in GoW3 as he was in GoW2 where he went from top team (MbN) to top team (the nsanez) and had a great track record doing so. He's not as consistent with the shotgun and seems to make some bad pushes and poor decisions, but we'll see if he can perform at Hype. Back to what I was saying before, this team is missing something and I think it's quality leadership. Prison, Killa, and ZK have never been leaders for teams, just role players, and while Wilde has been a leader in the past I feel he's too emotional to fit into that role well. I still think they'll finish with a top 3 placing due to overall consistent gameplay and a solid roster.
5. Ruffled Feathers - DukeSkillz, Celend, Cinellz, Ridenour - This is hands down the dark horse team of the tournament. For whatever reason, I really don't think anyone is expecting much out of this squad and that's probably their biggest advantage heading into the tournament. No one has taken the time to learn their strats and dissect their playstyle, while they've been doing a lot of behind the scenes work for other teams. Celend, IMO, is the most underrated player in the game on all levels, but mostly in respect to his intelligence and creativity as a leader. He's a great overall player with a shotgun that can keep up with anybody and an amazing host pistol. DukeSkillz, who I had the pleasure of teaming with, is another underrated monster who will turn a lot of heads at Hype. He's very intelligent and has the ability to make a play whenever which is his most valuable assest. Cinellz, my former teammate of two years and good friend, is infamous for his playmaking ability and great shotgun skill. Everyone saw his unimaginable 1v2 at Hype v1, and you can definitely expect more where that came from. Finally, Ridenour, IMO, played the best individually out of anyone on my team at Hype v1 and is a very underrated player with a top shotgun.
6. Ambition - Kenny, Enta, Bobbyrice, Blaze - Surprisingly to me, this team turned out to mesh together VERY well and their playstyles all mix perfectly. Kenny is an absolute monster and I'm so glad he's getting the recognition and opportunity to show everyone what he can do. Bobby and Entaprize are both great overall players who are definitely underrated and will perform. Finally, Blaze, like Loco, is the wildcard of this team and his performance dictates his team's performance IMO. He's definitely impressed me and you can tell he's improved since joining this team, just matters whether or not it translates to LAN.
7. SYNERGY - Dpoints, Nastty, Strangulate, Yogurt - This team is so ridiculously hard to predict due to how much of a hit or a miss they can be. If they hit, boy they are hitting hard. If SYN comes out with positive attitudes and maintains them the entire time, firing on all four cylinders, it's scary to see how good this team can be. They have four of the most disgusting players you'll ever see, but only 1 of which has been to a LAN event and performed well under pressure before. This is a young, heated and passionate team that will either turn a lot of heads or be stamped with the title 'online warrior' for the rest of their lives. Dpoints is one of the best teammates I've ever had the honor of playing with and I know he knows what it takes. Strangulate is probably the most skilled IMO, but then again I have literally never watched Nastty or Yogurt play, and barely seen much of Strang so it's tough to dissect this team. Can definitely see them placing higher than this, and you better believe I'll have my eyes glued during the entire Infinity/SYN WBR2 matchup.
8. Legacy - Xcells, Perfect Uno, Mephisto, Wingos - Legacy is probably the definition of a hit or a miss team IMO, and I hope that's not taken the wrong way because it's more of a compliment. If these guys are firing on all four cylinders, they'll be next to impossible to beat with the amount of raw skill and absolutely insane talent of the four. If not, I can see a lot of struggles and arguing due to being the youngest team of the bunch. Also, when I first heard of this roster I was slightly confused as to who would assume the leadership role on the team but (if I'm right) I definitely think Xcells is doing a great job taking that role, while still being an absolute monster individually. By the way he plays, in my opinion, he tries to be too much like Atmo with some pushes he makes and things he tries to do and that hurts him a bit, but that might just be me. Next, you have Mephisto who is probably one of the most well-rounded, overall solid and consistent players in the game. Perfect Uno is very similar, he has a really good shotgun and knows how to place himself in 1v1's and is very good situationally. Finally, Wingos, who also is an amazing player individually with literally every weapon. Wingos has always been an amazing individual player with a great mentality, one of my favorite people to talk to and watch play. I think this team's only downfall could be their immaturity and arguing what not. They have such high expectations for themselves since they've all played at a top level before that they wouldn't accept anything less which could result in some struggle. These guys could easily place a bit higher or even lower, but they do have a bracket that plays in their favor assuming they win their round 1 matchup, so they should be able to make it to WBR3 no problem guaranteeing a solid placing.
Like I said earlier, it's so hard to predict a top 8 because there is SO much competition this time around, but here are some other teams that I feel could also place top 8, but might not due to bracket challenges, internal struggles, etc.
vVv Gaming - Vishouz, Enmity, MonK, BaySoldier - With only threeish weeks of practice as a team, and an inexperienced and young fourth in BaySoldier, this team is really iffy in my opinion as to how they will place. They're a very solid, consistent, and confident team but with the ridiculous amount of competition at Hype it's tough. MonK is a great individual player and a great power weapon player, and while dropping Leon was a smart long-term choice, in the short-term they lose a playmaker and amazingly skilled talent. But then again, NO ONE predicted a top 3 finish by vVv at Hype 1, so we'll see.
The Fathering - CDN III, Carsons, Requiem, Camills - I wanted so bad to predict this team top 8 and originally I honestly thought they could get top 6 but after analyzing the bracket and other teams it's tough. However, I literally haven't played The Fathering in a scrim yet so it's very hard to predict them, they could be amazing for all I know. Carsonz is an amazing pickup for this team IMO. While CDN is helping to "father" Carsonz, I feel like Carsonz benefits CDN and the team in even more of an important way by offering them the 'newschool' way to play Gears for an oldschool team, with little glitches and ways to abuse the game. CDN is a great leader and will definitely keep the team in check, he's a great veteran and knows what it takes to be a professional in all ways. Camills is disgusting individually with his wallbounce and shotgun skill, and Req has always been a top 15 player IMO, very consistent overall with a good shotgun strafe and a great lancer. Can easily break top 8 or above IMO
ReTaLiaTioN - DriX, FatalStryke, Inertia (Coleman), Mindtricks - This is another team that I've had little practice against and is hard to predict. IMO, they have a lot of talent on one team with Drix, Intertia, and Mindtricks being absolutely amazing individual players. FatalStryke is definitely a solid player and a solid leader, but I feel like he has the wrong idea when it comes to LAN with wayyyyy too much focus on the wrong things rather than focusing on his team and winning. They can easily pull off an insane run and break top 8 or top 6. That second round matchup against Ambition is gonna be nuts, definitely look forward to watching that. ReT is the more experienced LAN team, while Ambition has a lot of new talent that will be a hit or a miss, so we'll see how that goes.
Fly Society - Fatalise, Baird, Caution, SLy - Another team that can easily place top 8 and was so hard to keep them out of it... These guys have a lot of potential and have been working their asses off. I probably have more respect for Fs than any other team with the way they play and how professional they are, even though they don't have much experience. I feel like the lack of experience in all four of these guys might cost them as they haven't played at a top level yet, but I can easily be proven wrong. Definitely look forward to our Round 2 matchup against them, this team's a class act and it will sure be a great match. SLy is an amazingly skilled player with a shotgun that can go off whenever, but I don't know too much about the rest of them because I haven't had too much fo a chance to play with/against em.
Nothing But Perfection - Phillies, GhostSniper, Sleepytime, Gimmee - Another wildcard team that has a lot of skill, but is lacking the intelligence and possibly practice. They are all 4 great individual players, and I do think Sleepytime will turn a lot of heads at Hype with his shotty skill, but his skill is almost a double edged sword in the sense that he plays overly aggressive on many situations, as does their entire team at times.
As for my team, EnVyUs MbN: The Business, I'm incredibly excited for the event and we've been working our asses off so I do hope it all pays off. Prospect is probably the most intelligent and overall amazing teammates I've ever played with in every aspect; he has an amazing shotgun with probably the best power weapon play of any player I've seen thus far. Nick is THE most consistent and overall amazing players in the game right now, hands down, and always makes amazing and smart plays and knows how to position himself perfectly. Finally, HD is better at GoW3 than he was at GoW1 and 2, which is scary. He still has the same amazing support he always had, with a disgusting shotgun and ability to make a play whenever.
andddd that's it. I hate doing these because people's feelings get hurt but those are my opinions, not saying it's all 100% true or verified.
Discuss, and feel free to post up your predictions as well!