State of the Game: 2/5/09

To kick things off we’ll start with a general post about what is going on in the general scope of the CoD4 community. To the surprise of many, there is actually quite a bit going on. We have CEVO, CAL and GotFrag all in full swing as well as a LAN coming up next month. So let’s start breaking down exactly what is happening out there.

(Note: this post is quite long, for the short version skip down to the leagues/tournaments/lans section as well as the predictions.)

Teams
X3o – Can anyone say “I told you so?” At the beginning of the season I wrote on Pandemic’s site x3o will be a team to watch this season as they could easily be a top contender. Rob and company must have read that and taken those words to heart because x3o is on fire. After an impressive start to the CEVO season with their most recent victory over last season’s champs, Pandemic, x3o looks unstoppable. In their match against Pandemic they were well coordinated and prepared, which showed as they managed to win important clutches and even rounds when they were down players. X3o has not had too much trouble in the GotFrag tournament either, but their match tonight against the European ATS team should be interesting. X3o eventually might pick up a loss this CEVO season as going undefeated is quite difficult, but I’ll stand by my claim x3o is still a top 3 team to watch.

Pandemic – Again, can anyone say “I told you so?” My boys over at Pandemic lost to x3o on Monday. Without sounding too much like fan boy Pandemic wasn’t at the top of their game. I know it and they know it. I’ve seen Pandemic play citystreets plenty of times and their match against x3o simply wasn’t the best they could have done, but that doesn’t take anything away from x3o. A win is a win is a win. They got beat. Joe and company have arguably the most talented and experienced roster in North America, but they need to get their heads in the game and get back to a serious practice schedule as a 16-14 win over PtL isn’t exactly where they want to be. I predicted a potential early season loss for Pandemic and indeed it happened. But again keeping with my prediction, don’t think Pandemic is softening up. Pandemic is still the top 2 team to watch throughout the season and leading into playoffs as their impressive beating against MoBdeep shows.

Pure E-Sports – For a third time, can anyone say “I told you so?” After their 12-16 loss to Pandemic at the start of the season, Pure has gone on to win three matches in a row against Hostile Faction, PtL, and Backslash (maingear). This week in CEVO they have two matches against both MoB Gaming and MoBdeep, however, their most interesting test will probably come in the GotFrag CoD4 tournament where they will be playing fnatic. Last month fnatic was fortunate enough to see the return of tidde, who is arguably one of their stronger players. Despite the fact the match will most likely take place on a North American server, I think fnatic should give Pure a tough match. The key for this match, and for pure in general, will be preparation. Pure has a plethora of talent but without proper preparation they could easily slip behind.

Hostile Faction– Hostile Faction, the team everyone thinks cheats, managed to pull off a narrow 16-14 win over MoB Gaming Monday, pretty impressive no? Interesting enough, they took a narrow loss to pure, no surprise there, but then get absolutely dominated by BackSlash (maingear) on the same map they beat MoB Gaming on. I don’t like to publically call cheats, especially when I have demo reviews to do, but something just doesn’t add up there. You do not go from losing to Backslash 8-16 and then an hour later beating MoB Gaming 16-14. It just doesn’t happen. To further complicate things Hostile Faction is the only team in CEVO-P with no LAN experience as a team and they made no effort or even potential commitment to attend the upcoming NERV LAN. It doesn’t matter if their demos look clean and CMN3 clears them every time, until Hostile Faction, all of them, participate in a LAN event I don’t think anyone will believe they are entirely 100% legit.

MoB Gaming, MoBdeep & Backslash – As for the rest of the group MoB Gaming, MoBdeep and Backslash really haven’t been all too impressive thus far with the exception of Backslash’s win over hostile faction and MoB Gaming’s narrow 14-16 loss to x3o. Hopefully as the season progresses and when these teams get a shot at the tougher competition we’ll get a better picture of where they all stand this season.

Frag Dominant – Maybe dead? Maybe not? Who knows. What is certain is this team is having some serious problems and needs to get them figured out or simply call it quits as a 1-3 start to the season is quite difficult to recover from when they still have matches against Pandemic and Pure ahead. Pretty sad turn of events for the only other team besides Pandemic remaining from last season.

Leagues/Tournaments/LANs
CEVO – x3o, Pandemic and Pure are raging through the competition, MoB Gaming and MoBdeep are dancing around the competition, Backslash (maingear) is happy to be in the competition, PtL is getting stomped on by the competition, Frag Dominant is almost out of the competition, and Hostile Faction is cheating through the competition. So I guess all is going well right? On a more serious note things seem to be going as predicted after the first two weeks in CEVO as the leaders emerge. Hopefully things start to heat up between the 2-2 teams to give us a better idea of where everyone stands.

GotFrag – After a few boring rounds to start the tournament we actually now have the good teams playing each other. What is probably the most exciting detail about the GotFrag tournament is each match is a best of three map set, meaning you get a real sense of which team is better despite potentially meeting only once. What is concerning, however, is the lack of Anti-Cheat within the event as anyone with hacks that can bypass PB are free to cheat. Fortunately, there are no teams competing that fit that bill, but it is something that people should be aware of.

NERV – What was to be a massive 3 day event now looks to be only a one day LAN. Not to worry though, the best teams in North America are still in attendance and with E-REV broadcasting live for the viewers at home, meaning this should definitely be an exciting event to watch. Additional good news comes to the note that the event will be held at NERV’s Allentown location and not in Kutztown, thirty minutes away.

Predictions
Normally these will be done in general CEVO & Gotfrag posts; however, I’ll throw them in this massive post to kick things off. Every CEVO & Gotfrag match night there will be standard predictions without scores attached, so basically who beats who. I’ll keep a record of correct/incorrect predictions throughout the season for bragging rights as well. I will, however, need 1-3 individuals to predict alongside me to keep things interesting so if you are interested just get in contact with me. I’ll keep these short for tonight, but expect them to be drawn out in the future.

CEVO-P Week 3-1
Pandemic > Dynamic
Hostile Faction > Frag Dominant
X3o > Pushing the Limits
Pure E-Sports > MoBdeep – MOTW
MoB Gaming > Backslash (maingear)

GotFrag UB Round 3
Pandemic > Dynamic
MoB Gaming > Imaginary Sponsor
X3o > ATS
Pure > fnatic – MOTW