Season 5 Week 2
It felt the action in this season’s Masters won’t start any sooner than the rest week in May, but finally two matches were played in this round and hopefully it will only go up from now on. Let’s look closer at how it went for the RAGL players.
Tough to pick between two played Masters matches for the match of the week, but as the other game was video-casted by FiveAces, lets get through this one.
FiveAces vs Orb (Masters, R02):
Game on Face-Off started rather uneventfully with players splitting their share of oil derricks and the map as a whole. Orb as usual with his oil sniping grenadiers, which were stopped by 2 guard rifles this time. Middle gems were initially picked by FiveAces while Orb went more towards the top, attacking his opponent from both sides. FiveAces actually couldn’t cope with his gems influx, floating a fair share through the midgame, but that dissolved quickly as his main ore patch dried out; the usual allied play started by him, with arties doing long range barrage and hinds making occasional building picks. This rather slow tempo of the game allowed Orb to tech earlier, although losing a lot of yaks and V2s to nowhere was unnesessary. Still, lack of proper engagements resulted in both players having huge (and multiple) infantry regiments around the map. First proper clash commenced at minute 14 when Orb saw that 5A‘s tanya was outpositioned and both arties and hinds were elsewhere; still push was too slow to do real damage at the bottom, whittled down by fire from above, at the same time FiveAces did a good job mowing down the whole topside, leaving Orb without much of his economy, but a lost ore truck on gem patch and destroyed bottom expansion meant Orb was still somehow ahead in eco department. A massive teslatank/flaktruck force out of nowhere coupled with a ready to fire IC was a complete surprise and absolutely demolished the whole top and middle bases of FiveAces, where most of his power plants were, putting him into severe low power for a good minute, and even a chronoed MCV in the backyard didn’t save him from losing this game. Switching to tanks was all too late to salvage anything.
And that was only one game out of two! Second game on Pitfight saw much more aggressive start from both players, running double-ref, with FiveAces taking the upper hand in first middle fight, but Orb coming out strong with double APCs while a ranger couldn’t help against it. Confrontations led to 5A‘s oil derrick and hospital getting destroyed, leaving Orb at a slight advantage. Further Orb‘s low-tech push was almost too successful, only to be stopped by an artillery driving out of the War Factory at the nick of time. And then the strange thing happened – FiveAces managed to outmacro Orb, taking both his expansions and denying Orb his 1-mine one at the SW patch, even running a nice Hind+Chinook attack and destroying a fresh Iron Curtain. Still, Orb managed to run down NE patch and driving some small force through the north path, making some havoc on FiveAces‘ main. Again, it looked like FiveAces doesn’t have anything to deal with enemy vehicles and heavy armor, but his hind picks were much better, taking a lot of tech. Other interesting addition from the previous game was a bunch of camo pillboxes in the middle, which turned out to be much harder for Orb to get through. In the end, you don’t want FiveAces to over-macro you ;)
eskimo vs Unano (Minions, R3):
This week has seen some display of close to perfect buildorder sync by both opponents, one of the highlights being the game on Badger Hills between these players; even defence structures were cancelled and re-added at the exact same time. And then – a complete split with eskimo going eco route and building expansion and refineries and Unano/Maceman (this will actually be somewhat awkward for some viewers) building a fast Radar Dome, but for some reason not complementing that with an airfield, playing Ukraine. Eskimo did some ore truck hunting Orb style, driving 3 med tanks through Unano‘s expansions, getting one truck and losing one tank to a popped up tesla. Tanks continued right to the bottom-right corner of the map, driving 2 more ore trucks off the patch. This sidequest quickly faded however with a middle of the map dogfight going on, where Unano got the spoils in the end, setting up a base on the 2 middle mines. Running a lot of troops into standing forces of Unano hasn’t helped eskimo either, and as the middle split for eskimo grew wider, his fate in this game was more and more obvious. Also lots of Mammonths.
Second game saw Maceman becoming Unano, so the name of the map Face-Off kind off got in handy. Eskimo did a good job capping bottom oils and blocking top ones with rifles to get them later, leaving Unano to take the middle gems and also losing the fight, which allowed Unano to basepush straight into eskimo‘s main. Having a double WF and a nice boost from 4 oil derricks (which together with an ore exp negated Unano‘s gem patch) allowed him to drag the base push for the right amount of time to get hold of the top and pinch the enemy from two sides while Unano was too busy basecreeping forward and not getting his economy in order. And after the gem refinery got downed, Unano‘s eco and map control wasn’t in place to withstand the mass infantry onslaught from every direction. The game dragged on a bit more while eskimo unlocked his huge float advantage.
Anjew vs Gatekeeper (Masters, R2):
This game was nicely covered by FiveAces, so get this link:
netnazgul vs Sotsch (Minions, R2):
Instead of me describing this game in text you’d better just watch SoScared’s cast of it! Here is the link:
BigSmoke vs Neth (Recruits Alpha, R02):
Some recruit action for the last part of this week’s Reports in a match between last season’s unlucky non-promoted Neth and BigSmoke who makes a comeback to RAGL carnage after dropping out of Season 3 a year ago.
On Pitfight Neth ran a promising rocket drop, killing one ore truck and delaying the mining. The expansion however was perhaps too bold and got quickly destroyed by BigSmoke, who took opponent’s expansion and then managed to simultaneously destroy another MCV and run a winning attack on the main of Neth.
And then there was a sub 4-minute game on Race Tracks, where you probably don’t really want to do a flamer drop off a single refinery unless you destroy the whole base of your opponent with it. Neth did not, and the retaliation for that was quick.
As usual any week this season can bring some top-quality games. Masters matches will probably be delayed again as most players are involved in Team Tournament as well and concentrate on it more at the moment. In Minions, Jvk/Chewey and Sotsch/Anykeyich outcomes are likely to shape the group positions for the latter stages. Also there is a peculiar matchup in Recruits Bravo where [ex]-TD players ZxGannon and BigBadBain are playing against each other.
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