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  Columns - Hooraytio  

  Silver tier preview  080223  
It is time for NQR once again. This time the clans are divided into three tiers, gold silver and bronze plus the rookie tier. I will cover the silver tier with this preview and hopefully some complementing news posts on a somewhat regular basis.

A short introduction of me would be that I have played qw since 1998, participated in all nqr and eql seasons except nqr1 and have played with Chosen, a Swedish/Finnish clan, since nqr9 and eql1.

This season the clans are allowed to choose between either The Big Three, that is dm2 dm3 and e1m2, or an extended pool of TB3 plus four other maps. These being midcit, cmt3, cmt4 and e1m2tdm. There are a total of 12 clans in the silver tier and as many as six have chosen the extended map pool. This means that there is great potential for some serious Kenya gaming experiences in this tier. Cmt3 and cmt4 have been played quite a lot in both nqr and eql before so many players should be accustomed to those maps. Midcit and to some extent e2m2tdm are more unknown to the average qw player. I have played them both and i especially like midcit for its layout and its quad position. I hope to see some interesting battles on this map made by former gtg player dakoth.

Just by looking at the clans I would say that we are up for a quite even group and pretty much all the clans will have a good chance of making it to the playoffs. The new point system will make sure that the most active clans will end up in the top8 positions so you had better play all your games and not rely on winning three or four games and then just idle away.

I will now go on to talk a little bit about each clan and give my opinion on their past, present and future performance.

Bear Beer Balalaika
This Russian clan has been around for a few seasons with mixed results. Since EQL pages are down at the moment I couldnít track their performance in that league but in my opinion they have become better and better each season. Most of their members played in the Russian clan Noname Clan which was a fairly good team at the end of its life cycle and the players brought skill and team play into the new clan. They are tough to meet on maps like dm2 and dm3 and maybe a little less skilled on e1m2. They have chosen the regular map pool so the Kenya clans wonít be scoring easy points from this team. They have managed to play and win their first game of the season versus Finnish clan Hippushnik. It was a very close game with HIPS winning dm2 and BBB winning dm3 and e1m2. I consider this a proof of strength from the Russians and they will have no problem reaching the higher positions if they continue like this. Their players work well together and coordinate their attacks well. Their 1on1 star Bulat seems well accustomed to 4on4 as he topfragged on the deciding map versus HIPS.

Hippushnik
Having lost the first two games of the season, although close losses, shouldnít stop these furious Finns from winning most of their games this season. They looked a little rusty versus Chosen and when playing 3B they lost a very close map but won a close one in return. I recommend Mingles match report for more info. Last season of NQR they played in the Gold tier group a where they ended in 6th place out of 7 clans. This time around they are up against somewhat easier clans and they shouldnít have any problems turning their map record from NQR 10 of 2-10 into something far better. They have recruited Katsku from another Finnish clan, FragUnit, to strengthen their lines. I have had the privilege of playing with mr Katsku and i would like to congratulate HIPS on acquiring him. So far they have not managed to secure a win on e1m2 even though both games this season were very close. They have chosen the extended map pool but I havenít seen them play any of the maps so I canít say much about their skill on the extra maps. With some luck HIPS can win some more close games instead of losing them.

Apocalypse 2000
This Swedish/UK constellation have been playing together for a while. However, they have used quite a lot of different line-ups during the seasons and there is some debate about who is active and who is not. They have gone for the extended pool and they are known to be hot on cmt4. In NQR 10 they won four out of seven games as they squeezed into fourth place in Silver tier group a. I have played versus these chaps quite a lot during the years and I know they can be a fearsome force when in shape. They seem a little idle at the moment though so unless they start practicing soon I donít think they can reach very far with the fierce competition in the group. A middle or bottom position is expected here.

Bad Boys
We couldnít do without a few poles in the tier. The Bad Boys consists of some very familiar players like kat, plast and macler, at least to me they are familiar. As the poles they are they will be feared on dm2 even though they lost the opening game versus Sega Gubbar with a score of 1-2 and only won on dm3 for a change. If their skilled but rusty players can get into shape I would imagine they have a shot at top5. For that to happen they need to be better on dm2 as a lot of the clans in the group are e1m2 and dm3 specialists. Somehow poles often manage to play good team play on dm2 which can be their strongest weapon now. Bad Boys chose to go for extended map pool at first but later threatened to drop out of nqr11 unless their choice was altered to regular map pool. This might have been a good idea since their players are rusty and will do just fine with only three maps.

Clan Metally Troopers
Having lost finnish player 187 to his former clan Chosen didnít strengthen this clan in any way. He was their best player, frag wise, in eql6 and also quite active. That aside, cmt is still a good team and they will be able to win a few games or upset the better clans with winning maps here and there. Like many other clans they donít play very much at the moment and I sincerely hope they will start soon. When playing these guys in the past I have found that they are somewhat better on dm2 and dm3 than on e1m2. Depending on how many games they play they will have a larger chance of sneaking into those 8 playoff spots but I have a feeling they are in for a tough fight. Cmt have gone for the extended map pool but I donít know if they are good at any of the maps. This remains to be seen.

Demolition Crew
Polish clan number two and one of my favourite opponents of all time. I cannot think of any other clan that I have played so many pracs against. They are really hard on dm2, a little softer on dm3 and moderately strong on e1m2. They wonít be attending any Kenya fights this season but instead concentrate on The Big Three. With some devotion this clan will have none or little trouble reaching the playoffs and since only four clans will miss it I donít think DC are weak enough to be one of them. I think their team play is good for their level and they attack well together vs enemy rls. Watch out for their takeovers of dm2 as they sweep in with force to take over quad and tele/ya, often by rjumping to high tele.

Fraggers United
Some of you might wonder where the Finnish clan Oldones went, well I can give you a tip. Check Fraggers Uniteds lineup. Only noteworthy player that didnít tag along was vertigo who recently told me that he is a free agent. Not having this guy will not be much of a problem for FU though as they can field players like knave, ilkka and grass. In a recent prac vs these guys I was a little surprised that we won on dm3. E1m2 was a little easier though and I feel that their best map is either dm3 or dm2. They will not play any Kenya maps so all you Kenya lovers out there must look elsewhere if you want some of those maps. FU will probably reach playoffs but it is all up to their activity.

Mean Machine
A fairly new clan that have a lot of different nationalities in their ranks. Their obvious star is Skillah who has improved immensely due to a lot of pracs and mixes. They also have some poles who, if they play, will contribute to their dm2 performance while Skillah and Messi will provide most of the dm3/e1m2 skills. They are going to play on all 7 maps and I must say they are very good at e2m2tdm from what I have seen so far. I havenít played versus these guys much in the past since they used to inhabit either the lower or higher division from my point of view, that is from a div4 point of view, but lately I have had the opportunity to engage in pracs with them and they feel like a pretty solid team. They are active enough so reaching playoffs on a few points alone is nothing these guys will be satisfied with. They will pass on to playoffs and beyond that anything can happen.

Oblivion
As one of the oldest (perhaps even THE oldest) active clans around Oblivion has a lot of history to live up to. Always friendly and with some serious skill up their sleeves this clan is not to be taken lightly. As the Swedish clan they are they are good at e1m2 but not for that matter bad on any of the other two tb3 maps. No, the interesting thing here is that they have called the newer clans bluff and chosen the extended pool. A bold move I should say for a clan that perhaps isnít as active as Mean Machine just to mention one of the Kenya pool clans. Their best lineup would be pretty fearsome but Iíve been told Hagge wonít play much if anything at all. I was fortunate enough to have a prac vs Oblivion some nghts ago. They used a div1 standin on dm3 and won quite comfortably while Chosen won e1m2 after Oblivion managed to get 4 regular members to the server. I was a little surprised to win that easily but on the other hand I donít think a prac says all that much. Oblivion will probably have a hard time on the Kenya maps but it remains to be seen of course. No problem for this clan to reach the playoffs.

Osams
This clan has been on the decline for a few seasons. Not much activity and former star Lakso left and Lunna seems a bit idle. The remaining boys are by all means skilled enough for this level but do they play enough and will they put their souls into this season? I sincerely donít think so and they are more than welcome to prove me wrong. I am looking forward to try and get revenge for the latest eql game which didnít go as I had planned. Osams are equally good on all TB3 maps in my opinion but hey, here is another extended team. It is a bit puzzling that the less active teams go for Kenya but with their UK influence, mainly many, they are destined to bring a strong cmt4 game.
Sorry all osams fans but even though steppa and the boys will make a solid effort osams will not make it into the top8.

Sega Gubbar
After leaving Chosen Lethalwiz once again teamed up with his old mates to form a very strong team. With the recent addition of star player mm they are a strong candidate for the title. They have also started out good with a 2-1 win over Polish clan Bad Boys. Somehow they managed to win dm2, which is Polands national arena, something the Poles will have nightmares about. With players like lethalwiz, mm, mooseman and slime, although slime might not play much, this team is strong all over TB3. They have decided to stay at home and donít stray to the Kenya maps this season. I think that is a wise decision since they donít need any half new or partly unknown maps to score map wins in this tier. This is a top3 clan for sure, no doubt about it.

Chosen
Well last but hopefully not least comes my own clan. We have been around for quite a while now and although players have joined and left the core is pretty much the same. This season we are proud to present Donut for the first time in an official game with Chosen. He is an old timer who started getting back to qw last spring before going to the US. Chosen have its strengths and weaknesses and therefore decided to stick to TB3. We played a good cmt4 a while back but then we had cmt4 meister Greendog. Now we focus on the old maps and are doing pretty well. We actually won vs, a rusty, Antiquad on dm3 the other week and we had a solid opening game of NQR11 with a 2-1 win versus HIPS. Other notable players in this team is the returning 187, acquired back from cmt, and Pyta who is a solid team player.


Predicting a final table for this tier is very hard but I will at least guess which teams will make it to playoffs. I suggest that the final standings will be something like this:

Sega Gubbar
Beer Bear Balalaika
Oblivion
Mean Machine
Demolition crew
Chosen
Bad boys
Hippushnik

And these teams to miss playoffs

Fraggers united
Apocalypse 2000
Clan Metally Troopers
Osams


It would be even harder to base this on skill alone but judging by the activity in some clans this is what I suggest. I do encourage the 4 bottom teams to prove me wrong though! Good luck and see you on a server soon.

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