Some more junk from xhrl; if you care for it, read on.
I was not impressed by fs' teamplay in the semis. Now I am a big fs fan, of course; but even so, it was disappointing to see them play so poorly on dm3, a map I have always thought of as reppie's playroom. And on e1m2, the performance by drefjus and razor, though quite good, was not matched at all by my hero, the_flying_dutchman, reppie. I am not sure it was just because fs teamplay decisions were questionable in places or that they had connection lameness or that just plain luck didn't spin their way: I reason beyond all these factors, it may well have had to do with the fact that sr stepped up to another gear after their very close match against antiquad. FS can't blame AQ, but it is true that AQ did nothing less than wake up the sleeping slackers. Whatever the reasons for this rather disappointing loss may be, I hope the best for fs in NQR next season! Notwithstanding this fs loss, I must admit one very obvious factor that pertains to the finals: the slackers and their sr_good_fortune are alive and well.
That said I do not believe that chance will play very much into four of the five games that I expect to see played in the NQR final. Put succinctly, I expect sr to take their 2 dm3s, and for ds to win their 2 e1m2s. I presuppose a big thing here: that neither team will be upset. Yet that is not a huge stretch to see happening, for it already has between cmf and ds.
So if this plays out as I suggest, the map to watch closely will be the very map no one can completely put their faith on: dm2. For she is a treacherous strumpet to those who have loved her and have placed their faith in winning on her: just think of how far she took TVS; yet bear in mind just how she betrayed TVS in critical playoff games. The break down of skill on dm2 is not terribly revelant to my mind, as both ds and sr match up closely on it. I might give a slight advantage to sr in running the big Q on dm2 because they have the extremely manly one, hib. Hib is one of the finest dm2 quad runners around right now, of course; but I would go one step further and suggest he is one of the best ever. But ds has rkr and mrl, who are "teh shitnitz" as well. I am not sure what that devious saying means, yet i mean by it that they are both proven experts at doing damage with the big Q on dm2 --- if you doubt me, just recall rkr's last minute quad run in the previous nqr final :P I am sure SR is aware of those two guys when they have the big Q. Yet it is not the Quad itself that will decide dm2; it is the teamplay decisions and support play. It is here that I think ds has a bit of an advantage. Did you see the performance by paradoks on dm2 against AQ and FS? I bet you thought the same as I did: para was not playing up to his highest standard. Correct me if I am wrong, but the bottom line is that paradoks will have to step up his dm2 support play to match that of slime, nbe or akke if SR is going to be able to take dm2. I have no doubt about this: that it will take 4 solid performances to win the dm2 game, not merely 3 or 2 very solid players in a clan doing all the work. Yet all my junky speculation aside, dm2 will be probably decided by something as simple as "whoever makes the fewest rl_pack turnovers" gets to reel in the NQR trophy.
I wish strength and honour to those about to battle!