Two weeks ago I was commentating one of Epsilon eSports’ games against Team Infused. While I was thinking what to say next, I suddenly realised a problem that Epsilon seemed to have for a while: they always seem to be better in the second half of the game than in the first half. In this particular game, Infused was leading 5-1 (with a back cap as Epsilon’s round win) when F2‘s men decided to play properly. They came back to 5-5, but ended up losing nonetheless. “If only they managed to play a good first 15 minutes”, I heard myself thinking. Straight after, I asked the Danish medic if he could give me the demos of Epsilon’s officials since the ETF2L Season 11 finals about three months ago. Today, I present you my results from analysing all 29 maps that they have played since then. Let’s find out what’s so typical about Europe’s #1 Team! (at least until the S12 finals)
Since the ETF2L Season 11 Grand Final on April 2nd, Epsilon eSports has played 16 online officials. From those 16 officials, Epsilon has won 12, lost 3, and tied once, a winning percentage of 75%. Those 16 officials contained a total of 29 maps, of which Epsilon has won 23 and lost 6, a winning percentage of almost 80%. In the 5cp officials, they have played a total of 740 minutes, finishing 173 rounds. The average roundtime of any Epsilon game comes down to 4 minutes and 16,6 seconds.
Now, I can start telling about their track record against TCM-Gaming, but I’d be done quickly. Epsilon has beaten them on Gullywash once, 4-0, lost a golden cap on Badlands 4-5 and defaulted on Obscure. Without counting the default, that makes Epsilon’s winning percentage against TCM 50%, the lowest against any team. But of course, with only two officials on record (of which one was against a “nonamefound” at the start of May), those statistics really don’t say a lot.
Epsilon’s second breath
Instead, what I will be doing today is display something that I already touched on with my introduction. I felt like Epsilon was a bit of a slow-starting team, as if they get better and stronger the later it gets. To see if this was correct or not, I noted down the scores from all of Epsilon’s 5cp maps every 5 minutes into the game (so at 5, 10, 15 minutes etc). After looking at the data, I decided to split it up between the first and second 15 minutes of the game. To make it fair, I only used the maps that took the full thirty minutes or those that went to a golden cap afterwards. Below, you can see the results displayed in a graph.
During the first 15 minutes, Epsilon seems to be doing fine. They are about even with their opponents, making sure they don’t fall behind. They get a solid, albeit a bit low, 48% of all the rounds between the moment they go live and the 15-minute marker. Whether they do it on purpose or not, they improve drastically over the course of the game. In the second half, between 15 minutes and the final whistle, they get a fantastic 71,4% of all the rounds. For example, during the third map against Crack Clan on June 12th, Epsilon was 0-1 down at the 15-minute mark. They ended up winning the game with a convincing 6 to 1 scoreline. You can’t help but feel sad for Crack Clan, but massively impressed by that end result for Epsilon. If you want to beat these guys, you need to be able to stick with them to the very last second. This is something that not even Team Infused managed to do all the time though, so let’s hope TCM-Gaming can focus and keep up their play until the very end.
The Role of the Midfight
When teams go over tactics together, they often do some different strategies for midfights and then some general positioning for the other control points. While I agree that the other fights have a lot to do with anticipating on the enemy and routine within the team, the midfight seems to be the most important part of any 5cp map. I analysed the amount of times Epsilon manages to win middles and, more importantly, how often it ends up in them taking the round home. Also, I made sure to note down the amount of times they lost the middle straight off, but ended up coming back to win the round. The results you can find here:
Going over this graph first, we can see a couple of interesting things:
- Epsilon are quite strong on Gullywash, a map where they play every team on and have a winning record (56,71%)
- Epsilon have won ALL of their 7 officials on Snakewater, whilst only winning 40,5% of all their middles. It shows their defence on second and last is of a high standard.
- As a sidenote, nobody plays Granary and Obscure unless they have to. It’s good to know for Epsilon that they are good at both (5-0 on Granary against cc\\ and 4-3 on Obscure against Infused two weeks ago)
Now, when looking at the round result after we know the midfight result, we see how important middles actually are to any team, but Epsilon in particular:
If Epsilon manages to win their middle fights (which they do in 53,18% of all middles), they will win the round in 85,90% of all cases. That, very simply, means that if Epsilon wins more than 4 midfights against your team, you are most likely 4-0 or 3-1 down and will have a hard time winning the game. When they lose the midfight however, they will still win the round once every three tries, on average. I haven’t checked any of the other top teams, but from what I can see when they lose middles against Epsilon, the other teams are all below 30%. It makes Epsilon a very strong force to reckon with, regardless of how many midfights you win. All of this leads to the conclusion that the fight for the middle is one of the most important things in the game. And to show the strength from Epsilon themselves: in the second game against Crack Clan on June 12th, they only managed to win three middles (including the Golden Cap), but still won 6 to 5. Losing 8 middles and still winning the game – it’s impressive.
Epsilon eSports will want to win their game tomorrow against TCM-Gaming for obvious reasons. It’s the Grand Final of the biggest Team Fortress 2 league in Europe. TCM-Gaming is a little on the unpredictable side though, as they showed against Epsilon only three weeks ago when they played and managed to win their game on Badlands. Epsilon will want to regain their #1 spot which they lost to Team Infused during Season 11. TCM-Gaming will need to win a lot of middles, specifically, and they need to make sure they win Badlands. Epsilon so far has only won Badlands 5 out of 8 times and their win rate of 62,5% is the lowest out of all the six maps. It’s gonna be interesting to say the least and I will be watching. Byte, kaidus, Zebbosai, hocz, Rebeli, hymzi – I wish you guys the best of luck. According to my research, you’re gonna need it. Let’s hope hymzi keeps gambling!