Today I had the wonderful surprise of receiving a PM on IRC from a fine Swedish gentlemen asking if I could give his Nations Cup articles a quick proof-read. We’ll be releasing these articles one-by-one over the coming days.
The Highlander Nations Cup has just started last night with the game between France and Turkey – a straightforward win for France – and it’s time to take a look at the tournament. We’ll start with Group A. In this group we have the old-school TF2-land of the Netherlands, the team who took out both Finland and Sweden in the last ESL Nations Cup – Spain, as the two definitive favorites to take home the group. Accompanying them we have Romania and Croatia.
Bringing the Netherlands forth is the veteran and winner of season 9, Exfane. Back in the days, Exfane was a solid soldier for FakkelBrigade (Team Thermaltake), rocking airshots left and right. Question is: does he still have the groove of tf2 in his body? Will we see him lead his team with the power that he should, looking at his merits, or will he crumble under the pressure, as other returners have done in the past? Maybe it is fortunate for him that the Netherlands won’t crash into the giants of the group until the last game of the groupstage… The time leading up to that should be enough for him to gel in with the different metagame of highlander that has evolved since his last official appearance in ETF2L-organized highlander – a cup in 2009. Worthy of mention in the team is also Skeej, who played in the 6v6 premiership team Decerto last season and Qun of YouTube-fame.
FYI I decloak in pla
Team Spain is one of the most star-filled teams in the cup. EstaniS and HarryHook, the scout-pair that led K!ck to ESL championship in the last season of ESL, as well as bore Crack Clan on their shoulders last autumn. The two never seems to thrive when without the other, and now that they’re together, maybe they can lead Spain to glory. Competing with those two for a scout spot in the coming 6v6 Nations Cup is Longás, a meatshot machine from Zaragoza. It will be interesting to see who of them will take the scout spot here in the Highlander Nations Cup – maybe EstaniS and HarryHook will simply give it to Longás when they can’t have their usual teamwork. Lots of players from the old team Mister is populating the team, assuring them good teamwork and comms.
Mostly made up of players from the highlander team Rambase.ro and 6v6 team Div6Forever, Romania should already have their teamwork and coordination in place, as well as a general knowledge of how they want to play their games. This is a strong advantage for their team, especially in the early stages of the tournament, before their opponents have caught up. The team seems to be without any strong ego from a top division, something that will power up the cohesion of their team somewhat. With this said, I still don’t think Romania really have what it takes to overcome Spain nor the Netherlands, but their first game of the tournament, staged against Croatia will be an interesting showdown. The loser of that game will not stand much chance in the group, but the winner will still have the possibility to come in at second place. The leader of the team – punct - will have to bring his team’s A-game.
Perhaps the most unknown team in the group, lacking community profiles like Exfane, stars like Longás or forum frequenters like Ghostface, Croatia can be a joker in the making. Team leader Chux has gathered a team he has faith in, pitching players from the heights of division 3 ( reservoir_dog) down to pubbers ( Shtrude1). It takes a lot of patriotism and willpower to actually belive that Croatia could make it far in this tournament. But who am I to judge them bad? They could surprise me and everyone, and maybe win a game or two…