Pledge — Online leagues always have two very interesting and important moments – the playoffs to see who wins the season, but also the playoffs to determine the last participant in the Premiership. Tonight sees the start of the new ETF2L season by looking at the new teams who have a shot at playing with the big boys in the next eight weeks.  While some of these teams just recruited new players, others have been around for a long time. It’s a big mix of talent, teamwork, individual skill, communication and map specific tactics. Either way, tonight’s contestants AVENUE eSports , Pyro|Gen , logs.tf and The Potentials will do everything in their power to secure themselves that precious last spot in the Season 14 Premiership! Read on for the full preview of tonight’s games.

eu AVENUE eSports skeej, Mark, wolve, Salmon, Septique, Plapla

AVENUE eSports
02
The Potentials

The Potentials eu CaptainHax, Forsak3n, HYS, Byte, Rake, Gubbins

ETF2L Season 14 Premiership Playoffs
(43 comments)
TIME
  • Monday January 14th
  • 20:00 cet
  • 14:00 est (na)
  • 06:00 est (aus)

Who will win this match?

  • The Potentials (75%, 43 Votes)
  • AVENUE eSports (25%, 14 Votes)

Total Voters: 57

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MAPSSCORE
DEMO
VIDEO
cp_gullywash0-5
cp_badlands1-6


eu logs.tf furbo, sheepy, zooob, Shifty, Hildreth, Ritalin

logs.tf
02
Pyro|Gen

Pyro|Gen fr T-Mac, Salt, Exon, Bulle, Almaa, GlaDia

ETF2L Season 14 Premiership Playoffs
(43 comments)
TIME
  • Monday January 14th
  • 20:00 cet
  • 14:00 est (na)
  • 06:00 est (aus)
CASTED BY
  • No cast information available

Who will win this match?

  • Pyro|Gen (86%, 51 Votes)
  • logs.tf (14%, 8 Votes)

Total Voters: 59

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MAPSSCORE
DEMO
VIDEO
cp_gullywash0-5
cp_badlands3-5


fr Pyro|Gen GlaDia, Almaa, Bulle, Exon, Salt, T-Mac

Pyro|Gen
20
The Potentials

The Potentials eu Byte, HYS, Forsak3n, CaptainHax, Rake, Gubbins

ETF2L Premiership Qualifiers - Final
(43 comments)
TIME
  • Monday January 14th
  • 21:15 cet
  • 15:15 est (na)
  • 07:15 est (aus)
SOURCETV
  • No source tv information available

Who will win this match?

  • Pyro|Gen (77%, 17 Votes)
  • The Potentials (23%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 22

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MAPSSCORE
DEMO
VIDEO
cp_gullywash5-4
cp_process4-3



ETF2L has given those four teams the chance to duke it out in one Single Elimation Best-of-Three bracket that will happen tonight from 20.00 CET onwards. There will only be one winner, but three losers. Let’s take a look at all the contestants for tonight!

AVENUE eSports

skeej
Mark
wolve
Salmon
Septique
Plapla

The new AVENUE lineup is still not completely set in stone, as they will be playing with two substitutes tonight. Their ex-demoman Brego got an offer from Crack Clan and took it, leaving skeej’s men without their powerhouse player. For tonight, Mark will be rocking the pipes and stickies and it remains to be seen what kind of influence it will have on the AVENUE skill level. Overall though, their lineup looks very solid with a high individual skill level and the possibility to do well tonight.
I approached team leader and main caller skeej to ask him what he thought of tonight’s games and what his team’s chances are:

Losing Brego, who has proven to be a really valuable asset to our team during last season, has obviously crippled us, especially considering the timing of this transfer. We basically had no time at all to schedule proper trials and evaluate new players. We haven’t played a single practice game with the lineup that we will field tonight, so a big part of our play will be just winging it, with the help of doing a bit of dry positional/mid strats stuff just before the first games will start. In the end, I think our performance will depend on how well Mark has learned from Old Grandma’s wise insights in AUTOBOTS.

Keys to Victory:

  1. A very high individual skill level will be needed from all six players.
  2. Mark will need the support from his scouts
  3. The success rate of Salmon’s bombs will be crucial for victory.

Prediction: Out against The Potentials, 3rd/4th place.

Pyro|Gen

Bulle
Exon
T-Mac
Salt
GlaDia
Almaa

This French team is probably the big outsider to be victorious tonight. They have been around for a long time around Division 2 and after completely demolishing the competition there last season, they have been accepted into Division 1. I can only imagine this Premiership Playoff is icing on the cake for them, as being able to make the jump from Division 2 into the Premiership is something rarely done in the history of ETF2L. Exon is a brilliant Demoman who can deal with people like his countrymen Pognon and Flinn, but a big part of the team seems lacking on the deathmatch aspect of the game. Today is going to be a good test for them to see where they stand and to see if they can pull an upset and win the whole thing.
Just before releasing this article, the team leader Exon came online and gave me a statement about their team’s chances tonight:

Actually, we’re kinda stressed, but we have nothing to lose tonight. We know it won’t be easy though. Logs.tf are serious opponents we shouldn’t underestimate, they proved it in practice games.

Keys to Victory:

  1. They have been together for a long time. Can it be an edge over the other teams?
  2. Exon will need to bring his A game tonight.
  3. The ex-prem player GlaDia will have to reach his old level.

Prediction: Win over logs.tf, loss to the Potentials, 2nd place.

logs.tf

 Ritalin
Hildreth
zooob
Shifty
Sheepy
furbo

Like the French team, this weird combination of Europeans played Division 2 last season and did very well. Not a clean sheet like described above, but with 9 map wins and 3 map losses it’s still an impressive record. It’s hard for me to judge their abilities and their chances in the Premiership Playoffs, as I haven’t seen them play all that much, but the results truly speak for themselves. They still participate in the ETF2L 6th Cup (Round of 8 at the moment) and since the team formed in April 2012, Hildreth and his group of pandas have done really well. Tonight will be another step in their journey to the top and I personally am very curious to figure out where they stand.
I managed to find Ritalin, who was keen to give me a statement regarding tonight’s games:

I don’t have much to say honestly. Positivity is the name of the game for us, and I know we play well when we are in a good mood. I’m looking forward to the games tonight.

Keys to Victory:

  1. I expect them to play an aggressive playstyle. It will have to be executed perfectly.
  2. Nerves will be a big factor for them tonight. They will have to be calm.
  3. They will need the momentum to keep going. Capping the first round will be crucial!

Prediction: Out against Pyro|Gen, 3rd/4th place.

The Potentials

Byte
HYS
CaptainHax
Forsak3n
Gubbins
Rake

It’s hard to look at this lineup and not call them the favorites to pick up the Premiership spot tonight. Apart from the scouts, this is a lineup of pure class, experience and skill. It’s been a while since I’ve seen scouts Gubbins and Rake play at a high level, and compared to the scouts from AVENUE, they might be a slightly worse pair. Back in the day though, Rake was a scout easily comparable to TviQ: A good scout, but a ridiculously good sniper. And I’m not even mentioning the amazing game that Gubbins played in last season’s playoffs with Chinese Mafia. With the calling in the hands of two very experienced players and the skills to back it up, The Potentials is going to be the team to beat.
To see what they had to say themselves, I asked their team leader and medic Byte what he thought about the games coming up:

We feel confident enough in our ability to get through this ‘must be deserved into premiership playoff’ stage. Hopefully I am not mistaken, if we don’t manage to make it then we clearly don’t deserve the spot. The raw deathmatch including our latest asset HYS as demo, and me backed up as medic should make us a valid contender in Premiership.

Keys to Victory:

  1. If they don’t mess up, they should be stronger. The goal would be too make as few mistakes as possible.
  2. The soldiers are better than any other pair in this bracket, if they reach their normal level.
  3. The scouts will need to be on par with the enemy scouts to make the core of the team shine.

Prediction: Win over AVENUE, win over Pyro|Gen, 1st place and promotion.

The Brackets

Just a second ago, ETF2L drew the brackets for tonight. The full schedule is as follows:

Semi Final #1 20.00 CET – The Potentials vs AVENUE eSports
Semi Final #2 20.00 CET – logs.tf vs Pyro|Gen
Grand Final ~21.45 CET – Winner Semi Final #1 vs Winner Semi Final #2

The Coverage

The entire night will be covered by VanillaTV, from the very first to the very last second. We will bring you all the action as it happens over at the VanillaTV stream over at ETF2L Season 14′s head sponsor Twitch.tv! Our commentators Pledge and Skully will make sure that you miss absolutely nothing and they will keep you up to date with the all the scores, even if you tune in a little later. The stream will be live from 19.45 CET / 18.45 GMT / 11.45 PST / 14.45 EST onwards, so make sure you are in time, because tonight’s games are something you really don’t want to miss! There will also be a Russian Language cast done by Dikker with  Lippy and  Death giving their insight over at Dikker’s Stream