Gentleman Jon — History is full of great partnerships: Cannon & Ball, Siegfried & Roy and Jedward. TF2 is no exception, so along with more about Uber drops, dominations and off classing I’m going to look at the player combinations that helped define the i49 tournament. As well as showcasing teamwork it reveals some insights into patterns of play, and which medics heal in the thick of the action compared to those staying safe at the back.

 

In the following tables the first name is the fragger and the second the assister, and the ratings are by kills per map played.

Scouts Buddies

First up are the scout partnerships. This only includes play as scouts, not when off classing.

Assists Scouts

Unquestionably sharing some kind of psychic link Cookye and Bybben take the top two places. No other scout pair so consistently helped each other so evenly, although they both spent little time off classing (more details below). Even so it’s striking how they coordinated.

For future reference any scouts playing with Buttnose or Perm may call damage, but don’t expect them to help you clear it up. Don’t forget Sheep is sniping, and Stefan probably doesn’t care unless he can steal the kill.

Soldier and Medic

Assists Soldier Medic

Mirelin assists his pocket and his roamer the most out of any medic (no, Cube wasn’t roaming – ouch) not just spreading the heals but healing them deep into combat. Epsilon don’t feature here, KnOxXx focusing on Numlocked. It shows  Mike’s semi-roamer role, he got quite a lot of heals overall but not so much while fighting.

Considering the vast heal focus he received Yuki is further down than you might expect, clearly also doing a significant amount of fighting away from bonobo and then meeting back up hurt to restore his buff.

Demo and Medic

Assists Demo Medic

Here we see the other side of the Epsilon coin, Numlocked being pocketed right into combat by KnOxXx. Mirelin & Ryb don’t do badly considering how much he helped the soldiers as well, Mirelin takes the award for Medic most willing to follow his men into the middle of the fighting.  War was the only heal target that provided  Ace with at least a mediocre result.

It’s a striking how differently the Australian and NA teams treated their demomen with regard to heals and time spent fighting with the medic compared to the EU teams.

Scout and Soldier

Assists Scout Soldier

Antwa and Sheep put up very similar assist numbers clearing up Yuki’s damage, considering that this doesn’t include Sheep’s sniper time that’s impressive scout play from him. Both Bybben and Cookye also play around Zebbosai’s damage. In contrast Stefan seems to focus on clearing up both Mike and Gear’s lead while  Bash is occupied elsewhere. TCM’s scouts vary their support of the roamer, with Cookye also going into the flank whereas Bybben spends more time with the combo.

Cyzer and Lansky’s combination play is a rare bright spot for HRG, part of the team play which sees Cyzer retained in the fallout from i49. A rare highlight is for elem.v, with  e-thug and Cube combining effectively, although as always it should be remembered they were in elite company.

Scout and Demo

Assists Demo Scout

HRG scouts appear at the top clearing up b4nny’s damage, which is surprising considering the raw quantity of b4nny’s damage wasn’t that high. HRG’s fate might have been different if they’d managed to get b4nny into a position to do more. Stefan is also clearing up more of Numlocked’s damage than Bash as well as both soldiers. Perhaps Bash just wasn’t as effective as Stefan (a bit like performing a miracle that’s nice, but not quite up to Jesus’s standards) or perhaps he played a little more around KnOxXx and supported with damage without aggressively chasing frags.

Bulk wasn’t a prodigious fragger but even so gets comparatively little help from his scouts who spent much more time clearing up Yuki’s damage. In every metric it looks like Bulk is in a supporting role very much in contrast to the top EU demomen.

Bybben played more around Ryb’s damage than Cookye who spent more time cleaning up with  Jukebox.

More about Uber

Rounds won against the Uber

In part 2 I took a very brief look at the relative correlation of damage and frags to round victory, with teams winning against a damage deficit 11.5% of the time, but only winning 4.2% of the time against a fragging deficit. Many rounds of course have even numbers of Uber charges but at i49 in games involving the top teams only 9.2% of rounds were won against an uber charge deficit.

Uber Droppers

Given the importance of uber superiority I’ve taken a look at the players that bring about uber drops. These are drops measured per map of play.

Drops Forced Per Map

B4nny showcases a previously hidden skill in a key area, dropping a medic with uber once every 3 maps, notably catching out medics on the Viaduct cliff and (from memory) KnOxXx on Granary, a drop which put them ahead early against Epsilon in the group game. For all the other categories in which he struggled b4nny shows that he’s king of the sticky trap no doubt directing his team to provide maximum distraction at the vital moment.

By contrast Jukebox uses every skill of the roamer, flanking, ambushing and off classing to get his drop rate up to roughly as high through solo aggression and cunning.

War and Flippy just manage to edge their noses slightly ahead of the mob (a drop caused every 5 maps as opposed to every 7 or 8) and Tagg manages to get into a mediocre position for something which is a bright spot in a tough tournament.

Neither Yuki nor Mike managed to make the list at all, whereas KnOxXx won an ubersaw battle to equal several scouts.

Statistical Ephemera

When digging through the logs you come across all kinds of bits and pieces that don’t really fit anywhere else or are too tangential to fit in with the main article, so I’ve taken a look at a couple of bits and pieces here.

Off Classing Spread

This shows who played what class as a proportion of their total playing time. Actual time isn’t shown as that would have hopelessly squeezed the players who didn’t have so many maps into invisibility. Anyone who’s done around 5 minutes of total off classing or more in the tournament is included.

Offclassing

The tiny slivers are the cumulative effect of swapping spawns, etc.

As you might expect Sheep leads those playing sniper spending around a third of his time in the company of his rifle. Jukebox spent around a 5th of his time. Bash was the top Spy player committing around 3% of his total time to it.

Smzi spent more of his time on heavy than anyone else, with Flippy next and Perm, Shrugger, Tek and Bybben all spending a similar share with the Minigun. Top Engie players were Shrike (holding last again) and Flippy which makes for a strange albeit rare counterbalance to the Frenchies usual psychotic aggression.

The TCM scout pair barely qualify for inclusion in this list, they stuck strongly to scout while Jukebox did the majority of the off classing. HRG also stayed very scout based but there was no heavily off classing soldier to complement this, it certainly added to the impression of a lack of flexibility on their part.

Dominations

Dominations

Dominations are one of those stats that has debatable value to say the least but there are a few unique twists. Unsurprisingly it’s similar to the KAD stats from part 2, but with some notable differences. Tvique appears well up the list, examining his domination record it’s significantly buffed by elem.v players and those who made it to the knockout from the open groups. Essentially Tvique flat track bullies his way near the top. It’s a similar story with Flippy although he also victimised Aporia and a few DIS players.

Similarly Bybben appears higher on the dominations list than his KAD placing, but unlike Tvique and Flippy his domination list is full of the best players, Epsilon, HRG, iM and Infused indicating that he was the scout that finished cleaning up and survived to cap the points.

Mirelin’s the medic with the most dominations as you might expect from his fighting assist stats above, KnOxXx having a more modest domination total but also being dominated less (only Zebbosai registered dominations against him).

Who Dominated Who?

This shows raw domination numbers unadjusted by maps or play time. As with the who-killed-who graph it’s too big to fit on the page so click to view the details. Higher numbers are highlighted.

Who Dominated Who_corrected

Conclusions

It’s possible to tell quite a bit about the nature of team coordination from the assist data, who works well with each other and what type of coordination teams are achieving.

For example HRG and iM had similar philosophies, but the scout play for HRG was split between b4nny and Lanksy with b4nny getting strong support, whereas Yuki was the focus for iM. TCM also split their scout’s loyalties between the demo and pocket soldier, but had a more aggro based strategy whereas HRG hoped for more methodical play. iM pulled off the methodical play more successfully putting their eggs in the Yuki basket.

Plumbing the depths of assist data is something of a bottomless pit, this article could have been much longer.

When considering which broad factors are of most importance to winning rounds, in terms of correlation frags trumps uber which trumps damage. Correlation is not causation though, and some of these factors clearly affect one another. Ubers contribute to the survival of players, but there’s a skill element involved in not dropping players and timing the uber pop, and there are clearly other factors at work with a player’s survival or death not least their personal skill or other elements of team play. Ubers can also be Kritz (and the logs don’t tell us which is which, thanks Valve) which are riskier and have a higher fail rate.