Welcome back gentlemen for another edition of Cometk's UNBIASED Predictions
The 1-day Draft League's inception is an extension of the EPCM Wastebin Wars
, a team-based tournament format for mid-level players to participate in. The event would see two teams duke it out in eight 1v1 matchups, with the team who won the majority of matchups clutching the victory and share of the event's prize pool. The format allowed players up to 2 weeks to complete their matches, during which time teammates could practice with and advise each other on how to win their series'. The AoE3:DE Draft League is essentially the same format, but condensed into a single weekend.
is managing the Garjonians
for this event, and @Lecastete
the Little Lieutenant Colonels
. The ghost of Garjonian's past haunts Kaister, with an unsuccessful bid as manager in the Wastebin Wars #2
. His first managerial experience, Lecastete takes the mantle from LLC's previous director minimoult21, inheriting the team's history of success despite generally being regarded as the weaker roster of players. Whether Kaister will be able to break his team's curse, or Castete able to continue his predecessor's triumphs, remains to be seen.
Let's see what we're working with.
Garjonians (3) vs Little Lieutenant Colonels (3)Kaiserklein
(60) vs Knuschelbär (40) |
The Grim Reaper Kaiserklein represents the Garjonian's top draft, after tucking yet another ESOC Minor Tournament 1st place medal into his pocket, winning the recent ESOC Stay-at-Home Cup. Over the last few years, Kaiserklein has earned a reputation as the most feared AoE3 competitor, winning innumerable events, dominating the Elo leaderboard, and achieving an ESOC Premier League seasonal record that is likely to never be topped, winning 29 out of 32 games against other top players. Cuddlebär Knusch on the other hand, has made a lowkey, slow ascension in the upper echelons of play. From being an overlooked underdog in 2018 to consistent Top 5-er in recent history, he's stacked enough close series' against other Pros to be an indisputable clout-bearer. He's a firm and respected competitor, almost never dropping a series without punching a few holes in his opponent first. Looking at their match history, the last time these players met was in the Quarter-finals of the ESOC Winter Championship 2020. Kaiserklein won that series 4-1. Even though it's been quite some time since then, it's hard to doubt that Kaiser continues to be the man-to-beat.
minimoult21 (45) vs SoldieR
The former LLC manager sees himself brought on as a hired gun for the Garjonians. Mini is a returning player, who picked up AoE3 again some time last year after a long hiatus. I think he used to float around the PR35 Colonel range in his heyday, and nowadays occupies the modest Lieutenant Colonel title, when active. With pre-release access, he's shown himself to be the premier Swede-lamer and has the early AoE3:DE 1v1 ladder in a spaghetti-eating stranglehold. SoldieR's results continue to confuse me. He had an extremely efficient run in the ESOC Premier League Season 2, being the least expensive Slot 2 player but putting up a 14 win, 11 loss record by the end of the season. He took crushing victories over Lecastete and Lukas, and only narrow losses against Knuschelbär and KINGofOsmane. Then, in the ESOC Stay-at-Home Cup, he got mollywhopped in the Round of 16 by Aizamk, getting swept 3-0 and eliminated in quick fashion. This past weekend in the Pre-Release Invitational he got aced 4-0 by his newfound teammate Conquerer999. You cannot fault me for thinking SoldieR sucks, sometimes. In any case, I'll hedge my bets and cast my vote for the player who has the bigger upside potential, but I'm open to being proven wrong.Lukas_L99
(52) vs Conquerer97 (48) |
Despite being regarded in the Top 10 of most events he's participated in, Lukas' recent performances have been varying towards the not-so-hot side. He did manage to make the Top 4 of the ESOC Winter Championship 2020, but made an unobtrusive sortie from the event after being swept 4-0 by Mitoe in the Semis and wiped 5-1 by Kaiserklein in the bronze match. Lukas' EPL2 run was also quite poor, as, ignoring his freebie wins over Hazza in Week 1, he ended the season with a 5 win, 15 loss record. Conquerer999 is a serious consideration. He's had an excellent record in ESOC Weekend Tournaments, earning a slot in both ESOC Grand Tour Playoffs. He played in the recent AoE3:DE Pre-release Invitational, and won the $100 first place prize without dropping a single game. Conquerer didn't face to same caliber of competition that Lukas did in EPL2, but that doesn't detract from his very impressive performance in the Slot 3 position, finishing 16 wins, 9 losses. I'm honestly going against my gut here; Conq has all the tools necessary to defeat Lukas, and when Lukas is on the big stage he seldom performs to expectation. Lukas occupies a different tier of player though, and despite lukewarm official results, I don't think he can be regarded as on the same level as Conquerer. He's just somewhat above it. I give him an ethereal edge to win the series.
ageofkiller (10) vs Hazza54321
Breezey beautiful came back a few months ago, rearing his head again after an assumedly fruitful university semester. He left the AoE3 scene temporarily at the clutch moment in the SKG EPL1 season, having racked up enough points in his team's Slot 4 position to earn them a Playoffs slot. He was unavailable for the last week, however, and SKG ended up losing the Playoffs with a 17-18 final score. To many players chagrin, breeze proved his grit in this event, and recently on ladder too. His walls-and-water playstyle has many who find themselves in a match against him wishing to claw their eyes, and such may be the reason for the low esteem generally assigned to him from other top players. Breeze is assuredly better than most estimate him, though. Hazza has taken on a full-time role as a Treaty player and despite barely being able to break top 10 there, continues to dominate the Supremacy scene whenever he dips his toes back into the water. A few errant 1v1s has him in close competition with evergreen #1 player Kaiserklein, showing that Mr. Wood's skills haven't decayed while attempting mastery over The Thinking Man's Gamemode (TR40). While breeze is an underrated asset, Hazza has reached far higher highs than breeze ever has; Hazza was the ESOC Winter Champion 2020, and he is unrustable. With breeze's best weapon in the Portuguese civilization being banned from the event, there is absolutely zero reason to think he has a shot here. Massive edge.
Mitoe (45) vs diarouga
My favorite of the day. The anti-hero of AoE3 and New World Champion diarouga against the NA region golden boy Mitoe. In recent history, Mitoe won 2 out of 3 tournament matches against diarouga. However, diarouga had his cake and ate it too in the pivotal GSL Group Stage series, defeating Mitoe 3-0, eliminating Mitoe from New World Championship Playoffs contention, a tournament which diarouga would eventually go on to win along with its $1600 first place prize and bragging rights. It's been a long-held adage of Mitoe that the longer the series length, the higher is his likelihood is of winning, as he has more time to express the depth of his skills. In a Best-of-3 format, against one of the only players whose theory-crafting abilities might match his own, Mitoe's chances of victory lie on trepidatious grounds. Rouga is a careful and considerate competitor, and so I give him the small edge to win this series.mensvitamins
(51) vs Mr_Bramboy (49) |
Mr_Brambino is running hot off a win over top percentage player and #ContentCreator GiveUAnxiety in a weeks-long Best-of-27 slog utilizing every civilization. Despite some inactivity over the summer, he's shown that with just a weeks time and some elbow grease he's operating as well as he ever did, regaining his low Lieutenant Colonel status in a flash and even sneaking into the Wastebin Wars #2 to represent the LLC and nab a 3-0 victory over other top draft sheckler. SirCallen on the other hand has taken to team-game dominance, going far in JaiLeD's 2v2 tournament from a few months back, and destroying the DE 2v2 ladder with partners gibson and Lecastete. A more macro-minded player, Callen has chosen obscurity as of late when it comes to 1v1 gameplay - perhaps, reasonably, because losing in mano-e-mano combat means that the only one to blame is thyself. The supplement supplier has never dealt well with the consequences of his failings. Even worse for Mr. Vitamins is that, as this series occupies the last match of the day, pressure on him to perform will be maximal, and in these types of situations Callen might prefer to make like a cracker and crumble. It's likely that the fate of his team will rest on his shoulders, which he should be advised can be alleviated by taking a walk outside, several standing exercises, and punctual hydration. It's hard to vouch for Callen's peanut fortitude, but he plays a selection of civilizations better than Bramboy's pan-civ skill repertoire. I think his Swedes and Brits are tough to beat, and so he earns a miniscule edge to win this series.
From the score, it seems like I'm predicting a tiebreak. However, I've got reasonable confidence that two series' could swing either way, with Conquerer and Bramboy having strong potential to win their matches. I favor the Little Lieutenant Colonels to take the W before we reach the end of the scheduled matches. For entertainment's sake, we can only hope that the ESOC scriptwriters wrote this thing to go to tiebreak.