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Edge season #6
IRC: #edge.q2 | http://demos.q2players.org
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Analysis and Prediction (p1)2016-01-27 11:10 | claire
Analysis and Prediction by Myrmidon

Introduction

That’s right folks, the Edge duel league is back once again. The pinnacle of Quake 2 duel is in its sixth season running, and twenty brave souls have come forth to test their mettle on the king of all maps.

Unfortunately, each season has suffered a decline in both numbers and skill, resulting in a smaller league that struggles to satisfy the community’s lust for excitement and greatness. The absence of Edge league heavy weights such as PURRI, who was last season’s winner, Warrior, and myself, leaves many aspiring players with a lack of incentive to participate, but they don’t see it for what it truly represents – opportunity.

We have the Edge league for a reason. It’s the most played map in Quake 2 history, in both duel and team death match. Not to mention its well-rounded balance in geometric dimension, item placement, and spawns. Through these facts alone, the map demands the most elegant and refined standard from those who take up the challenge. It has transcended to a higher state, where immaculate precision, psychological strategy, and unique creativity dominate, separating the men from the boys. The Edge is the ultimate trial, and it distinguishes those who attain the right call themselves a grandmaster of Quake 2 duel.

This article will be presented in four separate parts. I will do a write up of each group and provide my thoughts on how each individual player will have an impact on the overall result. Below is my write up of Group A.

Group A

When I first saw Group A, there were two names that specifically jumped out at me: C12 and AlexJ. I instantly recalled their EDL game from a couple of years ago, when AlexJ was able to take down C12, and more specifically, one of the maps he won was the Edge. I also remembered that C12 had both lag and mouse issues during that game, so one could consider the outcome to be ambiguous and misleading. However, AlexJ has been proving to be a formidable opponent as of late, effortlessly storming division two in the EDL, leaving many to speculate whether he should’ve been seeded to division one.

During my short stint in the EDL, I performed most of my practice with C12. Having known him as both a friend and a player for many years, we spent our time trading ideas for strategies and tactics, and threw in the odd Edwin joke for good measure. Overall, I knew what to expect when going up against him, but deep down, he only confirmed a sneaking suspicion that I’d had for a while, that he was concealing his true skill. C12 is someone who plays strictly for fun. He doesn’t care so much if he wins or loses. But during our practice games, I saw his cool exterior crack, and within that carefree shell was a cunning beast. He’s very much a player that resembles that arcane style which most refer to as “old-skool”, and behind his benign personality, he hides an ability to plan and calculate better than most veteran duellers.

AlexJ, on the other hand, takes duel quite serious compared to C12, and is more likely to put in the hours of practice needed to ensure his victory. As far as I know, I’ve never duelled AlexJ (not unless fake names were involved), so I’m unable to give an accurate measurement of his abilities on the Edge. I have, however, watch some of his EDL games, and judging from what I saw, he has the potential to go far in the Edge league. I get the impression his play style mostly revolves around experience. He will play a map so much that his performance almost seems robotic. From the average players’ point of view, this seems superior and deadly, but for those handful of us who have spent the last seventeen years dedicating ourselves to understanding Quake 2 duel, this robotic style is actually very flawed. These types of players, like robots, are susceptible to weaknesses that any wise and intelligent dueller will exploit – predictability. This translates as a lack of understanding for Quake 2 duel, and the inability to think creatively.

One thing AlexJ does have in his favour is his steady patience. He seems very focused during his games, and this helps him to minimise the amount of mistakes he is prone to make throughout those fifteen minutes. His aim is also of reasonable measure. He uses what seems to be quite a high sensitivity, or settings that don’t restrict the movement of his mouse, allowing for a responsive rocket launcher aim and increased reflexes with the railgun.

The next player who caught my eye from Group A was Gravgon. Recently, before I had retired from Quake 2, I spoke to Gravgon about duel, and the Edge in particular. He has never been into duel, but he seemed enthusiastic and open minded about learning it, and his participation in the Edge league is an excellent first step.

Gravgon may not have proven himself as a dueller just yet, but like myself, he has played Quake 2 for a long time. He was knocking about when other Belgians, like Kingpin and Smalle, were playing, which only tells me one thing: he has a lot of experience under his belt. This experience is reflected in his aim, which I’ve seen numerous times during team games with Gravgon. He’s also down to earth, and puts aside his pride which abolishes any ignorance that already stonewalls many of Quake 2 players from further improving. If he’s truly dedicated to learn duel, I believe that Gravgon is a player that possesses the right cocktail of abilities to flourish in Edge league, and maybe he will surprise those who see him as a pushover.

The remaining two players that I’ve yet to mention are interesting additions to the group, and somewhat deceptive. XOPPOP from Russia is a division four EDL player, and judging from his match history, he doesn’t belong there because he had no problem finishing first place in his group. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen much of XOPPOP’s playstyle, but I do know that Russian players tend to learn towards a common style similar to how AlexJ plays – very rocket launcher and experience focused. This suggests that he might be easy to dupe through the use of clever strategy. Trying to overwhelm XOPPOP using sheer aim might backfire, and giving full control to such a mechanical player could result in a struggle.

Xawik is a Polish player that encompasses the day-to-day activities seen on Polish servers. He’s very much a team game player, and it shows in his heavily aim and movement based style. The way Xawik differs from XOPPOP and AlexJ is that he is a lot rougher around the edges. He’s aggressive and relies more on brute force and fancy footwork to overcome his opponent. He may be less refined than the Russians, but his style can be very dominant if he’s allowed to take full control. Spawn raping with the railgun and chaingun will no doubt be his key objective.

Predictions

Group A’s outcome will be divided in two. First place will be a battle between C12 and AlexJ, and I feel the outcome of these two will depend on how determined C12 is to win. If he puts in the practice and focuses during the game, he has a good chance of taking the top spot. However, if he slacks, then I feel that AlexJ will undoubtedly claim first place.

Third place will be a toss-up between Gravgon, Xawik, and XOPPOP. I feel that each of these players have what it takes to achieve third, but I can’t see any of them overcoming AlexJ or C12. Gravgon will most likely have the hardest time out of the three, but he should not be underestimated because he’s still a very experienced player. Once he gets the feel for duel, there is no telling who he could beat. A question mark remains over Gravgon until we see him play.

If I could put my money on anyone for third place it would be Xawik. He is a solid mid-level player that can shine if given the chance, and his aggressive vigour might be too much for Gravgon and XOPPOP to deal with. However, it can be argued that third place might go to the player that practices the most. Inactivity is something that even the best of players are affected by, and any player in this tournament that doesn’t put in the time to practice will struggle.
Comments

Burnside
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2016-01-30 10:39 
Nice article. I've not been around for a while but great to see the scene still going. Make sure the demos get uploaded. FB emo
Barton
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2016-01-29 12:08 
I agree with your predictions.

Looking at the other groups, group B looks like it will be the most fun to watch matches from.
da-be-da
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2016-01-28 14:35 
You should do some shoutcast this season,EDL or Edge!
Gravgon
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2016-01-28 12:04 
Nicely written. Hope I can live up to the expectations though emo
salad
avatar
2016-01-27 13:21 
Very nice read Pete, i agree with most of the things you said about C12 and not only. Please do bring more

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