Here i want to talk about one of the most appealing topic in nowadays QL scene: the amount of tactical awerness and well-tought moves Evil uses in his game.
as they are probably considered as the apex of his career since his comeback. His games vs Spart1e and Cypher had been casted by mr. Shane Hendrixson himself i tought it was a little bit anachronistic analyzing those. So i'll begin with Evil's game against Raffer in the DHW Finals, the first game of the match played on ZTN.
I wanted to make this thing a vocal commentary but then i realized it would take me forever to learn how to record and after i estimated something like 40+ mins content out of a single ZTN map, i knew it would take roughly 779532617845196478126467234951 hours to upload the file on youtube.
and do something with the free time Italian econimical situation gives me, but i think most of the tactical moves are very very hard to do ingame but can be analyzed a little better afterwards, even by some fan like me. I'm not an expert by any means anyway.
We all know ZTN, a defensive-oriented and tactical map, it's worth nothing some of the crucial things to do by my nooblike experience:
.It's very important to get a string of Spawnfrags while in control (there are zones where you can do that little more easier)
.The Health management on the map it's very important.
.Weapon denial can play a massive role.
Evil's style exasperates the concept of denial, bullying the opponent away from crucial areas of the map (denying position, Weapons and healtharmors) and nullyfing most of the pickups with damage are Evil go to moves.
When out of control he prefers harassing or timely rushes relying on his aim with every weaponin any position and fast movements around the map.
Let's start with these two ZTN masterminds.
E gets RL spawn, R gets LG one.
It's very very important for R to avoid any damage before the MH pickup, he'll rely on that and shards only untill the next item cycle.
I like R spawn more, it'll give him a lot more space to move around and the weapon-advantage to hit a shot at the first RA as well as bullying his opponent away for the next items cycle.
Meanwhile, E has the opportunity to take RA and both YAs once he took the telly @ the LYA, to rain down some spam from GL Platform and eventually to take an hitscan weapon while the opponents is worried about his armor stack. Standard stuff i guess.
and that's what happens, with a big difference: R delays the Mega with E not noticing.
After the RA pickup, E decides to go back to the GL platform instead of the SG one, probably to minimize the hang-time and the risk of being railed. Staying a little longer on the RA platform it's important because: 1) it's possible to stay there safely: R lacks a RL. 2) it delays R, who'll be less like to go UYA afterwards, taking the safer LYA and collecting RL afterwards.
E then goes to the UYA from the 50hp corridors. It's worth thinking briefly if this move is a little risky: R had the time and the weaponery to ambush him from the Telly-exit corridors or the lower-pad entrance but E's RL and GL combined with upper ground are a decent defense then it is a risky move for R, a player who dislikes those risks.
E smartly doesn't go for the RL ammo as you can be trapped easily by an LG and there's not much time while R is out of position for some Armor.
E decided to go to the SG platform as R is probably taking YA+RL. Good move.
Once RG and RL ammo are collected, E has the perfect weaponery to push into MH corridor (PG spam + RL + RG) and take an LG. He believes MH will be up soon too.
R is at the GL platform, E goal here is to delay the pickup enough for MH to spawn. Sadly for him R played this very smartly and even hits a rail after distracting E with some Nades. R has now full control and a lot of time to bully E away from MH area.
E is totally out of the map and it's worth noticing he's rushing since he doesn't know exactly what is going on, outsmarted and outplayed by R.
R rj'd up to Red after he dropped to MH. This means MH is still probably up and surely is LYA. Evil makes a nice read and goes where he can pick up health and shards while holding a decent position item-wise and defensive-wise.
R is now 200-150 and has full control of the map while E is sneaking around the GL platform.
nice read by R, E isn't fast enough to hit an crucial air-rocket and somehow manages to RJ to the RA, steal it and run away with his life. Bold move, but pretty useless because of the pathetic damage output (around 60 dmg dealt) while being hit so much and being left with 20 hp.
Here we can se a typical R decision, after leaving E with nothing, he'll happily go for the items and fully establish his control on the map. For me it's very hard to say if this was a wise move anyway: E has decent options even if he's crippled, UYA and the 50hp bubble will be there for him and he won't have to collect all the weapons.
E is very cautios and worried about a trap, nontheless he goes again to the GL area to have position on the health and the shards. While there he hears the MH pickup! This will be crucial for his out of control play in the next 40 seconds.
R is around 200-100, E is still very cautios but still willing to make a trap while not giving away his position. RA is very exposed expecially from the SG area and for a strong aimer like himself it could mean shifting control massivly.
and there you go, great harass. Now R is around 100-50. It's worth noticing that E didn't want to fight untill the end but retreated after a while. He's now in a precarious position but R hasn't a strong grip on the map anymore since the 2 major items will spawn in 20 seconds.
Again R decides for the items instead of chasing and harassing (a very good choise given the timings of MH+RA). He's 100-100 after the UYA pickup and will be in time for MH.
the LYA pickup for E is very important. Now he can stand taking 1 more rocket. This is the first time E actually tries to steal an item, here you can understand the crucial moment when he heard the pickup and that both the retreat at the last RA and this attack are very calculated. There's a slim chance R could be late too.
Evil perfectly steals the MH, probably surprising R with the exact time, but here happens a very crucial thing: after hitting 2 good rockets Evil switches to the LG.
EDIT: For some reason i didn't noticed: E runs out of rockets! He takes a pretty big risk engaging the actual fight with so few rockets. That could turn around this MH attack from a well tought steal to a missjudged situation: who'll win this battle will most likely have the map unless he leaves the fight with a very very very low health. This is turns out to be a gable because E spammed a little too much before the fight is actually happening. Anyway 3 rockets in close quarters may as well be enough to deal with a 100-100 guy, expecially for a player of E's caliber and after missplacing the first rocket there's no way a player like E would back from the battle and leave MH up and the whole map to R.
Thanks to Lewl!
What happens is: R survives with 50 hp and has the lead. Evil will probably spawn around GL or at the UYA (even the LG-spawn or one of the RL-spawns if R is fast to move away from those areas). 0-1
this one turns out to be a lucky spawn thanks to E's smart play. After the spawn he doesn't hear R, so stops making noises immediatly, predicting R would come off the teleport and jump down to the health bubbles, giving him a target with predictable dodge. And that's what happens! 1-1.
By delaying the GL pickup and sneaking around he gives himself a great opportunity and thanks to his aim he gets the frag, picks the RL from R and gets map control. I can totally see a lot of players giving up the position or simply falling to RG after listening a bit.
It's worth noticing that taking the RA means that it'll be synced with MH and it's worth thinking about delaying it after the YA pickup.. E position it's not stable by any means, he still lacks some weapons and has no armor and R could spawn around the area. So i think taking RA is definitely the safe choice.
Risky move by R pushing into the room. Evil hits lucky granades for sure but still he'll have the upper ground and rockets, while R only an LG and will enter the room after E.
I think R's tought process at the time was: E won't be so fast to get to the room and if i'm there first i can abuse LG vs RG from midrange. This move could maybe work on players like Strenx who are a little slower moving around the map, but against E's frenetic play it didn't work.
Another guess is that R wanted to push his luck and throw his life to deny E's stack advantage:
Those nades are both a major setback anyway. 2-1.
E has now a good stack andvantage and good weaponery. Decides to take a strong position for the next big items and make his presence felt on the map.
Very important rail. R was starting to stack up but this shot keeps E in the lead by 100 healtharmor and with better weapons.
Rapha isn't willing to push is luck too much anymore, wise decision: he still has a good amount of armor to work with. After hitting some LG E will still be in stack advantage to impose his style on R.
E keeps denying any good position on the map for R, and more importantly position to take one between RG and LG.
E keeps stalking R, still denying the pickup of an RG, R is probably missing one. He'll probably be in time to cut R from taking the UYA and goes there.
and that's what happens, E is in time to bully R away. R tries to hit some shots but doesn't make any substantial damage.
What is crucial for E's playstyle is that for the next item cycle the armors won't be synced. This means E won't need to guess which one R will choose to apply his aggression.
R showed his face on UYA room while E was leaving, this means E can deny center maps from him: the safer way to LYA is cut as well as the access to the RG. E is running very smoothly his strong in control style.
he has time to do all his things (LG ammo too) before RA is up, even if he messed up his movements at MH. R has very little space to breath.
Even if R may be spamming the telly exit, taking it it's not that risky because of E's massive stack and even if he takes dmg he'll get in position and ultimately collect RA.
decisive rail. R is now on 150 health and armor (more or less) while E is stacked to the teeth.
E can now ignore RA as R is too crippled and out of position to go for it without dying and E would be 200-200 again after a YA and some shards. R is fucked.
R knows all his work his gone and values the fact that he's got all the weapons now, so he goes back to the UYA room.
E keeps delaying the RA pickup, he wants to keep the rotation of the armors like it is. R fails to sync UYA too.
Finally E catches R, hits some damage and R's stack is again too low to dare going around the map. R is still fucked, and E just needs a good read on him.
E RJ's in position to deny a RA steal and avoid a trap out of the teleporter. R is in the area, trying to get the exact time on RA and possibly syncing it with UYA. After the RA, E still needs a good read to catch R as he's been closed in that UYA for a long time.
Next MH and RA will spawn at the same time.. It's not clear if E just doesn't care about it or wants to use this situation to lure R out of his hiding place.
Here comes the sneaky catch. R got caught at the LG before so wants to keep higher ground and understand what's happening with the LYA and MH. Perfect read, good trap, perfect rockets, nice timing for a fight. 3-1.
E doesn't seem to care about some spawn kills to keep the armor rotation up. But after hearing R's spawn in the area he'll set a nice trap: nothing is free against Evil. Also this kills denies R option to take advantage from the MH and RA spawning at the same time. 4-1
Another spawnkill, E made this look so easy. There's no way R'll be able to collect a major item now. 5-1
As expected R isn't around and it's again confined in the UYA room.
E spots R, but R reads well E's intentions and gets a RG. Once again MH and RA will be very close but this one is definitely the first mistake Evil commits in a while and opens the door to R's comeback.
crucial unreturned dmg again, thanks to E's weapon selection. R lacks a RL so he can't spam down rockets and E maximizes the efficency of the engagement by using rail. R is once again crippled and in E's hands. It's worth noticing that E did NOT blindly engaged an LG fight.
once again a very important moment of the game. E decides to harass the LYA (obviously) from the upperground. R can't stick around but he'll get UYA again and he'll have the stack to challenge one major item as he didn't take that much damages!
E is now afraid of giving up RA and misstimes MH by 1 second. R takes a big risk sneaking to the MH from the LG: if E is around he'll be completely cut off from both major items and that could have meant defeat for the American. Anyway R's read is accurate, he steals the MH that ties the game stack-wise and engages the fight.
Clutch moment! After exchanging the same amount of damage, R scares E away from the LYA but makes a mistake that'll cost him the comeback.
From R's pov it looks like R didn't stop spamming because he decided to but failed to click with his mouse!!! Unbelievable! E doesn't hear any rocket incoming and gets the frag with LG. 6-1.
R anyway was in a win-win situation after he took the YA as E was so low he could take control again off the spawn. But once again misses the opportunity to closer the score and taking away E's weapons, staying strongly in control after some HP bubbles.
E +backing away from LYA may as well be considered a major mistake: he won't take that and won't have position to take the teleport and get in position to the part of the map with the HP bubbles. Either won't have enought stack after a lucky kill (wich is exactly what happens)
E is extremely lucky to be that healthy after R catched him with a rocket. R anyway has now some stack to bully E off the spawn, go back in control and making a comback. Still, it's the second crucial shots R missplaces in 10 seconds at it'll cost him more time loss.
E smartly remembers what route R took to take the previous UYA and waits for the 50 hp bubble. Nicely done.
We are back again in the initial situation. R has position on most of the map and stack advantage (200-150) while E relies on YA+Shards and staies silent around the Red area.
Knowing UYA and then RA are up, E tries to go to lower shards to bust himself to 100-100 and replenish his stack advantage. Every item is around 20 seconds away, this'll be the deciding moments of R's comeback (he's now 200-200)
R very nicely baits this UYA, but his first attack fails massivly as he takes 200 dmg while delivering roughly 100 and giving up the YA.
It's second attack is even worse as E can now hide next to the stairs and abuse his superior aim. R somehow misses every rail to destroy E's stack completely. R will leave with 3 hp and this fight will cost him a MH and more time wasted.
here comes the MH steal. Anyway finally R hits a clutch shots, the rail keeps him alive on the map.
after an awkward nade moment, obviously E hits to amazing shots on the RA who'll pretty much makes it anyone's game in terms of control. The time is on E's side as R can't break him apparently.
R manages to take some health and more armor, and gets around 100-100, while E collects the LYA. R has to go aggressive on the MH as the time isn't is friend and denying both major items it's a matter of winning or losing the first map of the finals.
now it's E's turn to fail massivly during the fight, even if he redimes himself with a brilliant RJ off the wall to save his life!!! What a move, R misses the clutch shot and RJ's up to deny the RA.
E can't fight at RA and goes to the 50hp bubble, probably thinking that Rapha would not check the most obvious place. Rapha reads his move and finally gets the kill. 6-2.
But R isn't stacked by any means still and getting back on this map is a tall task.
E gets the best spawn as he got both a great defensive weapon (RL) and the LYA. Anyway i goes again for the most obvious move, rushing to the LG. This time R doesn't read the move or most likely was scared about E's equal stack and EL in the corridor.
anything is very risky right now. E decides to go mid to keep higher grounds, but both the alternative options were equally risky: getting caught at the LG is deadly, as it's very common and predictable to camp the UYA. After listening to what's going on, he'll come back there anyway.
E manages to stack up to 100-100 again. Anyway he didn't do any damage, so R still has the upper hand, but misses a possible trap at the LG because he's worried about RA being stolen.
it's LYA time and once again E plays the positional game very well, using this opportunity to move to the GL and collecting some shards. His goal is once again to keep an eye on RA and possibly making damage. Rapha once again is 150-200.
so for the third time in a similar stack situation E sneaks towards RA, He'll be out of position for the next items but time and being evasive plays a more important role at the moment. Hits some damage and +backs.
OMFGLOLWHAT rocket, as it bounces R away and down to the LYA area while equalizing the stacks!!!!! E'll have position on red too as R didn't take it! What a shot and turn around. This rocket is probably seals the game.
Collects RA but gets railed for his trouble. R is still barely alive on the map thanks to that rail but his situation his dramatic: Stacks are even, major items are far from spawning and he has 1 minute and 20 seconds to get 4 frags.
good read on R's attack. The american'll have to attack and E won't choke and will perfectly place the rockets. Even if R gets the better spawn after the double kill, the game is out of reach now. R'll have the time to fail an RJ to completely destroy any little hope left and GG will be called soon afterwards.
i'll make other analysis on the other final games sooner or later, this thing took me forever because i took all the notes on paper.