Playing Friday at 11am GMT-4 vs 1 True Lycan, have fun friend! Also, I uploaded some of the RU and NU games as well as my own OU game if you guys missed them or want to check it out: they can be found here.
Overall: 17-16 (discounting games where my predicted winner got substituted out, which would leave me negative otherwise)
SS OU: 10-6
SS NU: 2-1
OU: dice vs Kebab mlml - Kebab mlml is Italian, which basically mandates being bolded given recent events. I do not think he is the better player here, but it feels like Italian players are a step ahead of the metagame and that can go a long way against someone who is not yet known for their SS OU play. dice is a great player, but I think this is an ugly match-up for him and I worry that he will face something unconventional that he is not sure how to approach and it will go downhill. My gut says kebab because of this. Logical signs point to dice because he is a better player, but I am going to stick with my gut for now.
OU: Eeveeto vs Samqian - Ok, so before we get to the analysis: I get it. Eeveeto lost week 1 and got outplayed on a number of crucial turns. Samqian won week 1 and is coming off of a strong debut in WCOP. How can I justify this? I think Samqian is a great player, but he's still new to the tournament scene and I do not have a grasp on his building capabilities yet. On the contrary, Eeveeto has been pumping out innovative ideas to exploit what opponents use and do not use. He may have some progress to make as a player (although his upside is clearly there -- look at his WCOP games), but the guy is a visionary. I think this one will be one of the less predictable games of the bunch as a lot may come down to his team choice, but I will give a narrow edge to Eeveeto and I would do this against most less experienced opponents as well.
OU: High Impulse vs Fear - Both looked off last week. High Impulse made some nice plays, but did not have his priorities straight. Fear looked completely out of it throughout the crucial earlly-mid stages of the game, which led to him compromising his position a number of times. I do not really have a ton of confidence in each, but if one were to break out and surprise everyone, it would have to be Fear. I am not making this prediction with the utmost certainty, but he has shown his abilities as a player recently much more than High Impulse and if the Rattlers are rolling with him, they must trust his ability to handle the learning curve between generations. Will it be pretty? Probably not, but I will give Fear the slightest of edges here.
OU: le LLiolae vs lax - lax is great. He brings strong teams, he makes the necessary aggressive plays, and he always comes up with the right gameplan. I see nothing standing in the way of him putting up another fantastic showing here. I expect le LLiolae to be a routine victory for him. Sure, le LLiolae may load up something cheesy like Bloody alfa did, but I do not trust in his ability to execute at a level comparable to lax and I trust in lax's ability to handle any match-up concerns going in to the game. I think that le LLiolae got off to a rough start last week facing Tace and lax is an even tougher week 2; hopefully he will catch a break soon, but until then it will be a challenge.
DOU: Kiichikos vs Ezrael - Ezrael faced a well-prepared qsns week 1, but he is going to get back in business against Kiichikos week 2. Contrary to sheet-lover belief, Kiichikos is actually a really good DOU player. Last week, Kiichikos had a respectable chance of winning and overall I believe that Kiichikos will outperform a very low ranking. Ezrael goes above and beyond, however. His teams and gameplanning are both great, so i give him the edge.
UU: Adaam vs CBU - I think Adaam struggles to have what distinguishes him from good to great translate to team tournaments. Obviously, he is a top UU player and has some amazing individual results to back this. His resume reads r1-2 pick and he has the ability to get there in-game, but I think that he falls a step behind the remaining top players when it comes to team tournaments. Be it preparation or impatient play, sometimes he trips himself up at times and giving competition that is this strong any openings will lead to trouble. CBU had a rough week 1, but he faced HO, which I am going to assume he did not anticipate. CBU has had Adaam's number and I think he is going to come out aggressively to try to even out his record. Should be a good one overall.
RU: Void vs Ajna - Ajna is never going to start 0-2 in this field. Void looked like he was a few steps behind all game last week whereas Ajna made some solid plays, but fell to something unexpected late game and Roman just prepared very well. I do not hold either super accountable for their week 1 result anyway due to a small sample size and the metagame being different here, but Ajna seems stronger overall and more flexible.
NU: aim vs bugzinator - Both won week 1 and seem to be stronger players in this field. I think bugzinator has a bit more support and also is not afraid to deviate from the norm, hence his team last week. I think what decides this game, however, is just being more active in building and testing. Joey is around, but his focus can be split between things. Bugzy is always dedicated to getting the W come snake time.
PU: tlenit1 vs Roseybear - tlenit1 had an unfortunate debut and I think he will bounce back here. His metagame knowledge and teambuilding abilities are second-to-none, imo. I am really excited to see what he comes up with and how he plays. Roseybear is solid and I think he will continue to win games as the tournament goes on, but he may struggle with the most knowledgeable of PU mains like tlenit and ktut, which is why I worry about how he will do here. Close game regardless.
LC: Osh vs Serene Grace - Osh has taken some rough Ls lately between Open and R1, but they were all against Lily. I think Osh has been doing very well against other players pretty much all year long and his performance in things like Grand Slam and other individual tournaments continues to impress. I feel like Serene has a great grasp on the metagame, too, and played well W1. This is a game between LC powerhouses honestly. Going off of W1, I have to favor Serene Grace. Overall, I think it's virtually even though.
OU: Bloody alfa vs Jytcampbell - Bloody alfa fell short week 1, but he did make some impressive plays trying to claw back in to the game. Jyt won, on the other hand, but he did get fortunate and I think he still has some improvements to make overall. I rate both of these guys as good players who are capable of winning in the field, but Bloody alfa has had a much better 2020, thriving in WCOP and STour. Jyt has been more quiet and is yet to have a big, breakout tournament. I will go with the better track record here, but it should be tight.
OU: Santu vs Eo Ut Mortus - Both players had strong wins in week 1. I think that I have to favor Santu on the virtue of him being Italian; these guys seem to be winning every single game I see them in honestly. Eo is doing a great job finding structures that work for him lately, be it during OLT or week 1. Eo knows what he needs to do to achieve consistent results and that alone puts him in the top portion of this field. However, Santu has been doing well all year long. He stood out during SPL, he stood out during WCOP, and there is little reason to believe he will not do the same here. I think that Santu is also challenging to prepare for, much like other Italians. He does not make many mistakes in-game and his teams are strong + he has great support, so I am going to give him a small edge here.
OU: frisoeva vs Ewin - Ewin is struggling. He has been all over the place since the end of WCOP R1, but none of those places seem to be in the thread making "won, gg" posts. I find this unfortunate as the potential is there; Ewin had a great showing early in WCOP and I know he is capable of replicating it. frisoeva, on the contrary, is pretty consistent. He always puts up decent records, with the recent WCOP being the lone exception. Perhaps his SS is a few steps behind his SM, but I think friso will get it together and even out his record here. Ewin's been trying to do too much with his teams and prep and I feel like this is due to a lack of confidence in his ability to pull triggers and outmaneuver the opponent. If he can get this together, good things will come eventually. If not, expect a clear frisoeva victory.
OU: Lopunny Kicks vs Garay oak - I think Lopunny Kicks is the best player in this field aside from lax and maybe FLCL right now. Lopunny Kicks is winning games handily whenever I see him play. His week 1 game against Fear was perhaps assisted by some of Fear's plays being suboptimal due to lack of metagame knowledge, but he still won decisively. I will say that one concern about Lopunny Kicks is that he does not have much of a track record winning with offensive teams, making him a bit more of a one-dimensional player of bulky teams in the current metagame. But I am confident in his ability to deviate among bulky structures or even find a way to break out a more hard-hitting balanced or bulky-offensive team in the near future. Garay oak is a good player, but I think FLCL into Lopunny Kicks is a hard draw for a player who is known for lower tier and Ubers performances. I think he will find some wins once he gets a break with the opponents, but that clearly is not this week.
DOU: qsns vs umbreon098 - Both won during week 1, but qsns upset Ezrael and has a lot more official experience. I think you will see qsns and umbreon098 finish with positive records, but I give the edge to qsns here.
UU: Ramolost vs Poek - Poek looked good week 1. He did exactly what he needed to and played a solid end-game to cap things off, proving he is not too rusty after taking a break. Ramolost also won, upsetting CBU in what was both of their first SSD games. I think he may be an underrated player, but it was still just a single win with HO. I do not want to belittle this victory, but I trust Poek's track record and gameplanning abilities quite a bit more at this point and will side with him. Perhaps the support Ramolost has will go a long way in preparing, but if not then it could be a struggle.
RU: roman vs Pepeduce - roman looked solid week 1. I was impressed by his victory overall and it seems like he picked off where he left off last Snake, which is a great sign. Pepeduce also upset one of the top players, defeating Nat in style. That game was considered a strong game, but there were still some weird plays all around. I think roman is less likely to bring a team with holes and more likely to adapt to the playstyle of his opponents whereas Pepeduce is more likely to take risks that pay off, but it also could backfire. Perhaps it is just my personal playstyle dictating my preference for solid metagamers who try to enhance norms and cover all of the possible threats over recurring risk-takers and innovative thinkers, but I side with roman here.
NU: CyberOdin vs Realistic Waters - Realistic Waters won his first game, with the help of some luck, and played just fine. He continues to impress me with his creativity and risk taking abilities. CyberOdin is still adjusting to NU and now the tier is going to take a completely new look. We already know how well Realistic Waters can adapt his play and building, but can Odin match him in this regard? I do not know and I am not sure I can confidently say he can do this while outperforming RW, so I side with RW.
PU: soulgazer vs TJ - soulgazer is not going to go negative in this PU field. He had a rough debut against an impressive opponent, but this will be his chance to even things out. TJ lost his first game against obii, but he did not make a ton of mistakes either. I think TJ's issue is just being overwhelmed by stronger and more proven players. It is a hard learning curve to conquer and it may take him some weeks to do so. soulgazer will get it together, adapt as well as he always has, and win handily here.
LC: Kingler vs dcae - Not too sure who takes this one.
OU: watashi vs robjr - Mr. Nuzlocke himself is looking for his fifth straight 6-0, but after facing r1 pick xray w1, he is now up against second ranked watashi w2. I think this is where it ends for robjr. As unbeatable as robjr has looked recently, watashi has been just as good and his success spans all generation, dating back to SPL. This game is between two of the most promising players in the field and both are surging now. It is going to be an awesome watch. I think we will see two balanced teams and a very closely contested game, too, which is even better. I do still believe watashi takes it though. Just seen more consistent performances from him in OU tiers and SS OU than I have robjr. If robjr manages to 6-0 again, this will surely have broken some official Smogon team tournament record though.
OU: Tamahome vs Sacri' - Both are good players who many would rank similarly, but Sacri' seems far-and-away better in SS. Tamahome proved he can still make it work with a dominant victory last week, but his opponent seemed weak whereas Sacri' took out a more in-form relous at least. Sacri' has had a better generation, dominating a lot of SPL. His WCOP was poor, but he was an instrumental part of Team France's success and he seems to be back in good form for the start of this tournament after qualifying for OLT. Tamahome, who may be one of the most proven players ever, seems less proven here and honestly needs to do some convincing that he can pull out wins in SS like he has in SM when he is up against top competition like Sacri'. It will be close and I imagine both will use balanced or bulky-offensive teams, leading to a closer contest, but I favor Sacri' in what may be my favorite game of the week alongside watash-robjr.
OU: Star vs Storm Zone - Storm Zone apparently used a team that either was recycled from the ladder or similar to it. If this happens again, Star is going to capitalize big time and win decisively I feel. There is nothing wrong with Storm Zones builds, but scouting and preparation are pretty important parts of how much people approach these games. Star knows how to build and can play at a very high level. Storm Zone is still adjusting to this setting and I think he will find wins soon, but Star is not an easy opponent, especially when he is hungry for a win after a recent losing streak. I expect Star to win this one handily, but Storm Zone may use something exciting that will catch our eyes. Perhaps it will catch Star by surprise, giving Storm Zone at least a decent chance to pull an upset.
OU: Malekith vs ima - Unfortunate week 1 for Malekith, who did some good things in his game. I think this will also be tough for him as he takes on ima, who has been doing very well since last Snake. I know ima wants to live up to the 8-3 hype with a 9-2 season this time around, so I expect him to put his best foot forward once more. Malekith will likely bring something less conventional and if it hits the mark, this could easily be his game as he is able to play very well, but seeing as he has been struggling to bring in wins recently, I cannot confidently say this will happen and I predict ima to win.
DOU: DLT JRL BELL vs Memoric - Not too sure who takes this one.
UU: vivalospride vs SoulWind - Rough start for viv. I cannot see him taking out SW here, who is a better player and already looks better in this tier specifically. Not much else to add beyond the fact that viv showed some promise last week, but his team had a big weakness to Noivern that I was not too sure about, which makes me feel uneasy about how he will proceed as well. Sometimes you have to pick the right risks to take and that felt like an unnecessary one in the builder.
RU: Nat vs atomicllamas - Nat had a rough week 1 against an impressive Pepeduce. Llamas also had a rough week 1, facing off against his own ability to recognize items being displaced and Charmflash. I think Llamas may struggle here, too, as Nat does not want to fall into another poor start after SPL going south. She is more proven overall and likely has more creative ideas to gain an advantage in the metagame, too. Llamas will undoubtedly bring a solid team and make some fine plays, but his ability to go above-and-beyond is still not something I am sure of and he seemed to also blunder out of the gates last week, so I cannot predict him here.
NU: Jrdn vs elodin - A tale of two very different week 1 showings. Jrdn came so close to pulling it out, but was pretty unfortunate later on in the game. elodin, on the other hand, had his game won, but then made a pretty bad misplay and got bailed out with a speed tie after already getting fortunate with accuracy early in the game. I think aside from the 1 blunder late-game by elodin, both looked fine. Jrdn has more support to help adapt to the new metagame, which is vastly different from the w1 tier. Eternally and rozes should help lead the charge, leaving execution in Jrdn's hands, which I am confident in. elodin, on the other hand, does have ren-chon to help him, but I feel like this duo is still gaining traction in the metagame as it stands and elodin may encounter some trouble this week. I want to see what they come up with before I can be more sure of what I predict will happen, but for now my gut says Jrdn takes it in a tight one. I expect to see some Dracos dropped in this one from Drampa or Dura.
PU: obii vs Kink - Happy obii won week 1, but I think he will come up short here. Kink did really well last year and everyone is telling me PU is his best tier this generation. I will be honest in saying this is not my most informed prediction, but I was impressed by 2019 Kink and have little reason to believe he has fallen off. obii could adapt well and continue to overperform; I would not be shocked by this outcome and I am rooting for him. However, Kink is going to be eager to even out his record, so I side with him in a close one.
LC: Mazinger vs Ninjadog - Mazinger struggled week 1 against an opponent who probably just knew the tier a bit more. I think with time, Mazinger's season will get better as he will have more experience in LC this gen at this level of play. But for now, I have to favor Ninjadog, who was hyped by a lot of the LC mains going in and lived up to expectations week 1. I think something in particular that impressed me about Ninjadog's week 1 game was the mileage he got out of his Diglett, which gave him a clear leg-up against Wail Wailord. If he can pick a strong team again and make his priorities clear, then he will find consistent success in this field.
OU: Rexus vs ZDen - Not sure what happened to Rexus last week, but he is Italian and ZDen is not, so that's that.
OU: ramboss vs xray - The deeper into these predictions I get, the more lazy I feel. xray has been great all generation, but got stomped by a CB Rhyperior last week. I do not blame him for this loss; no real way to expect that and he is not playing poorly. His execution has been great for the most part since SPL and there is little reason to expect him to fall off. ramboss, on the other hand, won week 1 with Trick Room. This dude is as dangerous as humanly possible and I cannot even begin to figure out how to put his playstyle into actual words, but he can and will take down more threats throughout the tournament. I do not think xray is one of them though as xray will find a way to be cheeseproof while still bringing an effective team. If anyone is up to the task, it is him.
OU: BK vs Gefährlicher Random - Been a member of the Gefahrlicher Random fan club since earlier this year and still am. BK won against 1 True Lycan with some good fortune week 1, which is a great start to the tournament. He did not, however, take out the almighty Storm Zone in decisive fashion like Gefahrli -- you get what I'm saying, fuck this name -- did week 1. I like how well Random works with his peers like xray and I think his team choices are spot-on. This will be a close one and both are poised to break out this tournament, but I favor the Random in a tight one.
OU: John W vs Relous - On the one hand, Relous has been strong since his miserable SPL regular season. On the other hand, John W has been even stronger, dominating WCOP and OLT qualification. He also won his first round OLT battle already and had a fair chance to win his week 1 game against an amazing opponent, mncmt. I think John W does a better job with teams and in-game execution overall. It will be a sneakily close game because John W tends to play to the level of his opponent (or at least I felt this way during SPL), but that will not take away from his stronger fundamentals being the difference maker.
DOU: Nails vs Frania - Feels weird knowing one of them will fall to 0-2 despite being picked early. Not sure who will take it, should be tight.
UU: Luigi vs Sabella - Not too sure here. Both have their ups and downs, but fell short last week. Hopefully for Luigi's sake, Sabella does not bring any Ghost types. Probably the closest lower tier game in my eyes and this could make-or-break the early season for both.
RU: odr vs Charmflash - Charmflash looked a lot better in week 1 and something is telling me that odr is going to struggle a bit early on until he gains his footing with more experience under his belt. I believe odr will do a lot better in the second half of the tournament, so do not start doubting if he starts 0-2 or 1-3. He will get it together. For now though, Charm is someone who I am confident in to play a decent game and his week 1 team seemed good enough to get the job done. Little reason to assume anything different will happen here from him whereas odr just did not seem up-to-speed w1. Perhaps this is me going with the hotter hand as odr is more proven in the metagame, but I stand by it.
NU: Kushalos vs Ho3nConfirm3d - Kushalos did not show up last week and honestly has not shown up a ton to NU this generation. I have yet to gain a good grasp on where he is at or what he likes to go with in the metagame. With the tier experiencing a big shift and his activity in question, you have to wonder how he will respond and what he will come up with. If we see classic Kush taking the initiative and coming up with some ratchet team with all of the right techs, he will win here for sure. But I worry that is very much not the case. Enter Ho3n. Ho3n had a good chance last game, but came up a bit short due to some rough luck, be it the decisive speed ties or every single inaccurate move landing on him. He is very up-to-date and perhaps as motivated as anyone else. Sure, this may be an upset pick, but I give him the edge due to effort and metagame knowledge. I do not think he is too shabby in-game either, which can go a long way of course.
PU: Hamhamhamhamham vs Ktütverde - Ktut will show up and win his first game of the season. Dude has been dominant in PU all generation and I expect nothing short of dominance here. His builds are great and his play is up there, too. Ham will struggle to handle one of the best PU has to offer as he continues to adjust to this environment.
LC: Xizaaa vs Wail Wailord - Xizaaa looked a lot better last week. He won handily and used DD Onix, which scores major points in my book as a non-mainer looking for cool shit. Wail Wailord had a great LCPL and shows promise, but may need some more experience to straighten things out.
Also, be sure to check out Gingy's great post on week 1 if you're interested in OU here and Expulso's sound analysis of the week 1 games if you're interested in NU here. e: absolutely check out gorex's post. i already read it earlier today, so forgot to include it with the others, but it's super informative!
the italians are sick but they aren't some unbeatable monolith. there's a very weird narrative in some of the above posts. sjneider hit the nail on the head last week.
keeping explanations short. take lower tier ones with a grain of salt.
Terminus Taipans (5) vs (5) Rumble Hall Rattlers
OU: dice vs Kebab mlml: he will bounce back.
OU: Eeveeto vs Samqian: finch summed this one up well.
OU: High Impulse vs Fear: we called fear "the farmer" during SPL. i don't think this season will be the best harvest for the farmer, but he will do well.
OU: le LLiolae vs lax: rough.
DOU: Kiichikos vs Ezrael
UU: Adaam vs CBU
RU: Void vs Ajna
NU: aim vs bugzinator
PU: tlenit1 vs Roseybear
LC: Osh vs Serene Grace: serene is hype.
Berry Forest Bushmasters (6) vs (4) Sky Tower Lindworms
OU: Bloody alfa vs Jytcampbell: tricky MU for jyt.
OU: Santu vs Eo Ut Mortus: 55/45.
OU: frisoeva vs Ewin: ewin prove me wrong.
OU: Lopunny Kicks vs Garay oak: punny fat teams are killer vs less experienced OUers... garay's still sick though.
DOU: qsns vs umbreon098
UU: Ramolost vs Poek: sick
RU: roman vs Pepeduce: sick
NU: CyberOdin vs Realistic Waters: sick
PU: soulgazer vs TJ
LC: Kingler vs dcae: sick
lindworms lower tiers are cool.
Ambrette Astrotias (5) vs (5) Celadon City Cobras
OU: BIHI vs mncmt: he beat the goat last week.
OU: Raiza vs FMG: raiza's on his BW style in SS.
OU: Tace vs Steve Angello: steve matches up well vs the astrotias style, but he got their best player.
OU: Finchinator vs 1 True Lycan: very close one.
DOU: Paraplegic vs Qwello Lee
UU: Accelgor vs Lilburr
RU: Feliburn vs snaga
NU: GW vs Sjneider
PU: keppy vs Xiri
LC: LilyAC vs Shrug
Shinto Ruin Serpents (1) vs (9) Lanakila Nagas
OU: watashi vs robjr: sorry i doubted you.
OU: Tamahome vs Sacri': top 5 ou.
OU: Star vs Storm Zone: upset.
OU: Malekith vs ima: very close.
DOU: DLT JRL BELL vs Memoric
UU: vivalospride vs SoulWind
RU: Nat vs atomicllamas
NU: Jrdn vs elodin
PU: obii vs Kink
LC: Mazinger vs Ninjadog
i know a 9-1 predict looks asshole-ish on paper. many of these series are like 51/49 or close to that in my eyes. i was a big fan of the nagas draft for a reason: they got a lot of people i'm really high on.
Lake of Rage Leviathans (6) vs (4) Black City Mambas
OU: Rexus vs ZDen: rexus + tricking combo is crazy.
OU: ramboss vs xray: upset. xray does better vs less dangerous players. unfortunately, ramboss is dangerous.
OU: BK vs Gefährlicher Random: 50/50.
OU: John W vs Relous: contractually obligated to bold him.
DOU: Nails vs Frania
UU: Luigi vs Sabella
RU: odr vs Charmflash: sick
NU: Kushalos vs Ho3nConfirm3d
PU: Hamhamhamhamham vs Ktütverde
LC: Xizaaa vs Wail Wailord
let's see more predicts! don't be afraid to be wrong people. predictions are fun.
(3/4 on last week, probably would've been 4/5 if they let you bet on yourselves)
LC: Osh vs Serene Grace - i cba to come up with anything but he beat me so standard procedure
LC: LilyAC vs Shrug - she beat osh, i should watch shrug's game bc i never found out who won
LC: Mazinger vs Ninjadog - i don't really know but dcae's week 1 seemed convincing; i'll give ninja the win here
LC: Xizaaa vs Wail Wailord - his team won me finals he could be up against abr i probably bold him
good luck to an old friend btw, this one should be fun I'm looking forward to it (think we decided sat afternoon?)
The hooded figure strolled up to the doorway, as if he had all the time in the world. Inside, the clamour of voices reached fever pitch with excitement.
'Well, I should say voice' mused the figure.
'Hey what's up guys, bringing you another video on why heavy duty boots is the greatest item in gen 8 ou. It's really taken over the metagame and it's so exciting, I can barely contain myse - Oh, is that the doorbell? Must be my pizza'. A chair scraped across the hardwood floor as the young man got up and walked to the door, opening it.
'Oh hey!' smiled the man. 'Is it the baron?'
The hooded figure was taken aback. 'Uh... yeah? How did you know?'
'I ordered a pizza from you 10 minutes ago, silly'. The boy rubbed his hands together in anticipation. 'Gimme gimme gimme!!'
The figure gasped. The nerve of this man... He needs to be taken down a peg. 'The baron sends his regards.' he said.
'Right,' said the boy impatiently 'but did he send a pizza?'
The figure whipped off his trench coat and hood, revealing a long snake-like body. It was blue all over, except the pointed reptilian head which was black with flecks of red. A single bead of sweat rolled from the boy's eyebrow into his eyes, but he didn't dare make a sudden movement to wipe it away.
'The BARON' shouted the figure, 'SENDS. HIS. REGARDS.'
The boy tried to turn and run, but it was too late. He was cut down with a swift hex, his legs still pumping frantically even as he lost consciousness and fell to the floor.
The figure shuddered for a second as a sudden gust of wind blew sandy dirt into his eyes. GG kid.