The hype was real when the best team of modern days in vcod decided to try their luck in UO. It wasn’t enough this time for The Myth Of (TMO) to challenge for the podium, but the future could very well see them be a title contender. Because throughout all history we have never seen a better newcomer.
Using the word newcomer might be a bit of a stretch seeing it was a main lineup consisting of an experienced UO-player (skz), two guys that already made their debut (r3ziner and qT) and just two real rookies (kikiii and M1z3Ry). But I’m gonna treat them as a newcomer since the squad together for sure was just that in UO.
Valuing their results, a 4th place in a Fall Cup 2022 seeing 15 signups, is of course a matter of expectations. Going into the tournament I would say that my own expectations were a bit lower then most other people that faced them and followed their very succesful vcod journey.
What should be noted though, and something I based a lot of my prediction on, is that there are almost non-existent examples of succesful transfers from other CoD-titles to UO. Sure, certain individuals have definitely been able to put their mark in the scene, when joining up with an already experienced team. But new squads testing their luck in UO often finds out rather quickly that it wasn’t as seamless as it seemed to be.
This isn’t necessarily because the teams are so highly skilled in UO, but rather that the meta and playstyle takes quite a lot of time to learn. Shellshock is a major difference to suddenly deal with. Top that with smokes, sprint, a very aggressive playstyle, different accuracies on guns, cookable nades and new maps that takes time to learn – and you suddenly realise it’s not at all a fingersnap to learn how to be good in UO.
“The most difficult for me was sprint. Everytime someone sprinted at me, I sprinted back. With bad outcome”, says kikiii about the biggest challenge coming to UO.
He also mentions two other factors that disturbed their gameplay somewhat:
“Different bullet spread (hitreg issues) as we prefer aim battles over spray showdown. Shellshock – no comments needed”.
Shellshock – no comments needed.kikiii
Even the map pool, despite looking comfortable for vcod teams, is not that easy adapting to. UO’s versions of harbor, powcamp and dawnville see very different playstyles then in vcod.
Not a single team coming from a different CoD-title have ever been good at peaks.
Hell even the maps that are exactly the same in vcod, railyard and tigertown, plays out very differently with smoke grenades and sprint.
My, somewhat pessimistic, prediction was that TMO would barely reach A-playoff and go home after two straight losses ending up 7-8th. Needless to say I was wrong. However most people I spoke with, that were more positive then I was, still didn’t see them break top 4. So I wasn’t the only one being surprised by just how well they performed.
What I underestimated was their passion, will and interest in actually learning UO. Especially in terms of using utility.
On top of my head I would say they already in their first cup had:
- The most consistent smoke, out of ALL TEAMS, as axis on tigertown to make sure a player could safely cross to mayors every round.
- Tier 1-standard on their nades on peaks.
- Quick realisation of mid roof smoke-importance on powcamp. A smoke it took myself 14 years to figure it would be useful.
Sure. It’s easy enough to watch a vod of other tier 1 teams and copy. But then why don’t just every UO team do that? I would bet TMO took inspiration here and there. I would however also bet they spent the most time practising out of all teams in the cup.
That is something I’ve seen been frowned upon at times in the vcod scene, and also in UO. Many teams and players argument that it should just be casual to play and that it’s boring to go up against a team that knows all nades. It’s almost like people should be ashamed they spent time to improve a part of their game. On the contrary I applaud it. If someone is willing to spend time to work out strategies I think that is awesome and should be viewed as just positive for the scene as it forces everyone else to keep up with the meta and progress of the game. Despite having features like smoke grenades I often feel like the tactical aspect of UO is one of the least explored. Many times it just feels like teams run and gun. Even in FRS we have a long way to go at times.
For TMO this started paying off already in their first cup. For obvious reasons they weren’t fully up to speed on all nine maps in the pool. But having a look at their results it paints a pretty clear picture of where their strengths so far lies.
vs Fast Evolution
vs Gangstas Paradise
vs TcfC (UB)
vs TcfC (LB)
Tigertown certainly stands out as a spectacular map. Winning 4 out of 4 games playing vs TcfC twice, eGz and unique is incredible stats. Knowing Dreamteam despises the map, it’s pretty much only FRS to face before TMO could already crown themself as the best UO-team on tigertown.
It’s pretty much only FRS to face before TMO could already crown themself as the best UO-team on tigertown.
Except for the already mentioned smoke to cross into mayors I see a few more details that are worth diving into.
First of all they are one of the teams playing the most significant double-edged sword when attacking. With that I mean that they are able to pressure from both mayors and shoe at the same time without losing resources.
r3ziner is a very experienced shoe-attacker and have the timings worked out really well for him. He is tricky to play against since he both uses patience, aggression and lurks in a deadly cocktail. What makes TMO’s shoe presence stand out a lot though is when the finnish player gets backup from M1z3Ry, doubling up that side of the map. First of all axis often only have one guy defending B, so it’s easy to get pinched by the deadly duo and lose site faster then you can say ”one-tap”. But also if the defender is forced to back down he gives up barrel control – also a spot TMO is great at abusing to have full command when planting A.
So far tigertown in UO have been a meatgrind going mayors to get the plant down. TMO have showed there is a more delicate way to spread the risks and I think we will see more teams copy this type of attack.
Their allies is what impressed me the most. But I would also like to mention a player like qT on axis and the importance of his rifle from butchers. It’s impressive to see his accuracy with 100 ping and it gives nightmares for the opponents to partly deal with kikiii always being inside mayors, at the same time as you gotta dodge qT’s rifle if you wanna get close to kikiii.
So yeah, tigertown is certainly a map where other teams need to catch up with TMO – rather then the other way around.
“We played for most of our time vcod 1.1 and there are no tigertown, neuville or germantown. Not that long ago we were losing big to Overide or czech teams in vcod on those maps. We are happy that it’s not our weak point anymore. On the other hand, in UO, tigertown is big enough that you can’t get easily rushed and killed by random unscoped headshots”, says kikiii.
A quick glance at their results also show that more familiar maps for them from 1.5, like neuville and railyard also seems to be in their comfort zone. I would also put germantown in that category, despite getting wrecked twice by TcfC. First of all everyone needs to know that facing the hungarians for the first and second time on that map is scary as hell. Their aggression and determination on A is tough to deal with. It’s one of those maps you need to take some hits and learn until next time.
I would however like to point out that the first attempt (5-13) was by no means such a dominant performance by TcfC as it sounds like. Actually TMO had a grip of the game starting as axis and was up something like 4–3 with a really impressive defense. What happened after that was MESSY winning a 1v3 for his team and completely changing the momentum. After that round everything that could go wrong for TMO also did just that.
Both times playing allies versus TcfC they struggled quite a lot, and to me it looked like the problem was giving away too much map control early on and therefor also losing plenty of entries.
This was also a common problem on uo_harbor that prooved to be their perhaps worst map this cup losing it twice to TcfC and once to unique. Harbor is one of the maps vcod teams struggle the most with since it differs so much from the vcod version. Especially playing against a guy like L1mewax in garage for the first time is horrendous. What often happens is that vcod teams completely give up garage or lose 1-2 guys there each round and then get locked inside UO-building and alley.
“It was a nice experience after all. Also it’s always good to play new challenging opponents. Balanced groups made it even more entertaining and we had to be alert against everyone from the start. We performed more or less how we discussed before our first cup game. Of course, we’d love to win but we couldn’t adapt our gamestyle against TcfC twice”, says kikiii.
For the future im quite eager to see TMO more on three maps.
- uo_carentan. They didn’t play it a single time this cup, and also didn’t look to keen on the map in banphases. But theoretically it should fit their style really well with sharp peeks, teamwork and gamesense.
- peaks. You mad!? Peaks!? Yes, peaks. I actually think it could suit TMO. They already have most of the nades they need. They have all the skillsets needed to have a solid axis half, looking at the mix of strong sprayers and riflers. They just need to understand what spots works and what doesn’t. The allies side will be trickier, however if they can start finding timings to get control of barn for example I’m sure they are a team that can both aim and teamwork their way to a plant from there.
- uo_powcamp. With skz and qT they already have two of the best riflers. From what I’ve heard kikiii, and r3ziner at times, are no strangers to snipe. To me it sounds like they have everything a team wants for both sides since a lot on this map is about winning peek duels and teamworking. Beating both fraggedby and eGz 13-11 this cup doesn’t necessarily promise a bright future on powcamp but im willing to bet it could turn into one of their better maps.
So. Now we talked about expectations, we talked about determination, we talked about maps. But individually? How did they fare?
As probably noone missed by now captain kikiii impressed so much he was voted into the allstar team. That is absolutely insane considering he had never played the game before the cup. A true talent. We had the highest expectations on skz and qT seeing their performances in previous majors. I would say they still performed, but perhaps not as crazy numbers as before. M1z3Ry, r3ziner and Nervvvv (who came back for playoff) did just fine aswell and all three of them had better stats then what was average this cup (1,61).
- kikiii 1,96 (1,93 groups – 1,99 playoff).
- qT 1,87 (2,19 groups – 1,73 playoff).
- skz 1,82 (2,30 groups – 1,45 playoff).
- Nervvvv 1,75 (didnt play groups – 1,75 playoff).
- r3ziner 1,70 (2,16 groups – 1,42 playoff).
- M1z3Ry 1,62 (1,76 groups – 1,49 playoff).
What shadowed the numbers a bit was the fact that playoff stats dropped quite significantly on all players except kikiii, probably because they played TcfC in 2 out of 4 playoff games.
I have already praised some of their individuals and their skills. But I think what impresses me the most is that I’m not even sure kikiii is the one who will star this team every cup. It literally feels like anyone of the six mentioned players could be an allstar candidate next major. The lineup is incredibly well rounded and all individuals can handle most guns. All of them have really slick movement and also an aim that stands out. If they see a guy they kill him. Period.
If they see a guy they kill him. Period.
When asked about his own performance, kikiii takes a humble stance:
“I would expect at least my two other teammates, apart from skz, to be mentioned or appear in the top 20 ranking instead of me. I’m still surprised to be honest. I went to check my scores from all games again and only three maps are looking good statwise for me, out of many played. I can only hope to perform at least as good as I had played and minimum twice as much for the team, on the next occasions”.
Having the joy of following their streams with teamspeak-comms I can also tell that their calls are top notch. Certain teams have certain ways to communicate. Compared to how it sounds on my own TS I would say TMO give each other more info then we do in FRS. Perhaps at times even over-communicating slightly. But I rather have that then the other way around. It is no question that they have a good gamesense on all of their players and play situations properly together. And to be fair you don’t win three straight vcod lans without a winners mentality, gamesense, teamwork and sharp aim.
Reaching the 4th place, beating higher ranked unique in the process, makes sure they will climb from tier 2 to tier 1 next major. Is it realistic to consider them a title contender in the future? I very much think so. Especially if some of the new weapon and shellshock changes will stay permanent. In the end it will all be a matter of how much they are willing to give to catch up on their worst maps.
“If the current xmas mod stays as it is, shellshock is off, and we find some time to actually practise smokes, then reaching higher places is definitely not out of reach. Still, if the old settings are in place, we would aim for better place as always. This would require to actually put some hours in UO, instead of vcod, but definitely possible”, says kikiii.
It’s not a coincidence that TcfC and FRS have been the topdogs since 2009. They are brutal at exploiting any weaknesses. But TMO have been equally brutal in vcod. They are the best newcomers ever in UO and it’s a new kind of threat that the titans aren’t used to face. Young, fresh, competitive players that can outaim, and outplay.
”The legend never dies” is a catchphrase that have certain expectations following the team. But in this world – where we dearly welcome them – they aren’t legends just yet.
I do however expect nothing less then an attempt at becoming it.
And the challenge is accepted.