Leaked Chat Logs 1 (20 minute read) – Yiska and Eden

May 14th
written by Eden
Twitter

 

Know-Thyself-PlebEden:
is “Leaked Chat Logs” a working title for now?

Yiska:
yeah we can think of one

Eden:
what, that doesn’t call down from heaven as self evidently the greatest possible?

Yiska:
it’s pretty whack
but let’s start

Eden:
3
2
1

DreamKazper

Eden:
So where did the idea that Boston was so good because Dreamkazper was the greatest Western player we had go?

Yiska:
I personally thought he was a cornerstone of the roster in his flexibility and was good to great on a multitude of picks. What we couldn’t anticipate is the seemingly modular team build up of the Uprising. I had heard from established teams that they for instance sometimes don’t even know who was calling what and that they just grew together and it somehow worked. Boston build from the ground up and allocated responsibilities deliberately. I don’t think anyone could’ve anticipated that everyone was going to be able to take over Dreamkazper’s tasks, especially the intangible ones. I still think they would’ve likely been a better team with him on paper, but you don’t know what kind of processes this set in motion. Arguably Striker was stepping up to the plate and their game started revolving more around his carry potential. I think it’s less likely that they would’ve found those resources with Dream still in the team.

Eden:
So your explanation to resolve the conflict is that other players have stepped up in a large way? Do we have any other cases where we know a player is a star and their team has remained as strong after their removal?

Yiska:
Lunatic Hai from Apex Season 2 to 3 comes to mind though meta changes certainly played a role in their continued success.

Eden:
Yeah Whoru is an interesting case study, although with a team that already was dominant it can be more difficult to detect a drop
Either way, it is difficult to parse what portion of our feeling on this matter is from general sentiment. Dreamkazper undoubtedly has performed as a strong player and is respected as a player by fellow pros and those who know him best. Those are things in his favor. But do we have the basis to say he is in the world of Profit or other superstars? Or where would you put him in your rankings?

Yiska:
Just really quickly before I answer this question, I think it’s hard to find historical precedent because we either didn’t have the insight into team structures especially in Korea on how they build their comms or if they organically grow. I’d hypothesize that because OWL teams have bigger coaching staffs, this might be the first time in the history of the game that systems have been build in such a cognizant manner.
To your questions, I think Dream made a strong case for being the best Western player at the time, but he wasn’t a hard carry. His PTK share for instance was usually pretty normal, he just did it on all kinds of picks. I’d rather compare him to Libero who can have a crazy game, but usually just shows up with his hard hat and goes to work. Profit is a beast on about three picks and he does so by getting silly amounts of kills and doing so cerebrally. Dream was smart and lower maintenance but didn’t frag as hard.

Eden:
Okay, so let’s look into his “value over replacement” or so to speak, which has been obviously the focus of discussion. I’d say he is not a player that is above replacement level if we include Korean sources. He may be a player that would have had a long career, however, especially with his early start and therefore continual veteran status.

Yiska:
Yeah most likely. Even if his mechanics would’ve deteriorated it’s likely he would’ve had a future as an offtank player, if the future meta would’ve posed the same requirements.

Eden:
So we’re in similar mind that his loss was only a loss if we apply a cultural value to the share of success of Western players in the league going forward?

Yiska:
Well, I wouldn’t go quite that far. He was still a way above average player in the league and at times a great one. But yes, there are a lot of players waiting with a similar profile, such as GodsB from x6.

Effect

Eden:
Okay, let’s go into a slightly different and more fun topic. How many games does Dallas win this stage without Effect?

Yiska:
I believe more than with him in stage 3. I don’t want to kick a player when he’s down, especially if someone put as much heart and soul in as he did. But many a times Effect has been a liability. He doesn’t play the Overwatch League style of Tracer where you coordinate with certain parts of your team. Half the time he would walk off and try to do it all by himself. In a way that was justified because he never had a maintank to develop synergy with but I still think Fuel might do better than just one with against Shanghai. Depending on the meta and especially if we see Hanzo but also with Junkrat if the changes don’t go live, Seagull/aKm will probably pull off a win against Shanghai and possibly against Florida. I don’t think it’s entirely unreasonable to expect Shanghai to win that match, but I won’t have them as favorites. If Shanghai vs Dallas was the first game of Stage 4, what would you put your percentages at?

Eden:
Ughhhhhh
Ummm
Well, SHD hasn’t won a game yet and have played at least like 5 games vs teams that were playing pretty terribly. So maybe still like 75% Dallas?

Yiska:
Ha, you might be more optimistic for Dallas than me here. I’d say 60% Dallas. What about Florida or indeed against their Texan rivals, the Outlaws?

Eden:
Low chances vs both I’d think. My first inclination is that Houston could get a lot better in this stage, but we’ll get to that later.
I think maybe like 70% Florida, 80% Outlaws?
So hard early in a stage when we don’t know much

Yiska:
Yeah most definitely, almost all my failed predictions came from the first half of stage 3 and since team performances have crystalized, I’m on a streak of having predicted the winner 24 times in a row. But on the Dallas point, I think everything stands and falls with whether this stage requires you to run a Tracer or not, because the Fuel don’t have a real replacement though aKm has been serviceable. That’s often not enough in Overwatch as we know it. Also there is something that needs to be said about their new headcoach position that supposedly is soon to be filled. How much weight do you put on that? Do you think a coach can turn their situation around?

Eden:
Haha do we know Tracer is essential in a world of the B?

Yiska:
We don’t know much at this point but it would surprise me if she was to vanish completely. I do think her play rate might drop significantly.

Eden:
Yeah I’m not sure the tracer problem will be substantial this stage, but hard to bet against that hero after this length of dominance until we see her dead. For the headcoach, I think this season’s over. They can’t make playoffs realistically and team is too scarred. I would be surprised if anything could coax them to give a shit at this point as a unit. If anything, they’ll just try to make the case they are less the problem than their toxic teammates.

Yiska:
While I would think that OWL players have a better understanding of what will happen to them in the offseason in terms of how many proving grounds they will have, maybe there is something that could be said about job security and trying to give the team that might pick them up – because let’s be real, half of those guys will never play with each other on Dallas Fuel after this season again – a good impression. But yeah, Dallas Fuel isn’t even overly interesting to me at this point. I agree they won’t make stage playoffs but I hope they run some curve ball strategies which facilitate their talents more.

Finals Announcement

Eden:
Okay, well we will say a farewell to this current iteration of the team and leave it at that. What are your thoughts on the announced finals playoff format? And any thoughts on the venue?

Yiska:
I’m indifferent to the venue, I usually don’t overly enjoy that aspect of esports much. As for the format, I think the best of 3 of best of 5s is interesting, the problem is that there is a good chance that we’ll see those teams play two of those best of 5s back to back if the series was to go the full length. At that point it becomes a war of endurance and given that nothing selected for that specific type of endurance during the season, other than the (in that regard) irrelevant stage finals, I’m not a fan.

Eden:
Yeah I completely agree on endurance part. The size of the moment should be the only source of that in my view. For instance making a series 7 games rather than 5 may actually WEAKEN the relationship between the winner and the better team at the game as played in the rest of the season. I am curious if there will be a break between the best of fives to recoup. If not, then you’re concern is real.

Yiska:
Generally it feels like that ideal is unachievable in esports though. Games wildly change over the season just from balance patches. It would feel more organic if rulesets were just left alone and were homogeneous across the season but I accept that this isn’t how you keep an audience around in this scene. I think Monte’s circuit point suggestions which weights latter stages higher in order to get the most recently dominating teams into the playoffs makes sense here. The way it is set up right now, the probability of having really underwhelming playoffs and worse yet OWL season 1 finals are too high for comfort. Is that too pessimistic?

Eden:
Well that is different than the integrity of a bracket itself. As a sacrifice for a slightly worse seeding into a bracket to increase stakes early in the season, I am indifferent.
But a pretty big consideration is how the rest of the bracket will look going into that final. I am especially concerned about semi’s. The seeding from first place in a region seems like it could be really dangerous.
God help us if Seoul or Valiant in their current form were to make it to the finals through a single best of five
and then we watch them get stomped on for 2 days by NYXL

Yiska:
Do you like how big a part the divisions play in that system is, given how we don’t even have a real world reason as to why this would be required as everyone is still playing in LA and will likely do so for at least another season?

Eden:
I think it’s pretty harmless right now other than the bye to semi finals.
But I like the principle to organize group stages, especially when the league expands
I think it’s more helpful than harmful to provide continuity of format
even if not ideal for this season

Yiska:
I suppose that’s true for building an audience. It possibly just feels strange to a European, given how we don’t have these divisions here. Do you think doing well in the season gives enough of an advantage for the playoffs?

Eden:
Well in my view, playoffs are not about being fair necessarily. They have a special draw from the pressure and clutch of coming through when it is a matter Legacy. I think giving a spot to teams which have done well consistently rather than the hot item on market of the moment entirely. After all, playoffs are a different environment to perform in anyway. I am not sure that consistently strong performance isn’t a stronger resume item for being scary in playoffs as some recent good performances on the patch. Think of LDN in playoffs and out of it.

Yiska:
I think play offs just by the nature of the schedule will make it much more of a preparation game, which I enjoy. The cards might be reshuffled by that month long break, I just hope no major patch chimes in in between. I agree that there is a quality of being a play off team and playing well when it matters most. Will you consider those aspects when predicting the season playoff matches and if so, how significantly?

Eden:
I’ll likely flatten my predictions somewhat from if it were a regular season match. Also, modestly adjust for teams that have demonstrated competence in playoffs. Also as event progresses, obviously tournament form.
But I think that a seed should be allocated to every stage playoff winner if they don’t have one
I think not including that is a mistake. Imagine if a team were to win stage 4 and not make it to playoffs.

Yiska:
Unfortunately that system makes that scenario not unlikely enough for my tastes. I said it after the massive changes to the Dragons roster became known. Imagine a freak scenario where they instantly click and start dominating after week 3 in stage 3 for the rest of the season but they have no way of making it to playoffs. That would put a serious lid and caveat on any finals winner.

Eden:
Wait so do you think my proposal of stage playoff winners as an addition as sufficient or not?

Yiska:
Oh, my bad. I’m not sure how much a stage 1 win should realistically hold hence why I like the idea of circuit points more. Stage 1 playoffs and the season playoffs are about half a year apart. 6 months ago GC Busan was undoubtedly the best team in the world, now they missed stage playoffs.

Eden:
So in some ways, I think we have to be clear what we are trying to capture. I think winning a stage playoffs makes a team automatically an interesting team for playoffs, whether the stage was their best or not. Your hypothetical is interesting because it separates what we see as the achievement of a roster vs that of a team. A team which is formed on the day of playoffs which would win should not receive a spot because their team hasn’t achieved that despite our prognostications on their strength. Does a new makeover wipe away past failures?

Yiska:
For me, the goal should always be about maximizing the best possible level of play in esports while making it sustainable and only then does it actualize its value. If a team is a push over in playoffs when they qualified in stage 1 but for instance slept in the transfer window, then this not only doesn’t achieve the aforementioned goal but makes it unfun to watch too. I find the playoff system in general to be very problematic. Either you reward average level of play in a season like European sports leagues do or you have tournament structures. Playoffs all too often are just whack.

Eden:
Yeah there is no solution really because either there is high variance from a few results or bias from including data which isn’t as relevant to the playoffs themselves. Well regardless, we agree that the bye for each region is bullshit right?

Yiska:
Yes, I’m not even sure how big of an advantage not playing a possibly entirely new meta on stage really is for the grand final. I know in CS:GO there was a statistic that for the longest time, the team from the upper bracket never won. I’m torn on completely erasing all advantages and just have them play an actual fun format or giving them a bigger advantage because they earned it over the season.

Eden:
Yeah my concern isn’t including teams on somewhat arbitrary metrics to a playoffs. These paths are interesting and have their various merits to give a chance. The risk is that the playoff structure will result in a squandered tournament. I think a single best of 5 is not a sufficient barrier to the history that follows a final of a 6 month season
I really hope that they extend their finals format to the semi’s

Yiska:
Yeah, I definitely agree on that part. o2 getting rinsed by x6 was a mild foreshadowing of what might happen in OWL playoffs.

Stage Four Team Projections – Buy, Sell, Hold

Eden:
So going into stage 4, let’s run through the teams alphabetically and play buy, sell, hold.
Boston Uprising
I say Sell

Yiska:
Sell meaning they will drop from #1?

Eden:
Let’s keep it simple by saying they will be considered a better team in league, about the same, or lower than they are this stage

Yiska:
In that case yes, sell. They probably should be about the 3rd of 4th best team in the league on average and they will gravitate towards that again.

Eden:
Dallas Fuel
I say hold. We’ve discussed them and they will continue to give off a slight odor of week old garbage

Yiska:
Yeah that’s a hold.

Eden:
Florida Mayhem
buy sell hold?

Yiska:
Though it feels like a buy, I think when looking at it critically, there aren’t many more teams they are likely to beat next stage, even with Sayaplayer. I’m holding, what about you?

Eden:
I think I’m going to buy. I have a feeling that raw dps output is going to play a big role this stage. I think Sayaplayer is going to be able to carry alot better than last stage. I think it’ll push them over the edge into taking home wins.

Yiska:
I’m not sure how favorable his picks will remain but Widow will likely continue to be a constant.

Eden:
Houston Outlaws
and a MIGHTY BUY. I think Jake’s junkrat is gonna hum like a sweet kitten

Yiska:
Given that they were 9th last stage, I agree that it’s a buy but not a big one. I struggle to find many teams they should beat that they didn’t in stage 3.

Eden:
I disagree, I think that stage 1 is the closest comparison. I think they are going to be in prime position to appreciate the cagey defensive style that likely could emerge. I think they are even odds to hit playoffs for the stage

Yiska:
Junkrat is not that hard to play on that level and he might still be outshined by Hanzo if the new one makes it into the stage. I think their issues are much more structural than just their DPS being meta sidelined.
I start believing if they get Aero.

Eden:
hm that’s interesting if is true
although it’d break with their tendency of hiring mad men
Well results will be a judge.
London Spitfire
okay for London, I say buy as well.
I think profit will be a menace this meta, tracer or no tracer. I think generally teams with scary DPS players will thrive

Yiska:
That’s my massive buy. If Birdring comes back, London is easily a top 3 team. Profit runs a mean Junkrat too.

Eden:
Okay Los Angeles Gladiators. This is tough
If we accept stage 1 as closest parallel, this team didn’t exist then.
what do you think?
I think sell as my inclination

Yiska:
Sell, I think they are a solid mid tier team that capitalized from some teams falling apart this stage.

Eden:
As well, I don’t know how well Fissure will be able to dominate in this meta coming up where dive may be handicapped to some degree. Also I don’t know how they’ll fair if tracer is weakened

Yiska:
They have a bunch of DPS players. I think they will eventually start rolling. Fissure on Rein could be interesting but I don’t think they will be able to repeat their run in stage 3.

Eden:
Los Angeles Valiant
Sell, they are soaring on the bodies of other’s failures right now

Yiska:
Agreed, that’s a sell for me too.

Eden:
New York Excelsior
Hold. Always hold for this one

Yiska:
Yeah, they’ll likely finish the stage in first spot and then we’ll see if they can win playoffs. I think the latter is less likely. Hold.

Eden:
Philadelphia Fusion
I think hold here, but with a lot of uncertainty
I have never had a great read on this team

Yiska:
They finished 8th this stage. I think they are better than that. Buy

Eden:
Fair enough, guess a buy compared to that is fair, I wasn’t thinking in that context. I see all that group from like 4th-8th as a blob
San Francisco Shock
hmmm I don’t care
about this team either positive or negative

Yiska:
I think that’s a slight sell. I don’t know if they can get 6 wins in the upcoming stage and they also feasted on the misfortune of others while having a honeymoon with Architect. They got a new coach though and Crusty at least should be considered a possible huge upgrade. Either slight sell or hold.

Eden:
I can live with your judgement. Either way Sinatra and Super did not deliver on the blooming advertised.
Seoul Dynasty
Have to say buy because of the hole they are in? Return to mean
but no sign they will go higher unless Brigette is somehow super high skill cap and a support on their roster becomes a secret god

Yiska:
I agree. I don’t think they are far off their actual standing in 7th the way they have presented themselves. Slight buy with the best case probably being that they make stage playoffs in 4th.

Eden:
Finally Shanghai Dragons
I think that they may win a game hinging on Dallas in some ways
I say hold

Yiska:
Hold, I believe they will win a game that isn’t Dallas and will remain last place despite winning one.

Eden:
fate eh?

Yiska:
I think they have just shown that they are now a team that should command double-digit probabilities of winning against most teams in the league. Eventually they will hit one of those. I also think we’ll see some teams struggle more and they might be able to capitalize on that.

Eden:
I agree that they have had a tragic history and that retrospectively I have likely been overstating chance of their victories. Hard to say they have less than 50% of winning a match cumulatively… but they have higher chance of being swept than they did last stage due to games already elapsed…

Stage 4 Week 1 Prediction Highlights

Eden:
any matches this week of special interest from prediction standpoint?

Yiska:
Let’s see. I think the entire first day is a minefield. LAG vs Shock, Dynasty vs LAV and Dallas vs Shanghai are all very close matches. I don’t think you will see me going over 65% on any of these, likely not even 60%. London vs Outlaws is tricky because while London is the better team, their record against Houston is not pretty especially when ONCE AGAIN they will meet each other in a trap game for London who plays NYXL that league. The fact that this keeps happening is infinitely awful.

Eden:
Yeah I think this week will tell us a ton about the rest of the stage
Houston London
and London New York
trap game awaits?
especially with expected increase of form for Houston?
Outlaws vs Boston as well poses possible answers for where Boston falls this stage

Yiska:
Boston vs Philly is also a classic at this point. I think overall this is a really packed week with view easy games to predict and therefore should be fairly exciting.

Eden:
Okay so let’s start at the end and what we’ll be looking for earlier in the week to guide us
What do we think now on New York Excelsiors vs London? I say New York at 60% right now

Yiska:
That’s probably the best cause of action. I might even go 65% on NYXL however. They have shown that they can kick into extra gear if they have to like they did in the playoffs who were not close. NYXL is likely to have awoken from their slumber.

Eden:
So if London falls to Houston in a close series will that change that thinking?
As it is a trap game, I’d say not much
but if they win it, I might make the game later in the week a bit tighter

Yiska:
I will say that if London wins both of those games I’m back on the plane, baby.

Eden:
oh no not that particular plane. I can’t bare it
okay
so to be somewhat organized. what do you think about London Outlaws?
I think Houston is slightly favored. maybe 55% Houston?

Yiska:
This is a game that will break me. I actually just said that out loud. “This is a game that will break you”. I will likely go 60% London because I learned that direct record against each other doesn’t factor in much at all in OWL. That said, we have no idea what those teams will look like on the new patch and I trust London more to have adapted to it. I think my prediction will change depending on if we get the Hanzo patch or not.

Eden:
You say it will break you, that you have a London fetish, and yet don’t calibrate
I admire your courage

Yiska:
If you remember the graphs, they didn’t hurt me as much as one might think. I don’ think I’m totally unjustified there.
*note, Yiska was obsessed with LDN, but upon reviewing performance on LDN games, he did not fair worse than less mind altered individuals*

Eden:
Okay, we’ll see when I point to this and mock you when they’re trounced
So a similar thing happens with Boston vs Outlaws
why do they do this to us?
How much do you think Outlaws will practice vs their opponents this week?

Yiska:
Heh, probably not all that much given that the meta is new. I think that match will go to Boston with relative ease. I don’t buy the Houston performance jump too much.

Eden:
Huh I think it is boston favored because Boston gets undivided attention and has a better model of what to practice against. But I’d say maybe 60%?

Yiska:
I’ll likely go something like 68% depending on the maps which I would need to look at and decide after we know which patch will be played.

Eden:
So Boston Philly, I think Boston is pretty favored, maybe 65% only because new stage and I don’t have the balls

Yiska:
Agreed on that one.

Eden:
okay awesome. With that, we will wait and see whether we are prophets or ignorant fools. or both?