Winter Bash 2.0 Week Two Breakdown!
One week down. Six to go. We were met with a number of upsets in the opening week of the ICE Winter Bash, as some established colleges stumbled out of the gates whereas and others opened with strong performances. For some, this week is about consolidating your status in the group and keeping your focus on the playoff spots. For others, this round is an opportunity to get points on the board and start gathering momentum.
Division One: Group One
JEEK Squad (WIT) vs. NCI Black Panthers (NCI)
WIT delivered with their opening performance, picking up a 2-0 victory against UCC to open their campaign on the right foot. NCI were not so fortunate, as they fell afoul of DIT in a closely-fought 0-2 loss. NCI held leads in both games, but could not convert this into enough objective control to fell their opponents. This is an issue that will need to be fixed, as WIT showed they are no slouches in Week 1.
Key Matchup: Gulag vs. Goose. Two junglers who are certainly familiar with each other at this stage. Gulag is the heart of his team, and his performances are proving to be more consistent with each competition. This contrasts to Goose, who made some crucial errors in his team’s opening fixture. He can certainly match Gulag’s early pressure, and this battle will be imperative to gaining control of the game for both teams.
Prediction: NCI will have had a week to solve the issues that plagued them in their opening fixture. They certainly have the individual talent to defeat JEEK Squad, but they fall behind in terms of coordination and map play. WIT 1-1 NCI.
UCC eSports (UCC) vs. DC who?? (DCU)
Both sides will be aiming for their first win of the competition after falling 2-0 in the first round. There are positives to be taken from these losses, as the two teams here had stronger showings than anticipated in their openers. However, another loss is a result either of these teams cannot afford if they want to keep themselves in the hunt for a Top 4 spot.
Key Matchup: MoshiMoshiMe vs. Mileey Dyrus. MoshiMoshiMe was the unexpected star for his team in Week 1, with a good laning performance that serves as a good indicator for UCC. His lane versus Mileey Dyrus, an integral player to DCU’s strategy, could grant UCC control over the game – or allow DCU to play their style should Mileey Dyrus get the upper hand.
Prediction: UCC’s individual performance should grant their team the upper hand here, with their returning players coming close to their form of old. DCU worked well as a unit, and certainly look like they have a few tricks up their sleeve when it comes to upsetting opponents. UCC 1-1 DCU.
Trinity Gankers (TCD) vs. Same Gaming DIT (DIT)
Trinity hit a few road bumps in their opener, but dispatched of DCU as expected. Their Week 2 opponents should prove to be much sterner competition. DIT had their struggles early against NCI, but turned it around with good map movements and adherence to their win conditions late in the game. Can they repeat this comeback success against a team that may now have the mantle of tournament favourites?
Key Matchup: Deviilz vs. Domo. Deviilz’s resurgence in the last couple of months has been a joy to behold, as he challenges the top AD Carries in the country and shows he is capable of taking them down. Domo has yet to ascend to the top tier, with holes in his laning phase being a worry for DIT. If DIT can weather the early storm in the 2v2, Domo has shown he is a monster in teamfights, and a key element in his team’s comeback victories.
Prediction: Another match that is set to be very close. DIT have their strong matchups, but their weak spots are likely easier to exploit. I do not think Trinity are prone to the same mistakes in the late game as NCI were in the first week, but they dropped the ball and I believe that can be punished by DIT. TCD 1-1 DIT.
Division One: Group Two
MU Star Destroyer (MU) vs. Pentabyte ITC (ITC)
For the first time since the inception of ICE, Maynooth’s Division 1 team lost a game. Not a match, a game. While tougher competition was anticipated for this tournament, the team they destroyed in May outplayed them in Week 1, which will come as a shock to the champions. They move into a matchup against ITC, who struggled in their opener. The team’s rookies still look to be getting to grips with the collegiate level, and may be preyed upon by the wounded animal that is this MU team.
Key Matchup: Fallonov vs. Silent Stalker. Silent Stalker was one of the bright spots for ITC in their Week 1 fixture, putting in a solid shift in spite of some tricky matchups. He will be lining up against Fallonov, who appeared to be quite rusty against TCD. Fallonov is usually the isolated man in the MU playstyle, something ITC may be able to work to their advantage and set their top laner up for success.
Prediction: Maynooth will be striking back with vengeance this week. This is the opportunity for them to recover their lost pride, and ITC will likely not be able to provide resistance against some of the best players Ireland has to offer. MU 2-0 ITC.
Trinity Rejects (TCD) vs. The A Team (DCU) – MATCHUP OF THE WEEK
The Trinity Rejects have to be elated after their Week 1 showing. Not only taking a game off of the former champions, they had the chance to go 2-0 after a tight game 1 that came down to a few botched calls from Trinity. They will have to face another powerhouse for Week 2, as they go up against DCU. A dominant 2-0 victory for DCU was a statement to the rest of the group, and with the other results from the opening round they are poised for first place in Group B.
Key Matchup: Booster Gold vs. MisterCrepsley. Booster Gold seems to be handling his transition to top lane well, performing admirably in lane and contributing to his side’s fights throughout. MisterCrepsley is an entirely different story for the Trinity top laner. DCU’s top comes in projected as the strongest in his position for Group B, and is seeking to make the offlane his domain for another week.
Prediction: Was Trinity’s opening result due to their own high level of play, or Maynooth failing to meet expectations? There is still some doubt, and this should be put to the test in Week 2. DCU look focused, with a distinct style and strong matchups for this series. This may just be enough to tilt the series in their favour. TCD 0-2 DCU.
Yargh We Am Pirates 2.0 (DIT) vs. UCD IT (UCD)
DIT are entering this fixture with a convincing 2-0 win under their belt. UCD are reeling from a harsh 0-2 loss. Both teams may have expected their matches to be closer, and they’ll likely anticipate this to be a similar affair. DIT could make a real statement with a win in this series and set themselves up for the challenges they face later in the group. UCD are simply fighting for survival.
Key Matchup: PapaJepson vs. Slut. PapaJepson is the PA of his team’s star AD Carry, and the DIT duo have a good combination in the bottom lane. UCD will be hoping to disrupt this, with veteran Slut leading the charge. Slut’s opener was lacking a little, and he will be aiming to bounce back against DIT’s consistent support player.
Prediction: UCD’s star players put them in front on paper, but their first match showed their glaring weaknesses. A lack of chemistry is certainly something the DIT squad can exploit, even if they may not have the same individual talent their opponents do. DIT 1-1 UCD.
Division Two: Group One
DCU Kawaii Spuds (DCU) vs. NCI Panthers (NCI) – MATCHUP OF THE WEEK
Both DCU and NCI mailed in their applications for top dogs in Group A in Week 1, with big wins over LYIT and UL respectively. DCU’s team of rookies played like an experienced unit of five, coordinating excellently and playing without fear. This will be needed against the reigining Division 2 champs, who did not miss a step as they cruised to a victory. NCI will have their sights set high after their good start, and a win in Week 2 would go a long way to fulfilling these goals.
Key Matchup: darkopoppin vs. KingBaldyLoks. DCU’s support led the charge in week 1, picking off opponents with aggressive play. His counterpart, KingBaldyLoks, will not be fazed so easily. His previous championship experience will serve him well in the support role, and he has shown he’s not one to shy from an engage himself.
Prediction: NCI’s experienced players may give them an advantage in this series, but there’s a lot for DCU to work with. If they can execute as they did in Week 1 and beat NCI down, they will come out on top. If the game falls to chaos, expect NCI to thrive. DCU 1-1 NCI.
Trinity Forced Meme (TCD) vs. UL Wolves (UL)
This will be the first we see of Trinity’s Division 2 team, whose star AD Carry from their previous campaign has left them for greater things. On paper, their lineup is solid but not necessarily anything to set the world alight. They open their campaign against a UL team still in recovery mode from a tough loss to NCI. This is set to be another difficult fixture for the Wolves, who need to come up with results soon.
Key Matchup: NuaLaoch vs. Gavinwizard. Gavinwizard’s Jax performances may be something his team can build around, if he does find himself getting the champion again. His next opponent is NuaLaoch, an experienced tank player who will likely serve as a stabilizing voice in the team comms.
Prediction: Unfortunately for UL, I think their weaknesses are just a little to severe for this matchup. Trinity have areas of the map they will be looking to secure and play around. UL will be hard pressed to grind out the same advantages. TCD 2-0 UL.
Division Two: Group Two
LYIT eSports A (LYIT) vs. Dundalk Kinetic Intelligence Team (DKIT)
LYIT A’s opening match was a tale of numerous flashes of brilliance in a darkness of inexperience. They could match DCU individually, but their teamplay was lacking and they were victims of their own over-aggression. They go from facing a strong group of veterans to a newer, less veteran side in DKIT. DKIT are still without a series played as their fixture against NUIG has been postponed. Both are tough opponents for Dundalk, who are still the biggest unknown in a strong Group B.
Key Matchup: Nox Azur vs. Gazman22. This is a projected matchup, as we’re still waiting to see what the DKIT starting lineup is. Gazman is not a jungler by trade, but is seemingly getting practice in the role in his recent history. Whoever DKIT have at the position, they will have their hands full with Nox Azur, whose all-or-nothing style may be more beneficial here than in Week 1.
Prediction: This is the perfect opportunity for LYIT to fuse as a team. This is likely to be less of a challenge, and their individual level of play should be enough to carry them through this match, even if they do not deliver in other aspects. LYIT 2-0 DKIT.
DCU Pickles (DCU) vs. Galway Pub Stompers (NUIG)
DCU will be more than pleased with their opening performance. They delivered against a strong opponent, and have been gifted with strong position early in the group. Now tasked with facing NUIG, who are still yet to play, DCU face another tricky BO2 series. If they come out with a win, the group is theirs, and NUIG will be battling to prevent that and open up their campaign on the right foot.
Key Matchup: Witzel vs. iFifaDinho. Witzel’s move to ADC was a question mark over the team’s head prior to the competition, but it’s seemingly worked as intended with him slotting into the role without much issue. His next opponent is iFifaDinho, a player whose ranked history may allude to some big performances to come.
Prediction: DCU displayed both solid mechanical skill and good teamplay in their first match. They are the team to beat early in this tournament, and despite this NUIG side having a lot of upside on paper, it’s still too early to confidently call them as challengers in this matchup. DCU 2-0 NUIG.