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Name: Alex Gardner
Location: Port Jervis, NY
StarCraft Head of Coverage
WGTour.com – The Titans League's 5th week of play is fast approaching, with RoX.KIS looking to extend their undefeated streak and lead over the likes of ESC and ToT. Can the two traditional powerhouses catch up, or will RoX demolish yet another team?
The fifth week of Titans League features some good matches. First up mTw 360° Gaming will take on Old School Reborn after a humiliating 0-5 defeat last weekend at the hands of RoX.KIS. Meanwhile, Speedlink.SC takes on Nerds @ Work. As for the big three, ESC.ICY-BOX could have their hands full with ZZZ, while Templars of Twilight has to take on Los Reyes del Mambo. Finally, RoX.KIS has their second big challenge of the season in eXpertise. This should be a great weekend of StarCraft!
mTw 360° Gaming vs. Old School Reborn
Last weekend, mTw got humiliated by RoX.KIS, losing 5-0. While I predicted a strong showing from RoX, I figured mTw would at least be able to steal a game or two off of RoX. However, it's time for mTw to look ahead to their next opponents: Chilean squad Old School Reborn. osR doesn't have much better of a track record this season, giving Speedlink.SC their first win last weekend. This weekend doesn't mean much for either team, as they're likely to have to face either a qualifying bracket, or playdowns at the very best, for next season.
This week, when they meet, I'm not sure who's a clear favorite. mTw can contend with the best when they want to, but they also have slips like last weekend where they get demolished. OsR has at least been consistently close in their matches, and their win over LRM was extremely impressive. That said, they've also has some major failings in the past few weeks. I'm calling it in favor of mTw this week, hoping for the best.
Prediction: mTw 360° Gaming 3:2 Old School Reborn
Brief: mTw catches their stride, at least briefly, and overruns osR for their second win.
Speedlink.SC vs. Nerds @ Work
This season's been rough for Speedlink.SC. They're sitting at 1-3 in next to last place, with not much to look forward to. The German roster doesn't look hopeful to avoid playdowns or qualifiers. On the flipside, Nerds @ Work have been impressively good this season. Their wins over ESC and eXpertise showed that even with the departure of the better part of their Swedish squad, they still mean business. With them still having something in the tank, they can look to secure a bid in next season still yet.
NaW is the easy pick this week, and Speedlink shouldn't cause any problems. The likes of Ptak, DeSka and Gosudark, Speedlink will likely wind up outclassed and falling to last place in the league after this week. No shockers here this weekend.
Prediction: Speedlink.SC 1:4 Nerds @ Work
Brief: NaW keeps the dream alive with another win over an unsuspecting opponent.
ESC has looked surprisingly off the past two weeks. Losing to ToT is one thing, and it was very close, but their loss to NaW was very uncharacteristic. I don't know what's going on in the ESC camps, but they need to get it together quick before the likes of LRM and possibly eXpertise creep up on them. ZZZ has had a mediocre season thus far, going 1-3, but losing to the likes of RoX.KIS, Templars of Twilight and eXpertise isn't something to be ashamed of. However, they're a team that shouldn't be relegated to play downs and need to get their things sorted out fast.
Going into the weekend, ESC is the favorite on paper, but both of these teams have low morale right now. However, ESC's players look strong, advancing 6 players to the second round in the Highlander tournament. I've gotta give a team that's as stacked as ESC the edge. A narrow edge, but an edge nonetheless.
Prediction: ZZZ 2:3 ESC.ICY-BOX
Brief: ESC's got too good of a lineup to lose another match.
Templars of Twilight vs. Los Reyes del Mambo
Templars of Twilight have to be riding high after taking it to the bank against ESC last weekend. They now sit at 3-1 with wins over ESC and eX, and their sole loss is to RoX.KIS. Meanwhile LRM hasn't been doing to shabby themselves, only dropping an off set to osR. Both of these teams are sitting 3-1 right now, looking to gain ground on RoX and ESC.
Templars of Twilight are the historical favorite in most matches, but it's magnified here now that LRM has lost Fenix to RoX. With one of their strongest players moving on, they're going to have an uphill battle against the ToT squad. Even if hanniGan, Ace and Sweeper bring their A-games, I don't think that they're going to upset ToT.
Prediction: Templars of Twilight 4:1 Los Reyes del Mambo
Brief : Templars of Twilight have the depth, the drive and the momentum on their side. LRM's hurting from losing arguably their best player, Fenix.
eXpertise vs. RoX.KIS
The final match sees RoX.KIS go up against eXpertise. eXpertise is one of the teams in this league that can shock you at any moment with a big win, but they aren't consistently as good as the other teams out there like ToT, ESC and more recently, RoX. eXpertise has had a decent run so far in the Titans League, losing out to NaW in an upset and to ToT in a close match, while beating ZZZ and osR. RoX, as we all know, has been on fire in the league, losing to no one. With eXpertise next up to bat, can they continue the streak, or will eX be the end of the line for RoX's empty loss column?
I think RoX is going to keep on rolling for a while here, over eXpertise. With the additions of Fenix and Arew, eXpertise doesn't have the weapons at their disposal to take down a team as strong and well-rounded as RoX. With that said, this will probably be one of the closer bouts that RoX has to deal with this season, they should be sweating it out all the way. Be sure to watch the 2v2, as eXpertise's awesome 2v2 squad will try and dethrone BRAT_OK and DIMAGA.
Prediction: eXpertise 2:3 RoX.KIS
Brief: RoX's 1v1 lineup is more powerful than eXpertise can handle right now.
That's it for this week's preview. Be sure to check back next week to see what the results were and who ended up taking down the powerhouse team in an upset.
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