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Highlander Season 8 Powered by Tt eSPORTS Premiership Interviews: PremTech

Date March 28, 2015

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banner by Yggdrasil

It’s time to continue our look at your Season 8 Premiership teams with Season 7 runners-up USA PremTech. Promoted from Div 1 after Season 6, they announced themselves in the top division by making bold claims of “aiming to be top 3 of Prem in S7.” While the naysayers scoffed, Finnish Demoman Finland Maitominaty busied himself by picking up a roster of players from around the globe that proved themselves capable of standing up to the big boys. Russia ShaDowBurn tore the division a new one with his Black Box & Concheror shenanigans while UGC Platinum Champions Kids Next Door donated their Medic USA Nursey and Heavy USA Kresnik to the cause. Finland Tseini returned from his military service to pick up the Sniper Rifle once more, and they dethroned Season 6 Champions European Highpander© in the semi-finals before taking Denmark Tourettes Chessclub to a third map in the Grand Finals. Sadly the fairy tale ended with a mere Silver medal, but Finland Maitominaty and the gang are back for more in Season 8. We spoke to the man himself to get the lowdown.

How happy were you with the team’s performance last season?

Finland Maitominaty: Of course we were really happy with the result, 2nd place and first season in prem. But as we could have got the golden medal, it was a bit crap to lose the final the way it happened, reservoir as the deciding map.

Have there been any changes to the roster?

Finland Maitominaty: We weren’t about to change our roster at all, but apparently Russia ShaDowBurn and Finland jwso quit for their studies. We had to get a new flank, so we robbed Denmark Tourettes Chessclub and got Latvia atomic- and Latvia uubers. And during the preseason Finland Tseini quit TF2 so we picked up Belarus tracker. Now Finland Tseini is back so it´s kind of a 50/50 with our Snipers. The one who can play, will play. Both of them have had some computer/connection problems recently.

How has pre-season been going? Have you been playing a lot?

Finland Maitominaty: After we had had almost 1.5 months break, we started playing again just 3 weeks ago and played a couple pcw´s with an unstable roster, but finished our new roster on last Sunday finally. We have been doing 2-3 pcw´s a week when we can, and it is looking really strong at the moment with the current roster.

What do you think of the map pool? You’ve been very vocal in your support of Gravelpit, you must be pleased to see it back.

Finland Maitominaty:Yes of course that meant a lot for our whole team, we´ve been undefeated on it for so long. It was just ridiculous to see how disorganized most of the prem teams were on a map like gpit last season. However I think the map pool is good, new versions of maps, 2 new maps, seems to be okay for everyone. I am only mad because we got all the payload maps against the new prem teams and the other maps against the top prem teams, which seems to be worse than just typical bad luck.

Who are the standout performers on the team? Who should we be watching for the big plays?

Finland Maitominaty: I won´t name a single person, because this season we already know each other too well. If one of us is missing, the whole team will be probably fucked unless the merc coming in is like Russia ShaDowBurn or Finland jwso or someone who often mercs for us. So everyone should be equally important. All of us are going to go huge again though, that´s for sure.

Are you aiming to win Prem this season? Who do you see as your biggest rivals for the title?

Finland Maitominaty: Because of the maps, the games against pander and chess shall be interesting ones this season, but Netherlands kKaltUu will still probably cause most of the problems for us again. And yes, we are totally going for the league win this time.

Finally, any shoutouts?

Finland Maitominaty: USA PremTech gang, Blackout casting gang, Deutschlan gang, that´s all.

With one of the more stable rosters in Prem, USA PremTech certainly look a safe bet for the top 3 once more. Keeping their combo intact will give them an edge over the other top teams: Both European Highpander© and Denmark Tourettes Chessclub have changed Medics for this season, so USA Nursey, USA Kresnik and Finland Maitominaty will be looking to exploit any signs of instability in their rivals. The North American players have adapted well to ETF2L, and seem committed to the team. Latvia atomic- and Latvia uubers were contenders for flank of the season for Chessclub, so their arrival will soften the blow of losing Russia ShaDowBurn and Finland jwso. Perhaps the key to USA PremTech‘s season lies with their Snipers – Finland Tseini‘s presence will be a huge boost when he’s available. Belarus tracker had some outstanding games during spells with France Stacked and Denmark Tourettes Chessclub but has been inconsistent in the past, so he will need to turn it on when it counts.

An opening week meeting with Prem new boys Russia WASP should provide a relatively comfortable first game for USA PremTech, but with their meetings with the heavyweights coming on their weaker maps any upsets or dropped points will weigh heavily on Finland Maitominaty‘s mind. Results against the likes of France Stacked and European Fair Enough sponsored by TF2Pickup.net will be expected this season after their previous triumphs, and every team is susceptible to choking under the pressure of expectations. If Season 7 taught us anything, though, it’s that you don’t want to rule USA PremTech out too early.

USA PremTech

Big thanks to Finland Maitominaty for taking the time to talk to us! Next up in our series of interviews: France Stacked.

Season 8 trailer by Russia Jack

Announcing: ETF2L Ultiduo Cup #5 Powered By: Tt eSPORTS

Date March 27, 2015

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banner by Yggdrasil

*blows off dust*Is this thing still alive?

It seems almost everyone has forgotten ETF2L used to host something else than Highlander and 6s. But ask France Tek and he’ll proudly tell you about times past, where he and France T-Mac were Europe’s best at Ultiduo.

Don’t despair, we’re proud to announce The ETF2L Ultiduo Cup #5 Powered By: Tt eSPORTS!

Requirements: A 2v2 team that’s able to play April 9th, 10th and possibly the 12th! 

>>>>>>Click here to sign up<<<<<<
Signups will close April 8th 23:59CEST!

Prizes

This cup couldn’t have been possible if we didn’t have an amazing group of sponsors.
First of them, Tt eSPORTS has been generous enough to hook up the finalists with some sweet hardware. Namely:

The winners will receive two Thermaltake Core V1 mini ITX chassis!
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The new Core V1 represented by Thermaltake is a small and cute ITX based chassis with a 200mm fan in the front panel. Smart interchangeable side panels allow users to flip it accordingly to showcase either for superior liquid cooling or superb airflow, which allows you to make your own personal setup. You not only grant to have a really powerful mini system, it also has the ability to house various overclocking components to keep it really cool!

The runners-up team will be able to collect two Tt eSPORTS Talon Blu mice!

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The TALON Blu gaming mouse features an AVAGO 3050 optical sensor, with up to 3000 DPI, and a blue LED lighting accents. It offers good stability and accuracy via great tracking precision and a high max speed. The TALON Blu has an ergonomic, ambidextrous shape, making it great for both left and right handed users.

Tt eSPORTS will take care of shipment to one address per team. Teams will be asked to provide shipping information, shipping only starts if the entire form is filled in.

TF2pickup.net‘s Netherlands Wiethoofd (home of European pickups including ultiduo) will provide ingame items and keys.
And last (but not least!) the community saint Netherlands Arie will provide serveme.tf donator access and a bunch of keys!

The following setup will be used:

gold medal First Place: 2x Core V1 mini ITX chassis + 2 prof Killstreak Kits + 18 keys + 2x 1 year of serveme.tf donator status
silver medal Second Place: 2x Talon Blu mouse + 2 spec Killstreak Kits + 10 keys + 2x 6 months of serveme.tf donator status
bronze medal Third Place: 2 Killstreak Kits + 2x 3 months of servme.tf donator status
Fourth Place: 2 stranges/cosmetics

Schedule

We will divide the cup into three days. One for group stages, one for knockout and one for the finals. The amount of knockout rounds will depend on the number of signups.

Thursday, April 9th – Group Stage

  • Match 1 – 20:00 CEST
  • Match 2 – 21:00 CEST
  • Match 3 – 22:00 CEST

Friday, April 10th – Knockout Stage

  • Round 1 – 19:00 CEST
  • Round 2 – 20:00 CEST
  • Round 3 – 21:00 CEST
  • Round 4 – 22:00 CEST

Sunday, April 12th – Finals

  • Semi-Finals – 20:00 CEST
  • Third place tiebreaker – 21:00 CEST
  • Grand Final – 22:00 CEST

Rules

We will set some ground rules, which can be found here.

The map that will be used in this cup is ultiduo_baloo

Coverage

Tune in to Teamfortress.TV for some casting goodness with a chance to win some in-game item prizes during the games!

Season 20 powered by Tt eSPORTS: Playoffs & Prize money

Date March 26, 2015

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Playoffs & Prize Money

Thanks to our Indiegogo campaign we managed to get over 3.000€ through crowd funding which allows us to provide the biggest total prize pool as well as the biggest prize pool for the Premier Division to date. A total of 4.080€ will be spread among the best teams of each Tier. Thank you to everyone that contributed.

Premier Division

The Season 20 powered by Tt eSPORTS Grand Finals will take place on March 29th with the following schedule:

Semi Final: 19:00CET European Ze Knutsson Rollerbladers vs European Reason Gaming

Grand Final: 21:15CET European SUAVE vs Winner of the Semi Final

The teams are fighting for a total prize pool of 3.000€! with the following distribution:

1st1500€ / 250€ per player

2nd900€ / 150€ per player

3rd600€ / 100€ per player

High Tier

For the High Tier we decided to go with the system we used when the Premier Division Playoffs included four teams.

Round 1: March 22nd-March 25th European 1000 poops of the poopocalypse vs Finland Lutuset

Round 2: March 26th-March 31st Jamaica Fenneks eSports by SimRai.com vs European 1000 poops of the poopocalypse

Final: April 1st-April 5th European ELOGURL vs European 1000 poops of the poopocalypse

The teams are fighting for a total prize pool of 720€ distributed among the top 3 teams:

1st360€ / 60€ per player

2nd216€ / 36€ per player

3rd144€ / 24€ per player

Mid Tier

For the Mid Tier we are going to use a modified version that was suggested by Netherlands TimTum during the last Fully Charged Europe episode:

Round 1.1: March 22nd-March 24th Austria FPÖ e-sports vs European Dodging Bullets

Round 1.2: March 22nd-March 24th EnglandSweden International Oral Sex vs European Koston.tf

Round 2.1: March 25th-March 29th Luxembourg Mustachios.tf vs European Dodging Bullets

Round 2.2: March 25th-March 29th FinlandSweden Iso-G vs European Koston.tf

Semi Final 1: March 30th-April 1st Austria Gamsjaga eSports vs European Dodging Bullets

Semi Final 2: March 30th-April 1st Germany Lemmings vs FinlandSweden Iso-G

Final: April 2nd-April 5th Winner of Semi Final 1 vs Winner of Semi Final 2

The teams are fighting for a total prize pool of 270€ distributed among the top 3 teams:

1st135€ / 22,50€ per player

2nd81€ / 13,50€ per player

3rd54€ / 9€ per player

Open Tier

We will be handling the playoffs for the Open Tier the same way we handled it for Season 19. Each team’s leader will be contacted by Germany Sonny Black through Steam to submit their availability. The teams will then be matched by their seed and their availability. The playoffs will take place between March 22nd and April 5th, due to this fairly tight schedule each eligible team that wants to participate in the playoffs should be able to play at least 2 matches per week. Beside the top 14 teams in Open Russia candy sticks and Hungary Gibusztalan Düdz! will fill place 15 and 16. This was decided based on their Sonneborn Berger rating.

The teams are fighting for a total prize pool of 90€ distributed among the top 3 teams:

1st45€ / 7,50€ per player

2nd27€ / 4,50€ per player

3rd18€ / 3€ per player

Additionally we are trying to turn what we received in item donations into keys, to ensure a somewhat evenly spread distribution for the top 3 Open Tier teams.

ETF2L Highlander Season 8: Highpander vs Tourettes Chessclub @ 21 CET

Date March 26, 2015

REMINDER: koth_warmtic_b6 is now being used for Season 8 matches, you can download it here.

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Season 8 is officially beginning and we couldn’t have a better game to start out with! Join Spain CeeJaey, USA sigafoo & England Jon on BlackOut TV for the ultimate game between two titans of Premiership, European Highpander© vs Denmark Tourettes Chessclub on pl_upward.

European Highpander© are known as the victors of Highlander Season 6 for when they dominated over European itsallgood 6-0 however during the latest season European Highpander© slipped up when they faced USA PremTech in the playoffs stage losing 3-6. Despite this, European Highpander© have brought on players like UK bubble bobbler, Sweden Zebbosai and Lithuania Sprayer to even up the playing field and possibly take Season 8 as their second win.

Facing them tonight is Denmark Tourettes Chessclub, our returning Season 7 winners who beat USA PremTech 5-4 back in January in the Grand Final playoff. However, even with such a victory for themselves, they’ve introduced Denmark Freakie, Norway Lazybear and Sweden ondkaja to their roster. Is this the boost they will require to win this season like the last?

Whatever the result tonight, a great match will be in store for us.

For all the pre-season info on the teams, be sure to read our interviews with leaders Denmark Scissors and England Hildreth:

Highpander Interview with Hildreth

Tourettes Chessclub Interview with Scissors

Read the rest of this entry »

Highlander Season 8 Powered by Tt eSPORTS Interviews: Highpander

Date March 25, 2015

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banner by Yggdrasil

With the opening match of Season 8 coming this Thursday, it’s time to take a closer look at another of our Premiership teams. This time we’re talking European Highpander©. After finishing Season 6 as champions, a strong season ended disappointingly with a playoff loss to USA PremTech leaving them in 3rd place overall. With Heavy Netherlands Piddox leaving the team shortly after the season, the team managed to win the Experimental Highlander One-Night-Cup #6 sponsored by scrap.tf using a much-changed roster that notably included European Stevepander on Medic and Finland Kissakala playing Scout. We spoke to England Hildreth to find out how the Pandas are shaping up for Season 8.

Firstly, how do you feel about how last season went for you as a team?

England Hildreth: Obviously for us, coming anything less than second was unacceptable so to not even be in the final was beyond belief considering pre-season we felt invincible. Whilst many of the players were utterly disappointed in themselves and how we performed as a team, I can only praise our opponents for improving over the season and knocking us down.

Are there any roster changes the people need to know about?

England Hildreth: We like to keep people guessing, the core of the roster will still be there, we may only have 1 or 2 new additions to the team in total. We’ve switched Finland Kissakala back to Scout (his Season 6 role) as I felt the Medic wasn’t working, and picked up Lithuania Sprayer. We may also pick up a new Heavy: Netherlands Piddox, USA Polk and another Heavy are in the frame.

How has preseason gone? Have you been playing much or enjoying the time off?

England Hildreth: You make it sound like it’s a job! It’s always a pleasure to play with my team, but a lot are busy with some aspect of their life either work, school or 6v6 so we’ve been playing once a week. We won the Experimental Cup and that was our first game since the defeat to USA PremTech, we did two pcws in two weeks since then versus Denmark Tourettes Chessclub, haven’t won a map yet but we’re not going overboard with practises at this stage, I want my team to peak during playoffs not during preseason like we did last season.

What do you think of the map pool? Is there anything you’d change?

England Hildreth: Map pool’s fine really, a lot more thought has been put in this season than last season (lol reservoir), we got a few new maps to learn and some existing ones we can try and perfect, maps like Gpit are always the best to play, you can see unique strats and such, we may have lost every round last season but we were trying to play our own way. You’ll notice teams will do that, play their own style on a map like Gpit which is what I love about it.

Which players do you think will be the most important for you?

England Hildreth: That’s easy – Finland zoob and Poland phromelo. Both are always big players for us, the stats don’t reflect it but Finland zoob is the heart of our flank and is always making the right calls which as a combo we learn to play off, or he is learning to play off our combo. That’s why we’ve moved Finland Kissakala back to scout, as they work together a lot, Russia YanG "Пальмира" was more a solo DM heavy player who came into the combo. Poland phromelo was a big miss for us versus USA PremTech, he is the sort of sniper that makes other teams afraid so when he told me he should be able to play this season I was excited, I just hope he sticks it out. The rest of our team has great players in every position, our combo will be solid and if I can maincall properly this season and keep ahead of the competition like I did in Season 6, we should win. We were confident last season and in S6. It changes when you win a season, the team expects to win more so I will keep reminding them of our defeats so they know we need to work hard and focus.

Who will be the biggest threat to your team this Season?

England Hildreth: Well Denmark Tourettes Chessclub of course, I am not convinced USA PremTech will the same without Russia ShaDowBurn, doesn’t mean they won’t be a threat but I don’t think they can win without him. France Stacked have a stable roster this season, I can see them improving because they will practise a fuck ton, I don’t see any other team competing for the championship but European Fair Enough sponsored by TF2Pickup.net will be able to pull off some surprise results.

Any shoutouts?

England Hildreth: Shoutout to Netherlands Arie from serveme.tf, to the HL admins except Netherlands kKaltUu and to my team of course. Germany foungi will get a shoutout for DeutschLAN as well, I hope we can go there in some capacity. Oh and BlackOut TV + England Jon.

Fighting talk from the man in charge, but will his team come up with the goods to back up his confidence? With European Stevepander back to Pyro and Lithuania Sprayer coming in, the focus will be on finding the right Heavy for the team. Sweden Zebbosai has joined the roster as a backup, but with the mystery Heavy still unidentified is England Hildreth merely trying to throw us off the scent? No matter who the final piece of the puzzle turns out to be, the team are looking strong. Lithuania Sprayer in an experienced Medic who put in some excellent performances for Chessclub last Season and Finland Kissakala has been impressive on Scout. The unchanged flank and pick classes will provide stability and players like Finland zoob and Poland phromelo will remain the envy of the other Prem teams for their contributions.

The early weeks could prove crucial for European Highpander©: A week 1 clash with Denmark Tourettes Chessclub followed by USA PremTech in week 2. Dropping points to their biggest rivals early in the Season could leave them under severe pressure later on, while wins could set them up for a dominant season. Only time will tell!

European Highpander©

Big thanks to England Hildreth for talking to us! Tune in to BlackOut TV on Thursday at 21CET to watch European Highpander© take on Denmark Tourettes Chessclub on pl_upward to kick off Highlander Season 8 powered by Tt eSPORTS!