Article:SlasheR to Rise Nation; an Overview
|SlasheR to Rise Nation; an Overview|
SlasheR to Rise Nation; an Overview
Barely 1 month from Rise Nation’s undefeated run to CWL Atlanta glory, Anthony “Methodz” Zinni, the MVP of the tournament has announced his release from the team moving into CWL Seattle and Stage 2 of the Global Pro League. His replacement is none other than Black Ops 3 World Champion Austin “SlasheR” Liddicoat, one of the most formidable Assault Rifle (AR) players in the game. Following Team EnVyUs’s disappointing Top 8 placing at Stage 1 Playoffs, SlasheR announced Free Agency from the organisation after 30 months of service. Will the new Rise Nation squad of TJHaLy, Loony, Gunless and SlasheR be able to reach the heights of the previous lineup?
On a basic level of analysis, SlasheR seems to offer a minimal upgrade at best; Methodz and SlasheR share the highest respawn K/D of the year so far with a phenomenal 1.24 over all events. However, when looking at the different game modes in more detail, differences between the playstyle and the impact of both players begin to emerge. Methodz is a much more hardpoint-orientated AR player than SlasheR, averaging 87s of time per 10 minutes throughout Stage 1, compared to SlasheR’s 60s. This is due to SlasheR’s quicker play style, and as a result he dominates Methodz in the Respawn Slayer statistic, with 25 kills every 10 minutes to Methodz’s 20. The fact that SlasheR can maintain a superb Kill/Death ratio (K/D) while engaging far more enemies than Methodz is why he is considered a superior player by most in the professional scene, as his impact on the map is often far higher.
The old Rise Nation squad relied on great performances from particularly TJHaLy and Gunless, as Methodz played a very slow role in which he rarely won games by himself. SlasheR has more potential in this regard, holding the #1 and #2 spot for most kills in a single map, with 55 and 54 respectively on London Docks Hardpoint. A dominant SlasheR performance represents more of a win condition than a similar K/D from Methodz. SlasheR also has the upper hand statistically in Search and Destroy (SnD). Methodz only managed approximately a 1.0 KD throughout Stage 1 whereas SlasheR was pushing a 1.22, and once again eclipsing his counterpart in both First Blood % and Kills per round. Methodz’s relatively lacking statistics may have to be taken with a grain of salt, as TJHaLy was commanding most SnD maps at the start of Stage 1, but in recent times TJHaLy’s SnD performance has fallen off drastically as teams seem to have adapted to his aggressive kill-or-be-killed playstyle. The addition of SlasheR has the potential to revitalise Rise’s SnD play, as his faster approach may be a better match for TJHaLy’s aggression.
In addition, one of SlasheR’s most impressive characteristics is his habit of at least maintaining and often surpassing his normal performance levels when playing the best teams. He averaged a 1.31 K/D against FaZe Clan, Luminosity Gaming and eUnited, the playoffs teams in Division B. Methodz could only achieve a 1.04 when playing OpTic Gaming, Red Reserve and Team Kaliber, their Division A counterparts. This proficiency against the upper echelon of teams is a major factor as we approach the business end of the year, with Stage 2 and Champs just around the corner. SlasheR became a World Champion with Team EnVyUs in the Black Ops 3 season, and followed it up with another grand finals appearance last year.
However, there’s no guarantee the move will be all sunshine and rainbows. SlasheR’s leadership was akin to a “drill-sergeant”, according to NAMELESS in the first episode of his new podcast. SlasheR adds yet another strong personality to a team with Loony and Gunless, and it’s not out of the realms of possibility that horns will lock if results do not come quickly. In addition, with SlasheR being a less hardpoint-orientated player, it will fall to his teammates to pick up the slack in the objective department. The most obvious candidate is Loony, the team captain and workhorse will likely be forced to adjust his playstyle somewhat with SlasheR’s addition. If Rise bomb out of CWL Seattle despite these efforts, Loony may seek to move SlasheR’s AR into a more objective-aligned role that has brought the team so much success so far in the World War 2 season. There is no guarantee this will end well for team dynamics.
On paper, Rise Nation should be an even more intimidating team with the addition of SlasheR, but there are certainly questions over chemistry and whether TJHaLy and Gunless can maintain their performance with another imposing talent joining the roster. Methodz will seek to gain revenge on his former team, joining Dallas and NOLA champions Team Kaliber alongside Kenny, Accuracy and new recruit Fero. Both rosters will make their first appearance this weekend, Apr 20th – Apr 22nd, at CWL Seattle.
Published on 20. Apr 2018