Season 12 of the TWEL-D Playoffs begins Monday, August 1st. With qualifying coming to a close, we now know the majority of players who will be throwing their names into the hat to compete for the title of Best Warbird Dueler in the zone. Here are my power rankings:
1. Vys - The pressure is on him, but whatís new? Vys created his reputation in the mid to late 2000ís as a devastatingly talented soloist, whose skill and potential was only matched by his charisma and willingness to stand up to anyone to convince them of his greatness, whether it meant defeating you in his warbird or dueling you with his words. When he spoke, whether you liked him or not, you listened. When he played, you felt compelled to watch. Heís the rare player who can make you notice only his single story within a 5v5 match.
Maybe like Kobe, the numbers and reality of his body of work isnít as stellar as memory and narrative has us believe, but Iíve seen Kobe hit so many clutch last shots that it feels like the ball goes in every time. Iíve seen Vys win too many duels when the crowd was watching and egos were on the line. He beat Vash 10-4 when Vash was declaring himself the greatest ever. Iíve seen him kill Raspi 9 times in a row to come back and win a duel from 2-9. I see him as the favorite this season. Maybe he wonít live up to the hype, but every time Iíve seen him in a big duel, I remember it being him who took the final shot.
I interviewed him earlier today:
Mythril> Hello Vys.... I heard a rumor (from you) that you absolutely demolished and disgraced LaSenza in a 1v1 duel in wbduel just last week and he hasn't been seen since... before we begin, is this true?
Mythril> You know he's won 3 TWEL-D titles... correct.....?
vys> don't you mean heckler from gianttiger? and yeah it was last night. he needs to realise that i'm not on my laptop anymore im on a desktop. i feel like i'm 17 years old again, minus the full hair and body
vys> oh he has? i haven't paid much attention to twel, even when i was on a desktop years ago, i always prefered the old fashioned ?go #twld for a duel, but i guess i'll have to show people whatsup
Mythril> I remember the 17 year old Vys, he showed me how to use Gashi and get myself banned for 3 years.. Great guy
vys> Speak for yourself I'llBurstWhenIWantMythril
Mythril> But let's fast forward to 2016.. you've been known as one of the greatest solo players of all time.. there's lots of new talent in 1v1 dueling, how do you feel you still stack up with the young bloods? (Iron Survivor, etc)
vys> You mean Mega Newbie's shadow? i used to smash Mega Newbie 10-3 all the time, i have no problems with his shadow.
Mythril> Well.. you know.. there will be Legendary Veterans who will also be competing for the title of 'Best 1v1 Warbird' this season.. you know, myself, RaCka, 2GodZ, Ricko, possibly even our own Father, Ease
Mythril> Who do you feel is your biggest competition this season?
Mythril> I know you and RaCka went at it for years in the past
vys> I would say You, Ease and Racka on his day. yeah me and Racka are cool, he knows whats up... i'm sure he's checked out ogron's statistics and seen me sitting at #7 on a shitty laptop LOL
vys> nah but foreal i'm gonna fuck ricko up big time, i hope i get him round 1
Mythril> LOL... that's actual beef?
vys> he benched me on cobra over warbids. the old vys is back, even more cocky and arrogant with more to prove, bring on anyone and they can look down the barrell of my gun
vys> LOL I SAID BARREL OF MY GUN
vys> i sound like lasenza
vys> I'll fuck up anyone, but will respect mythril, racka and ease
vys> rest will get a mouthful before the game and a mouthful after
Mythril> I've heard enough. Thank you for the interview. As a TWEL Op, I'm happy that one of the game's best 1v1 players is finally entering the ring. Good luck
vys> cheers buddy p.s. fix it so i either get Lasenza or Ricko first round...fuck it put them both in i'll 1v2 them #vystime #desktop
2. Iron Survivor - By far the most active player this season in TWEL-D qualifying, and that means something in 1v1. When you only have 10 deaths and one duel to decide a match, working out any stupid shots that lead to easy deaths or other bad habits is vital.
In both TWLD and TWEL-D, Iron seems to be on a personal mission to end all doubt about his place as an elite warbird in todayís game. In 1v1, he makes you play his pace. He shoots often and plays an in-and-out game that is tough for anyone to figure out. And yes, he lags like shit. Heís already been a TWEL-D Finalist, proving that he has what it takes to forge his way up the brackets. Just like in TWLD, weíll see if heís ready to take the final step to validation. A championship will speak for itself.
3. Ease - The ultimate tryhard. Look at any advanced statistic that Ogron digs up from 30 years ago and theyíll all definitively and scientifically say the same thing: Ease is a fucking tryhard. Holy shit. Just imagine what his stats will look like 40 years from now. Fucking insane.
I joke with him but the truth is, HE DOESNíT ACTUALLY PLAY THIS GAME. Itís like he figured this game out in 2003, burned the code into muscle memory and realized he never had to practice again a day in his life. Heís a favorite in every league he decides is worth his time. TWEL-D is no different.
4. Mythril - Former champion. If Iíve learned anything from qualifying this season, itís that Iím still not the same dueler I was when I was driven to win this league in the past. Spezza no longer duels me 10x a day. I blame him.
5. RaCka - Everybody in this zone knows the feeling of playing a DD, taking a stupid shot and having RaCka swarm at you like a fucking sperm cell racing towards the egg. Imagine playing 1v1 against him and having him do it every single time you miss. It sucks, man.
However, RaCka will be at a large handicap as he more than likely will be playing this season on his laptop. This means shots wonít be as crisp, ship control wonít be as smooth, etc. When you play a style as intricate as him, perfection is required. His overall mastery of 1v1 dueling still gives him a shot to win it all, but heíll definitely miss his desktop this season.
6. Ricko - TWLD legend Ricko is also entering the land of 1v1. Iím not sure how much time Ricko has devoted to becoming an elite 1v1 player, but based off his talent and consistent TWLD dominance over the years, heís going to have a shot to defeat anyone thatís thrown against him. I just donít believe he can win it all unless he really dedicates himself to learning the 1v1 game as most of the players ranked above him have.
7. 2pacZ - Remember when LaSenza had some 80 duel streak or something insane? 2pacZ ended it. Heís a dangerous rusher who has now added more layers to his game, becoming a complete player with his ability to play more midrange and pick his spots when the rushing lanes open up. His recent domination in TWLD is proof of his maturity as a warbird and weíll see the same improvements in TWEL-D.
8. Kentaro - Kentaro has been one of the most underrated players for the last few years. Not many people noticed when he changed his style from more aggro to more patience, higher bpm and smarter play. Heís thrived since. His dominance in TWEL-D qualifying hasnít surprised me. Heís going to be a tough out for anyone put in front of him.
9. Okyo - I donít understand this guy at all when I look at his dueling history. Could win it all, could get aced in the first round against the 32nd seed. I donít know if heís a giant troll sometimes or just doesnít give a fuck? Itís like thereís 6 entirely different Okyos on a dice and everytime heís added to the game itís just anyoneís guess which one is going to show up. Could get level 6 Magikarp, could get Mega-Evolution Charizard.
10. Joemoma - Old school player whoís still getting it done in 2016. Heís vocalized his desire to be respected in this game. Heís been putting up numbers on less than average squads and I think weíll see him aiming to pull some upsets this season.