At the office, we’ve formed a leauge with teams of four players and a coach. Some of the coaches are members of Team Salty Runback (I’m looking at you, Zin Ramu). The players on the team consist of people like me, who sometimes have trouble walking and chewing gum at the same time in the digital world. Every week, we have a best-of-three showdown. My team is currently 1-2. Every single showdown, we’ve been “killing ‘em.” Every match, we had the upper hand in the KDA category, but, more often than not,we end up losing. Question becomes, how can we translate the combat advantage into victories? I thought to myself for a bit, then I was reminded of this throwdown between Defcon 5 and Salty Runback.

This was a heated contest, going to five matches with quite a few momentum swings. If they played nine more matches, I’m sure the results would be similarly close. Before I pulled up the stats for each match, I thought the numbers were bound to be close.

To my surprise, DefCon 5 had the upper hand in almost every stats category in every match. Defcon 5 was dealing out the punishment by the bushel, whether it be on the players or Buildables. Defcon 5 were making passes, taking the relic on long runs, and looking like the 80’s Lakeshow. These guys seem to have it all, why were the outcomes not a reflection of these stats?

One aspect of the showdown that stuck out in my mind was the style of scoring between the two teams. Defcon 5 definitely more the style points than Salty Runback. This contrast in scoring styles reminds me of couple of Chris Berman’s favorite phrases when he announced for the NFL. His favorite phase is "He could...go...all...the...way!" which he used to describe long scoring plays by plays by utilizing speed. This is quite appropriate for some of the scores DefCon 5 pulled off. Salty Runback’s scoring style, on the other hand, reminds me of another Chris Berman phase: "Rumblin', bumblin', stumblin'", to describe long runs by larger players involving teammate blocking and breaking tackles.

For every Relic score, I tracked the movement of the relic for 15 seconds prior to scoring. The analysis is on the journey that the relic took, regardless who had possession. If the path is perfectly straight and vertical, we can conclude that the scoring team had a clean run into the goal. If the path was jagged with a lot of horizontal movement, it usually meant the relic’s journey involved a lot of combat and chaos. Just by an eye test, Defcon 5 had most of their success running the relic straight into the goal. It’s also a product of clearing most of Salty Runback’s Buildables.

 

Salty Runback’s journey to the promise land were more arduous. DefCon 5’s superior combat skills and forest of Buildables made sure than Salty Runback could not just waltz into the goal. Salty Runback made the slide down the steps on the side of the map a big part of their repertoire. Four of their nine scores involved such path.

 

Now let’s take a more quantitative approach to this analysis. Below is the average distance the relic travelled for the 15 seconds prior to the goals. Salty Runback’s scores definitely involved the relic travelling farther. I would have guessed that DefCon 5’s scores involved longer vertical distance travelled. Surprisingly, both teams travelled similar vertical distances to score, but Salty Runback’s journey definitely involved more horizontal movements.

 

Although Salty Runback were outgunned and outclassed, they seem to know how to score. They obviously know the map better than anyone. And they used that to their advance by hugging the edge of the map. Buildables in the way? No problem, they know how to squeeze in between the crevices that nobody else knew existed. They knew they don’t have the ability to break off long runs like DefCon 5, so they stuck with the “three yards in a cloud of dust” approach.

And yes, I watch a lot of football.

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