For the longest of time we have talked about Dreamteam (former Pokerfaces) as a team with a huge potential, that has also shown in groupstages what they can accomplish.
I’m not gonna dwell to much into historic analysis but out of the seven major cups played since 2020, Dreamteam underperformed in five of them. The silver medal in Reborn #2 and bronze medal in Reborn #4 being the exceptions. Their last three cups have seen them miss out on top 4 every time, and last ranking they weren’t even considered a tier 1 team anymore.
This with a lineup consisting of some of the greatest individual players in this scene. The name Dreamteam actually isn’t farfetched when you look at the stacked talent.
Don has slowly built his reputation from an unknown player, to an interesting player with potential, to an absolute top tier player mentioned in same sentences as L1mewax, TjEEEBi and dietchi.
Bassie has been a consistent top 5-10 player statistically ever since his return to the game, and is one of the strongest flex-riflers (being able to switch freely between mp44/BAR and rifle with same impact).
When they finally added archiMedes, who had just hit peak form and been named in the allstar team of SummerCup 2021, they got a core trio that could really live up to the name of the team.
Yet, since the lineup took shape, they still havent seen a top 4 finish. Until now.
Sure, it’s easy to write off a minicup saying its just that. A minicup. Different rules. Different maps. Different enemies.
And we can certainly say that the win over TcfC who had a stand-in, will always be remembered with an asterisk behind it. However, beating FRS in the semifinal, and later pressuring them in a marathon final, is legit. Having personally danced with Dreamteam over the course of six maps, and only winning one of them convincingly, I can safely say I don’t expect this to be a fluke finish. This team is now ready to unleash it’s final form.
So what made Dreamteam finally reach this point? I would say another dream addition to the team. One can have many opinions about Gerlo, but it’s certain that he makes teams perform better.
The only other time Dreamteam (Pokerfaces) reached a final, was when Gerlo played with them. Or ”played” is a bit of an understatement. He carried them. Both with frags and leadership. Since then he has taken eGz to an overperforming 4th place, beating Dreamteam in the process, he was part of the sugoii6 team reaching bronze last cup and he was also a member of the Darkfall project netting a silver and bronze medal. The one time he and Bassie singlehandedly 2v5-carried Boeren Power in Reborn #3 they still ended up on same spot as Pokerfaces (7-8th).
For a team trying to gather the best dutch talent in the game, it’s been a miss to not have one of the best performing netherlanders in their lineup. Whether that’s been unwanted from the team or the player, I don’t know. But I do know that Gerlo is a guy that brings many upsides that you don’t see in a stats sheet. His fragging capability have surely taken a hit over the past two years, but at the same time he is like some NHL veteran scoring 20 points in 82 games in regular season, but once you reach playoff you see him score every game. When it really matters you can almost always count on Gerlo to step forward. In the Grand final of this minicup he was the best performing player in Dreamteam together with Don. Both of them had 89-74 in kills-deaths over four maps. No other player in the team had a positive score. Seeing as those are ”everyday” numbers for Don it’s easy to say Gerlo was the one bringing something extra in the final. And it wasn’t just bullshit kills. It was impactful stuff. Roundopening and roundwinning.
I believe, and hope, we will see Gerlo stick to this team for the next major. That gives them a really solid 4-man foundation.
But to win titles you need 5. So the question is who will round out the lineup? This minicup three different players did. Longserving member pROTEC, last minute stand-in majkiiEh and highly underrated Fr1tuuR.
The most success was reached with majkiiEh. With him in the lineup they beat both TcfC and FRS. Whether that was solely because of majkiiEh is hard to draw a conclusion towards. Statistically the swede have seen much better cups individually, and most maps he was the 4-5th best performing player in the team. However there seems to be some sort of team chemistry working out really well with him. Perhaps it could be that majkiiEh’s quite aggressive approach paves the way for the more starstudded players to do their thing. majkiiEh also possesses a good gamesense and is strong in clutches, not to mention he knows how to win (from his time in vcod). All qualities that are useful in Dreamteam.
With majkiiEh another interesting aspect pops up. Is this then a Dreamteam core? Or actually an old Darkfall core? Remember the team that wanted to knock FRS from the throne in 2021? Well that team consisted of majkiiEh, Gerlo and archiMedes. Three guys we saw have big success now together in the minicup. In a way you could look at it as a Darkfall that switched out their former two biggest stars nanaaa and prm, for two new stars in form of Don and Bassie. Something that now in 2022 actually looks like a pretty good trade considering Don’s progress in the scene.
This cup however pROTEC was the best performing 5th player. It should be mentioned though that he only played one game, which was vs vrb. So looking purely at stats here might give a skewed truth. As a player he brings, just like majkiiEh, some well needed aggression and entryfragging. In a team that loves to rifle, he rather spray, and can therefor offer more variety in their attacks.
Lastly you have Fr1tuuR who is among the top support players in the game. Often doing the dirty work without getting any headlines. In the Grand final he was the best player in regular time on peaks. He can also in many aspects pave the way for the stars, although in a different way then the other two.
Not at all mentioned yet, since he didn’t play this cup, is Masi who I considered the #17 best UO player in 2021. If he reaches that form Dreamteam can have an absolutely crazy firepower-lineup. The question is if all roles will work out when so many players fight over the same space.
So we can all agree their lineup never looked more potent then it is right now. But that was never the problem. What has been a bit difficult for this team is their depth, or rather lack of it, in map pool. Well known for being fantastic on powcamp, one can also say that a single ban has many times been enough to throw them off. Sure germantown and harbor gave them many wins and forced playoff games to a third map. But they hardly ever won those. A gamechanger this cup was that cassino suddenly arised as a pick other teams will fear. It started out as a map Dreamteam so badly didn’t wanna see in the map pool last cup, that they rather voted for bocage, to now be a map they first smashed FRS on and later smooth sailed TcfC at. It’s not unexpected since the map suits strong riflers extremely well, and with a sniper like Gerlo they have also that weapon to offer. What is unexpected is that they just now figured it out.
Speaking of map weaknesses they also managed to wash some doubts on peaks away in the Grand final. Sure there are still questions to be raised on how they stand on tigertown, a map that has haunted the team for two years, or if they can dance on dawnville versus the top tier teams. But overall this looks like a team with more strengths and less weaknesses then ever before. The fact they also clearly had practised a very well working wall of smoke on peaks shows the team is willing to invest a bit of time to remove those weaknesses.
UO has for a too long time now been a battle between FRS and TcfC for the titles. I think I speak for everyone when I say it’s refreshening to see a new team step up and challenge. And who knows, maybe the end of 2022 will see a brand new organisation lift a trophy.