May 27th, 7:35pm America/New_York

TF2 LAN Preview: Classic Mixup

John "djc-" Carter on Wed, 11/14/2012 6:50PM

(ESEAnews) - LAN is just about here and my four team preview is concluded with this article. Thank you guys for reading along all season, and I hope to see you tuning into the LAN as myself, Lange, Seanbud, cbear, and Sigma provide you guys with the cast on the ESEA Orange stream.

Classic Mixup
0-0-0 (.000)
Streak N/A

Mike “Platinum” Miles
Tyler “TLR” Morgan
Anthony “harbleu” Ballo
Carl “enigma” Yangsheng
Sven “Ruwin” Z


This is the video that PYYYOUR used to link me to when I was roaming for LASER BEAMS. It was to be used as a pre-game warmup, to get the blood flowing and the confidence going and the mind ready to compete. Sometimes, he would link the video in Mumble and then go silent for just about six minutes. When he spoke again, he sounded like he seemed to be an entirely different person. Something tells me that this season with Classic Mixup was not much different for ol' Bradford. PYYYOUR is probably the most intense player I have ever met in this game, and anyone who watches his stream on the bad nights or watched his video from Atlanta LANfest knows exactly what that means. Since all indications are that PYYYOUR will be parting ways with Mixup on season's end, giving up the medibeam once more and gouging out one of his eyes and becoming alcoholic, I expect to see him at his most intense, his most insufferable... and his absolute best.

Really, nothing less than “the best” ever comes out of Mixup's roster. They went to Europe and dealt with the twenty four hours of TF2 over two days, dealt with the jet lag, dealt with every weird little thing that came up in their voyage to England and still walked all over every European team and felled Leviathan Gaming. What is there to suggest that anything will change this time around? Did LG get better as the interpersonal relationships of the team fell apart? Are the Spacewhales, now rolling with clockwork on pocket and Blaze scouting, going to threaten a perfect season? Is Chess Club going to channel their apathy into pure hatred and steamroll over the rest of the field? The answer to all of those is a likely “no.” They had eleven rounds lost all season; the next lowest was thirty. Until the last week of their season, it looked like the greatest challenge for Mixup would be whether or not they could all off-class and still win their matches (they did, at least twice). The only thing that seems to stand in their way now is what always has: Leviathan Gaming. I don't think I was even around when the b4nny versus Platinum “feud” started – not the kind of feud where Platinum throws a balled up fist into the back of b4nny's head, but the kind where two people who are really good at pointing and clicking do so repeatedly while getting rock hard erections at every airshot. So as we enter the final phase of part XII of the great war, with Platinum taking up his Chargin' Targe and Eyelander to do glorious battle, let's take a look at what Mixup will be bringing to the table this coming Saturday.

With clockwork now on soldier, the debate that once was will never be again and it looks like Ruwin will go into this LAN as the undisputed heavyweight champion of the scout class. As he carries his faux-gold-plated leather belt into the arena and Jim Ross shouts “BAH GAWD” at the top of his lungs, it will no doubt remind some of when Joseph Smith Jr. found his own golden plate and brought the Book of Mormon into the world. With his retirement expected to come at LAN's end (I spent a good fifteen minutes trying to make a Lands' End clothing joke here and continue my chain of incoherent babbling references), Ruwin no doubt wants to walk away with a glass trophy and one final round of MGE mod where he gets to bask in the glow of victory. The only thing missing from his run of play in TF2 is an ESEA LAN championship and the entire point of this team was to have six guys who like each other come together and win one.

His scout partner, Enigma, is precisely that.

Since I left myself without any capability to transition off of that, let's talk about Platinum. He was the best pocket soldier in the game pretty much every time he picked up his rocket launcher and shotgun, and the only thing standing in his way of being the best demo is the greatest player in TF2 history. Maybe next season, we get to see some top Invite scouting as Platinum switches over for Ruwin and starts throwing Flying Guillotines at medics??? Much of his prowess on demoman seems to stem from the fact that he was just so good at actually murdering demos when he played pocket; one of the easiest ways to know how to position yourself and defend yourself on a class is to figure out what works best in killing that class. He is also very aware of what the capabilities of the people around him are, so he knows how to push and pull, when he can overextend and get away with it, and how best to just pump out damage off of Harbleu's bomb. You will notice that instead of being funny or hyping Platinum up, I had to talk about how good he is at TF2 because he is too normal and unmockable otherwise. And that makes me so fucking mad, you would not believe.

Luckily, the soldiers for Classic Mixup are ripe for humor and mockery! It has been so long since the trophy stealing incident happened with TLR, and still nobody has forgotten. The idea of making a clever getaway in the middle of the night with a glass trophy preciously held in one's arms? It's a damn funny one. But the truth about TLR is that he has matured quite a bit since those days, not just in his personality but also as a pocket soldier. He seems to have taken on a more lax style in-game; he still brings the pain and drops as many direct rockets on to people's heads as he can, but TLR seems overall less “severe.” There's a nice difference between seriousness and severity, and he seems to edge on the side of serious these days, which is for the better for both him and his team. The reputation of the old TLR was that he was pretty ego-fueled and that what he played for was himself and his airshots and his frag videos. Picking up the LAN win with Mixup a few seasons ago seems to have fixed that.

As for his soldier partner, no number of wins seems capable of undoing the legend of Tony “harbleu” Ballo. One season, he got piss drunk at LAN and vomited off of his first shot of tequila. The next, he screamed a bunch of sexually charged expletives at Leviathan Gaming across the tables. During some random one, a racial slur got posted on his ESEA guestbook and his parents forbade him from playing TF2 anymore. Thankfully for us, that ban was pulled off because for all of the random things that happen to harbleu, he is one of the most entertaining players in the game. One thing that TF2 seems to lack at the top level is people with personalities who are unafraid of showing them. Harbleu screams at LAN and he gets pissed off when he loses and he posts shit on forums that goes contrary to what everyone else thinks, and he just doesn't care. So many other people just try to conceal that shit and come off as boring, bland people. Thank the world that Harbleu is here to give me something to look at in TF2 besides dumb white people who are scared to offend.

This article was not “what's so good about Mixup the team.” It was not “look at these sick stats from all of these games.” This focused on what is most interesting and intriguing to me about Classic Mixup: the personalities, the weird shit that all comes together to make them the best team in North America. The fact that you can take every good and bad thing that these six people provide to a team and make it work without punches being thrown and throats being slit is a miracle, and they pulled it off because of their dedication to the game. I have a habit of fawning over the people in TF2 I actually like. To be honest with you, me and a lot of the members of Mixup do not get along/would not get along on a personal level. But as a collection of weird, crazy people who came together to dominate ESEA, I love them and they should come into LAN giving us a show. Do not disappoint me for a second time, Superteam!
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