“That’s a lotta gun…”

So, as some of you may have heard, Gunslingers VS Highlanders season 3 concluded the other day, after a hard struggle on both sides and a lot of mess and confusion. You probably read that post announcing the winners. If you didn’t, it was a tie. Four maps, one of which fatally crashed, with mini-sentries everywhere. Why am I writing about this when you’ve probably already heard about it? Well, I think you should know how it feels like, being on the Highlander side. As the team’s Medic.

Yeah, it’s horrible.

There were four maps. PL_Upward, CP_Process, KOTH_Lakeside_Event and CTF_Turbine. Personally, the only one of those maps I like is Lakeside_Event, more commonly known as Ghost Fort. I’ve always disliked Upward because of the steep cliffs, and Turbine is Sniper Heaven. I hadn’t played much of Process, and what I had done, I’d played as Soldier, learning where to rocket jump. Not a good start already.

I ought to point out at this point that I’d never played in the Highlander format before. I do kinda know what I’m doing, thanks to talking to my fellow Medics, but putting it into practice was pretty damn hard. It’s probably for the best that the whole event had a bit if a pub-server feeling, since there’s no way you’d find an entire team of Gunslingers in a normal Highlander tournament.

Fear and loathing in Upward... Then Process, then Lakeside and finally in Turbine. Picture by Medic
Fear and loathing in Upward… Then Process, then Lakeside and finally in Turbine. Picture by Medic

PL_Upward

Anyway, first map. Upward. Upward was by FAR the hardest thing I’ve ever seen. Unsure what Medi Gun to use for BLU, I ended up using the Vaccinator and the Quick Fix, as I was dying a lot and couldn’t quite get a normal Uber. But we barely made it out of spawn. Since the Gunslingers had setup time, they managed to get everything from sentries to teleporters to dispensers up and ready. We had none of these. And we didn’t even make it to the first point. Honestly, with so many sentries from so many angles, particularly ABOVE the point and the cart, there was no feasible way of getting through. With Upward’s ups and downs and twists and turns, it’s a very Gunslinger-friendly map.

Defense was a bit better. We managed to hold them off at first, keeping them trapped in the tunnel. I did utterly screw up at first though. My not-so-bright idea was to use the Kritzkrieg to destroy the Engies before they could build, but I failed to inform my team about this properly and it did NOT work out. I ended up switching back to the Vaccinator as there weren’t many Pomsons around. Unfortunately, we failed to defend as well, as we couldn’t stay together by the cart.

CP_Process

Process was next, and after my first taste of Gunslinger Hell, I was not looking forward to heavily defended control points. But as soon as we joined, something made me feel better. Somehow, we managed to win the ‘practice/getting ready’ round with ease. Although it didn’t count, while the Engineers were setting things up, we breezed through and won. The actual match though went far differently.

Actually, the match didn’t even get past our respective second points. Only a few times did anyone get deep inside the enemy’s base and attempt to capture. I was in one of these suicidal charges. We managed to hold Mid for ages. We even managed to capture their second point a lot. We must have capped at least seven times. Thurbo, our Soldier, managed to get onto last, but by then, the Gunslingers were turtling away, and I probably ought to have not followed him. So we continued to hold mid for what seemed like forever.

But soon, the Lag Spikes of Death arrived. I was teleporting. I was freezing. I was unable to land a single syringe. Melee was impossible. During these lag spikes, I was nothing more than a walking, jittery dispenser. And the Gunslingers managed to push back, taking our second point briefly. We managed to recapture within the minute and were about to take Mid once more (I had an Uber ready and everything) when fate decided to be a bitch and everyone crashed. Since the Gunslingers had controlled mid when everyone died, they were given the victory. I couldn’t help but feel a bit sad, since we could have reclaimed mid otherwise.

Oh well. Process was a fluke. An improvement but a fluke, By now, I was getting into the swing of things. The next map was probably the map everyone expected us to lose. Lakeside_event. Ghost Fort. King of the Hill. As all players of Harvest know, KotH is the one gamemode where Engineers rule supreme, what with their ability to hold ground relentlessly. So I was surprised with how Ghost Fort went.

KOTH_Lakeside_Event

Because of the single control point, I decided to forgo the Stock Medi Gun, which I had been using on and off on Process, and instead stick with the Quick Fix. This was a wise move, as the constant stream of healing Ubers made it much harder for the Engineers to hold their ground. Our speed meant that we were on the point first, and with our Heavy, Last Templar, camping with Soldier Thurbo over by the health kit over the pit, we managed to hold them off.

Here, on a map that I knew better than usual, I think I did far better. I managed to keep more of my team mates alive at once, and with the entire team keeping pressure on the actual control point, we managed to hold on and off for the entire 7 minutes. Despite our success though, I did see a few of my flaws. I wasn’t calling out sentries very well at all, what with there often being several all around us at once. And I probably did one too many suicide charges onto the point to stop them from capturing.

The Wheel of Fate seemed to be quite varied, and it both hindered and helped us. The worst was the Super Jump, which allowed the Engies to build on the high up platforms. Thankfully, with a spot of good jumping, none of them lasted very long, but it was very tricky. Uber appeared twice, once when we held the point and once when they held the point. The best fate for us was Kritz, and, with me keeping him alive, Last Templar slaughtered pretty much everything. The round ended with overtime and us recapturing the point after the Engineers managed a capture at 0:00, and we won the round.

CTF_Turbine

Finally, we had Turbine. Amazingly, Turbine was an incredibly short round, unlike the back and forth of both Ghost Fort and Process. With no setup time and no fast-moving classes, we charged out of our spawn towards the point. I decided to stick with the Quick Fix, which I used to pocket both Janobi (who replaced DiabetoDan as Demoman) and Thurbo, and grab a speed boost off of Flame Star Maid Corvette. Me and Thurbo made it first into the intel room and I made the mistake of picking up the intelligence. Amazingly, there only seemed to be one sentry in there, which Thurbo took care of. I made a run for it, but got pinned by both lag and a mini-sentry. As I finally respawned, Thurbo dropped off the intel right by my feet, which I happily carried to our capture area.

As everyone else ran off, I spent a bit of time topping up Last Templar and Arcdash, our Pyro, who had been happily defending the intelligence on our end. To be honest, I barely saw the rest of our team, I suddenly became rather defensive and hid within our own base. Either way, we made two more captures and happily won the match. We all cheered happily.

The Best and the Worst

During all four rounds, there were lots of ups and downs. I’m going to mention a few of the best and worst bits here. Let’s start with the worst…

The Bad

– The entirety of Upward on attack was horrible. From my awful nerves to us not really knowing how we play, it all just sucked.
– My suicide dash to try and push the cart as the clock ticked down. At least I was spared from humiliation…
– Using the Kritzkrieg. An utterly stupid move. We didn’t even manage to kill anything.
– Rollout on Process. I failed to properly heal DiabetoDan and Thurbo so they arrived at mid with less health than I would have liked.
– Being dominated at the end of Lakeside. I don’t know who dominated me, but it was with a crit shotgun because lag decided to turn the Frontier Justice into a shotgun and the Engineer using it semi-invisible. Actually, thinking back, most of those Engineers were invisible.
– THE PINKHEARTING POMSON

The Good

– Winning Turbine with ease. I really thought that we’d be there forever.
– Only being dominated once. I was expecting being dominated by the entire Gunslinger team.
– Random domination on Upward. Best part of the whole Upward round.
– Watching Engies fall into the pit on Ghost Fort. Then nearly pissing my pants as a dead Engineer landed right next to me.
– Managing to push back on Upward for a bit. Shame no one really listened to my advice of staying by the cart…
– My cool airstrafing on Ghost Fort. I hitched a ride from our Demoman and land right next to both Soldier and Heavy,  just in time to heal them.
– Capturing the intelligence on Turbine.
– Kritz and Heavies. That felt so awesome. Everyone just melted.

In the End…

Overall, I really enjoyed Gunslingers VS Highlanders, and I’m glad that we managed to get a draw, rather than outright losing.  Will I do it again next time? Maybe. At least I know now to stick with Stock and the Quick Fix. The Vaccinator is not strong enough and Kritz is useless. Anyway, I’ve probably said way too much. Thanks for reading.

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