National Championship
Nov 21-23
Round 1 Gametypes
Onslaught – Multi-Flag
The Pit – Team Slayer
The Pit – Team King
Guardian – Oddball
Narrows – Team Slayer
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Welcome back to Behind the Match-Up, the series where we delve deep into the heart of each first round match up featured at the 2008 MLG Pro Circuit National Championships in Las Vegas. For the fourth and final edition of Behind the Match-Up, we’ll take a closer look at the match-up between first-seeded Str8 Rippin and the Dallas Open Playoff Winners, Legendz.

The history between these two teams is actually quite detailed. Legendz (formerly known as Pancake Strike Force) has met up with Str8 Rippin at four of the five events this season. The two teams are no strangers to each other, and will undoubtedly be prepared as ever come Vegas. Legendz and Str8 Rippin squared off recently in Dallas, and it was Str8 Rippin who came away victorious. A stinging defeat and some post-game trash talk from Str8 will have to serve as inspiration to Legendz as they hope to exact their revenge upon the number one seeded Halo 3 team.

As the eighth seeded team coming into Vegas, Legendz has nothing to lose. This is something they will have to use to their advantage if they hope to play spoiler. A reserved Legendz team will likely find themselves behind and frustrated, while a care-free playstyle may just be the key to success. This match will also feature a battle between two former teammates, as Tsquared and Legend will meet again almost three years after teaming together in Halo 1.

National Championship
Nov 21-23
Round 1 Gametypes
Onslaught – Multi-Flag
The Pit – Team Slayer
The Pit – Team King
Guardian – Oddball
Narrows – Team Slayer
.

Str8 Rippin enters the final event of 2008 as the first seed, although they are coming off of a very disappointing second place finish to Triggers Down at Dallas. More determined than ever, Str8 Rippin refuses to end the season anywhere other than at the top. Everyone will be gunning for the first seed, and while Str8 Rippin will probably face tougher opponents throughout the weekend, it would be a huge mistake to overlook their first round match-up with Legendz.

The Legendz roster has changed several times this year, and has seen its fair share of talent pass through, including Naded and Fear. Best Man and Defy have been the lone constants of Legendz throughout the season, enticing Gandhi and Legend to join up along the way. After securing themselves a spot in Vegas by winning the Dallas Open Playoff, Legendz is hoping they will be able to expand upon their success at the 2008 National Championships.

Previous Meetings

Below you will find the results from when the teams met earlier this year. Games highlighted in gold represent gametypes that the teams will play in the first round at Vegas. Each gametype in the table is a link that will take you to the VoD from that game so that you can analyze the match-up yourself!

Meadowlands
Str8 Rippin
Wins 3-1
Winners
Bracket Round 2
Pit CTF Construct TS Pit KotH Onslaught CTF Game 5 Final
Str8 Rippin 3 39 250 5 - 3
LeGendZ 1 50 82 0 - 1
Orlando
Str8 Rippin
Wins 3-1
Losers Bracket
Round 4
Narrows CTF Amplified TS Guardian Ball Construct KotH Game 5 Final
Str8 Rippin 2 45 250 216 - 3
PSF 0 50 138 214 - 1
Toronto
Str8 Rippin
Wins 3-2
Winners
Bracket Round 3
Pit CTF Narrows TS Guardian Ball Construct KotH Pit TS Final
Str8 Rippin 3 49 250 207 50 3
Legendz 1 50 169 250 38 2
Dallas
Str8 Rippin
Wins 3-0
Winners
Bracket Round 1
Narrows CTF Amplified TS Construct KotH Game 4 Game 5 Final
Str8
Rippin
3 50 250 - - 3
Legendz 1 46 213 - - 0

Game-by-Game Analysis

Game 1: Onslaught CTF

If you’ve been keeping up with the Behind the Match-Up series, you know the first game of the series will take place on Onslaught CTF. Str8 Rippin and Legendz have met in this gametype once, with Str8 Rippin coming out on top in a 5-0 mauling of the Legendz squad. This data is hardly concrete though, as both teams and the map itself have both seen massive overhauls since then. Still, Legendz may find themselves behind early in this one, as Str8 Rippin has a good understanding of this gametype.

Game 2: The Pit Team Slayer

Next up will be The Pit Team Slayer. If Legendz wants to have any chance to win this series, they will need to rely on their strong Team Slayer game. Taking this game is crucial to the outcome of this series, so expect Legendz to come out firing. They’ll need to keep their heads covered though, as Snipedown will likely possess the sniper early and often throughout this gametype.

Game 3: The Pit King of the Hill

That leads us back into The Pit for a game of Team King. Once again, expect to see Snipedown with his namesake, while the rest of Str8 meticulously sets up to garner some hill time. Legendz should focus on some unpredictable pushes, and will need to be sure to prevent a spawn camp from occurring. Taking advantage of any opportune hill time is the key for them in this gametype.

Game 4: Guardian Oddball

Assuming the match is forced into a Game 4, Str8 Rippin and Legendz will then square off on Oddball Guardian. The teams squared off in this gametype as recently as Toronto, where Str8 Rippin came away with a crushing win. As Legendz prepares for Vegas, they may wish to spend a bit of extra time on this gametype.

Game 5: Narrows Team Slayer

If the series manages to reach a fifth and deciding game, we may witness one of the best first round finishes of the tournament. Legendz will be trying to pull off the biggest upset of the season, while Str8 Rippin will be fighting to keep the advantageous bracket that comes along with being the number 1 seed. The last time these teams squared off in Narrows TS, fans were treated to an amazing 50-49 game. It was Legendz who came out on top, again providing credence to their historically strong TS play. They key to this series is arguably whether or not Legendz will be able to make it to this point. If they are, fans can be assured that this fifth and final game will be one to remember.

Str8 Rippin has firmly stated that they will accept nothing but first at the 2008 National Championships. Their pre-event practice schedule LAN’s with both Classic and Carbon. Legendz, on the other hand, will be LAN’ing against Final Boss, and hopes that the heightened competition will prepare them for this event.

This concludes our Behind the Match-up Series. We hope you enjoyed these in-depth previews of the first round matches set to occur at the 2008 National Championships. We’re just over a week away from the start of Vegas. Can you feel the excitement?