Season 5 of Gunslinger vs Highlander has come and gone, and once again SPUF’s longest-lasting circuit has surprised everyone with a Highlander sweep. After securing pl_swiftwater by preventing the Gunslingers from capping second and then capping first in fewer seconds, Highlander secured the midpoint and pushed all the way into last, winning 3 times in a row for best 3/5. While this technically ended the event, both teams decided to play koth_ashville anyway, and here’s where the matches really got close. Several could have gone either way, but ultimately Team Highlander won the first three matches, taking king-of-the-hill and becoming the first team to win GS vs HL in a shutout.
A lot of people are wondering why that is, considering Team Gunslinger has always been the favorite, winning or playing the dominant team in every season, even the first one where they lost. While it’s true that many of the weapons involved had been tweaked by Valve since last season (most notably the nerf to the mini-sentry itself), the most interesting thing I found while watching the two teams is that choke points actually favor Team Highlander. Both teams prove immensely good at defending choke points, but only the Highlanders have a real force-multiplyer that can spearhead a push to take contested enemy ground (unless Gunslingers Maxillaws and Gamemaster count, because seriously, those two had more flanks between them than a fully-stocked butcher shop). The tournament-specific buff to Demoknight letting him equip the Loose Cannon didn’t hurt things for the Highlanders either.
The event was shoutcasted by KobeKun, but it appears that Twitch data vampires have consumed the unsuspecting footage during its archival. We’re trying to see if it can be saved, and if so I’ll update this announcement linking to the video here.
The most important thing this event did was even the scores. Highlanders have now won twice, Gunslingers have won twice, and the teams fought to a tie in Season 3. It appears this matchup is balanced in some sort of respect, which means we’re probably going to have a tiebreaker some time in the future! Hope to see you then!