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The Cave Where the Huntsmen Lurk

As part of the Chicago Huntsmen’s early success, they have found particular success in the respawn game modes. Early on Chicago showed dominance in map one, but overall the Huntsmen have proven Hardpoint and Domination are their bread and butter. In their early CDL success, the Huntsmen have been perfect on one hardpoint map in particular – Azhir Cave. Chicago have achieved a perfect 4-0 record on this map with an average margin of victory of 34 points. What are the Huntsmen doing better than their opponents on Azhir Cave?

Locking Down Money Hills

Courtesy of Dexerto

On every Hardpoint map there are “money hills” where teams can earn a majority of their time from easier than some of the other hills. For instance, the first hill of a Hardpoint map is typically in the middle of the map with little cover for players to play behind leading to neither team accumulating much time. Conversely, money hills are more difficult to break into and once a team is set up it is incredibly difficult to steal any time. The two money hills on Azhir Cave are in the cave and are rotations two and four, Cave East and Cave West.

Time and time again the Huntsmen have found themselves raking up time on rotations two and four on Azhir Cave. If Chicago receives the favorable spawn off the start of the map, they are content to sit back and lightly pressure the first hill while ensuring they maintain control of spawns for Cave East. Separately if the Huntsmen spawn on the opposite side of Cave East, they tend to rotate on the outside and send few resources to the first point. When the Huntsmen are in control of Cave East they typically have one person watching the back for anyone flanking, one person on the hill and three people free to play where needed. Having someone in the back watching spawns is what makes this hill a money hill. Players are forced to funnel in from the side or front which are open areas with little cover and leads to Chicago amassing a large number of points on this hill.

On Cave West, Chicago have been a bit more scrappy but still finds success nonetheless. Starting with strong AR support, FormaL/Arcitys control the back of the setup and send cover fire raining down. Both ARs have an extremely high success rate of finding their mark, but even when they do not they typically stay alive long enough to buy the sub players time to get in the face of their opponents and finish the kills. Similar to Cave East, once the Huntsmen have obtained control of the hill it is extremely easy to know where the opposing players are likely pushing from next.

In-Game Adjustments

Courtesy of MLG

During their perfect run on Azhir Cave, Chicago have been excellent in making adjustments in the middle of the map. Although three of the Huntsmen’s four victories come by an average margin of 20 points, their perfect record indicates Chicago are doing the little things better when it counts most. One adjustment that paid huge dividends for the Huntsmen was when they played OGLA on this map. The first rotation on Cave East although they killed four members of OpTic Gaming and had a commanding hold of the hill, TJHaly managed to spawn behind Chicago and take control of the second hill. The second rotation to Cave East held a different fate for the Huntsmen. After the Huntsmen were in control of this hill, Envoy went back to check for any members of OGLA flanking. Envoy soon realized this is where OpTic were spawning. Dylan turned on the jets and managed to get four kills and kept OGLA out of the hill which added to the nice lead for the Huntsmen were accumulating.

Another case of the Huntsmen making a mid-game adjustment comes when they played the Florida Mutineers. This was an extremely tough first map which lead to a nine-point nail-biting victory for the Huntsmen. Off the start of the map, the Mutineers had a dominant Cave East and amassed a lead of 40 points. The Mutineers’ lead was up and down but remained at around 40 for most of the map. Towards the end of the map the Huntsmen were running out of time and found themselves down 234-193 heading into the third set of rotations. Chicago made the fantastic adjustment to rotate early and get four set up in the hill to start. The Huntsmen took control of the money hill and left Cave East with a 245-234 lead, denying Florida the chance to even get one point. This dominant Cave East adjustment was the main catalyst that lead to the Huntsmen’s nine-point victory.

Fighting Tooth and Nail

At times it might appear the Huntsmen do not have a chance at hill time or have the opportunity to break, but it would be foolish to completely count them out of a fight. Something that Chicago has done extremely well on Azhir Cave is fighting for scrap time. Scrap time is when there are ~20 seconds left on a hill and typically when players rotate to the next hill. Scrap time can be a double-edged sword because it can put a team at a disadvantage by denying their team a full five-man rotation to the next hill. Having said this, the Huntsmen have done extremely well to break hills towards the end and not let it be detrimental to the final result. When Chicago manages to do this two or three times on a map it accumulates an extra 40-60 points and is of utmost importance when the games are as close as the Huntsmen’s.

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