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Overwatch Contenders Season 1 Finals – EnVyUs UnFazed, Gigantti Stomped Misfits
The first season of Overwatch Contenders just ended spectacularly, with amazing performance by the teams competing. The Blizzard Arena Los Angeles erupted with cheers from the hardcore fans of the teams as they compete in the playoffs for the Contenders. In the Grand Finals, the boys in blue EnVyUs took North America (NA) champion spot with a clean 4-0 sweep against FaZe Clan, while the Gigantti lads from European bracket narrowly defeated Misfits for the EU throne. The whole season provides much twists and surprises that turned around expectations from Season Zero.
The NA finals can be summed as “one-sided”, with EnVyUs stomping Faze Clan’s battle rhythm that they are well-known for. As synergised and dominant FaZe’s DPS duo “ShaDowBurn” and “Carpe” are, EnVy’s roster are far superior as they shut FaZe’s attacking attempts over and over. EnVy’s “Effect” is known as one of the best Tracer in the scene and “Taimou” as the deadly shot with near perfect accuracy with hitscan heroes. His Widowmaker and McCree plays are among the best as he was a CS and TF2 veteran for more than 10 years contributing to his skills. The playoffs also saw the inclusion of recently signed-in fan-favorite birdman “Seagull”, subbing in for “Mickie” as projectile specialist with his Pharah and Genji skills, the team’s damage flexibility just got elevated to a higher tier overall. This also could not be possible without the coordination and supports from the tank and support players “Cocco”, “Mickie”, “Harryhook” and “Chipshajen” as they created opportunities and space for the DPSs by getting the clutch engagements and openings.
The fight for EU title is a struggle for both teams, as they traded blows, getting the upper hand alternately. Misfits and Gigantti are on the same level, with them showing prominent prowess in their strong maps. Capture maps Oasis and Ilios saw Gigantti’s “LinkZr” and “Davin” carried the team with Genji and Tracer as they took out Misfits backline, resulting in 2-0 in both maps favoring Gigantti. The hybrid map Eichenwalde is clearly Misfits strong map as they defended their 3 point capture not once, but twice. “TViQ” strong Junkrat play is on display here as the space denial clearly works well against Gigantti as well as “Logix” flanking Tracer. Gigantti took the lead 3-1 in the finals at first, and the second loss at Eichenwalde snowballed into the 6th map Temple of Anubis resulting in 3-3 score with Ilios capture map as the final battlefield. Unfortunately for Misfits, as Capture is Gigantti strong map, they lost the fight to the Swedish team and a 4-3 score confirmed Gigantti position as the EU champion.
The season also provided some twists and disappointments as we look at the losing teams in both EU and NA. Rogue, once the giant and unstoppable force in the NA scene as they perfected the triple-DPS dive meta has fallen. The biggest factor for their early losses is a visa issue, causing them to not be at home in Vegas playing in the best environment. Temporarily staying in Canada, they have to face high latencies and substandard environment that caused them to not perform at their best. Only near the end of the regular season do they got back home and reinvigorate their performance. The loss also just got more bitter as the Frenchmen team have been disbanded due to not getting a spot in Overwatch League although the necessary requirements have been fulfilled. Immortals, the champion for Season Zero also showed subpar results as they merely obtained 7th place in the season with 2 wins. Renegades as the last place holder disappoints the most as they obtain no wins whatsoever even with excellent DPS players “Mangachu” and “J3sus”. Further analysis of their game exposed weakness in their anchor tank “Primodulce” as the coordination seems disconnected with his questionable decisions and positioning causing teamfights to favor the opposition as “Primodulce” got taken out early on. Hopefully the team learns from the mistakes this season and comes back stronger next time. In EU scene, EUnited the champion of Season Zero fell to 7th place this season as they only obtained 1 win against Bazooka Puppiez. The team also saw the same fate as Rogue, with the team disbanding recently. Let us hope that the talents of EUnited get picked up soon as players like “Boombox” in his Zenyatta and “Kruise” the Genji specialist are too precious to be left out.
All in all, Overwatch Contenders is a definite win for the Overwatch esports scene as the prize pool is quite substantial (USD 100 000 every region) and the regular seasons ensure continuous excitement for Overwatch esports audiences in watching their favorite Western teams compete. As of the time of this article, the finals for APEX Season 4 in South Korea is approaching and the finalists surprisingly exclude Lunatic-Hai the two time champion as they lost twice to GC Busan in quarter finals. The next major tournaments to watch out for are of course, the 2017 World Cup playoffs in BlizzCon this November and the pre-season for Overwatch League will start this December with the inaugural season commencing in January 2018.