The $300 000 Overwatch tournament has concluded its online portion with 16 teams now getting ready to a trip to Atlanta at the end of September for the LAN portion. Four weeks of qualifiers, where up to 128 teams each week from both NA and EU region are competing for a spot in the group playoffs where the winner of each week gets top seeding and the top 12 performing teams get a place in the groupings.
While the selection of the 32 teams to advance after the qualifiers were a bit rough– with some not elegant tie-breakers and Northen Gaming withdrawing at the last minute- the action in the group stages were more than worth it. Here’s a quick look of all the groups and their final placements, and notable matches to watch if you missed the action last week.
GROUP A- EUROPE
The 2 favourites to emerge out of the group was no surprise, but ANOX getting a runback against Misfits from their lost back in week 1 of qualifiers. Despite a strong showing in week 1 when the new meta just kicked in, ANOX failed to secure top seed in the group stages, but getting to be the first to confirm a spot in Atlanta makes up more for it. Bikini Beach e-sports played for 1 match but had to withdraw from the match against melty, citing health reasons from a team member. Misfits bounced back and took the second spot to qualify from the lower brackets.
Match to watch: Misfits VS ANOX
GROUP A- NORTH AMERICA
With Northen Gaming withdrawing, the organizers decided to move the group seeding which leaves group A with only three teams and a bye for Team EnVyUs. EnVy took that one match they needed to win against Selfless. Selfless then brawled out with Splyce. Having some recent changes to the roster- most notably DPS player Flame moved on to making in-depth analysis videos– Splyce became the second team to emerge out of the group for the LAN playoffs.
Match to watch: Splyce VS Selfless
GROUP B- EUROPE
Another surprise from Europe. The previously Immortals lineup now signed to FaZe Clan made a huge statement taking down ESL Atlantic Showdown champions Rogue in a full three game match. While the upset could be attributed to many reasons- FaZe being new and may have not scrimmed (played practice games together) a lot with Rogue, Rogue still recovering from travel, etc.- this is still a strong showing for the newly signed team. Speaking of which, Tornado.RoX (formerly Prets) managed to score a win against The Gatekeepers, but Rogue is just too good for them.
Match to watch: Rogue VS FaZe Clan
GROUP B- NORTH AMERICA
Despite a lacklustre show on LAN at the ESL Atlantic Showdown, Cloud9 remain as one of the better teams in NA, qualifying through the upper bracket, beating one of the top teams yet to be signed a sponsor, Sodipop. The promising Sea Algae falters against I’m Your Huckleberry, and this is the last time we will see the roster as they disbanded after the tournament. (Though two of the players- YouMustHooey and Mini- managed to land a new team) Sodipop beats Huckleberry to qualify for the regional LAN playoffs.
Match to watch: Cloud9 VS Sodipop
GROUP C- EUROPE
Everything as predicted on paper. REUNITED and Ninjas in Pyjamas making it through the playoffs convincingly with 2-0 wins, though REUNITED is the better team. Props to NiP for trying out a new team comp- 3 tanks, 3 supports. It obviously didn’t work out, but it’s good to see them trying. Unfortunate for Bringos, the lineup remain steady but after they were let go from Northern Gaming, they have yet to have a breakout performance despite consistent placings. At least they won against b.fly.
Match to watch: REUNITED VS Ninjas in Pyjamas
GROUP C- NORTH AMERICA
Fnatic has firmly established themselves in the top 4 teams in NA. but Team Liquid- now with lineup mostly of ex-Quake players- are hot on the heels to challenge them. Though a bit of a rough start- Colorado Clutch managed to sneak one round, then a loss against Fnatic in the upper bracket finals, Team Liquid managed to score a stronger performance on the rematch against Clutch. But props to Clutch for their showmanship and spawn room antics. At least it’s better than just seeing the team randomly shoot everything inside of there.
Match to watch: Colorado Clutch VS MONO
GROUP D- EUROPE
Team Dignitas may not be as a dominant force it used to be, but they are still up there among the best. A convincing win against OWKings, but Luminosity Gaming is just too strong for now. Team Dignitas then rematched against OWKings- who defeated No Name Yet (previously Team Aera)- and won but not in a convincing way. Hopefully they can bounce back when the new patch hits.
Match to watch: Team Dignitas VS Luminosity Gaming
GROUP D- NORTH AMERICA
This was surely the group of death.
With NRG bootcamping prior to the playoffs, it shows dividends as they managed to secure the regional playoff spot from the upper bracket against.. Rise Nation. Formerly Gecko, Rise Nation was recently signed and went in the group with a bang, defeating top-seeded CompLexity Gaming. Method then finished them off- sending home the only team that won in the qualifier week.
Method facing Rise Nation was a nail biter. If Rise wins, it will be a fairytale where the lowest seeded team in the group made the impossible. If Method wins, then this will be the breakthrough the mid-tier team is looking for. There were at least two instances where Rise could have taken the game, but Method, being the more experienced roster, managed to keep calm under pressure and took a hard-fought win, and the last ticket to Atlanta.
Match to watch: Rise Nation VS Method
The next phase in the Overwatch Open are the Regional playoffs played in LAN, also dubbed as the live finals. The 16 teams will not be grouped together though, as they will still be separated by region. The winner of the region’s live finals will face off in the Grand Finals that will be televised on American TV. The live finals will be held at the end of September.
(bracket images all taken from overwatchopen.com)