By Gary "Melon" Tuttle
Overwatch Contenders gave viewers a chance to see players that they had no idea were as good as they are. Let's look at the players and teams that could be dominating the eSport to come.
Yikes! They're really good!
First off, we have Arc 6, who were formed after parting ways with with Denial eSports. Led by the outspoken tank player XQC (who recently referred to the now defunct team Selfless, "Sinatraa and the trash can gang") they actually began to flourish on their own, eventually winning the final Alienware Monthly Melee over Selfless. They've also been on the leading front in using more Mercy in their comps, using her ult to give them the advantage in fights after trading out
Arc 6 also has a duo of DPS players, with ZZA in the main DPS role, and Danteh in the flex. ZZA is in the usually in the role of playing the Pharah in the "PharMercy" comp, helping keep Gingerpop safe to use her ult when it is time to turn the fight in their favor. They recently went to the participated in the Overwatch Contenders tournament, stopping just short of making it out of the group stage, giving a less than stellar performance. Not letting it deter them, they bounced back to give Rogue a big scare in the second season of the Beat Invitational, falling just short of the finals by losing to the surging Immortals. Hopefully we will get to see more of them in the following months when more tournaments pop up.
The coolest team with a corndog.
Despite having a dumb, yet awesome, name and logo; FNRGFE has made quite an impact in NA Overwatch in the past couple months. Formed from the dropped players from Fnatic, NRG, and Gale Force eSports, they came together for Overwatch Contenders and ended up a few games away from taking the big prize, finishing in third. Led by the DPS duo of Buds and Clockwork, FNRGFE has strong shooters on the block.
To succeed in Overwatch currently you need a strong Tracer, and in FNRGFE they have their in Clockwork, former master Team Fortress 2 player. His aim and survivability on the character is really fun to watch and his team certainly plays around it well. On the other side we have Buds, who mainly plays Genji for the team, though he has picked up Pharah and has done remarkable work with her.
Recently, they have been having trouble lasting in a longer set and staying consistent, getting reverse swept by Arc 6 who they beat just a few weeks before. The main problem seems to be one a lot of teams are having, not switching out of a bad comp when it isn't working out. Hopefully they can resolve these issues to help bring them to the next level when Contenders season one rolls around in August.
Laser Kittenz are one of them most interesting teams to look at, as they are technically unsigned but in reality are a full fledged team who are positioning themselves for the Overwatch League to start up next year. Ali Saba, who is a business master, is one of the more likely to persuade a millionaire to put them up a European city. If there is any esports CEO who can do it, it would be him. LK themselves, look at times to be either the first or second best team in Europe, just behind EUnited. They had a less than great showing a Contenders season zero, bowing out a bit early thanks to the eventual champions, again EUnited but with season one right around the corner they have a shot at redemption and $50,000 while they're at it. I'm personally hoping for Laser Kittenz to join in on the OWL on their own terms, giving a road map for smaller teams to join in the league. Here's hoping Ali is as good of a business man as I know he is.
Potential for greatness.
No one loves a success story more than your boy, and I love seeing these teams who can stand up to the big dogs. Contenders, while far from perfect (very far) can help give us teams that you wouldn't see normally and shine a spotlight on them. I have no doubt that we will be seeing more of teams like FNRGFE and ARC 6 pop up with more events down the road. I, for one, cannot wait.
If you wanna see more of my bad opinions, follow me on Twitter @Shutup_Gary or on Facebook at Gary Tuttle.