Season 1 of Overwatch Contenders is halfway through, and I figured it would be fun to check out the story lines throughout the first half of the season.
Top Dogs and Fallen Champs
It has certainly been interesting to watch Immortals and eUnited hasn't it? Coming off being the Season Zero champs and having members from both teams playing in the World Cup, expectations were high for both of these teams. It has not gone well. Sitting at the bottom of their respective divisions, the season can't be described as anything other than a big disappointment. Let's start with eUnited.
I love watching eUnited, Kruise and Boombox are a blast to watch. They have great in-game chemistry and their needed for the health of the EU scene. Starting their season off, they faced off against Team Gigantti in what was assumed to be at least a slightly easy victory for the team that had an easy time winning Season Zero. This was not to be the case as Gigantti would go on to beat eUnited like they stole something. It would fine though right? They were just loose because of the World Cup, right? We were gonna have the good old eUnited back to defend their throne, right?
These last few games for eUnited might not be for making it into the playoffs but they can still go out on a high note and give other teams a scare. We all know this team is better than their play this season and getting a few wins could help them come back stronger... Or they could just blow up the team before OWL starts.
On the NA side of Contenders we have Immortals, Season One champions, playing well for the most of 2017, let's check in on them.
That aside, this season has been a big disappointment for Immortals. A team comprised of some of the top talent from multiple regions, Immortals had been performing great until this season, winning Season Zero of Contenders and playing another slumping top team, Rogue very closely at the BEAT Invitational. Their Lucio player and a big voice for the team, Verbo has stated that he has let go of shot calling duties. It seems that they have been a little slow to adapt to the new meta so they have reason to be in the hole they currently find themselves in.
Immortals is one of the teams that is known to be in OWL, so they have really good reason to turn their play around. GrimReality has been less than stellar on Tracer, an almost must pick in the current meta. It also seems as though Fate has looked less comfortable on his Winston but I do suspect a team such as Immortals will turn themselves around quickly.
At the top of the pack we have Envyus who has been giving The Peoples Elbow to the rest of their contemporaries in this season of Contenders. Let's see how they're doing, shall we?
The future is looking bright for Envyus, favored to win or at least go head to head with Rogue again. Envy has instead looked absolutely dominant. In almost every phase of the game, they have defeated their opponents with style and grace, bar one goofy Junkrat pick on Hanamura. Their DPS duo looks great as always but looking closer you'll see HarryHook and Chaiphajen playing out of their minds keeping everyone alive. There's not a lot I can say about Envyus that hasn't been said so I'll keep this one short and say that it's looking as though they will be scary to play come playoff time.
If you've been following Contenders this season, you have probably seen (and heard) the above video. Coming from the Envision player McGravy, it shows just how much this all means to some players. I would have bet any amount of money we would have be seeing a buy-in team like Envision at the bottom of the standings, so would have you. Now I can't deny that we have a serious team on our hands and we need to pay attention. Their Doomfist player, Jaru has been on a MVP like tear on the character, getting the team out of situations they have almost no way out of. Their former shot caller, Fire, has only improved over the season, using his Lucio support ultimates with great timing. They also have had great chemistry with what seems like anyone, having to replace their week one tank with veteran Overwatch player Numlocked, and only looked better. Their other tank main Tseini has also been playing great on the new Zarya, often teaming up with Jaru for great combos.
Envision is in a weird place now, not looking like a lock for OWL, but certainly looking like they have OWL talent, I personally am wondering where the talent from Envision will be in 2018.
In the EU side we have also have Misfits, who upon grabbing Cwoosh and Logix from Movistar Riders, started playing out of their goddamned minds. Speaking of Logix...
Misfits have hit their stride at just the right time, as they needed to look powerful as OWL starts next year. Not having a great DPS alongside the incredibly versatile Tviq, it was not looking great for the Miami based team. Grabbing Logix was an absolutely genius move and they haven't looked back. The closest game they've had was against the surprising team GamersOrigin, winning that one out 3-2 in a barn burner.
I personally am excited to see Misfits in the playoffs when the tension is ratcheted up and how they will fare when there aren't second chances.
The middle catches up
In the middle of the pack we have teams like Faze, GamersOrigin, and Team Gigantti all showing that they can keep up with the top. After a good week one against eUnited, Team Gigantti got slumped by Misfits. Instead of taking it lying down, Team Gigantti decided to take that L on the chin and keep it pushing, beating 123 and GamersOrigin. Davin, their main Tracer, has been on his game and it shows. Linkzr has also been playing fairly well on his Genji. GamersOrigin, another buy-in team like Envision, have been playing fairly well, just coming up short against Misfits week four. They were also among the first to use DoomFist and make him look great in this new meta.
We also have Faze, who after picking up Carpe after his short stint with the dearly departed team Selfless. It worked out well for both Carpe and Faze as they have made their way to a 3-1 record, even showing that they can hang with Envyus on at least one map. Faze has Kungarna and Envision left on their schedule, and if they are who we think they are, Faze should be heading into the playoffs with their heads held high.
This is the exciting part
The second half of the regular season and the playoffs will be very fun to watch as we have a good amount of teams that can put on a show for us. I'm damn excited to see what they've got for us.
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