At the start of Overwatch Chinese Contenders (OWCC) Season 3, quite a few people were excited to see what the region could offer. To many, hot off the hype from China’s great performance in the Overwatch World Cup, it seemed as good of a time as any to begin watching the region. While the current season was hindered slightly by things out of its control (teams folding, talent going to Overwatch League, and the rosterpocalypse) it still managed to produce some games that are well worth going back and watching. Here are Kenobi’s Top 5 games of the Chinese Contenders Regular Season 3. (Bonus: Youtube links to VODs are provided!)
Lucky Future vs Alter-Ego – Week 2, November 24, 2018
Lucky Future (LF) was a team that had a lot to live up to in this season of Chinese Contenders. In the past two seasons, LF always played second fiddle to their sister team Lucky Future Zenith, who were back to back champions. This season, there was no Lucky Future Zenith, as all their talent had gone to Overwatch League or otherwise become unavailable. So, everything was solely on LF’s shoulders. In Week 2, against OWCC newcomers Alter-Ego, LF really showed how good they could truly be. Specifically, we saw one of their DPS players, BLACKBEAN, rise to become a star player. In LF’s previous series with Flag Gaming, BLACKBEAN’s Hanzo play in specific had shown some potential. But in this matchup, his Sombra seemed to be on a completely different level.
BLACKBEAN was everywhere on Sombra, doing everything. LF needed someone hacked? BLACKBEAN was there. LF needed an EMP? BLACKBEAN was there. LF needed a support one clipped? You guessed it, BLACKBEAN was there. Not only did he leave his mark in the kill-feed, but he and his team coordinated impressively around the information Sombra could provide with her infinite stealth. It seemed like any time that one of Alter-Ego’s DPS wanted to flank, or one of their supports was alone, BLACKBEAN and the rest of LF were 2 steps ahead. If you want to see some high-level Sombra play, I definitely recommend you watch this match.
T1w Esports Club vs Triple Six Legend – Week 2, November 25, 2018
This series had a huge impact on the rest of the third season of OWCC. It saw T1w Esports Club face Triple Six Legend (TSL) in week 2. T1w was regarded as the favorite to win the championship this year, after coming so close to beating Lucky Future Zenith the past season in the semi-finals. T1w didn’t have too much trouble with handling TSL, and picked up right where they left off last season. MoLanran led the charge with his DPS play, showing again why he is regarded as one of the best Pharahs in the region. T1w had also added the likes of Mijia, a Doomfist player from the team once known as Ambitious Immortals. Ambitious Immortals went 7-0 in Contenders Trials Season 3 for China, but disbanded before the season started. Later in the season, Mijia turned out to be quite the pickup…but we’ll get to that later.
Before this series, there was a healthy mix of different maps being chosen for teams’ Escort picks. In the ten series before this one, Dorado and Route 66 were at an even 5 to 5 in terms of play rate. But that was until T1w came out on Route 66 with a quad DPS composition. It didn’t look as pretty as all the other maps we had seen from T1w, but it was the first sign that they might have been onto something. China as a region has always loved DPS and flashy plays, so this quad DPS composition seemed like a perfect fit. Even Silver3, the T1w main tank player, brought out his Genji. Since this set, only 5 out of the remaining 19 Escort maps played were on Dorado, with the rest being on Route 66. OWCC seemed to fall in love with the idea of this composition and map together. If you want to see the first quad DPS domino to fall in OWCC, this is where to start.
Lucky Future vs Big Time Regel Gaming – Week 3, December 1, 2018
This match is for everyone who enjoys seeing compositions and heroes that we don’t see very often…and seeing them in places one would never expect. Big Time Regal Gaming (BTRG) used to play under the name “Moss Seven Club.” They were known for their off-meta hero picks, with compositions that would sometimes shred through the enemy team before they even knew what hit them. With two of the main pieces of the team, Jinmu and vanessa, being signed by Chengdu, BTRG lost a good part of what made them such a flexible and interesting team. This series was something of an ode to the Moss Seven Club of old – not only from BTRG, but from Lucky Future as well.
If you want to see a Bastion vs Bastion fight, an attacking Soldier 76, or a Mei defense, Numbani and Hanmura have these things. It’s a good reminder that there are, indeed, 29 heroes in the game at the moment. GOATs isn’t the only comp that can work.
T1w Esports Club vs LinGan e-Sports & Team CC vs LinGan e-Sports – Week 3/4 December 2 & 8, 2018
So this one is cheating a little bit, but let’s just call it a 2 for 1 special. LinGan e-Sports (LGE) has been a relatively well-known team throughout the Chinese region. Last season they were the home of ex-OWL player uNdeAD, whose carry was instrumental to their success. They used a playstyle called “raise the puppy,” giving every resource to uNdeAD to allow him to pop off as hard as he could. He is no longer with the team, and throughout the season, LGE seemed to struggle with figuring out what their identity was. Should they commit hard to running GOATs? Or should they try to make Kami the new center of their “raise the puppy” playstyle?
The answer came in Week 4 against Team CC, who was regarded as the second-best team in OWCC at the time. LGE took Team CC to five games, which no one expected. This was mainly because of two massive additions to the team: AJ1an and Tian, who cemented LGE’s final reputation as a GOATs oriented team. Before this change, LGE had a hard time finding their Zarya player. The responsibility would swap wildly between DPS players xuebi and Kami, neither of whom seemed comfortable playing the hero. As a friend of mine always says, “There is a difference between DPS players who play Zarya and Zarya players,” and both of these matches illustrate that. AJ1an seems like an upgrade in every way over their previous Zarya play. He uses his bubbles more effectively, both to keep the main tank alive and save his teammates, instead of just playing for charge. Tian has also added much-needed help to their tank line. The current main tank for LGE, Aidoudou, has a tendency to overextend deep into enemy lines, with obvious consequences. However, now that Tian is in the lineup, Aidoudou has a D.Va backing him up, helping him stay alive long enough to truly make a difference. These two series definitely showcase how impactful midseason additions can be to a team, especially if they get the right pieces.
T1w Esports Club vs Team CC – Week 5 December 16, 2018 (https://youtu.be/rBIKwxorEhw)
This was the game that the entire season of OWCC lead up to: the two best teams, playing each other in the last game of the season. The winner of this matchup would be seen as the best team in all of China. Not only that, but T1w went into the game 16-0. There was tremendous pressure to take home a 4-0 score and end the regular season undefeated. This was something no team had done yet in Chinese Contenders, not even their rivals Lucky Future Zenith from last season. The entire year’s worth of narratives ended in this one final arc. However, there was one person who truly shone above all of his teammates and competitors.
That person was Mijia. The Doomfist play we saw from him was absolutely out of this world. The way he positioned himself, the precise way he controlled his movement to get in and out without a scratch, the way his team played around him…all of it was a masterclass in one of the trickiest heroes in the game. Mijia cemented his reputation in this matchup as a walking highlight reel and one of the best Doomfist players in the world. It’s possible, with upcoming nerfs to Doomfist, that we’ll never see a performance like this again. But even if that turns out to be the case, we’ll at least have this to look back on.
With the Chinese Contenders Season 3 playoffs right around the corner, I hope these games might give you a little taste of what is to come. The playoffs always bring the hype in OWCC, and I believe this season will be no different. Be sure to tune in for the first matches on December 28th at 4:00 AM EST/9:00 AM GMT, on https://www.twitch.tv/broadcastgg.