Overwatch Contenders kicked off yesterday with a host of matches around the world. Here are the matches that matter and the players who stood out the most. If you want to see how Overwatch League Season Two will break down with some surprise talent coming to the League, this is the place to look.
The one thing Contenders does give us is a massive amount of Overwatch content each week. As the division play in ever area of the globe: Europe, Asia, North America, and South America there is pretty much an Overwatch match on twitch at any given time of the day. Essentially the breakdown of Contenders this first season really has become a feeder for Overwatch League. Nine of the twelve inaugural teams host what are called Academy teams. The only ones without them are the: Seoul Dynasty, Dallas Fuel, and Los Angeles Valiant. All the other teams host a Contenders roster.
Yesterday’s highlights come with very few surprises in how the matches took place. A lot of the Academy teams had victories as well as a few other endemic teams from last season in Contenders. Team Gigantti took to the maps against Orgless and Hungry. For those following, Orgless came up through the tournaments and placed first in the European Trials. Gigantti won the match 3-1, Gigantti’s old roster was completely broken into multiple Overwatch League teams last year. Now they host in with a solid Contenders team all coming out of Finland.
Two other highlighted matches were from the Academy teams. The British Hurricanes, London Spitfire’s team, took a full victory over Denmark’s Team Singularity. Singularity also played in Contenders last season but did not do as well. London has been pushing their Contenders team lately as it does host a lot of players from the U.K. like: Finley “Kyb” Adisi and Daniel “FunnyAstro” Hathaway. Something that the Spitfire had been heavily questioned about was having no home grown talent on their roster. Let’s see how well these two fair with the rest of the team.
In North American Matches, the XL2 Academy which hosts almost a full North American roster defeated the Boston Uprising’s academy team of Toronto Esports. Both organizations have a lot invested into these teams. A veteran on XL2 is Adam Eckel who was a support player on Cloud9 and also played on the U.S. roster for a while. Expect him to make the move to NYXL at some point potentially. For Toronto Esports they just signed Harrison “Kruise” Pond out of Europe has been a player to watch and was on the United Kingdom roster in the World Cup.
Lastly, the Gladiators Legion, which was formed by the Los Angeles Gladiators, took down the Mayhem Academy in their match 2-1.
The interesting story about Contenders is going to be if any of the rising teams will be able to take out the Academy teams supported by the pro Overwatch League teams? If some of these up and coming rosters can bring down top Contenders teams, you may see the landscape of how players make it into the Overwatch League change drastically.