Charlotte August
Charlotte August
Charlotte “CharlieHiggins” is a student in London, England with a strong passion for Overwatch Esports. She is a Community Moderator for the Los Angeles Gladiators and creates daily content for fans to enjoy. You can learn more about Charlotte on our About page.

Overwatch Esports: Contenders Playoffs Recap

Overwatch Contenders
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With the Overwatch League soon approaching, the hype is ramping up for the popular esports tournament’s second season, having had such a successful inaugural season with its first twelve teams battling it out to fight for the grand prize. But the Overwatch League isn’t the only tournament to exist in the Overwatch esports circuit.

Overwatch Contenders Season 3 is reaching its end, and the battles for first place are happening all across the globe with each respective region having its own series. Here’s what’s happened during the latest matches.

Contenders Europe Grand Finals

The European region for Overwatch crowned its Season Three champions, and after an intense match, Team Gigantti were successful in toppling Angry Titans to claim their victory with a score of 4-2. It’s quite the impressive feat for Gigantti, as they had to form an entirely new roster for the third season after most of their roster left to join other teams, as did their coach, Seita, who is now the Head Coach for the Paris Eternal Overwatch League team.

The match was definitely one to watch, with incredible moments from both teams such as Gigantti flex tank Zappis pulling off an astounding four-man kill on D.va, and Angry Titans main tank Lullsish landing a five-man Earthshatter on the Reinhardt to win the first round of Control on Busan.

This is the second time Team Gigantti have claimed a Contenders championship, taking first place back in 2017 during Contenders Season Zero with most of their players on that roster being picked up by Overwatch League teams for the inaugural season.

Contenders North America Grand Finals

The final match of the Contenders North America circuit took place last night, and with it came a spectacle of talent on show from both ATL Academy and Fusion University. While some fans were hopeful that ATL Academy would take the title from two-time reigning champions Fusion University, the academy team for the Philadelphia Fusion managed to hold onto the crown, making them the Contenders North American champions for the third time in a row.

But that’s not saying that the match wasn’t close. ATL Academy gave Fusion University a fight they’ll remember, as the final score ended as 4-2 overall, and both teams brought their A-games.

The main tank for ATL Academy, Gator, proved himself to be worthy of the two-way contract he has for the Atlanta Reign Overwatch League team, as he pulled off a 180-degree Earthshatter on Busan, forcing Fusion University off of the control point to let ATL capture it. Not only this, but the entire team was able to execute an incredibly smart play on Numbani, as Ajax dropped his Sound Barrier to protect his team from an oncoming D.va bomb that had been launched into the Graviton Surge they were trapped inside of. Flex tank, Hawk, then launched his own D.va Self Destruct into Fusion University, taking out their main tank, Changsik, and whilst Fusion University’s main support, Elk, dropped his own Sound Barrier, it gave DPS for ATL Academy, Saucy, the charge he needed to fire his Graviton Surge and trap three of Fusion University’s players before eliminating them, enabling his team to push the cart across the finish line to even out the series.

While ATL Academy most certainly proved themselves to the viewers, it was Fusion University that took the win in the end, and it’s no surprise either. The now three-time champions were fielding DPS star, Snillo, who rose to fame as the young gun that wowed fans with his skills on Tracer in the Overwatch League. But it’s not just Tracer that he’s skilled on. As Fusion University defended the first point of Hanamura, Snillo, who was playing as newest hero, Ashe, was successful in eliminating ATL Academy’s flex support, Dogman, and assisting to take out main support, Ajax, and main tank, Gator, to successfully hold down the fort, even saving himself by using Ashe’s Coach Gun ability to blast himself back onto the ledge, rescuing himself from falling off the map. Not only was Snillo on show, Fusion University’s flex support, Alarm, also dazzled the viewers with a three-man kill on Zenyatta as they defended the second point of Hanamura.

Contenders Korea Semi-Finals

Contenders Korea has never failed to impress with their tournaments, and this season is no exception. With veteran squads like Element Mystic and the beloved fan favorite boys in pink known as Runaway fighting against the newly formed teams of StormQuake and WGS Armament, fans knew they were in for a treat.
Unfortunately for the up and coming teams, the veterans would prevail.

The first match, Element Mystic versus StormQuake, was a clean sweep for the former, taking a 3-0 victory over their opponents, with stunning plays from DPS player Sp9RK1E, especially the 4 player Meteor Strike with his Doomfist on Lijiang Tower that was set up by the Graviton Surge used by his teammate and flex tank, Hanbin, and main tank Takoyaki proving his Winston skills in the second round of the map by helping his teammates wipe out the entirety of the opposing team to capture the point.

The second match between Runaway and WGS Armament was a similar story, as Runaway also pulled off a 3-0 win over their opponents, fighting to hold onto the title of Contenders Korea champions that they had managed to win last season. It came as a surprise for some fans, as Runaway’s previous roster was recently signed to the Vancouver Titans, so Runaway recruited an entirely new squad that fans weren’t familiar with. However, it seems as though the veterans in pink are living up to their title, with epic plays such as a well-executed team wipe on Lijiang Tower.

Contenders Pacific Quarter Finals Day 2

In the Contenders Pacific Quarter Finals, Hong Kong Attitude went head to head against GrandXur, and Xavier Esports faced off against Phoenix, with each time vying for a spot in the Semi-Finals.

The first match between Hong Kong Attitude and GrandXur was yet another one-sided match, with the former team taking the convincing 3-0 victory over their opponents and securing themselves a semi-finals slot. The second match was much of the same, as Phoenix managed to take down Xavier Esports 3-0 in their match, putting Phoenix up against Hong Kong Attitude in the semi-finals next week. Phoenix proved themselves against their opponents, as Phoenix were relatively new coming into the Contenders scene, and toppling their opponents, Xavier Esports, is an impressive feat, since Xavier Esports have been competing since the Overwatch Dreamcasters Championship in early 2017.

COMING UP

Contenders are still heating up, as there are still plenty of matches still to come:

Contenders North America
Sunday, January 13th 7 pm EST – Contenders North America Grand Finals – Fusion University vs. ATL Academy

Contenders South America
Tuesday, January 15th 4 pm EST – Contenders South America Semi-Finals Match 1 – Based Tryhards vs. Isurus Gaming

Tuesday, January 15th 6 pm EST – Contenders South America Semi-Finals Match 2 – LFTOWL vs. UP Gaming

Contenders Pacific
Thursday, January 17th 6 am EST – Contenders Pacific Semi-Finals Match 1 – Cyclone Coupling vs. Nova Esports

Thursday, January 17th 7:30 am EST – Contenders Pacific Semi-Finals Match 2 – PHOENiX vs. Hong Kong Attitude

Contenders Korea
Saturday, January 19th 12 am EST – Contenders Korea Grand Finals – Element Mystic vs. Runaway

Contenders Australia
Saturday, January 19th 7 pm EST – Contenders Australia Semi-Finals Match 1 – Sydney Drop Bears vs. HEIST Gaming Club

Saturday, January 19th 9 pm EST – Contenders Australia Semi-Finals Match 2 – ORDER vs. Athletico Esports


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Image Via: Overwatch Contenders

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