Contenders Season Three has finally come to a close and with it, historical moments in Overwatch Esports have been made. Teams have become three-time champions, new rosters have triumphed, and others have proven themselves to be a force to be reckoned with during the next seasons of Contenders and beyond.
Here’s what happened during the final matches of every Contenders circuit.
Contenders Korea Grand Finals
RunAway have made history. The squad who started off in 2016 as a charming group of underdogs have now become the two-time winners of Contenders Korea, winning Season Two against Kongdoo Panthera and now Season Three against Element Mystic, claiming a 4-1 victory over the opponents. It’s especially impressive when you consider that RunAway replaced their entire roster for the season, as the previous roster was picked up by the new Overwatch League team known as the Vancouver Titans.
However, while Element Mystic didn’t manage to take the crown, they had some shining moments, specifically DPS player, Sp9rk1e, and main tank, Takoyaki. As Element Mystic defended the second point of Horizon Lunar Colony in the third match, Takoyaki landed a three-man Earthshatter, and while he wasn’t able to eliminate anybody while they were down, he swung his hammer through RunAway once they’d gotten back up and successfully took out three opponents. Meanwhile, Sp9rk1e let off a Graviton surge to trap the members of RunAway together, and 45 seconds later, he had charged it again, ready to use in another fight.
RunAway had a stellar performance across the board, but perhaps the most memorable play was at the very end of the match. No doubt about it that RunAway’s flex tank, QoQ, was a shining star for the team at this moment. As the percentage of capture built up for Element Mystic on Lijiang Tower’s second round, both DPS, Heesu, and main tank, Mag, let off their ultimate abilities to knock the enemies off their feet, using a Graviton Surge to hold them in place and an Earthshatter to push them to the ground. Once they had completed this, QoQ launched his D.va Self Destruct into the center of it, wiping out all three members that had been pinned down, and allowing his team to recapture the point. As Overtime ticked down, the remaining members of Element Mystic fell to RunAway, and the squad in pink won the match.
RunAway vs. Element Mystic Highlights:
Contenders South America Grand Finals
Contenders South America has crowned a new champion. LFTOWL surprised fans when they were able to take down Based Tryhards, formerly known as Brasil Gaming House, 4-2 in the grand finals. Based Tryhards had previously taken the title in both Season 1 and Season 2 of Contenders South America, however after an intense match, LFTOWL proved themselves worthy of the win.
LFTOWL certainly deserved the win, especially with incredible plays from flex tank, Agon. During their push on Numbani the escort the cart, DPS player, murizzz, launched a perfectly placed and timed Graviton Surge as Zarya onto the cart as Based Tryhards contested it. After it was placed, Agon sent his D.va Self Destruct into the mass of players from Based Tryhards and successfully eliminated five of the six players on the field with it, leaving main tank, Fastie, to clear up the remaining player to allow his team to push the cart across the second checkpoint of the map.
Based Tryhards most definitely didn’t go down without a fight though, having won two of the six map series, they earned their place in the grand finals and went down with honor knowing that they did all they could. As LFTOWL approached the first point of Numbani for another attempt at capturing, Based Tryhards were ready and waiting with ultimates prepared to take down their opponents, and the plan went off without a hitch. DPS player, Lubbock, activated his Rally as Brigitte to boost his teammates off of the high ground whilst DPS counterpart, Liko, placed a Graviton Surge as Zarya onto the point to allow flex tank, Honorato, to launch a D.va Self Destruct into the surge, eliminating three players whilst his teammates cleared up the rest.
LFTOWL vs. Based Tryhards Highlights:
Contenders Australia Semi-Finals Match 1
The Sydney Drops Bears faced off against HEIST Gaming Club in the first match of the Contenders Australia Semi-Finals, and whilst some fans might’ve hoped for a long series between these two teams, as they both defeated their quarterfinals, opponents, 3-0, however this was never to be, as the Sydney Drop Bears took a quick 3-0 win over HEIST, landing themselves a place in the grand finals.
And it’s no surprise that the Sydney Drop Bears took the game either. The team has won Contenders Australia for the past two seasons in a row and going into this match; they hadn’t lost a single map all season. The Drop Bears were determined not to lose a single map in this match either, and they achieved their goal. It isn’t surprising that this happened either when astounding plays are being made. DPS player, Hus, successfully trapped the entirety of HEIST Gaming Club in a Graviton Surge as Zarya on Ilios Well, eliminating three of them on his own while main tank, ChroNoDotA, swept up the remaining three to triumphantly take out the entirety of the team.
HEIST Gaming Club may not have won the match, but they definitely had their moments in the spotlight. The main tank for HEIST, Bus, landed a three-man Earthshatter as Reinhardt onto the Sydney Drop Bears, allowing DPS teammate, Locus, to wipe out two of them whilst flex support, Dalsu, successfully took out another two members of the Drop Bears, forcing the remaining members back to their spawn room on Hanamura.
Contenders Australia Semi-Finals Match 2
Athletico Esports were pitted against ORDER in the second semi-finals match of Contenders Australia. Once again, a 3-0 victory was granted to one team, and this time, the victory was granted to ORDER to secure their spot against the Sydney Drops Bears in the grand finals.
ORDER proved themselves to be grand finals worthy though, as raw skill was put on display during the match from all of their players, but main tank, Quatz, shone brightly during the final match of the series. With only a third of the point to capture on Hanamura Point A, Quatz leaped into action as he and his teammates forced their way onto the point, eliminating three members of Athletico Esports on his own while his teammates cleaned up the rest. With all of Athletico down, ORDER successfully captured the percentage they needed of Hanamura Point A, winning themselves not only the game but the entire match.
Not many people expected Athletico Esports to get very far in the Contenders Australia circuit, having come into the scene as a very new team and only formed just before Season 3 of Contenders started. For them to make it to the semi-finals and give ORDER a fairly good fight is definitely something to be proud of, especially as they used brute force to gain capture percentage on Lijiang Tower Control Centre. As the map started, flex support, Eevee, also the only female professional player in the Contenders Australia circuit, speed boosted her team as Lucio onto the point to brawl against ORDER, with the entire of Athletico Esports sticking together to keep themselves alive and minimalize the amount of damage taken by each team member. The team members of Athletico then banded together and took out every single one of their opponents one by one to successfully take the first capture of the point.
Contenders Australia Grand Finals
The Sydney Drop Bears join an exclusive club in the Overwatch Contenders circuit, as they are the second team to win every season of their Contenders bracket back to back to back, the other team being Fusion University in the Contenders North America tournament. The Drop Bears battled it out against ORDER in the grand finals match, and they took the win 4-1 against their opponents.
ORDER most certainly deserve some praise though, as they are the only team to have taken a map off of the Sydney Drop Bears throughout the entirety of Season 3 Contenders Australia, ending the constant winning streak of the Drop Bears. Smart plays and strategic manoeuvres allowed ORDER to take the map win from their opponents, and that was demonstrated quite perfectly on Ilios well. DPS for the Drop Bears, CKM, had succeeded in eliminating ORDER’s flex support, Meritt, whilst he played as Doomfist, however after he boosted himself into the air with a Rising Uppercut, flex tank for ORDER, Adam, used his Boosters as D.va to knock CKM out of the sky and into the well in the centre of the map, eliminating him.
The Sydney Drop Bears proved themselves to be worthy of the three-time championship title though, as pure talent was exhibited during this intense grand final match. Main tank, ChroNoDotA, certainly showed the fans that he is one of the best main tanks out there. As the only non-Australian player on the team, ChroNoDotA was playing at home in America during the regular season, playing with up to 200 ping to compete with his teammates, and still, they never lost a map during the entire season. Now that he was on a LAN server, he was still able to showcase his skill to the viewers, knocking down almost all of ORDER on Busan with his Earthshatter as Reinhardt, and then proceeding to help his teammates eliminate half of the opponents to defend the capture point as the capture progress continued to build up for the Drop Bears.
Contenders Season Three is officially over, and so many amazing players and teams have showcased to the world what they have to offer. Whilst the wait may seem long, the second season of the Overwatch League is just less than a month away, and with new teams added to the selection, it is going to be a season that nobody will forget.
The Overwatch League Season 2 begins on February 14th at 7pm EST.