With Contenders Australia shrinking from 12 teams to eight, the top team's all took the time to bolster their rosters with some of the best talent who just missed out on a spot in Contenders. Week 1 of Contenders gave us a taste of what is to come for Season 1 2019, with some surprising results in tow.
If you are all a bit confused as to how everyone shapes up in this world of roster changes, over.gg has compiled some of the region's brightest minds to break it all down. For these Oceanic Rankings, we've introduced a points system to show how the panel voted for each team - the lower the number, the better the team - as well as where the votes fell.
Voting Range: 1-2
ROSTER UPDATE: Welcome! Happy to announce Teetawat "Teetawat" Teerayosyotin as our new tank 🤗🐨 pic.twitter.com/uyURyuDPfD— Sydney Drop Bears (@Dropbearsgg) February 24, 2019
The reigning champions of Australian Overwatch are still heavy favourites to take out another title, with only one voter straying from having Drop Bears in first place. While they lost their first map in a regular season since Contenders Season 1 Week 4 this week to Mindfreak, the three-time champions will not be phased and might come back stronger than ever.
Teetawat slotted into the team nicely against Mindfreak, looking especially comfortable on Winston. However, a matchup against ORDER next week will be a litmus test of this new roster and whether they will be able to maintain their position at the top.
Voting Range: 1-3
After only one week of action in Contenders, ORDER have made a roster change, bringing in Signed to replace Merit , with Jordation moving to flex support. While Signed played in their Week 1 sweep of Legacy Esports, the move was officially announced on Tuesday.
Interestingly, Week 2 will be the first time ORDER have played against the Drop Bears in a regular season too. This will be a monumental game of biblical proportions and you must not miss it. If ORDER come out on top of the Drop Bears, it’ll be one for the history books as they try and cement their place at the peak of Australian Overwatch.
Voting Range: 2-4
Blank Esports have hit off their 2019 campaign with an explosive performance against Ground Zero in Week 1, which has seen them skyrocket up the rankings. After a rather disappointing return to Australia in Season 3, the additions of Nox and Modern have made Blank almost resemble the threat they once were.
This roster has a long way to go, but underneath Team Canada and ex-Last Night’s Leftovers coach Sword , Blank could definitely be contesting Drop Bears and ORDER at the top come LAN in May. Plus, if you wanted a team to support, they love running a thing called offense heroes, which if you have only watched Overwatch in the last six months might be a foreign concept to you.
Voting Range: 3-6
Introducing our entry into the #OverwatchContenders series.— Ground Zero Gaming (@GroundZeroOCE) February 28, 2019
We acquire @HeistGC to create the first ever Ground Zero Overwatch roster, please welcome:
▫️ @Whipply -Manager
▫️ @owChoco -Coach pic.twitter.com/4OPpq3TD9p
Wait, who are Ground Zero? The underdogs, HEIST, from last season have signed with one of Australia’s most prestigious esports organisations in their entry to Overwatch. While their Season 1 2019 hasn’t gotten off to the same great start as Season 3, they are still a team to fear.
The loss to Blank has knocked them down a peg, but this team is still one of the best GOATs teams in Australia. With Oily in the team this season over Guzto , it’ll be interesting to see if Ground Zero will be able to top the heights they reached in Season 3. Under Choco - undoubtedly one of the regions best coaches - this team could achieve anything.
Voting Range: 4-7
We take our first match of the season against @AthleticoES 3-1, GG's! Shoutouts to @Gob_44 for coming in clutch with the sub when we needed it.— Melbourne Mavericks (@MelbMavs) February 27, 2019
We're on to next week where we'll be taking on @HeistGC.#MAVUP pic.twitter.com/cyeuK5PNYo
The Mavericks were so close to making a debut LAN appearance in Season 3 but it wasn’t to be. The wheels seemed to fall off for them after losing Noxious to Sydney Drop Bears, with JeL being unable to fill the hole left behind. The once ferocious team, feared by others because of their strength at GOATs heading into Season 3, were muffled to a faint whimper come playoffs.
Season 1 2019 might see the Mavericks destined to the same fate. While they managed a 3-1 win over Athletico in Week 1, one can argue that the teams around Mavericks have improved while they’ve maintained their level as just decent. Their next two matches against Ground Zero and Blank will really show where this roster stands, and they’ll need to pull out wins if they want to make LAN.
Voting Range: 5-7
Introducing the Athletico #OverwatchContenders team signed for 2019!— Athletico (@AthleticoES) February 24, 2019
We're excited to work with a new #ATHOW lineup, please welcome:
👑@Ackyyy2#ATHWIN | @Contenders_OW | @owpathtopro pic.twitter.com/CWKNxpnkmv
The notorious Athletico started off Season 1 2019 the same way they did Season 3 - without scrimming. With the team roster only finalised days before games started, the team only managed a handful of scrims before their bout with Mavericks and the preparation gap showed.
However, this is a team with potential to cause an upset or two. You can never discount a team with Aetar on the books, while ex-Breakaway players F0R and Ackyyy are strong individual players in their roles.
If the cards fall right for them like what happened last season, LAN could be in their sights. However, a stumble against Legacy this week might see them fall out of the race for LAN before it’s even started.
Voting Range: 5-8
The streak has been broken!— Mindfreak (@Mindfreak) February 25, 2019
Despite not coming away with the series win, we hand the @dropbearsgg their first regular season map loss since early 2018.
We’re back in action next week when we take on @BlankOCE.@LogitechG_ANZ | #PlayAdvanced pic.twitter.com/SfBdGbTHep
Mindfreak have had flashes of promise recently. Taking a map off Sydney Drop Bears was a feat no one had achieved since Masterminds did it in Week 4 of Season 1. They made improvements to their roster in the off-season. They have a quality coach in Joel. There’s a lot going in their favour.
However, whether it’ll be enough to save them from relegation is yet to be seen. With the shrinking league size, the calibre of the teams around them have also increased, and an upset or two will be required to get to safety for Season 2 2019. However, they snaked their way into playoffs last season, so you can’t rule it out.
Voting Range: 5-8
We are pleased to announce the new Legacy Overwatch Contenders roster!— Legacy Esports (@LegacyOCE) February 24, 2019
🌳@SophieMerican (Assistant Coach)#weflyasone #LGCWIN pic.twitter.com/py2qZAW4rF
The new kids on the block were given a trial by fire in their debut match in Contenders against ORDER. While they were able to stand up to the onslaught on some maps - namely Hanamura - Legacy otherwise looked completely outclassed.
The going doesn’t get any easier for the rookie roster, with Athletico and Ground Zero coming up in the next two weeks. If they can show up against LAN veterans, they might be in with a chance of sneaking into safety by season’s end, but it’ll be a long grind.
Contenders Australia returns on Monday March 4.