Twelve teams are set to face each other off in Overwatch Contenders 2019 Season 1: China. Champions of last season, The One Winner The One Winner Inactive , look set to defend their title, while Flag Gaming Flag Gaming Contenders CN Rank #3 , LGD Gaming LGD Gaming Inactive , Big Time Regal Gaming Big Time Regal Gaming Inactive , Triple Six Legend Triple Six Legend Inactive , Lucky Future Lucky Future China Rank #1 , Team CC Team CC Contenders CN Rank #1 , Alter-Ego Alter-Ego Inactive , and Team For Victory Team For Victory China Rank #9 aim to claim the trophy for themselves. The academy teams of the three Chinese expansion teams, Bilibili Gaming Bilibili Gaming Contenders CN Rank #4 , Guangzhou Academy Guangzhou Academy Inactive , and LGE.Huya LGE.Huya Inactive , are also set to make a name for themselves in the upcoming season of Contenders.
Image credit: Overwatch Esports on Weibo
The defending champions from last season return with an unchanged roster. However, a recent patch has seen Xujie ’s signature hero, Doomfist, nerfed. Nonetheless, the meta remains as GOATs, and as the only team whose roster remained untouched during the offseason, the synergy preserved within the team would be paramount for success. This season, The One Winner The One Winner Inactive seek to tie Lucky Future Zenith's record in number of Contenders China championships attained.
2. Bilibili Gaming
Just like the main team during the preseason of the Overwatch League, the academy team of the Hangzhou Spark Hangzhou Spark OWL Rank #8 look scary on paper prior to the beginning of Contenders. Comprising of former members of Flag Gaming, runner-ups of the last season, and Team CC, who’ve performed consistently well in Contenders -- plus a World Cup superstar in Shy -- Bilibili Gaming Bilibili Gaming Contenders CN Rank #4 should settle for no less than greatness.
3. LGD Gaming
Image credit: LGDOverwatch on Twitter
LGD Gaming LGD Gaming Inactive have always played second fiddle to other teams in the Chinese scene. Though they have put out strong performances over the past 2 years, they have never managed to clinch a championship trophy in any major tournament. However, the team returns to Contenders with a veteran tank line and supports in Rookie , tanqiu , Secret , and superich . Add on an up-and-coming DPS duo in Kaneki and wanli , LGD seek to rewrite that narrative in 2019.
4. Triple Six Legend
The lineup of Triple Six Legend Triple Six Legend Inactive has remained mostly the same since last season. Their newest addition to the team is Raphael , who previously played for ReStart in Season 3 of Contenders 2018. An up-and-coming DPS player, TSL will be looking to him to secure their playoffs spot once again, and hopefully improve from their quarterfinal finish last season.
5. Big Time Regal Gaming
Big Time Regal Gaming Big Time Regal Gaming Inactive is a team that have the potential to do well, but we have yet to see that potential actualize. Nearly overhauling their roster, BTRG brought in players who have never played in a Contenders China playoff match, save for former Team CC and Cyclone Coupling tank YangYang . Nonetheless, they appear to be diamonds in the rough, and can flourish if put in a better team environment. Hopefully, the team can end up better than the sum of their parts.
Alter-Ego Alter-Ego Inactive slid into Contenders after another team, SFDD SFDD Inactive , was disqualified due to widespread account boosting within the team. While not completely clear of boosters at the time themselves, Alter-Ego have replaced them with Reborn , Mei9 , and most notably RICK (formerly known as WULIGIAO). RICK impressed fans in Season 2 of Contenders 2018 with his DPS plays while on Hero Taciturn Panther. The team can play the meta well, especially aided by former Shanghai Dragons support xpx (also known as Freefeel). While one might not project them to end far, they are certainly able to surprise. Only time will tell.
7. Guangzhou Academy
The international roster of Guangzhou Academy Guangzhou Academy Inactive might lead to communication barriers in the beginning, but once the team get warmed up, they should be no pushover. The veteran tank line of TiZi and mg may silently rise to be the best in China. Speaking of Rise , the young star has shone on the flex support role in Korea in 2018. Add on another darling from the World Cup qualifiers, Moowe , and the team will aim for great heights in their maiden voyage in Contenders.
8. Team CC
Image credit: Team CC on Weibo
Team CC Team CC Contenders CN Rank #1 have added some solid pieces to their lineup during the offseason, in particular picking up two outstanding players from the championship lineup in Contenders Pacific, vKei and ManGoJai . In addition, Team CC have acquired GagA from LGD Gaming. He aims to be the next Ameng in the Chinese scene, with impressive displays on Wrecking Ball and Reinhardt in the few matches we have seen him play in. We can expect a solid performance from Team CC once again in Contenders China.
9. Flag Gaming
Flag Gaming Flag Gaming Contenders CN Rank #3 have reunited several members of the LGD Gaming team that went toe-to-toe with superstar Korean team Lucky Future Zenith in the grand finals of Contenders 2018 Season 1: China. Chief among them is 1987 who came out of retirement to rekindle his own competitive flame. Having played on the Chinese World Cup team in 2017, he has been touted as one of the top supports in China before he retired due to injury. However, the tank-line of Flag appears to have taken a hit, with substitutes Lie and MelonZ being promoted to a starter position. Nonetheless, Flag remains a scary prospect for teams to face up against in 2019.
LGE.Huya LGE.Huya Inactive look to provide yet another consistent performance in Contenders China. The team have brought in Haker , whose outstanding Sombra performance led his former team, Ambitious Immortals Ambitious Immortals Inactive , to a first place finish in Season 3 of Trials China 2018. The biggest wildcard on the team, however, is the tank line. Piggy (formerly known as Pouwoo) turns to another region after his debut performance in Contenders Pacific last season. JMac leaves his somewhat disappointing record in the Korean scene for a fresh start in the Chinese scene. ATing brings his championship experience from Contenders Pacific to fiercer competition in Contenders China. We will have to see what LGE.Huya will bring in this season of Contenders.
11. Team For Victory
Team For Victory Team For Victory China Rank #9 could be argued to be the epitome of Chinese Overwatch. The team is well known for running unorthodox multi-DPS compositions, and outclassing opponents using sheer mechanical skill. While that strategy might have worked against lower-level teams, Contenders China is a whole different beast. In a meta dominated by heavy tank compositions, TFV’s inability to play the meta might bite them in the rear.
12. Lucky Future
One team always must be at the bottom, and unfortunately for Lucky Future Lucky Future China Rank #1 , it might just be them for this season of Contenders China. Combining both middling players from bottom-of-the-pack teams from previous seasons of Contenders and unknown players from Open Division, the roster seems underwhelming, to say the least. Hopefully the team can pull some surprises or else the future of this team might not look so lucky.
The ever entertaining Chinese region returns to Contenders today with a marquee matchup between powerhouses T1w and LGD Gaming.