UK organisation nerdRage recently announced the signing of a promising European side, Potato Team. The team currently sits roughly within the top 15 in Europe, though a lack of large tournaments makes placing debatable.
The new nerdRage side were seen most recently, before being signed, competing in the XTRA Cup online qualifiers, where they beat Sydioda (formerly Bonjour), SOLAR, and x4ckers before being denied by Dignitas.
In the announcement, flex support Trob said:
I'm really happy with our lineup. We have been together for almost 3 months now without any roster change. We practice a lot every single day, with scrims, vod reviews, and strategy discussions. And we all have very high ambitions. Most of us have been on well performing teams before, and we built synergy pretty quickly from the start.
We've had decent placements in weekly go4 tournaments, top 4 just about every week, and it only gets better! When NerdRage contacted us they were super interested in our team. Our goals are similar and we've gotten a really good impression of them. We are very excited to work with them going forwards.
nerdRage were particularly drawn to the team after seeing top placements within ESL Go4Overwatch events; Potato Team finished 3rd in the most recent cup having beaten k1ck, EURONICS, and Tornado.ROX, losing to Fragsters (now Grand Danois).
They placed highly enough within multiple December Go4 events to be invited to the Monthly Final, where they beat Oslo Lions before their run was stopped in the semifinals by b0nkers.
nerdRage co-owner Rupert Cary spoke on the signing:
Over the last few months we have been closely watching the Overwatch scene to find a suitable team with a huge amount of untapped skill, capable of becoming one of the best teams out there. It is very exciting to finally present this news and start working with the team to see what we are able to achieve together.
The dedication of the team is phenomenal and giving them a home where they can develop is crucial in this stage of their professional careers. We are confident in the future of Overwatch as an esport in Europe and additionally we will be using the team at the forefront of a number of projects we will be involved with over 2017."
The involvement of a smaller UK organisation is especially interesting in the context of ESL's mysterious recent announcement, following the closure of ESL Overwatch Premiership Spring Season 2017. They expressed regret for needing to stop the competition, but followed up by saying, "However, we know that Blizzard has big plans for Overwatch in the UK and we’re really looking forward to what the future holds!"
Many news outlets latched onto this quote as an indicator of future plans by Blizzard. While it is possible that too much is being read into a second-hand remark, we'll be keeping our eyes peeled and our hearts hopeful.
The team now representing nerdRage is:
- Henrik "NuttyB" Romby (DPS)
- Jonathan "Jona" Stelma (DPS)
- Eoghan "Smex" O'Neill (Flex)
- Cameron "Fusions" Bosworth (Tank)
- Iver "Trob" Straume (Flex Support)
- Miguel Angel "Lawliet" Morcillo Hidalgo (Support)