The Overwatch Pit Championship features 10 invited teams + 2 teams that advanced from open qualifiers and splits them into 2 groups of 6 each to battle in a best-of-three round-robin format. The top 4 teams from each group then advance into playoffs for their shot at the $15,000 prize pool. Since the initial announcement, the NA edition has seen a few changes. Fighting their way through the Open Qualifiers, You guys get paid? and Selfless Gaming, sealed their spots as the 2 remaining teams for the group stage. However, NRG, after receiving a direct invite to the group stages, declined their invite, prompting an additional Bronze Final through which Counter Logic Gaming claimed the last spot remaining to compete in the group stages. Additionally, less than a day before the start of the group stages, Immortals stepped down due to inability to play and Gale Force eSports swooped in to take their spot.
Despite not receiving a direct invite into the group stages, Selfless Gaming swept through the open qualifiers, dropping only one map through all rounds. Expect them to continue their dominance through the group stages - taking advantage of the aggressive plays that have established them at the top of the NA scene. If you’re interested in understanding what makes Selfless Gaming so successful, check out our very own Sideshow’s analysis of their playstyle.
LG Evil started off the calendar year with, to many, an unexpected bang - winning the January Edition of the Alienware Monthly Melee under the Hammers Esports banner at the time. While they continued their strong plays and consistently competing for the top spot, they were unable to repeat their initial success, falling short to Rogue in the February Edition, and then Selfless Gaming in March. Most notably, despite falling short to Immortals in the finals, LG Evil completed their run in the Carbon Series with an impressive (9-1) run.
compLexity has been on a wild ride since the departure of harbleu and for the past few months have been trialing players such as Meza, Mete, reach, and Nesh just to name a few. Understandably, the lack of cohesion that comes from a well practiced team impacted their results and despite this handicap, compLexity managed to reach the bronze finals for the Carbon Series. However, if the team is able to stabilize over the course of the Group Stages, they will be in strong contention for grabbing a spot in the playoffs.
The Rise Nation roster unfortunately has not seen much action lately. Their last big appearance was in the February Edition of the Alienware Monthly Melee where their run was cut short early on by compLexity. Despite their lack of recent success, this is a roster packed with talent that has the potential to beat out top teams as they did during the Overwatch Open. If the break between their last appearance during the monthly melee has served as fruitful time for practice - Rise Nation definitely has a chance to seize a shot at the playoffs.
Gale Force eSports has had a rough journey in gaining a spot in the group stages. The team fell short to You guys get paid? during the Semifinals and then lost to Counter Logic Gaming in the Bronze Final. Luckily for them, Immortals dropping out at the last minute, cleared their way into the group stages; however, the team will need to work hard to prove that they belong. Their roster is packed with strong names such as clockwork, shrugger and Muma and have the potential to beat out other teams in their group. We’ll have to see whether the team can convert this potential into victories to claim their spot in the playoffs.
Counter Logic Gaming comes from a relatively low profile background. The recently competed in the Haste Overwatch tournament, falling short to Tempo Storm during the Semifinals. During the open qualifiers for the PIT Championship, the team fell short to Selfless Gaming during the semifinals; however, were able to beat out Gale Force eSports to claim NRG’s spot. Once again, this is a team with potential - Gale Force eSports is in Group A as well. If the team can take this experience forward and improve their results, they maybe be able to beat out 2 other teams from their group to grab a spot in the Playoffs.
FaZe Clan has an incredibly power packed roster with dominant names such as ShaDowBurn, FCTFCTN, and Forsak3n. Their recent tournament results, however, have not been as illustrious. Consistently during the January, February, and March editions of the Alienware Monthly Melee, the team has been eliminated during the second round of the lower bracket to Spicy Boys in January and LG Evil (then Hammers Esports) in February and March. Perhaps given the time to practice and the potential changes in the meta, we’ll see an even strong FaZe Clan these next few days. Either way, expect them to put up a strong fight in contention for their shot at the Playoffs.
There isn’t much more to say about LG Loyal, besides their lackluster performance in the Carbon Series, finishing 6th with an unfortunate (1-9) record. In their favor, several of these matches were very close (2-3) losses and with a few changes, the results for these matches could have been very different. Now that the team has had more time to gel, we’ll have to see if the team can convert these narrow losses into victories.
While Team Liquid’s placement at the end of the Carbon Series was not the most impressive; earning 5th place with a (4-6) record, their later matches in the series against LG Evil and LG Loyal were won on a large margin. This makes me want to believe that part of the teams earlier shortcomings were due to their recent pickup of shadder2k and the team needing time to gel. Whatever the reason may be, if the team can maintain their performance from the end of the Carbon Series, they’ll be in very strong position to claim their spot in the Playoffs.
Renegades earned a strong 3rd place in the Carbon Series, according to some, largely driven by their DPS pairing of Mangachu and J3sus. Their victories against Team Liquid and LG Loyal bode well if the success can be continued through the group stages where they will face off once again. All eyes will be on Mangachu’s Pharah and J3sus’s Tracer during these matches to see if the team can pull of the victories they need to advance in the tournament.
After their rebirth in February, Rogue has consistently performed well, beating out all their competition such as LG Evil and Selfless Gaming to win both the February and March Editions of the Alienware Monthly Melee. Initial concerns regarding their lack of adaptability and dependence on their dive composition have been addressed to some degree given their repeat victories; however, a strong performance in the PIT Championship will undoubtedly seal their place at the top of the pack of NA teams. Barring any surprises, expect to see this team fight through the Group Stages and compete in the Playoffs.
In a fairly high profile esports game such as Overwatch with various organizations sponsoring teams, it can sometimes be hard to get recognized as an upcoming team. You guys get paid? did exactly that, beating out Fnatic who were largely expected to qualify and continuing their run all the way through the Finals where despite losing to Selfless Gaming, they sealed their spot in the Group Stages. We’ll have to see what the team brings to these upcoming Round-Robin matches - if they can claim some victories or even fight for some close losses, we may see this team be picked up by an organization in the very near future.
Group Stages Schedule
Graphics by Saloni Doshi Designs.