Following on from a long day of European action, North America will come to the fore this evening. With a somehow even more stacked set of teams, this evening is set to be dynamite. Inevitably, some big names will be eliminated across the next two weekends with so many top tier teams alongside the breakout teams of recent times. Hold our beer APEX, because Contenders has three groups of death.
If you missed the European preview, here is a breakdown of the format. In a similar vein to TaKeOver 2, each group stage match will be played over four maps with the potential for draws. The two teams with the most map wins will progress to playoffs. As each team plays twice, there will be a home and away team for each fixture, with the home team picking the first map. From there it will be losers map pick, though they will be restricted by gamemode in the following order:
- Map 1 - Hybrid
- Map 2 - Control
- Map 3 - Assault
- Map 4 - Escort
There is also a restricted map pool, so Volskaya fans grab your tissues:
- Hybrid - Eichenwalde, Numbani, Hollywood
- Escort - Watchpoint: Gibraltar, Route 66
- Assault - Hanamura, Temple of Anubis
- Control - Lijiang Tower, Nepal, Oasis
Any tiebreakers in groups standing will be played on a best-of-three Oasis following the conclusion of all group games next weekend.
The Promised Land of top tier Overwatch continues as North America gets into gear. Once again the coverage doesn’t start until the third round of matches where Left Guy will continue to bring us the best action from the left side of the desk on https://www.twitch.tv/overwatchcontenders. The streamed matches will be:
16:00 PDT / 01:00 CEST / 08:00 KST Yikes! vs. Immortals* (Group C)
17:30 PDT / 02:30 CEST / 09:30 KST Toronto Esports vs. LG Evil* (Group B)
19:15 PDT / 04:15 CEST / 11:15 KST Hollywood Hammers vs. Cloud 9* (Group D)
20:45 PDT / 05:45 CEST / 12:45 KST FaZe Clan vs. Selfless* (Group A)
* denotes home team
You can follow all the action on the official tournament site where the standings and schedule have just gone live, as well as our own event page where we will endeavour to bring you all the latest scores and update you on any player streams that are available, which will be permitted with a three minute delay.
The first of the many groups of death sees Qualifier Day 1 winners, FaZe with their new look roster, taking on a host of established North American talent. If they want to continue their honeymoon period with the new roster they will have to overcome a Selfless team with some newly added Korean spice. Eyes will be keenly cast on the final matchup of the first weekend where Selfless will first display how they can perform without their star player Dafran following his suspension.
Despite the loss of Dafran, Selfless are still a tier one side in America and will be favourites to go through in this group with the additions of Carpe and Midnight. The rest of the group are no slouches either. Counter Logic Gaming have started to establish themselves as a mainstay in the later part of tournaments with the addition of Shake. Meanwhile, Team Liquid looked to have found their stride with the emergence of dive compositions yet struggled during qualification. While Selfless are still favourites to win this group the second spot is up for grabs. FaZe look good with their new line-up but all honeymoons come to an end and CLG and Team Liquid will be hot on their heels.
While some may not regarded this as a group of death due to the lack of big names, there is still plenty of talent to be found. LG Evil are undoubted favourites to top this group as they have cemented themselves as one of the best teams in North America. While the second qualification spot will be hotly contested between long standing Tier 2 side You Guys Get Paid? and up-and-comers Toronto Esports.
YGGP? eliminated Tempo Storm on Day 1 on qualification, while Toronto Esports eliminated Evil Geniuses, Team Liquid and a sleepy Hollywood Hammers on their road to qualification. A lot is on the line for both these teams with YGGP? looking to finally break through as a top tier side and Toronto Esports wanting to prove they are the real deal. EnVision round up the group and are the least likely to go through but they have talented players on their roster which means they should not be disregarded as a threat. There is a lot of Overwatch between now and playoffs and they will not go down without a fight.
There is a lot going on in this group. Immortals are continuing to add Korean’s to their core lineup as they look to find the form that saw them win the NGE Winter Premiere. Yikes! will be continuing to strive to prove their May Monthly Melee victory was the start of something big and not a fluke. Tempo Storm are looking strong with the addition of TwoEasy but are yet to have a deep run in a tournament. Meanwhile FNRGFE have exploded onto the scene with the amalgamation of former pros.
Every match in this group is guaranteed fire and with little match history behind these teams with their current rosters, your guess is as good as mine as to which two will come out on top. Of the four, Tempo Storm are probably the underdogs but in no way should be counted out. It’s worth noting Selfless’ last three defeats all came at the hands of FNRGFE and Yikes!. Any of the four teams could qualify in any order and it's crime that we will only get to see one game from this group live. Group C kicks off the day with a rematch of the qualification game where Yikes! 2-0'd Immortals.
The final group is the ultimate group of death. Cloud9 received their free pass from competing in TaKeOver 2 to this stage of the competition but consequently only got 9th seed meaning they are competing with the kings from Kungarna who have quickly returned to their old form. Renegades are looking stronger and stronger since moving into their team house and are starting to recapture the form that catapulted them into the lime light during the NGE Premiere. As well as the newly freedom-ed Hollywood Hammers who had to battle their way into qualification late at night after being eliminated from TaKeOver 2.
I am not sure where you would go to even start predicting this group. Cloud9 and Kungarna should theoretically be favourites, but Hollywood Hammers drew with Cloud9 at TaKeOver 2. Additionally, due to the lack of intercontinental competition no one can really be sure how well Hollywood Hammers stack up against their North American counterparts. Though many pundits tip the Hammers to be very strong. Renegades are also less proven but that is no reason to count them out as they have looked strong recently. Another dynamite group where every match should be an incredible watch. We will only get to see one group game live though, a rematch of the TaKeOver 2 matchup of Cloud9 and Hollywood Hammers that finished 2-2.
Much like the European version this is a mixture of established top teams, teams with new players and completely new teams all with something to prove. With $50,000, a spot in Season One and NA bragging rights to play for the competition will be brutal in every match. It is worth noting as well that there are only six spots up for grabs in Season One in the North American bracket. Rogue and EnVyUs had their places reserved as they were competing in APEX and while we only get to see four games live we’ll be sure to bring you all the results and stories from this weekend and the next.