Overwatch Contenders serves as a battleground for rosters with something to prove. However, amongst the competitors lays an outlier—a team formed only recently for the specific purpose of winning the event. In a landscape of teams with months and months of experience, FNRGFE serves as a refreshing take on an Overwatch roster, featuring both veterans and new talent hungry to compete at the highest level.
We spoke to Matthew "clockwork" Dias following FNRGFE's qualification for the Overwatch Contenders group stage regarding the formation of the team, the roster's goals, and what the future holds.
You just competed with this current FNRGFE roster in your first tournament with them; how did the formation of these players come about? Was it all about competing in Contenders?
So, after we were dropped by GFE, the team tried numerous times to come to a consensus on whether or not we’d keep competing as a team for Contenders. We played relatively well in the Rivalcade tournament the weekend after we were dropped, and that made it even harder to come to a decision. Through conversations with enigma, I decided I wanted to play with him, Muma, boink, and Bani. Luckily, Muma rang for Fnatic the day the team disbanded, and had some rapport with buds, so we scooped him up pretty quickly, knowing his talents.
And in the end, the team ended up actually qualifying for Contenders. Did you expect this result, especially when you didn't even need to try for the second day? The rumor is that the team competed on only 3 days of scrims!
Well, even when we were still GFE, we thought we could qualify, because top 16 doesn’t sound too hard, right? But there are actually a lot of amazing teams that you don’t even consider when you start counting on your fingers, not even including the ones who came about for that tournament only, like Seagull and Calvin’s team. As part of FNRGFE, I expected it was possible to qualify, but it was also contingent on having a good bracket. And, yeah, we only started scrimming the Tuesday before the qualifiers, so I definitely didn’t assume we’d qualify.
On the first day, you actually competed on the team you played for prior to GFE: NRG. Was there any extra motivation competing against a former team that dropped you and enigma?
I guess there always is. I don’t like to obsess over who we’re playing, what it means to win or lose against them, or whatever. I think it makes you start over-complicating everything, when you should just play loosely and confidently. I don’t have anything personal against the players on that team, and a couple of them are still close friends of mine. However, the whole situation is still really funny. To say the least, enigma and I were not happy with the way we were cut, and a little revenge felt pretty good.
With that said, does FNRGFE have any goals outside of doing well in Contenders? Will you guys try and find a sponsor, or is that thinking too far in the future?
I think a good mindset to have regarding sponsors is that you should prioritize your own improvement over searching desperately for someone to represent you. It’s sort of like a “If you build it, they will come,” type of mentality. Obviously, we’d love to have a great sponsor. I think our team is full of talent and we have the drive to become the best. It’s all about finding the right organization to represent you, especially considering the way all my sponsorships have gone…
Well that wraps it up! Are there any shoutouts you want to give before getting back to scrims?
Yeah! I just want to give shoutouts to all my old teammates from Splyce, NRG, and GFE. Although it seems weird, I wouldn’t be where I am if it weren’t for all of those people. Especially shrugger, eMIL, and WizardHyeong, who are all great players and staff deserving of their own successful teams. And you, of course, for the interview.
With a 5-7-0 map score, FNRGFE exits the first weekend of Overwatch Contenders in third place in their group. They look to overtake YIKES!, who are currently only 2 maps ahead, for a spot in the top 8 of the tournament.