The boys are back. Blank Esports have returned home for the Overwatch World Cup Qualifiers after three long months in Taiwan, sporting the green and gold of Team Australia. With the hopes of Australia on their shoulders Blank will attempt to reverse the poor performance of the country's 2016 World Cup team and prove their worth on the global stage.
Blank Esports first started to garner a reputation late last year after amassing a monster 54 game win streak under the name Fusion Girls (as well as under Australia organisation JAM Gaming). The team dominated the local Australian scene and even took on South East Asia with a ping disadvantage, earning victory after victory in Los Muertos cups over talented players such as Zonda and Baconjack. A first place finish in the Oceanic Summer Series over Scylla Esports clearly identified the roster as the cream of the crop from a region that was unknown to many. Questions still remained over the true skill of the players in comparison to those from more well-known regions, many wrote the mystery Australian team off as ‘flat track bullies’.
After signing with Blank Esports the team jetted off to Taiwan to compete in the Pacific Championship, a prestigious event in the Asia-Pacific region boasting a $272K USD prize pool. Blank initially continued their flawless run but were eventually overtaken by Flash Wolves (who will represent Chinese Taipei at the Burbank qualifiers) as old foes got their revenge. Struggling at times with a limited hero pool, the Australians were beaten time and time again by the top two Taiwanese teams. A gutsy late season resurgence secured Blank the second seed over AHQ Esports, who they would then go on to eliminate in the semifinals. In the end they could not overcome the strength of Flash Wolves in the Grand Final, finishing the Pacific Championship as runners-up. A second place finish for Blank Esports was not what the team had intended going into the event. However, this was by no means a poor performance as they finished above other talented teams such as AHQ Esports and Hong Kong Attitude, securing a neat 50K for their efforts.
Now Blank are back in their old stomping grounds, hoping to start another win streak as they eye up some of Europe’s best talent. As one of the few national rosters to feature a complete team, Blank are one of the favourites to make it out of the qualifiers alongside Sweden, who they share Group C with, Finland and Spain. However, fellow Group C participants Italy and Portugal won’t be pushovers as they too share dreams of making it to Blizzcon.
Blank may be stacked across the board with talent but a player you should pay special attention to is ieatuup. As the team’s Tracer player he dazzled spectators during the Pacific Championship, combining an aggressive playstyle with polished mechanics to demolish the backlines of enemy teams. If high skill DPS play doesn’t take your fancy perhaps take a gander at the chemistry between the longtime support duo of Gunba and Rqt, who have played together competitively since June last year.
The Team Australia World Cup roster for 2017 is:
- Jason "ieatuup" Ho (DPS)
- Ajay "Aetar" Umasankar (DPS)
- Marcus "Kiki" Jacob (Flex)
- Ashley "Trill" Powell (Tank)
- Jordan "Gnb" Graham (Support)
- Andrew "Rqt" Haws (Support)