The first week of Contenders brought us upsets-a-plenty, with eUnited and, to a lesser extent, Bazooka Puppiez both losing their opening games. While we may only be in the early stages of the tournament, things are already shaping up nicely for what should be a very competitive Season One. With that being said, Week 2’s European fixtures look a little more predictable, but the unfolding meta shifts continue to serve up new strategies and fresh potential for upsets.
Saturday 26th August 19:00 CEST / 13:00 EDT / 02:00 KST
The first game of the weekend looks to be a bit of a mismatch. 123 answered the haters last week, removing any doubts about the firepower at their disposal following Mistakes departure. snillo slotted into the role without missing a beat as they dismantled an underwhelming Team Singularity. A relatively easy second game in Season One should allow them to stay at the top of the pack.
Their opponents, Bazooka Puppiez, had a rough start to Contenders and looked bemused facing off against a rejuvenated GamersOrigin. They had no answer for Leaf’s Doomfist but they may catch a break this week as 123 are yet to bring out the lopsided villain. This could allow for more of a fair fight. Perhaps Bazooka Puppiez can steal the Oasis opener if kensi and Ube play well, though 123 have shown too much quality thus far to be expected to drop more than one map.
Predictions: CommanderX 4:0 Mert 4:0 Scrubasaurus 3:1 Harsha 4:0
Saturday 26th August 21:00 CEST / 15:00 EDT / 04:00 KST
The new look GamersOrigins came out gunning last week with some different hero combinations that allowed them to catch BP off guard and take three maps. They may even be good enough to challenge for a top four spot overall, depending on how quickly teams can adapt to their comps.
The Danes actually had a 6-2 map record over the Frenchies in Season Zero, but recent form suggests that this could be a one-sided affair for the new-look GO. If Team Singularity’s tank line doesn’t drastically improve, Leaf and Hqrdest will have a field day with their back line. We could see this going 4-0 in the Frenchman's favour.
Predictions: CommanderX 0:4 Mert 3:1 Scrubasaurus 3:1 Harsha 1:3
Sunday 27th August 19:00 CEST / 13:00 EDT / 02:00 KST
Sunday should be a much more interesting affair in Europe. With Cloud9 EU’s roster page showing drastic changes. While mowzassa and Greyy retain their spots from last week, they bring in sinatraa, fischer, SPACE and neptuNo. While Nevix joins zombs and silkthread on the bench. They certainly have upped the star power of the roster, but how this will translate in game is anybody's guess.
eUnited are coming off the back of a big upset defeat, but with a week's scrim time behind them they should have shaken off any rust from their World Cup hiatus and will be keen to reassert their dominance over the European scene. It seems likely that eUnited will be able to outplay their talented opposition with a better rehearsed level of coordination, though against a brand new roster you can never be sure. This game will either be a 4-0 sweep for eUnited or go all the way to an Ilios tiebreaker. The heart hopes to see a nail biter, but a pragmatist would expect eUnited to pick up the win here.
Predictions: CommanderX 4:0 Mert 3:1 Scrubasaurus 3:2 Harsha 3:1
Sunday 27th August 21:00 CEST / 15:00 EDT / 04:00 KST
Europe’s final game of the week will be a showdown of fallen kings. With both teams on the rise, looking to regain past glories, it is set to be one of the best games of the weekend. This one is much more likely to require five maps than the rest of Week 2’s fixtures.
Recent additions Shaz and BigG00se were formidable in last week’s game, so there will be a lot of weight on Logix’s shoulders to keep them in check. The outcome of this battle will likely determine the game. Logix has been on a hot streak for a long time and has established himself as one of the world's best Tracers. However, in last week’s game Gigantti often capitalised on early picks, so if Misfits fall victim to the same fate Logix’s impact could come too late.
Combined with the fact that this will be a much sterner test of CWoosH’s main tank ability and one might give the edge to Gigantti. An Ilios tiebreaker could favour Gigantti to secure a 3-2 win as they have looked better on Control, taking both rounds off eUnited. Although, there is very limited data with both team’s fielding new line-ups. Either way, it should be an epic series.
Predictions: CommanderX 2:3 Mert 4:0 Scrubasaurus 4:0 Harsha 3:1