Last week the regular season drew to a close in Europe; the top four teams progressed to the LAN finals at Blizzard’s new esports arena in LA whilst the bottom four received the respective prize money for their placement. Roster instability and long gaps between competitions have created a difficult to predict landscape as once again we have seen a dramatic shift in the dominant teams in Europe.
Cut your way to the top
Two of the teams that made some of the more drastic preseason roster swaps came out on top during this part of the competition. The first, Misfits, brought in Genji main CWoosH as main tank, which has proven to be a stroke of genius and one they are replicating on the Swedish national team. They also made a relatively safer change, bringing in Tracer star Logix who you may have heard is good at Pulse Bombs.
These changes allowed them to take their first game against Cloud9 EU by storm and they kept the momentum going to finish on a staggering 27-2 map win ratio. Despite a Week 4 scare against GamersOrigin it has been in cruise control for the Misfits squad. You would imagine Overwatch League contracts would be just round the corner for these guys as well given their dominant displays so far. The only disappointment is that we won’t get to see this roster face-off against any of the North American elite.
Their closest competitors have been Team Gigantti who also made several roster swaps to refurbish their team for a more mobile meta. An improved support pairing and dynamic DPS duo helped them excel to a 6-1 record, only losing to Misfits. They have earned a tough semifinal against 123 and if they overcome them they will presumably have to face the final boss of Europe once again, Misfits.
Middle of the pack
It was an intense battle in the middle, as four teams had playoff chances going into the final week. 123 earned third place with continued strong performances since bursting onto the scene in Season Zero. Despite losing Mistakes, they have continued to perform strongly as a team and will likely be the darkhorse going into the LAN playoffs. snillo has been their best player since he moved to Tracer. Complementing strong tank play from Tonic and Hafficool, helping the team keep pace against the stronger rosters. They face uncertainty though with Tonic's visa being denied and Nomy having to step in.
For Cloud9 EU it has been a somewhat strange season. From the preseason paradise of being signed to Cloud9 shortly after they acquired an Overwatch League spot, to the roster mania that saw over half the team replaced until they finally settled on a team come Week 3. Then, after all of that, going into their final games it was announced Kongdoo Panthera would be filling the Overwatch League spot. Despite this rollercoaster of a season, they limped over the finish line with a 3-2 victory over Singularity on the final day. The odds are stacked against them as they will take on the unbeaten Misfits in the semifinals. Given their finish to the season you may expect Cloud9 EU to offer little resistance come the playoffs but as we all know, LAN can change everything.
Narrowly missing out on making playoffs were GamersOrigin who made a huge impression early on taking the win off Season Zero semifinalists Bazooka Puppiez, but as Doomfist was nerfed so were their results. Tailing off towards the end of the season, leaving them with an uncertain future with limited tournaments on the horizon.
Another team that almost made a last effort for the playoff spots were Team Singularity who also had a peculiar season. Starting with an all-Danish lineup and failing to win a map in their opening two games, the team then folded and was replaced by a mix team fronted by the UK national team tanks. It made a massive difference to their results but they were never able to catch up from the poor start they inherited from the Danes. While they did not qualify for LAN, the team was designed to provide active practice and exposure for Overwatch League hopefuls and it did exactly that.
Crashed and burned
Right at the bottom of the table were Bazooka Puppiez who finished 3/4th in Season Zero. There were suspicions that they may have been overreaching with their previous performances, and after going 3-25 in maps during the course of Season 1, there is little doubt now. They tried various Tracer players throughout but their problems were deeper seated than this, following completion of the season they have gone their separate ways.
The most surprising result of Season 1 Europe was the demise of eUnited. A rough start turned into a disaster of a season, not picking up a win until Week 5 and even then only to the worst performing team in the league. sharyk looked out of touch on Winston, Kruise wasn’t as impactful as normal, vallutaja probably had his quietest tournament to date and even star support Boombox struggled to make a difference. It would be unfair to put the blame on any one individual or moment, from start to finish the season was underwhelming for one of Europe’s most talented squads, which was then compounded by the organisation missing out on Overwatch League and forcing their players to looks for opportunities elsewhere.