After months competition in the form of qualifiers, group stages, the regular season, and playoffs, the masses of teams that originally entered Contenders has been filtered down to just two per region. Misfits will face Gigantti while EnVyUs will square off against FaZe Clan to determine the regional victors of one of the highest-profile Overwatch LANs in recent history.
Our analysts have sat down for one final set of predictions as the first season of Contenders nears its conclusion.
Sunday 8th October 19:00 CEST / 10:00 PDT / 02:00 KST
Misfits come in as favourites having gone unbeaten in the regular season and only dropping two maps. Despite this dominance, the primarily Swedish team struggled against Cloud9 EU yesterday, dropping as many maps as they did all season in a single set. Team Gigantti on the other hand cruised past a weakened 123 side and look in good form going into this final game.
Yesterday, Misfits were over-reliant on individual plays to get past Cloud9 and I don’t think they can rely on the same in a best-of-seven against Gigantti. The saving grace for Misfits is that individually their players are still playing well. The question is whether they can fix their issues overnight and I have my reservations.
You saw Misfits adjust against Cloud9 to apply more pressure to MikeyA and I expect them to apply a similar strategy to LiNkzer. The biggest improvement Misfits will need to make, however, is in the tank line. zappis and fragi were great vs 123, making this CWoosH and Manneten’s biggest test yet. I am uncertain if they are up to the challenge. I predict the series to be tight either way, but while Misfits are definitely the better team overall, in a LAN environment form is greater than quality.
Misfits performance yesterday against C9 has cast some doubt over this final. Gigantti are by no means a weak team and have seemingly gotten better the more they've played together. I'm banking on Misfits stepping up their play overnight, otherwise this could get dicey.
Misfits have undisputably been the best team in Europe all season. However, they looked shaky in their opening playoff match against C9. Misfits was able to win in the end by being the better team, and I think they will win in the end against Gigantti for the same reason. However, they will make mistakes and Gigantti will capitalize. Misfits should be pushed to the brink yet again, but should still be able to come home victorious.
This final should actually be reasonably close, as Misfits looked to struggle against Cloud9 while Gigantti looked dominant against a weakened 123. However, I still believe the favorites will take the matchup, but Gigantti will make them work for it on the escort and hybrid maps.
Sunday 8th October 23:30 CEST / 14:30 PDT / 06:30 KST
Both teams won their semifinal comfortably to set up this highly-anticipated final. EnVyUs will come in as favorites after previously defeating FaZe 4-1, dropping only an Assault map. FaZe look to be the team to finally stop EnVy’s dominance in Western Overwatch, but given the lengthy seven map series and the new threat of Seagull, the odds are stacked against them.
Despite winning 3-0 against FNRGFE there were some moments where EnVy looked scattered and out of position. There was also flashes of brilliance and creativity that we have come to expect from EnVy. I expect EnVy to tighten up for the big game and while FaZe will make a good go of it and they have the quality to win fights. The power of EnVy combined with a favourable map pool will be too great, I can’t see FaZe taking more than one or two maps.
I'd love for FaZe to be able to seriously challenge Envy here but I just don't see it happening. Envy are the best team competing in North America by quite a significant margin at the moment and have added an extra dimension with their acquisition of Seagull. It may be going a bit far to predict this match as a sweep but I think the boys in blue are certainly capable of it.
I wanted to predict this to be a sweep, but in a best-of-7 series there are just too many maps for me to not believe a team as talented as FaZe won't be able to take away at least one map from the best in the west. Seagull had a strong debut as a member of the Boys in Blue in the team's first playoff match against FNRGFE. With the added layer of lineup unpredictably to prepare for when facing against EnVy, I don't see FaZe being able to push them all the way to 7 maps. It's possible this could go to 6 maps, but I feel it's more likely to end in 5.
I don't think that any team in America poses a threat to Envy, no matter how good FaZe's DPS duo might be. The all star lineup is incredibly good, but their teamwork is not on par with Envy's. Their best chance at a map is winning on control against Seagull's Pharah, as he might not be fully adjusted to the team, but Envy should be favored on every other map.