Fresh after Blizzard announced its Path to Pro with Contenders invites and prizing, a new roster made up primarily of the former Rise Nation players was soon completed and made itself available to organizations and Overwatch League Academy teams.

The roster of the Midnight Marauders features Phaz, xretzi, and Midnight from the former Rise Nation squad. Joining them are KSF, Gingerpop, and Moop3y.

Much of the roster has been out of the highest echelon of Overwatch competition for quite some time; only xretzi has played matches in recent times, albeit only in the Contenders Season One opening match for Renegades, and didn't see anymore play time for the rest of the season.

According to the team's announcement, they are actively looking for an organization. If the team does not find one, and specifically one with a guaranteed spot in Contenders, the new roster will have to play their way into Contenders through the first ever Contenders Trials. If all the teams given invitations accept, there will only be one spot that can be given to a Contenders Trials team in North America.

Phaz was able to give a more in-depth preview of his new team:

Scrubasaurus: Most people are likely unfamiliar with Moop3y, so what should people hearing about him for the first time expect from him, and how did you guys end up deciding to include him on the roster?

Phaz: Moop3y has been friends with Midnight and I since Season 1. He has been [in the] top 500 every season, playing a different role most seasons, and only the last 2-3 seasons has he focused on main tank. He was one of the highest ranked main tanks the last few seasons, so that's how we noticed him originally.

In my opinion, Moop3y is probably one of the best complete tanks in North America not in the Overwatch League. He can play Winston, Reinhardt and Orisa all at a high level (which being pretty even at all three seems difficult for a lot of main tanks), while also being smart and 'loud' on all three. He can also play as any other hero we'd need him to play due to his previous ranked history (he has played different roles on multiple tier three teams, as well). The only issue is like youth and lack of experience, but that's basically what everyone on Rise had to overcome. People should expect consistent tank play on all tanks.

Scrubasaurus: High praise! Has the Rise core helped the team synergize any quicker?

Phaz: Nah, I think due to the time, people took off, not scrimmed, and/or played for different teams, our previous synergy didn't really translate. Where it does translate is in terms of experience, leadership, fixing issues and knowing what we're looking for in tryouts. The meta is pretty ridiculous, so it's been hard to see if our previous synergy translates into our team play. Individually, I think Midnight and xretzi both mechanically and talking either in game and out of game discussions are better than they were on Rise and constantly get better, so taking time off from teaming helped them. I'm stuck playing Mercy so I don't really know about mechanics, but I've had trouble calling on Mercy compared to Lucio, so the time personally affected me.

Scrubasaurus: Would you say the meta changes are the hardest part about coming back to an Overwatch team after taking time off?

Phaz: Nah, it's pretty easy to pick up. The main issue I have is people just pick/play random shit on random maps. Like people force heroes like Junkrat, Pharah, Hanzo, and/or Widowmaker, which you usually need to counter. On Rise, we were a team for a year, so we knew what heroes to swap to. On a new team with different players, the hardest part for us so far has been figuring out each person's role in the communication, which plays into who is going to start the conversation about comp swaps and such.

Scrubasaurus: What do you look forward to the most about competing again? Inversely, what do you look forward to the least?

Phaz: The tem minutes before a game day where we blast music and make memes as we sit in training range and talk about what we want to do next map. I also look forward to us finding an organization that sees in this team what all the players and staff see: that this team has a lot of talent and experience and once we gain more synergy by practicing more as a group, I know this team can produce a top three Contenders finish as well as being mid-season Overwatch League pick-ups.

I look forward the least to the possibility of this team not getting picked up by an organization and then seeing what happens from there. I know we can win open, but if you can avoid it, you should.

The Midnight Marauders will charge into battle with:

  • Nathan "xretzi" Telen (DPS)
  • Kyle "KSF" Frandanisa (DPS)
  • Mike "Midnight" Ryan (Flex)
  • Jeromy "Moop3y" Lensky (Tank)
  • Brice "Gingerpop" Breakey (Support)
  • Kyle "Phaz" Phaz (Support)
  • Jacob "jcb" Thostrup (Coach)
  • Alex "Aurace" Nguyen (Coach)
  • Marcus "bosco" Crusan (Coach)