Back in December, Noukky teased on Twitter a new roster she was the manager of, one in which she routinely referred to the team as "those guys".
Her team finally entered the Open Division under the very name she referred to them with, Those Guys, and started the season on an undefeated run. The team never finished their perfect Open Division run, and instead mysteriously dropped out halfway into the season.
Except it wasn't so mysterious. Due to an unfortunate email leak on Kragie's stream, followers of the team quickly began associating them with the London Spitfire as their academy team. Many sought out confirmation from the players and the team manager.
"We just kinda had to lie with people," said main tank Fusions. "Most people knew anyway."
"The biggest thing was waiting for Blizzard to approve the branding because that was the thing that took us so long," Noukky added on. "We originally wanted to sign before PIT."
The PIT Championship Season 2 was the first look for many at Europe's and North America's up-and-coming teams before Contenders. Those Guys, soon to be British Hurricane, won the tournament, losing only two maps along the way.
When the seven players of the Hurricane, Europe's lone academy team, get together, the mood is relaxed and carefree. The players laugh and joke around with no signs of pressure apparent. Spend 10 minutes with the players and it would be easy to forget that they are about to attend the first major western LAN since Contenders Season One's finals last October.
No onlooker should be fooled by their easygoing nature into thinking they aren't putting immense importance on the upcoming finals in Poland, however. In fact, the team doesn't just view the regional finals as important, but also the following NA vs EU showmatch is a fantastic chance for the European scene to prove its worth.
"The EU vs NA showmatch is the game I'm looking forward to most," said support FunnyAstro.
"I think there could be a lot more Europeans [in Overwatch League]," Fusions said later. "There's not too much publicity around [the European scene], not as much as around North America, at least. I feel there are a lot of players that could get underestimated because of that."
"That's why I think the EU vs NA showmatch is so important," FunnyAstro added. "Because if EU beats NA, a lot of the Overwatch League teams will probably take a look into Europe more."
"Honestly we feel like the EU vs NA showmatch is a really, really important showmatch. It's not a showmatch," Shifty said. "Personally Europe feels they're being overshadowed by North America for reasons that we may not agree with. So being able to show that we can possibly beat them and show that we're on the same level or above them is a really important opportunity."
The focal point of expansion for the next season of the Overwatch League seems to be Europe and Asia. After their experiences on an academy team this season and watching the state of their fellow Contenders teams, the Hurricane hope that this will bring more academy teams to Europe, as well.
"Being in an academy team gives us a more stable roster compared to any other team that isn't signed or anything because we obviously have the backing from an org," said support CrusaDe. "So it's easy to not have to worry that much about real life stuff because we have a salary and that relieves pressure from all of us to just focus on the game."
"[If there were more academy teams in Europe] teams would be more stable and there probably would be more competition," Kragie said. "The thing about Europe is that it's so unstable. For example, Orgless & Hungry, they're a really solid team but they slowly lost their players because they didn't have an organization, though they were probably better than some North American teams that had an organization."
All four teams competing in the European LAN finals have been stable. In fact, none of them have changed once since the first match of the season. Three of them play for organizations, while CIS Hope is the lone free agent finalist. Stability seems to be the key to European success, yet CIS Hope is the one team, if any, that worries Hurricane.
"We don't know what [CIS Hope] are going to pull out," said Hafficool. "But we know exactly what we're going into against Angry Titans and Gigantti."
"We can take any team one-on-one just fine," Shifty added. "But I think the unpredictable factor of CIS Hope -- that x-factor is what we're most afraid of."
However, for that same exact reason CIS Hope is one of the teams the Hurricane roster is most excited to play against. Hafficool remarked that CIS Hope was the most fun of the remaining European teams to play against because they varied their compositions and used heroes like Widowmaker. Some of the players looked forward to playing against other teams, the reigning champions, for example.
"A lot of people would be interested in seeing [a match between Hurricane and Gigantti] because that matchup was talked about even in the group stage," CrusaDe said. "I think it would bring in the most viewers because it would be between the title holders and the academy team."
The British Hurricane are certainly the European favorites entering Poland. The team has put up strong showings since the days of Those Guys in PIT and have not lost a map since suffering their lone defeat to Orgless & Hungry. As all of the jokes, laughter, and conversation neared its end, Shifty took the opportunity to say the Hurricane's closing words.
"We're very confident going into the LAN finals, but we also have a lot of respect for the teams we're going up against, there is the potential for any one of them to win EU Contenders. But we're definitely a team that can capitalize on momentum. I feel like if we have any sort of momentum on our side it's going to be real difficult to stop us.