For fans that have only recently stepped into the world of competitive Overwatch, this off-season might seem a bit jarring. Scattered Contenders and Open Division coverage is a far cry from the lights of Blizzard Arena, and besides Broadcast.gg, not many crews are putting a real effort into showing us rabid fans some high quality Overwatch. And Season 2 doesn’t start til FEBRUARY! What are we supposed to do?
The answer can be found in a little invitational that has become a seasonal staple for Overwatch fans, and the last vestige of an era that came before flashy venues and Sour Patch Kids. The BEAT Invitational is run by Canadian event organizer BEAT Esports, and is entering its fifth iteration this year. It’s a glimpse into Overwatch’s past, but also a chance to divine its future, too – a perfect cross-section of the game’s brightest talent, and a chance to see how things were back in the good ol’ days. (Note: The good ol’ days are not particularly old. But nostalgia is nostalgia, right?)
Titans & Gods
Past champions of the BEAT Invitational included the freshly minted GOATS, the dominant and Aero-helmed Fusion University, the hyper-powerful Rogue roster, and an OG iteration of EnVyUs, featuring Talespin and the late Dennis “INTERNETHULK” Hawelka. Each team was easily the most dominant Western roster in the game at the time, though plenty of other teams spent the weekend biting at their ankles.
Some other notable competitors have included:
- Cloud9 NA, featuring KyKy and Surefour
- Immortals and FNRGFE before they became the Valiant and Outlaws, respectively,
- Arc6, who gave us Danteh, SPACE, xQc, and Custa,
- Splyce, where Outlaws GM Flame played alongside future Outlaws player (and assistant coach) Clockwork,
- EnVision Esports, who would eventually become the bulk of Dallas’s Academy team,
- LG Evil, who gave us Jake, Super, and Avast
- Chicken Ranch Pizza, who (on top of having an awesome name) went on to form a large part of GGEA (status currently unknown.)
While the specter of Korean superstars duking it out in the APEX league still hung over Western Overwatch in its earlier seasons, BEAT was a chance for North America’s best talent to come together, sharpen their skills, and show the world what they could do – which has been a blessing for players looking to make it into the Overwatch League. This year should be no different.
Speaking of This Year…
BEAT’s fifth Invitational is out to do the same thing it has always done – provide a proving ground for the West’s top contenders (upper and lowercase). NRG, Toronto Esports, Bye Week, Skyfoxes, Second Wind, and Last Night’s Leftovers will be joined by Contenders Trials stars Phase 2 and GOATS for a weekend of high octane action. Notably absent are top Contenders seeds Fusion University and XL2. Given their dominance last season, I don’t think any other team will complain.
For Phase 2 and GOATS fans, the BEAT Invitational is a chance to see how their rosters will stack up against NA’s top talent. For Contenders fans, it’ll be a chance to see if they’re still holding things down despite some pretty major roster changes. Skyfoxes, Bye Week, and Second Wind reconfigured entirely for Trials. which has mostly been going quite well for them. NRG and Toronto have also switched things up as players are picked up and moved around in the pre-OWL shuffle. Some changes include:
- Swon to Florida Mayhem
- Rascal to SF Shock
- Robdab released
- Byrem (support), Kevster (former Orgless and Hungry DPS), Stand1 (former Foxes Main Tank), and HelloImHalo (Support) signed
- Swimmer signed from Skyfoxes
- Dino signed from Last Night’s Leftovers
We don’t know much about Toronto’s roster yet, but rumors have been flying lately. Colourhex might be joining the main Uprising roster, and with a new support duo signed, will Shu and Kruise be sticking around much longer? (Most don’t think so.) This weekend will be our chance to speculate on player destinations before announcements start coming in, so if you’re a proper desk-chair detective, you’ll definitely want to tune in.
What you Need to Know
Your talent & observer team for the Overwatch BEAT Invitational Season 5! Make sure to tune in October 19th – 21st over at https://t.co/Vxe4uuKgDP where they bring you all the action. pic.twitter.com/Q8cjo0SS4X
— BEAT esports (@BEATesports) October 18, 2018
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Featured Image Image Courtesy of BEAT Esports