It’s hard to keep up with Contenders. Trust me, we know. The Overwatch League is a constant stream of high quality content, so when you get a rare break between weeks full of gameplay, it might seem hopeless to try and keep tabs on anything else.
There’s still hope, though! To help you in your quest to stay abreast of the wide world of Competitive Overwatch, we’ve compiled some very brief, very basic summaries of each region’s top dogs, and how their seasons are shaping up in the closing weeks of early 2019. Anything can happen between now and Week 7, but speculation’s half the fun!
Top 4 (Playoff spots secured): Blank Esports (5-0, +9), ORDER (4-1, +12), Sydney Drop Bears (4-1, +10), Melbourne Mavericks (4-1, +5)
Australia has long been dominated by the Sydney Drop Bears, who sit in third place after a 3-1 loss to Blank Esports last week. With two games left to finalize the playoff picture down under, the top four have secured their post-season berths, and left the bottom four (Ground Zero Gaming, Legacy Esports, Mindfreak, and Athletico Esports) to fight over the last two. Athletico are sitting at 0-5 – never a good look – but the remaining three teams are all 1-4, within two maps of each other. The race will be close.
Remaining games of note: GZ vs MF (4/8), GZ vs ATH (4/3), LE vs MF (4/3), ORD vs MEL (4/10), ORD vs BLK (4/1)
Top 3 (Playoff spots secured): Talon Esports (4-1, +11), Nova Monster Shield (4-1, +5), Cyclone Coupling (4-1, +3)
With two weeks left, the field in the Pacific is a lot more open than Australia. For playoff spots 4 and 5, Global Esports and JUPITER (3-2, +6) seem locked in. Xavier Esports (1-4, -6) and KIX Team (1-4, -9) are squabbling over the last spot, with GIANT LYNX (0-5, -16) are… well, not doing too well. With games against GE and Cyclone left, odds are good that they stay at the bottom of the pile – and out of the playoff picture. That said, crazier things have happened…
Remaining games of note: TLN vs GE (4/4), TLN vs JUP (4/11), NOVA vs JUP (4/5), KIX vs XAV (4/4)
Top 4 (No Playoff spots secured): Lowkey Esports (4-0, +12), XTEN Esports and Isurus Gaming (3-1, +8), UP Gaming (3-1, +6)
South America is still too close to call, though their playoff picture is solidifying rapidly. The Top 4 seem fairly solid – especially Lowkey, who have crushed the region with their new super roster (comprised of players from Grand Finalist rosters based tryhards and LFTOWL). Spots 5 and 6 seem equally secured by FURY and INTZ eSports, who have a significant gap between them and the bottom two teams, Caverna e-Sports and Team Clarity (0-4, -14). The remaining games of note will help decide seeding, and determine if Lowkey are making a push for a perfect season.
Remaining games of note: INTZ vs XTEN (4/10), INTZ vs UP (4/15), XTEN vs UP (4/1), LK vs ISU (4/15), CAV vs CLA (4/10)
Top 3 (Playoff spots secured): Angry Titans and British Hurricane (5-0, +11), Team Gigantti (4-1, +12)
After five weeks, Europe is starting to see some major separation. The top 3 are once again proving themselves a cut above the rest (especially Angry Titans, who have overcome the loss of Elliot “ELLIVOTE” Vaneryd with a perfect season thus far), while the rest of the pack fights over the three remaining playoff spots. Samsung Morning Stars (2-3, +2) and One.PoinT (2-3, -4) seem like strong bets to make it in, but Eternal Academy (1-4, -5) could surge forward and lock their spot if they beat One.PoinT and Shu’s Money Crew (1-4, -8) on the 11th and 4th, respectively. (Young and Beautiful are rounding out the pack at 0-5, -19 – it would take a hell of a game against One.PoinT and Gigantti for them to reenter the playoff conversation.)
Remaining games of note: BH vs AT (4/11), BH vs GIG (4/4), EA vs SMC (4/4), SMC vs SMS (4/12)
Top 6 (No playoff spots secured): RunAway (4-0, +9), Gen.G (3-1, +5), WGS Armament/Team MVP/Element Mystic (2-2, 0), O2 Blast (2-2, -3)
This region is close! (Besides RunAway, of course. They’re just doing RunAway things.) With three weeks left, and plenty of head-to-heads in that nasty four-way tie, Korea could give us a ton of different playoff looks. How exciting!
Keep an eye on O2 Blast in particular – they might be a few maps behind the rest of the 2-2 teams, but a blisteringly close 2-3 loss against RunAway means they’ve got some crazy potential – especially considering they play against all three of their 2-2 counterparts to round out the season. They might single-handedly decide the fate of a few of these teams.
Remaining games of note: O2 vs EM (4/9), O2 vs MVP (4/24), O2 vs WGS (4/17)
Top 5 (No playoff spots secured): Bilibili Gaming and LGE.Huya (3-0, +10), T1w (3-0, +7), Flag Gaming (2-1, +2), Team CC (2-1, +1)
China is furthest behind in their overall picture for the season, and they’re also the second biggest region in the world (behind North America.) With 12 teams in the hunt, it’ll be a bit before we see any guaranteed spots, but we can make some early conjectures after three weeks of play.
BLG (Hangzhou’s Academy team) and LGE.Huya (Chengdu’s Academy team) are both looking fantastic – better even than T1w, who dropped only a single map last season in their rush to the Grand Finals. They’ll have a tougher time of it this time around, but they’re only three maps behind those two at this point – an easily recoverable gap. Flag Gaming and Team CC (Shanghai’s Academy team) aren’t far behind either, and a quartet of 1-2 teams (BTRG, TSL, GZ Academy, and Lucky Future) round out the list of playoff hopefuls. Alter-Ego (0-3, -12) and Team For Victory (0-3, -8) have a long road ahead of them if they want in on that conversation. If you ask us, it’s not looking good.
Remaining games of note: BLG vs T1w (4/14), LGD vs BTRG (4/13), CC vs LGE (4/13)
North America West
Top 3 (No playoff spots secured): Envy (4-0, +12), Skyfoxes (3-1, +4), Square One (3-1, +3)
The NA West has had a pretty great run of things these past few weeks, unless you like having the number 2 in your team name. Envy are undefeated, even with their main tank slinging 300-ping boomerangs across the Pacific. The Skyfoxes have a team house, of all things – a rarity for an unsigned team – and have thoroughly put their 0-5, -20 season behind them. Square One have burst onto the scene as one of the most successful rising teams ever – they’ve come straight from Open Division this season, and have looked great the whole way, thanks to a strong coaching staff and some insanely clutch players. NRG and ATL Academy are holding on in the top 6, though their fates are far from secure – and below them, it doesn’t get much better. XL2 (1-3, -5) are fairly safe with a match against 2nd Generation on the 17th (and with Phase 2 sitting at 0-4, -9), but they need to start showing up if they want to be anything more than one and done.
Remaining matches of note: NRG vs ATL, XL2 vs ATL, XL2 vs NRG, XL2 vs 2G
North America East
Top 4 (No playoff spots secured): Fusion University (4-0, +6), Mayhem Academy (3-1, +7), Gladiators Legion (3-1, +5), Second Wind (3-1, +4)
Some decent separation in NA East means that the last three games of the season will decide seeding for the Top 4, and the playoff picture for anyone else not named Bermuda. Uprising Academy, Chicken Contendies and Montreal Rebellion are all within a few maps of one another, and have some key head-to-heads left to help shake things out. Fusion Uni will no doubt hold the top spot in the group, but notice their record vs Envy’s… the usual Map 5 magic has held sway for a long time. It might not work as well again when Envy comes to call in the playoffs. (Their last game was a nailbiter, too!)
Remaining games of note: GLAL vs FU (4/1), MA vs FU (4/15), MA vs GLAL (4/8), MTL vs CHK (4/1), UA vs CHK (4/15)
STAY UP TO DATE
Follow Brandon on Twitter @thibbledork! Ask him questions, or tell him how he’s doing!
You can also message him on Discord! (thibbledork#0282)
Featured Image Courtesy of Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment