2018’s last season of Contenders is kicking off across the world, and there are… a lot of teams. If you want to start following Contenders more closely, but don’t know what team to root for – this is the resource for you!
Note: These are not necessarily the best teams, just the ones we think will consistently provide entertaining games. Don’t get mad at us! We just want you to be entertained!
AUS – ORDER
This roster fields an interesting mix of high-powered players. ORDER has gone through some pretty drastic changes lately, but so far it’s looking like they’ve paid off – adding Sam “Quatz” Dennis and Jordy “Jordation” Frish from the Sydney Drop Bears (last season’s Australian Contenders champs) is a major power move. Joining them are Nathaniel “Merit” Hawkins at support and James “Yuki” Stanton at DPS – a familiar name to any TF2/Team Australia fans out there. Adam “Adam” Soong and Max “Unter” Unterwurzacher have been with ORDER since July, and have settled in comfortably with the rest of the crew.
SA – based tryhards
I know what you’re thinking. Where’s BGH? How could you not choose the most dominant Overwatch roster in South American history? It’s no stretch to say that BGH were the strongest team Brazil has ever seen, but were is the operative term here.
BGH’s core roster has left the org as of Wednesday morning, and now play under the banner of the based tryhards (all lowercase.)
Eduardo “dudu” Macero is back out of retirement, and is joined by his former teammates liko, alemao, neil, honorato, Klaus, kolero and TMATTEI. That’s… quite the squad!
To put the strength of this roster in perspective, here’s a fun fact for you: BGH lost one map in all of SA Contenders Season 2. One MAP! And now they’ve assembled am unsigned super-team?! Lord help any other South American roster. This team looks scary, and luckily for you, we get an English broadcast thanks to Broadcast.gg!.
PAC – Xavier Esports
I’ll admit, I don’t know much about Pacific Contenders. They’re the red-headed step-child on the path to pro, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have some amazing talent on some amazing rosters.
Case in point – Xavier Esports. The almost-all-Thai roster has mostly been together since 2017. The biggest exception is probably their smallest player – 15 year old Patiphan “Patiphan” Chaiwong, who stole hearts and kills with equal fervor at the Bangkok World Cup stage earlier this year. (Seriously, this kid is amazing. If you’re not watching him this season, you’ll regret it.) While Xavier finished fourth in the last season of Pacific Contenders, a lot has changed in the season – Monster Shield KR and CYCLOPS are both gone, and that might just open up the door for Patiphan and crew.
KR – RunAway
Let’s be real, you could throw a dart in the FreecUP Studio and land on an amazing Korean Contenders roster. Picking your favorite is like walking into a really nice car dealership – they’re all good, so you just have to pick the one that feels right. For me, that’s RunAway. (Of course it’s RunAway!)
This team has the greatest story in the history of the game, and many, many people have covered it better than I could in a paragraph or two. Suffice to say, there’s something special and unique about this team – special enough to make them Contenders champs last season (finally,) and special enough to get the entire roster an OWL contract shortly after. (We don’t know where they’re going yet, but I’m gonna guess the name of their new home city rhymes with Shmancouver…)
NA – Uprising Academy
This team isn’t the one to watch because of its train-wreck social media fiasco, but because of their star-studded roster of players. Keep an eye on support duo Gabriel “Swimmer” Levy and Hunter “Dino” Traupe, as well as main tank star Cameron “Fusions” Bosworth, who shredded at BlizzCon against… well, everyone. Seriously, everyone.
With rosters pulled apart and shuffled around all over the place, NA Contenders has become the Wild West of Overwatch. That means coordinated, mechanically skilled rosters will prosper. I consider Boston Academy to be one of the best rosters out there in this regard. Plus, they’re getting new branding soon!
EU – Samsung Morning Stars
Only a few days ago, I definitely would have put Gigantti in this spot. That was before their game against SMS, though. Even with Lilbow denying Sound Barriers and Milkyman building Earthshatters like they were going out of style, the Stars were still able to win in a blistering close 3-2 game. Thus, they’re my team to watch in EU right now – a pieced-together team of superstars and veterans that can go toe-to-toe with some of the biggest names in the game. In a region as stacked as EU is right now, they’ll need all that star power and then some.
CN – T1w Esports Club
Some may say China is number one, but in this article they’re going last – but not because they’re not worth watching! BlizzCon has shown us that the Chinese Overwatch community can not be ignored, so it’s in your best interest to keep an eye on the region’s rising stars.
As in Korea, you can easily find rosters rich in talent here. That said, T1w (short for “The One Winner”) have set themselves apart. Cai “Krystal” Shilong was just signed to the Hangzhou Spark, but the rest of the roster remains the same, save for the addition of newcomer Tan “Mijia” Xujie.
Last season, T1w finished in third place. Now that Lucky Future Zenith and LGD have been pulled apart by various Overwatch teams, precious little seems to be standing in T1w’s way to a championship berth. Not that the other 11 teams won’t give it their best try…
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