NA Contenders officially returns today with Western Division action starting at 3:00 pm PDT, while NA East starts back up on Wednesday, June 19 at 3:00 pm PDT. Coming off of two showdowns, an exciting season of Trials and a busy offseason of roster shuffles, Season 2 of 2019 looks to be as exciting as it will be unpredictable.
Amidst all of this, there are a few players across Contenders that, for better or worse, fans should keep their eyes glued to. These players have the chance to impact their teams in big ways and will likely play major roles in the narratives yet to unfold across both divisions.
John “iCy” Kazura – Triumph
Triumph is a team to watch, in general, but iCy is a standout all his own. Between his flexing to different DPS heroes to clutch out maps and his huge D.Va bombs, iCy has quickly become a mainstay in a Triumph roster with some already big name players. With Sombra entering the competitive dray more and more, it will be interesting to see who from Triumph takes up the mantle and plays the hacker. Whether he finds himself on that role or not, this is still a player to keep an eye on in Triumph’s week 1 matchup against Montreal Rebellion.
“I GOT! I GOT!” – @iCy_OW
— Triumph (@TriumphGamingGG) June 4, 2019
Jang-hyeon “TiZi” Hwang – Chicken Contendies
If TiZi is a name that sounds familiar but is hard to place, that’s because he is one of the more traveled players in Contenders right now. Formerly with London Spitfire, XL2, GZ Academy and even RunAway, TiZi has plenty of experience to help lead the new-look Contendies this season. The main tank enters the lineup replacing last year’s main tank, Rick “GiG” Salazar. Being the only non-Western player on the team, synergy will be the only thing in question for TiZi and the Contenders who kick off their season on Wednesday against Uprising Academy.
Seok-hyun “Attitude” Hwang – Meta Skyfoxes
Meta Skyfoxes recently released their flex tank, Tae-in “FR3E” Yoon, after sexual misconduct allegations surrounding the player. This leaves the team with only six total players and a chance for their Korean DPS substitute, Attitude, (formerly known as ATD) to make a lasting first impression on the team. This would not be the first player to step up for their team amidst a sexual scandal, calling back to the excellent work from Stanislav “Mistakes” Danilov in 2018 of the OWL for the Boston Uprising.
Skyfoxes are a team that will desperately need to rely on a Sombra player, moving forward. Perhaps Attitude can step up to either fill the role as Sombra or help his team to otherwise thrive in their opener against Bermuda on Wednesday. This game will likely prove to either be a catalyst for Skyfoxes to consider free agents to fill the hole or elevate Attitude to the starting six. With the stakes this high, he will definitely be a player to watch.
Just the Beginning
These three players will begin writing their own stories tonight, alongside the other 100+ other players in NA Contenders. T2 and T3 players are the stars of tomorrow and the presumable future of the OWL, so fans should be as invested in these players as possible. To begin investing, tune into the Contenders Twitch channel tonight at 3:00 pm PDT to see who sends shockwaves across the league and whose story starts off with some hurdles. And, as always, check back with The Game Haus for all of the Contenders and OWL news and updates.
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