The Pridestark Gaming Overwatch Overwinter Classic produced great moments and surprising results from the weekend. The most interesting was D9 placing 3rd overall in the face of a major ranking difference.
D9 competed in the Challenger tier of the CGL previously and didn’t have high expectations going into this online competition. Their initial 14th seed was indicative of lack of practice and ranking decay. The team also faced internal struggles with many players not enjoying the competitive game and wanting to leave.
The person who held it together was their flex support player C 4 General F. They asked everyone to finish the weekend and see what happens from there. Things didn’t look good at the outset. Many team members weren’t as sharp as necessary going into a big event like this.
That all melted away in a moment when D9 beat PNX Sox in the opening round. PNK Sox was ranked at 4.3k SR going into the event. They won the CGL Grandmaster and Top 500 tier last year so this was a major upset. PNK Sox lowest ranked player was still 200 above the highest ranked player on D9; the odds really looked bad for D9.
“About an hour prior to the match,” C 4 General F said, “Snipes (Hitscan DPS player) and I put together some team compositions we hoped would work, and they did.”
The first map was Horizon Lunar Colony. The squad ran Zen GOATS on attack and secured the first point of attack. However, the squad couldn’t handle the attack angles their opponents were running so the team lost that round.
Switching to Horizon defense, D9 made their stand with an anti-GOATS Orisa bunker comp. That combined with huge damage from Zen, Ashe, and Junkrat created kill after kill while the tanks contested the point. This is when the team started thinking about believing.
The team ran a Hanzo variant on Zen GOATS on Dorado similar to the meta one would see during season ten forcing overtime, but the opponent’s aggressive DVA and Roadhog flanks held the round. The back and forth continued through Oasis with D9 adjusting their team composition in the face of the high-ranked, very aggressive team until the moment of truth.
They found the perfect team composition with Rein, Lucio, and Zen where they alternated their ultimates perfectly winning the second map cleanly. Then after a tough fight with several clutch moves on the final map, as the opposing Rein was crushed while DVA was put down on the point, it was over. A 3.7k team had beaten a 4.3k team.
D9 then caught a break in the quarterfinals when The Trashcans forfeited. D9 had easily beaten them previously in a quick game format, but being lucky is often better than being good. D9 was then beaten soundly in the semifinals finishing third overall after losing to both the first and second seeds.
“Nobody knew who we were going into this tournament,” C 4 General F said. “Half our team was in Diamond four days ago, and we went up against the top players on the platform. I think we made our mark and consider ourselves the front-runner to win the Rivals tier next season.”
Pridestark Gaming hosted this event With shoutcasters and mods provided by the CGL. Check out The Console Gaming League on Twitter for announcements on their upcoming season beginning January 2019. You can find more information about D9 on their YouTube channel.
Featured images courtesy of Console Gaming League and Red Bull.
Thanks to MikomiChan for support on this article.