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Bizzaro world: Invitational recap

beat invitational

The results of the Beat Invitational were kind of a given, yet the actual matches themselves were definitely a surprise. Rogue won, Immortals took second and Arc6 took third. The placings below those three spots made as much sense as an Ouija board prediction.

LG Evil didn’t place and yet a month ago they looked stellar. Tempo Storm took a game off of one of the best Overwatch teams in the world. Rogue almost lost to Arc6 in a screamer. FNGRFE almost took out Arc6 in a match that required a look at the rulebook. Just what exactly happened in this tournament?

We have found the Scary Door.

Day One: Friday

lg evil, beat invitational
Courtesy of Team Liquid

Of all the matches, look to Envision versus LG Evil to be the real takeaway. Despite a laundry list of production problems, the match between LG Evil and Envision won match of the day.

LG Evil was the favorite, previously playing in groups two weeks prior and crushing Envision’s hopes. Envision now had a much better Genji in Jaru, and like MasterCard, he’s accepted everywhere. ConnorJ stepping down from Envision was a loss but Jaru seemed like an above average fit for a team indeed of a possible carry. On LG Evil’s side, Jake was still considered one of the better Soldier:76 players in the league, not above aKm but certainly no slouch. What played out through this match was a back and forth of Envision going absolutely crazy followed by Jake and the rest of LG Evil tying them to a bench to hold on. Poor team fights, wild ults that did nothing – it was a match that just felt tilted from the get go.

LG won Lijang, then lost Route 66. Envision almost lost Dorado but a last second brain fart cost LG the match. LG beat Envision on Anubis and held them to absolutely zero. The match on Ilios would have been much more interesting but once again Jaru proved to be the difference in killing everyone. Envision looked a lot fresher than they have been while LG just looked tired.

Day Two: Saturday

beat invitational, Arc6
Courtesy of Arc6 twitter

With five matches, the day went off surprisingly without a hitch. Arc6 and Rogue beat their respective teams handily and then nearly killed one another in the very next match. Arc6 going up two games to nothing, putting Rogue into a fly or die mentality. In everything after, Arc6 failed to finish off Rogue in Lijang and opened up the door for a comeback. Rogue blanked Arc6 on King’s Row and it felt like the game was over immediately. As Arc6 failed to get even two points on Route 66, Rogue took out all the brakes and finished them off with time to spare.

The reverse sweeps were just coming, however, as a few short matches later, the exact same thing occurred once again for Arc6. CLG went up one game to nothing against them in a best of three and was unable to close Arc6 out. Another nightcap of a match sent home the message that the tournament could easily be great when it wanted to be.

Day three: Sunday

beat invitational, rogue
Courtesy of TeamLiquid

Sunday borrowed the script from Saturday and turned it into a summer blockbuster. It even added more zany antics and wild plays to top it off.

Immortals looked very strong and nigh unbeatable in Contenders and then fell to Rogue in a three to one. Arc6 and FNRGFE repeated the match between Arc6 and Rogue except Arc6 won out. More so, the match itself went into a best of three, winner-take-all control point on Oasis. It had shades of similarity to Kungarna vs Cloud9 just two weeks prior in Contenders. Arc 6 looked gassed, and Immortals, still licking their wounds from Rogue, ended up trouncing them.

The final deserves recognition.

The heroes of this series were easily Kariv and uNKOE. Kariv became Proffesor Xavier to uNKOE’s Magneto. They just knew what and where the other one was and was planning to do all the time. uNKOE was obviously the aggressor in a lot of the fights and early on Immortals had zero clues on what to do. Enter Envy on D.Va and suddenly the match pulled a massive u-turn.

People joke that if teams want to get better they simply need to add Korean players. Maybe this is the truth because Immortals morphed into a totally different monster with a single substitution. Call it a hail mary of some degree – down three to nothing with the tournament on the line, Envy changed the dynamic of the game by doing a better job of taking care of Kariv on Zenyatta. Both are Korean so it’s probably not a hard guess that Kariv and Envy could actively communicate easier. Rogue looked hard pressed, with Kariv knowing just exactly when uNKOE was going to use EMP on a team fight. Kariv’s absolutely ridiculous aim and game sense seemingly turned on with their backs to the wall. Add in that GrimReality and Agilities woke up and found themselves in a team fight and flank battle with players way better than themselves. Immortals DPS looked very average compared to Rogue, who absolutely annihilated anyone in a one on one. aKm, SoOn and NiCO were above and beyond better but unable to match the support and tank play of Immortals.

The games went from being a possible sweep to a possible reverse sweep, to a best of five, to a best of three to finally winner-take-all on Volskaya. It drew over 25k+ viewers, which was at or higher than Contenders for most of its run barring finals. It highlights that when done well, Overwatch isn’t just great, it’s incredible to watch. Immortals made only a single mistake and it cost them the match, just a single blunder of contention. Otherwise, the match may have flipped and the power pyramid of teams in the US might need some adjusting.

The conclusion

This tournament had a lot of problems, with what felt like a roving bunch of gremlins trying to sabotage it from the get go. But addressing the considerable amount of production woes this tournament had is both unfair to the work that was put in by both the casters and the tournament staff. It’s all over Reddit and other websites, but in the end, it seems pointless to bring it up. Every tournament has a handful of missteps and this one albeit higher than average did a very good job of rolling with those production issues. Hexagrams and ZP are easily a great pair and you can sense that Hex is pushing through a lot of quality work despite the pressure. This tournament shined through the muck and really highlights that Overwatch can and is a good esport to watch.

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