With only one week to go until BlizzCon, various Overwatch World Cup teams are making the trip to Anaheim. Among the new faces this year is Team New Zealand. Missing from last years festivities, New Zealand hasn’t attended BlizzCon since 2017. Now, fronted by Kelsey “Colourhex” Birse from the Boston Uprising, Team New Zealand are happy to make their return to the Overwatch World Cup. With an impressive team of players from the Australian Contenders scene, these is a team of scrappy fighters ready to prove themselves among the best of the best.
Breaking Down The Team: DPS
This team of Kiwis is a collective representation of New Zealand’s best players. For fans of the OCE region, this team is one to keep an eye on. For those who aren’t too familiar with this roster, this is the perfect chance to join in on the hype train. Leading the team into battle, as previously mentioned, is Overwatch League superstar Colourhex. Though the Boston Uprising had a rough season, with many ups and downs, Colourhex proved himself among his peers. With incredible plays on characters like Widowmaker, Pharah, and even Genji, Colourhex is ready to show off his damage skills in a post-GOATs world.
Alongside Colourhex is Dale “Signed” Tang. Signed comes to the team from Australian Contenders as a member of ORDER. Signed is also the only original member from Team New Zealand 2017. Combining these two together in one team gives New Zealand a chance to create a well rounded roster. Signed is a fearsome McCree, and a two times Contenders champion. With hero pools of varying depth between these players, there’s a large chance of success to be found.
Breaking Down the Team: Tanks
The front line isn’t complete without tanks to guide the team into battle. For New Zealand, these tanks come in the form of Jack “Joker” Wyles and Shilp “plihS” Naik. Both from the Australian Contenders scene, these two players represent some of the best that the OCE region has to offer. On main tank, Joker shines with his gameplay, specializing in Winston, Reinhardt, and Orisa play. Additionally, Joker had initially applied for an operations role within the team. Instead, he was given a chance to shine on stage as a player, and is more than thrilled with his chance to show his stuff to the rest of the world.
On the other side, off tank plihS joins Joker at the front of the helm. A member of the Australian Contenders team Mindfreak, phliS’s twitter biography playfully pokes fun at his preferred characters. Previously, plihS could be seen playing D.va at extremely high levels. However, given the sudden shift in the meta with the addition of new characters, plihS can be seen playing Sigma more often than not.
Breaking Down the Team: Support
No team is complete without support players to rally by their side. A change from their initial roster announcement, Christopher “August” Norgrove joins the support line alongside Oliver “Jungle” Denby. Typically a damage player, August joined the team as a third DPS. However, with Paul “Truth” van Hutten having to step down, August made the switch with ease. Jungle, who’s known for his Lucio play, takes on the main support role. August, in turn, has taken up the mantle of flex support. With powerful hitscan skills on heroes like Sombra, Hanzo, and Reaper, the ability to flex onto heroes like Zenyatta and Moira gives him a chance to showcase his talents in other roles.
Both August and Jungle hail from the Contenders scene. August joins his teammates from Mindfreak, while Jungle represents Warrior Esports. Both teams had a bit of a turbulent time in the previous season of Contenders. However, the World Cup gives them a chance to show their stuff with people from their region. With their trip to BlizzCon already secured, New Zealand is ready to show the world why they’re one of the best teams competing.
The Predictions: Looking Forward
After a showmatch at the SEA Invitational, things ended on a less than savory note for New Zealand. They came in 5th place overall, losing out to Team Japan in their first bracket. However, a clean sweep doesn’t mean that things can’t get better for New Zealand. In another showmatch against Team Chinese Taipei, they tied things up with an overall 2-2 scoreline.
With recent roster changes that shuffled some players around, there’s still plenty of time for practice and refining their skills before they hit the stage. While the individual schedules haven’t been released yet, fans can enjoy the online preliminaries on October 31st, starting at 12:30 PM EST. Expect to see a tighter, more synchronized Team New Zealand that came to play, and came to show the world what they’re all about. And, remember — #KiwisUp!
Featured Image Courtesy of the Washington Justice twitter.
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