The Overwatch Open is coming to its epic conclusion where 16 Overwatch teams from North America and Europe will be duking it out at Atlanta, Georgia, USA in the LAN finals. While it's a bummer that the clash between regions will only happen in the last Grand Final game, do expect some tense moments, and sick production values coming from the best teams in Overwatch and the production powerhouses of organisers ELEAGUE, who mostly known in the CS:GO circle with their own televised league.
With the Regional Finals already starting, here's a look at the teams that will be competing for a stake in the $300,000 USD prize pool.
Clinical as ever, their route in the qualifying rounds might be a bit rough, but REUNITED have now maintain a consistent performance, enough to be considered in the Top 4 teams in EU. The player-owned team has been consistent, but they need to prove they can secure a big win and a win in the Overwatch Open might be the one for them to do it.
Player To Watch: Kyb. The pro Genji that climbed the competitive mode ladders to get noticed by a pro team, this youngster has been performing well with the rest of the more veteran players despite Overwatch being his first entry in e-sports. While his claim to fame is Genji, Kyb has also talents with other heroes like Reaper and Roadhog. With the meta changing out of favour to the cyborg ninja, expect Kyb to play as other DPS heroes.
The temporary gig with Immortals eventually bear fruit as the mix of WEUNITED and ohno players officially got picked up by FaZe Clan. The organisers are hoping their second signing of an Overwatch team can hold out longer and live to its potential, and after an explosive start on the group playoffs, beating top-seeded Rogue, they might be living up to expectations.. as long as they can keep it cool and play well in the current tank-heavy meta.
Player to watch: TwoEasy. The main DPS for FaZe used to play with REUNITED until he got dropped. He has found himself with some other great players and has been is now as deadly as ever. Expect to see him on McCree a lot, landing the crucial picks and headshots to keep the team pushing.
Ninjas In Pyjamas
The all-Finnish group may not be top tier, but NiP has carved up a name for themselves for pioneering the latest team comp post patch 1.3: Triple Tank, Triple Support. Otherwise known as the NiP comp, the trick here is having Ana healing up a lot of damage the tanks- a combination of Roadhog, Zarya and Reinhardt (or Winston) soaking the damage and building up ult charge, then wreck havoc from there. The comp has been implemented by other teams ever since, including the Korean team LuxuryWatch Red that successfully used it to win Gosugamers Weekly NA #18.
However, the team does not look hot on normal comps. We will have to see if Ninjas In Pyjamas will make triple tank triple support (or any of its variations) work if they want to stand a chance.
Player To Watch: Hymzi. While Kynnel on Ana and Fragi on Reinhardt is the engine that keeps the triple tank comp running, it's Hymzi's play on Roadhog that adds an extra oomph. The OG Roadhog player can land sick hooks and gets the early picks that helps the team win team fights early, so expect to see him making a big for the Ninjas. In Pyjamas.
Down but not out. Team Dignitas need to pull it together and catch up with the rest of the pack. They have the talent to do so, being a very stable roster. Their main strengths are on Control (King Of The Hill) maps, and hopefully they have the edge to maintain that supremacy.
Player To Watch: Linkz. The Finn is arguably the main carry of Dignitas, with his large pool of heroes he can play and the ability to clutch it out when the going gets tough.
The ESL Overwatch Atlantic Showdown champions were in for a shock after losing to the out-performing FaZe Clan in the playoffs, but their aggressive playstyle is still something to watch out for. The mix of Swedish and French players have something to prove- their success at the ESL tournament is no fluke, and they should be good enough to challenge for the $100,000 winners prize.
Player To Watch: TVIQ. The star DPS of Rogue is the more versatile of the two players (AKM is the hitscan specialist, being deadly on McCree), if Rogue has a secret tech they are saving up until the regional finals, expect TVIQ to have something to do with it, just as what he did on Hanamura as Mei during the Overwatch Atlantic Showdown.
Misfits are one of the best lineups in Europe that is struggling at the moment. With Tanker Skipjack having to miss out the finals to attend to family matters and 17-year-old Danish DPS player Zaprey calling it quits from pro Overwatch, Misfits may be a little bit more shaky than ever. Second support Nevix will now move to the DPS slot- a position he can do shine according to his public stats in competitive mode last season, while ryb from the recently disbanded OWKings will be standing in for Skipjack and Hidan from ex-Team Aera (now NoNameYet) is on trial as Support.
Player To Watch: Nevix. He is one of the support players that plays mostly DPS outside of pro matches, reaching Top 10 with two accounts during Competitive Mode Season 1. Now getting a chance to fit into the DPS role, we will now get to see more of his untapped skills.
LG has been consistently great so far and their recent performance in the Overwatch Open qualifiers speak for themselves. Nothing flashy, but the whole team gels so well that they function extremely as a whole with great coordination.
Player To Watch: Eissfeldt. The flex player has strong Zarya plays that will keep the momentum of the rest of the team going.
The Russian tigers that roared during week 1 of qualifiers, but failed to make a win in the next three weeks. Despite that, ANOX is no one-hit wonder, as they qualified out of the group playoffs in top seed, defeating Misfits and not dropping a round.
Player to Watch: Cooler. The ex-Quake pro is doing killer work as Lucio. While the casters and cameras won't be focusing on him as much, he should be seen often on the killfeed, scoring crucial boops and final hits while keeping the team all healed up.
While the king might have fallen, EnVyUs is still one of the strongest teams in NA. They have been quiet ever since, not seen in any of the smaller tournaments as of late, probably focusing their efforts on the big money.
Player to watch: Chipshajen. One of the best support players, he's proven to be elusive as Mercy and deadly as Zenyatta. With the new meta, expect to see him more on Ana and keeping the team snowballing and dishing out those quick Nanoboosts.
While NRG seems to struggle as of late, they have fallen out from the #3 in NA spot they occupied for a while, NRG seems to be back on track. With them bootcamping more, Seagull and co should put out a good showing this weekend.
Player to watch: Enigma. While Seagull has his mad Genji skills, flex player Enigma has one of the best Tracers around. DPS player Gods switches to a tank to make way for Enigma to snip around and harass from the backline.
The team where Quake players make a name in Overwatch. With three ex-pro Quake players now under the same banner, Liquid has one of the most experienced roster line-up when it comes to general FPS game knowledge. But will all of their legendary skills translates well into Overwatch?
Player to watch: Rapha. His triumphant win in Quake duel at the recent Quakecon is probably the last for the Quake legend, now fully committed in Overwatch. His general FPS knowledge and great mechanical skills has made great plays for Liquid, and is the right person to fill the last slot for the dark horse that has just found their groove.
It's been a while since we see Splyce making it big. After some roster troubles, it looks like Splyce is on their way back to making it to the top 10 teams in NA. But will they make a big enough impact at Atlanta?
Player to watch: Clockwork. The main DPS has the skills to carry and clutch for the team when needed.
Cloud 9 was so strong during when Overwatch just launched but the recent balance changes did not work in their favour. But with Mercy back in the meta, we could probably see some glimpses of what makes Cloud 9 so strong long ago, highly coordinated and support players that are tricky to nail down.
Player to watch: Surefour. The firey (but rather cool in real life) DPS player is the backbone to Cloud 9's excellence. As long as the rest of team can contribute to the team fight as well, Surefour will be the deadly McCree or Tracer that keeps enemies at bay.
The rising star of NA. Fnatic is looking better and better everytime. All 6 of them are great players on their own, but Fnatic has something more up in their sleeves in the form of a coach: Roflgator. Having experienced coaching teams like IDDQD (the legendary team during the beta, now mostly part of EnVyUs) and Rogue, his presence in Fnatic has helped the team gel even better, despite having two players, IDDQD (the player named after the team) and Vonethil living across the Atlantic.
Player to watch: Buds. The second DPS player is more specialised compared to IDDQD, but when he's playing Reaper and starts hiding in corners or high places, expect some glorious, well-coordinated Death Blossoms to appear.
Immortals (formerly Sodipop)
Sodipop was the only team in this list to not be signed by any major organisation to reach the live finals, until Immortals stepped in and signed them. Immortals tried out a team during the last week of online qualifiers, but the roster now signed up with FaZe clan. The Sodipop guys have been playing decently to make it this far, and after getting picked up by a team, this should help them up their game even more.
Player to watch: wgb. Unfortunately for Immortals' main tank Nomy, he could not make it to Atlanta due to visa issues which forced the team to look for a sub. That's where wgb comes in. Formerly of Colorado Clutch, he moved on from the team after their Overwatch Open campaign ends and is currently in the works of forming a new roster with Gale Force e-Sports. A solid tank, especially on Reinhardt, it will be interesting to see how he can mesh with the rest of the crew.
Barely making out of the Group playoffs with a long bout against up and coming Rise Nations, Method is seeking to break away from the mid-tier level of NA teams and make themselves a challenger for he big titles. With Brazilian DPS player Snow as their latest addition to the roster, Method is poised to make a dent in the playoffs.
Player to watch: Krawnic. The tank player shines the most as Reinhardt, nailing Fire Strikes that hits and crucial Earthshatters to stop enemy advances.
The Overwatch Open Regional Finals commences on the 25th September. You can watch it live on Twitch or on Astro's eGG channel 808.
[This article originally appeared on Gamer Malaya.]