The Overwatch Open 2016 hosted by E-League has wrapped up its groups and moves on to the playoffs – at least for the North American teams.
While Group A contained Team EnVyUs, Team Liquid, NRG eSports and Splyce, Group B consisted of Fnatic, Method, Cloud 9 and Immortals.
We witnessed Team EnVyUs start the first day off by Splyce. A quick 2-0 on Numbani and King’s Row moved EnVy onto the winners match. Afterwards, we had Liquid face NRG. Another 2-0, with Liquid surprisingly winning on Dorado, which is considered a home map for NRG. They wrap up the series on Hollywood, meaning that they also win moved onto the winners match to face EnVyUs.
The winners match between EnVy and Liquid resulted in an expected 2-0 for EnVyUs, who most will consider the favorites for the entire tournament. Splyce once again struggle to compete, as they get 2-0 by NRG in the elimination match and get sent home.
To finish Group A in day 2, NRG faced Liquid in a deciders match to see who would go up against the number 1 seed from group B in the playoffs. NRG just barely managed to win against Liquid 2-1, with the 3rd and final map going into a Control Point map decider which also went 2-1. This was definitely one of the best games in the entire group stage – from start to finish.
Liquid, feeling confident in their previous victory against NRG, decided to pick the same 3 maps against them again (Dorado, Hollywood, Numbani). NRG adapted to their previous mistakes on Dorado, and managed to win that map. Hollywood showed however how strong Liquid can be. Numbani, the decisive set of the series, started with NRG defending, with Brandon “Seagull” Larned attempting to play Bastion.
However, he gets shut down almost immediately, which leads to Liquid taking the first point. Both teams manage to take the payload to all 3 points with about a minute on the clock remaining for each of them. This is an incredibly short amount of time to take the first point on Numbani, and neither team was able to do it meaning the map ends in a draw, and NRG was claimed winner after a coin-flip. Just kidding! The winner was determined after a random Control map, which ended up being Nepal in this case. After a back and forth game, NRG managed to come out on top and took themselves the final point, winning the game and thus, the series.
Group B started off in day 1 with a huge upset, with Method defeating Cloud 9 2-1. Despite a rough start on Lijang Tower, where they won only 1 of the stages, the next map, Nepal, proved to be the opposite for the Method side, who won 3-1, surprising everyone who predicted an easy Cloud 9 win. The 3rd and final map was Eichenwalde, Overwatch’s latest addition. The series ended with Method playing incredibly well, and taking the series home. On the other side of group B, Fnatic faced off against the relatively young team of Immortals, and had no problems, dispatching their opposition with winson King’s Row and Hollywood.
The elimination match had Cloud 9 facing Immortals with their tournament life – surprisingly early – on the line. However, C9 made quick work of Immortals, winning 2-0 on Hollywood and Route 66. Method faced Fnatic in the group winners match, with both teams looking to exit the group as the first seed in order to avoid playing EnVyUs in the first round of playoffs. Unfortunately for Method, they couldn’t seem to carry their momentum from their previous victory onto this match. Fnatic won 2-1, with the maps being Nepal, Lijang Tower and Dorado.
The last match played in group stage was a rematch between Cloud 9 and Method, with Method looking to prove themselves as a top team in NA while Cloud 9 were looking for redemption. C9 absolutely plowed through Method on the first map, Route 66. Brandon “Ultimawep” Wilson tried his best to carry his team to victory but it wasn’t enough.
The next map was a surprising pick, Temple Of Anubis. Cloud 9 started on the attacking side -and with a unexpected hero. Widowmaker on Derrick “Reaver” Nowicki allowed them to take the first point lightning fast. They carried the momentum with them onto the 2nd point, taking it on their second attempt. The score becomes 2-0 with Cloud 9 still having over 5 minutes left to attack later on. Method do manage to eventually take both of the points making the score 2-2, but they were left with only 2 minutes remaining on the clock.
The 2nd set of rounds had Method attacking again. Despite the low amount of time they had to work with, they still managed to take both points, making the score 4-2. With the sides changed, and with more than 5 minutes to equalize the set once more, Cloud 9 started off strong, taking the first point early in order to move to the second point with about 4 minutes on the clock. However, the improbable happened, and they fail to snowball, and are forced to regroup again in order to take attempt a take on the second point. Method do a good job of stalling, and won the second map after an insane back and forth battle during the last 30 seconds.
The 3rd and decisive map, Hollywood, saw Cloud 9 starting on defense. Method had trouble finding an opening onto the point until Nick “Exi” Dudek helped, forcing their way onto the point. Method continued their push, reaching the final point with the payload thanks to Ultimawep performing extremely well as Reaper. However, they run out of time, and only manage to cap it during overtime. Cloud 9 played their first offensive round much faster, finishing the map with still 3 minutes remaining, tying the score 2-2. C9 end up capping the first point, taking the series 2-1 in a very hard fought battle.
With the North American groups being concluded, the playoffs start with EnVyUs vs Cloud 9and Fnatic vs NRG. The winner between these 4 teams will face the winner of the European playoffs to see who will be crowned The Overwatch Open Champion.
The action for the European teams start on Wednesday at 10am EST, with the series between REUNITED and Ninjas in Pyjamas.