With EnVyUsm and Rogue already guaranteed a spot and Cloud9 invited to the playoffs, there were 13 spots left in contention for the Overwatch Contenders group stages starting June 18th. Just days ago, the single elimination open qualifier leg of the tournament was played with best-of-three matches and delivered some shocking upsets.
There were more than 600 teams that registered to play that weekend, among them were popular names like NRG Esports, Team Liquid, Immortals, Tempo Storm and more. The most entertaining, however, was undoubtedly Kelvin and the Chipmunks. Lead by Overwatch streaming veteran, Seagull, The team streamed all of their matches from his perspective, including their competitive comms in the process. Although they were narrowly eliminated by Team Liquid, their team's stream reignited the debate surrounding the competitive Overwatch viewing experience, with many fans preferring the player focused perspective and comms more than the official broadcast.
Revenge is sweet
The most memorable storyline of the NA qualifiers was the defeat of NRG Esports at the hands of FNRGFE. It must have felt good for Enigma and Clockwork, players previously removed from the NRG roster, to eliminate the organization that dropped them. NRG was one of the favorites to qualify, which made their defeat all the more entertaining.
This tweet sums up the irony perfectly:
Preparing for OWL
A $100,000 prize pool is on the line for the 16 teams, but the real prize will be the recognition and exposure victory will ensure. Overwatch Contenders is part of a revitalization effort to combat the scarcity of tournaments and the daunting Overwatch League giving smaller teams no reason to compete. This tournament allows for these teams to stand out and entice big sponsors to pick them up for possible OWL involvement.
This weekend on June 10th and 11th, the EU qualifiers will begin, featuring an identical open qualifiers format. The top-seeded teams going into that weekend are eUnited, Movistar Riders, Ninjas in Pyjamas, and Misfits.
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