The first group stage for the Overwatch World Cup had an explosive start. The match between Team Finland vs. Team South Korea, for example, is already being considered one of the best matches of the year.
As expected, well known Overwatch League players enjoyed most of the spotlight. However, Overwatch Contenders players steadily made waves throughout the first group stage. Players like Txao from Team Russia and Davin from Team Finland had impressive showings, but the true standouts were two Widowmakers that made the weekend even spicier.
I'm talking about Moowe from Team Hong Kong, and Dep from Team Japan.
The Widowmaker Talent
Widowmaker is a unique hero because, despite the simplicity of her toolkit, at the highest levels she requires the natural talent of hand and eye coordination to truly maximize her effectiveness. So, when some of the best Widowmakers this weekend players from Overwatch Contenders, it forced people to take notice. If Mowee and Dep are comparable (favorably, even) against the top OWL Widowmaker players, then their OWL aspirations become more than just hopes: they become serious possibilities.
Team Hong Kong’s Chi-Yeung “Moowe” Yip – Hong Kong Attitude
Moowe is the coach for the Hong Kong Attitude. Yes, you read that right, he is the coach. However, during the World Cup, he is on the frontlines playing as DPS. His performance on Widowmaker had people scratching their heads: how can an Overwatch Coach be so mechanically gifted?
You have to understand that the Korean group stages had some of the best Widowmakers in the world. Just to name a few, there was LiNkzr, Taimou, and Carpe -- just being able to challenge them on equal footing was no easy feat. However, Moowe was not only keeping competitive Widowmaker pace, he was winning Widowmaker duels and dominating his fellow snipers.
All this despite Team Hong Kong not winning a single map throughout the whole weekend.
When Hong Kong was playing against Russia, Mowee was winning duels repeatedly against Mistakes, especially in Rialto. This prompted Twitch chat users to demand OWWC observers to “SPEC MOOWE” (which means to spectate Mowee’s first-person view) because most of his kills were missed by the observers.
What was even more surprising was Mowee started winning Widowmaker duels against Carpe. Carpe is, possibly, the best Widowmaker player in the world. However, time and time again Mowee was beating him. Although not in completely“dominant” fashion, LiNkzr also had a taste of Mowee's lethality.
The future of Mowee, the “coach” of Hong Kong Attitude is unclear. You need to have consistency and flexibility to be considered Overwatch League ready and one weekend of amazing performance is nowhere enough to be recruited. However, what is clear is that he took the challenge against the best Widowmakers in the world and still came up on top.
Here are some stats:
*These numbers were taken from the killfeed, and may not necessarily indicate an actual 1 vs. 1
Team Japan’s Yuma “Dep” Hisamoto – CYCLOPS athlete gaming
Unfortunately, Team Japan did not have the success that many people expected them to. From SamuraiD’s absences (due to health-related reasons) to their slump dating all the way back from Contenders, Team Japan started this tournament at a disadvantage. However, there were still spurts of glory from the Japanese team, most notably from their DPS players.
And out of the all their DPS players, Dep stood out the most.
Dep is a DPS player for CYCLOPS athlete gaming, which is one of the finalists for the Pacific contenders region. Dep is often cited as the “best Widowmaker” in his region and coming into the World Cup, he said that he wanted to show that he was one of the best Widowmakers in the world.
And he certainly proved himself.
In this match against, Team Russia, Dep helped Japan secure the second point by eliminating 4 out of the 6 players from Russia. Japan, then, would take a map from Russia and start the series with a lead. Despite losing the whole series, their win in Oasis came as a surprise because Team Russia is a formidable team that went toe-to-toe with the likes of Team Finland.
Dep carries his team against Team Russia
Dep carried again when they were playing against Team Chinese Taipei. In their attack in King’s Row, Dep was able to kill pretty much everything, which allowed Team Japan to finish the last point with ease. Note that after a couple of kills, he goes into super aggressive positioning and is still able to one-shot enemies.
He does it again against Team Chinese Taipei.
This is not to say that these players are OWL ready. Overwatch League players are not just mechanically gifted, but they need to prove themselves that they have the mental fortitude to consistently perform on stage. They also need to be flexible, and willing to work with the team and grow, and this can’t be done by anyone.
However, both Moowe and Dep has shown that there is a plenty of untapped talent that is eager to grow and make a name for themselves. The new Widowmakers from Hong Kong and Japan are prime examples of the type of new talent that may already be ready for Season 2 of Overwatch League.