Jul 25 2016 - 9:02 pm

Misfits, EnVyUs qualify for ELEAGUE Overwatch regionals

Just days after ELEAGUE revealed they will bring Overwatch esports to television, we're already through the first set of qualifiers for the Overwatch Open, run by FACEIT and ELEAGUE
Samuel Lingle
Dot Esports

Just days after ELEAGUE revealed they will bring Overwatch esports to television, we're already through the first set of qualifiers for the Overwatch Open, run by FACEIT and ELEAGUE. Misfits in Europe and EnVyUs in North America won the weekend, scoring guaranteed berths in the regional portion of the competition.

In North America, that’s no surprise. EnVyUs is dominating Overwatch competition at a level similar to a previous incarnation of the same lineup. IDDQD went undefeated for nearly 80 matches with four of the six players now on EnVyUs during the closed beta, and they're on a similar run right now. 

The favorites took home the American regional by besting Splyce, Luminosity Gaming, and Team SoloMid in order, winning every game they played on their way to the championship. They even got creative on King’s Row in the finals with Ronnie "Talespin" DuPree pulling out Mei on defense and using her trap foes between her ice wall and charging Reinhart in the tight alleyways of London.

The rest of the results ultimately do matter, as placing in the qualifiers earns points towards winning the final four berths in the regional tournament, once qualifiers are complete. TSM reached the finals by continuing their recent superlative play, beating Cloud9 in the semifinals. Luminosity Gaming reached the other semifinal after sweeping Selfless Gaming. Absent from this week's event is the newly signed Fnatic team, who will need to make up lost ground in ensuing weeks to reach the regional.

In Europe, a Misfits win was hardly unexpected, but the foe they faced in the final was certainly a surprise. Instead of battling Rogue, Reunited, or Creation eSports, a trio of teams that have also won events in recent weeks and months, they came face to face with ANOX, a CIS region team featuring Quake legends Anton “Cooller” Singov and Alexei “Cypher” Yanushevsky.

ANOX has competed with the same lineup since the release of Overwatch, but they’ve placed squarely in the second tier of teams since then, failing to take games off squads like Rogue and Misfits in previous meetings. But this weekend, they nearly took the title. 

ANOX surprised on Saturday by sweeping REUNITED in two straight games. That's certainly an upset, but in some ways not a surprising one considering REUNITED often struggles when a patch, like last week’s big Ana introduction, shifts the metagame. But on Sunday, ANOX followed it up by sweeping Rogue 2-0 before playing a close series against Misfits, ultimately falling 3-1. Yanushevsky played like a man possessed on Genji and the team seemed to punish Rogue and REUNITED for running D.Va, a hero many felt could dominate the metagame after buffs to her shield made her difficult to beat.

It’s hard to say whether ANOX can continue that form and consistently beat the other top teams in Europe, but the door is wide open for them to make a move up the rankings. Perhaps the new Zenyatta and Lucio support meta is favorable to them, but it’s not like they used cheese to win those games. They simply outplayed their foes.

Still, Misfits showed yet again that they are Europe’s most solid team. While squads like Rogue and Creation eSports have the firepower to take down Misfits in any given series, the Misfits team puts out more consistent performances, and it’s pushed them to the regional finals of the joint ELEAGUE and FACEIT Overwatch Open.

Next week’s qualifiers should be just as exciting. Will ANOX continue their cinderella story and put Quake players back on the Overwatch map? Can Cloud9 figure out how to beat Team SoloMid? Whither the newly signed Fnatic, who should shake up results in America?

There’s a lot more Overwatch left before we know who will represent each region on prime time television

Jan 22 2017 - 9:12 pm

Hearthstone's NA vs CN event ends in controversy

The Chinese players were coasting to victory, but their final win provoked minor outrage.
Callum Leslie
Weekend Editor, Dot Esports.
Image via Blizzard Entertainment

China's best Hearthstone players turned back a team of the best North America had to offer—but the event did not end without controversy.

In the final game of the event series, China's "Lvge" made a play that seemed to defy logic. He played Dirty Rat on turn two, risking pulling a hugely advantageous early Tomb Pillager or Gadgetzan Auctioneer for his opponent Keaton "Chakki" Gill.

However, according to the American players the Chinese casters and Lvge's teammates were screaming to play the Rat when he picked the card up, and with no white noise in the player headsets Lvge could likely hear the noise and take the cue.

The play promoted a furious series of tweets from Tempo Storm founder and Team NA player Andrey "Reynad" Yanyuk—though the tweets were later deleted.

Chakki and other players have also commented on the controversy, claiming that they raised the issue of players being able to hear the casters. The other members of each team were also watching the stream of the game, meaning they could see the hands of the opposing player.

There was little that could be done to address the controversy unless the admins immediately halted the game in progress, as the game was tournament point for the Chinese side.

Despite the controversial finish, team China had run away with the tournament to get into that position. Thanks to two wins by "OmegaZero" and "Lovelychook" over the two day event, Lvge was left with only Chakki left to beat.

China had also won the first of the three showpiece events, before Canada's Julien “Cydonia” Perrault had single-handedly won the second for team North America.

Jan 22 2017 - 10:55 pm

EnVyUs survive Team Liquid comeback for overtime win

It was the closest game of the Major so far.
Callum Leslie
Weekend Editor, Dot Esports.
Photo via Turner Sports

Team EnVyUs survived a mammoth comeback attempt from Team Liquid to chalk up an overtime victory in their first match of the ELEAGUE Major.

Despite Team Liquid fighting back against eight match points, the French side were able to hold on and win in triple overtime in the closest game of the Major so far.

Drawing a relatively even map of Cache, the two teams were evenly matched in the early going. EnVyUs put up four unanswered rounds but Team Liquid didn't let the French run away with it, and drew it back 4-4. The teams remained relatively inseparable throughout the first half as Liquid defended well, allowing EnVyUs just a three round lead at half time.

However once the second half got started, the French side went off. EnVyUs AWPer Kenny "kennyS" Schrub was in top form picking off his American opponents, and it took a superhuman effort for Liquid to even get a T round. That came in the form of a sniper quadkill from Josh "jdm64" Marzano, who almost single handedly dragged his team back into this match.

The quadkill came in the nick of time, as EnVyUs were leading 15-7 and were just one round away from sealing the match.

Liquid rallied, eating into the lead of their French rivals. In a comeback that looked unfathomable Liquid managed eight rounds in a row to take it to overtime as the score hit 15-15.

After the teams were inseparable in the first period, a second overtime was called for. This time it was EnVyUs who needed to mount a comeback, as Liquid took it 20-18 and a match point of their own. They put themselves ahead at 21-19, but levelled things up once again.

In the third set of overtime rounds, EnVyUs were finally able to put the Legend side away. The French team put together four straight round wins to win the match at 25-21—a match that very nearly slipped away from them.