Group play at the Overwatch Winter Premiere has concluded, and four teams are moving on to the finals. The finals will take place at PAX South starting Jan. 27. The format for the finals is best-of-five series with a single-elimination bracket. The games will be played on the live servers.
I will profile one team each day of the week leading up to the finals. You can find my first article previewing Immortals here. I will be previewing the second placed team next, Team Kungarna.
-Connor “ConnorJ” Johnson Flex
-Andrej “babybay” Frencisty DPS
-Michael “mykL” Padilla Flex
-Luis “iRemix” Galarza Tank
-Taylor “b1am” Forrest Support
-Alex “Ajax” Jackson Support
Team Kungarna is the number two seed heading into the LAN finals. Kungarna qualified for the tournament based on points and was one of the last teams to make it in. The first qualifier looked bright for Kungarna as they made it all the way to the finals beating Selfless and compLexity Gaming along the way. In the final, the team fell to Kingdom eSports, the team that would later become Renegades, getting swept 0-3. In the second qualifier, Kungarna again made it to the knockout stage beating NRG eSports 2-0 in their group. Kungarna would fall to Team Liquid getting swept yet again. Kungarna had a poor third qualifier as they were knocked out in their first series against Spicy Boys. In the final qualifier, Kungarna made it out of their group, but lost in the quarterfinals to Immortals 1-2.
The points accrued by the team over the course of the four qualifiers was just enough to put them into the tournament. Team Kungarna is a top team despite not having a big name organzaton sponsor the team. The roster features two players who were previously on Kingdom eSports, ConnorJ and Ajax, and the rest of the squad is rounded out by young/new North American talent.
Kungarna surprised the Overwatch scene as they played well in the first round-robin stage as they eventually made it to the second stage as the second place team. Kungarna had a shaky start as they narrowly lost their first series to compLexity 1-2, but then beat Team Liqud 2-0. Despite the big win, Kungarna against lost their next match to Luminosty 1-2. The team rebounded in a 2-0 clean sweep of Citizen7. The big swing for the team came when they beat Immortals.
At the time they played, Immortals was flying high with a 4-0 perfect record while Kungarna was struggling with a 2-2, 50% record. Kungarna pulled out a surprise upset as they ran over Immortals 2-0. With the confidence boosting win, Kungarna won their final two series to end with a 5-2 record moving into the second round-robin stage.
Kungarna had some struggles in the second stage, losing to teams they beat in the first stage. They started with a good 2-0 win over Luminosity, but later got swept by Team Liquid later in the day. In the rematch against Immortals, Kungarna lost a tight 1-2 series moving them to 1-2 in the second stage. Kungarna finished strong as they beat both Renegades and compLexity on the final day to finish with an 8-4 record over the two stages, giving them a second place finish overall.
Team Kungarna may have come into the tournament as a surprise underdog team, but after two stages of round-robin play they are one of the favorites heading into the offline portion. The team syncs up very well with each member playing their part well. babybay does well as the main damaging player for the team. while Ajax helps to keep the team alive as Connorj looks for picks with Roadhog. Kungarna has played a majority of their matches on Watchpoint: Gibraltar with Payload maps looking to be their best maps. The team is very strong on defense working together to stop pushes from the other team
ConnorJ has been Kungarna’s best performing player during the tournament. ConnorJ plays a majority of his time on Roadhog, with 85% of his time coming on that champion. His next played champion is Mei, but only uses her in defensive scenarios and rarely goes to the champion. He will be the player to watch because with the new patch coming out with a nerf to the Roadhog hook, ConnorJ will either have to find a way to stay productive on that hero or pick up a new hero to play.
Team Kungarna come in as one of the favorites to make it to the finals, and perhaps win it all. What was once an unknown team is now a tournament favorite with many esports organizations looking to pick up the roster. Kungarna will need to continue their stellar defensive play in order to beat the teams they will face in the finals.
Team Kungarna will be playing compLexity in the semifinals. Over the entire tournament, including the qualifiers, Kungarna hold a 2-1 series record over coL with a 5-2 advantage in maps. Kungarna has also won the most recent meeting between the two in a 2-0 sweep. I give the advantage to Kungarna, but no matter who wins I believe it will be a tight series going to all five maps.
What are your thoughts on Team Kungarna’s play recently? Let us know in the comments below or by tweeting us @GAMURScom.