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The first day of matches at the Overwatch Contenders Gauntlet is complete and one team has already been eliminated. Europe’s HSL Esports will head home without a map win after losing 3-0 to XL2 Academy and Talon Esports.
The Giga Arena in Seoul was sold out today to witness the first five matches for the teams in Group A. There wasn’t a whole lot of compositional diversity on display because the chaos-heavy Orisa and Sigma composition being featured on every map in each series. Despite this, it was a day of extraordinary matches and it paves the way for many interesting storylines going forward.
Talon, the lovable underdogs from the underrepresented Pacific region, stole the show today. Talon began their day with a close five-map series against one for the tournament favorites, Element Mystic. Led by 16-year-old DPS sensation Patiphan Chaiwong, Talon were able to go toe-to-toe with the Korean heavyweight. But the opposing star DPS, Kim “SP9RK1E” Young-han, sealed the deal for EM in the closing moments of the match.
EM were challenged in their series’ against Talon and later against North America’s XL2 Academy. Before their matches, they were happy to talk smack about their opposition but were seemingly humbled in their experience afterward. EM still progress as the top seed from their group and will hope that their Doomfist star can continue to carry them forward.
HSL, much like Talon, were the sole representatives from their region. But the European squad got swept in consecutive matches against XL2 and Talon to be eliminated with a top-10 placing.
EM, Talon, and XL2 all progress further into the gauntlet while HSL will pack their bags and return to Europe as the first eliminated team. Gauntlet action continues tomorrow at 9pm CT on the Overwatch Contenders Twitch channel. LGE Huya, Envy, Gladiators Legion, and Gen.G are the four teams that will be competing tonight.