Overwatch Open EU Groups Recap
The European side of the Overwatch Open concluded today, deciding which EU squad will be playing in the live televised finals on Sept. 30 against Team EnVyUs. In case you missed any of the action, here is your EU groups recap.
The EU bracket kicked off with a much hyped match between two high level teams, NiP and Reunited. NiP came fresh off their Lenovo Cup win, and are attributed with the creation of the tank meta. Reunited also took part in the Lenovo Cup, and excelled in the tournament, but did fall to NiP of all teams 3-0 in the finals.
Vallutaja tried his hardest to carry Reunited with some excellent Tracer play throughout the series, harassing supports and hitting Pulse Bombs on clumped foes. But Hymzi was in even better form. He hit hook after hook on Roadhog to create advantages for his team and lead NiP to a 2-1 victory.
In the other initial match, we had the underdogs Dignitas against FaZe, who as the group unfolded, we saw were destined to do battle again. In the initial meeting, FaZe took the initial map of Lijiang Tower quite confidently 3-1 off the back of Twoeasy’s Tracer. Dignitas swung back on King’s Row, preventing Faze from completing the map while finishing it themselves, bringing the series to a 1-1 tie.
The deciding game was set on Watchpoint Gibraltar. FaZe could hardly contain the surging Dignitas squad, and as such, DIG finished the map with over three minutes to spare. When DIG swapped to defending against FaZe, they almost closed out the map and series on the first point. FaZe won a frantic fight, but in the end, failed to complete the hangar section of the map, leaving us with an upset victory from DIG 2-1.
In the winners bracket, NiP was set to battle Dignitas, and it was not destined to be another upset victory. NiP convincingly took map one of Watchpoint Gibraltar by completing the full map, and holding DIG from pushing to the final checkpoint. However on Numbani, NiP failed to even capture point A, and as such, left an easy win available for DIG to take. Off the back of Linkzr and his Genji play, Dignitas were able to win a teamfight and secure map two.
Map three took place on Eichenwalde and the lack of experience on the map showed for both teams. NiP stalled out in the castle and was unable to finish the map on their offense and it seemed DIG had a chance to win the series, but Mafu switched onto a surprise Dva pick. His self-destructs were well placed and picked up multikills in important fights to close the map for NiP, and secure them a number one seed.
In the losers bracket, it was apparent Reunited had lost their touch. Simultaneously, FaZe found their stride. The meeting between the two teams was back and forth, and the longest series of the group stages time wise. In the end, FaZe found their way into a rematch against Dignitas for the second seed of Group A.
It was in this rematch when we realized that FaZe had flipped some mental switch, specifically for Shadowburn, as from here on out in the tournament, it became the Shadowburn show. Famous for his Genji, he played the ninja and Reaper to lead his squad to a 2-0 victory over Dignitas and a number two seed out of groups.
Unlike Group A, which had almost every match go the full three games, Group B was all 2-0 victories, none of which went to the underdog.
As they were the favorites, Rogue quickly defeated Anox on King’s Row. However, they did struggle to close map two. Anox is famous for being abnormally good on capture point maps, and as such, they excelled on Lijiang Tower. Anox managed to play a much closer game and took it all the way to the fifth round, but were unable to win as Tviq on Tracer closed out the map for Rogue, putting them in the upper bracket.
Meanwhile, Misfits went into battle with Luminosity in the most dominant series of the tournament so far. Misfits quickly 3-0’d Luminosity on Nepal on the back of Soon’s sneaky Tracer. When the teams faced again on Hollywood, it was a similar story. Misifts completed the map, but Luminosity didn’t even finish the second phase, meaning the series was an easy 2-0 for Misfits.
The upper bracket matchup was then set to be Misfits against Rogue. This was expected to be a close series, as these were the number one and two teams in Europe. However, when the battle began, we started to see the flaws in Misfits substitute tank player Ryb.
His Winston looked amazing in the Lenovo Cup when he had more tanks on his team to support him, but now his Reinhardt looked rough. He frequently missed Earthshatters and charged into walls. The kink in the armor was all Rogue needed, as they defeated Misfits 2-0 and secured themselves the number one seed in the group.
However, Misfits were not done yet, and they still had the lower bracket to redeem themselves. Luminosity took an easy 2-0 over the now eliminated Anox and we were set to have a rematch of the first round between Luminosity and Misfits.
This meeting was fated to be no different from the last. King’s Row and Eichenwalde were the two maps, and both were victories for Misfits. Notably on King’s Row, Luminosity failed to even take point A. They continuously rushed straight onto the point to take fights head on, and didn’t use the building around the point to gain any advantage. As such, they fell easily and Misifts secured the second seed from Group B.
The first semifinal of the EU brackets took place between Misfits and NiP. This was a matchup many expected Misfits to win, despite their lower seed, simply because Misifts was in a tougher group.
The series kicked off on Watchpoint Gibraltar, where both teams completed the map and it went into overtime. In overtime, NiP managed to pick off a few Misfits players and turn the fight into a messy skirmish that stopped the payload short of the first point. It looked almost certain that NiP would then take the map, but Soon came in clutch with a Death Blossom to close out the map in Misfits favor.
Map number two was Hollywood and NiP came out swinging. They won the first few engagements on point A convincingly, but after they lost one fight, Misfits seized the momentum and never let go, closing out the map with over a minute to spare. On the offensive, NiP was unable to find any traction and got completely held at the first point, never able to even move the payload. This victory put Misfits up 2-0 and on match point.
For the third map in the series, we once again visited the new map of Eichenwalde. This time, it was Misfits who had the disappointing offense. Eichenwalde is notoriously difficult to close because of how confined the castle is, but Misfits never even reached the castle as NiP was able to hold the payload at the bridge.
However, NiP reached the bridge with almost three minutes to spare and as the final fight began, Misfits hit misforune. Ryb jumped up into the air, and got nudged off the bridge by the right clicks of Mafu’s Zarya, which meant that Misfits was missing their charged Earthshatter to engage the fight. In the following 5v6 battle, NiP closed out the map to bring the series to a 2-1.
To close out the series, the teams returned to an Overwatch classic, King’s Row. NiP attacked first and they blitzed through the map, only having to back off the payload a couple of times, leaving them with 1:34 left in their time bank. After the side flip, it seemed like Misfits wouldn’t even secure the first point, as with 10 seconds left, they had yet to capture the point.
But some excellent damage done by Soon and Ryb’s boosted Reinhardt secured point A and opened up the rest of the map, which let Misfits finish the map with a minute left. In overtime, it was all about Soon’s Reaper. He closed out NiP’s tournament hopes with a clutch Nano Boosted rampage in the streets of King’s Row. This victory ended the series with Misfits on top 3-1 and punched their ticket to the EU finals.
The second semifinal of the day showcased Rogue up against the invigorated FaZe. Map one was Hollywood and Rogue appeared to be stamping their mark on the series early. Both teams completed the map, leading us to overtime. But while FaZe had less than a minute in spare time, Rogue had over two and a half minutes. The situation looked dire for FaZe, but Shadowburn had a different idea.
Shadowburn, on his trademark Genji, quickly charged point A during FaZe’s overtime push and he picked up a couple kills in the backline, allowing for an easy capture. In the streets phase, he continued to show off, finding foes for his Dragonblade, allowing for his team to push almost an extra 100 meters past the initial point. But Rogue still had to attack themselves. This time, FaZe did a better job of working as a team in overtime and were able to delay Rogue at point A for almost a full three minutes, securing themselves an early 1-0 in the series.
For the second map of the series, the teams took to Watchpoint Gibraltar and FaZe began on the offensive. They obliterated the defense of Misfits, finishing the map with over three and a half minutes and putting the pressure onto Misfits. Amazingly, Misfits responded by breezing through the first two sections of the map.
But before they could close out the map, FaZe began a herculean defense where Shadowburn showed off his Reflect skills to turn a Graviton Surge back on the Misfits. This defense prevented Misfits from finishing the map and meant that FaZe went up 2-0, bordering right on winning the series and pulling off an enormous upset.
Rogue was now on the hot seat, sitting on elimination. They chose to take the series to Hanamura. A rarely played map, we can only speculate they were looking for a curveball in order to shake up the series. But either way, they demolished FaZe. Taking both points in just 2:37, sweeping aside FaZe’s defense like leaves. When the sides swapped, it was obvious FaZe wasn’t nearly as composed on Assault maps, and they used all eight minutes to only capture a single point. This obliterating map brought the series to a 2-1 in FaZe’s favor, and sparked hope in the hearts of Rogue that it wasn’t over.
In an attempt to close the series out, FaZe chose Eichenwalde for map four. Initially, it seemed with good reason as their offensive moved forward steadily. But once they reached the inside of the castle, they were stifled and delayed until they finished the map with a mere seconds seconds to spare. Off the back of Tviq’s Hanzo and Genji play, Rogue was able to push through the map, bringing it to overtime with three minutes to spare.
FaZe found no success on their overtime offensive as they failed to capture the initial point. Rogue had three minutes to capture the point to force a fifth and final map, and they did just that. Reinforce suicided in order to hit a four man Earthshatter to set up his team to Graviton Surge and Death Blossom FaZe away. The series was now 2-2, and the deciding game was up next.
For the final map to decide the second team in the EU finals, the teams met one last time on Route 66. FaZe began on the offensive and had a difficult time gaining ground. They barely pushed into the cave before time ran out, and they were stopped short. On Rogue’s offense, it was all about the DPS duo of Tviq and AKM who worked together to pull FaZe apart and shut down Shadowburn. They were sucessful and completed the reverse sweep. Down 0-2, Rogue pulled it all the way back to 3-2 to secure their spot in the EU finals against Misfits.
A spot in the Overwatch Open finals on live TV was now up for grabs; the EU finals between Misifts and Rogue to determine who will play Team EnVyUs tomorrow for the title.
To kick things off, the series started on King’s Row, and this map was to be a foreshadow of the entire series. Soon vs. Akm on the Nano Boosted Reapers. Both players went back and forth, taking turns single-handedly wiping out the opposing team.
Part of this was due to how well the players were positioning, but a larger part was both teams didn’t learn. When the payload approached the inside section of the map, they continually allowed the enemy Reaper control of the high ground to drop on their heads. In the end, Misfits completed the map but held Rogue to only capturing two points and took a 1-0 lead in the series.
For the second map of Watchpoint Gibraltar, it was much more even. Misfits blitzed through the map, whereas Rogue narrowly finished, sending us to overtime. In overtime, Rogue made a heroic effort and captured the first point and pushed beyond it with only a single minute on the clock.
When it came time for Misfits to assault again, they ran into a wall of Akm's McCree. Twice in a row, he hit critical flashbangs to shut down Soon on Tracer, which created room for his supports to work. His play was key to shutting down the Misfits assault, and gave Rogue the map, tying the series 1-1.
The series again went to a classic map, Route 66. It was on this map that Rogue seemed to be stamping their authority on the series. They gave ground to the Misfit assault, but did so slowly in order to kill time. This pressured Misifts into a desperate last attack to finish the map, one that was held.
On the Rogue's offense, the play was less flashy and much more methodical. Akm still received Nano Boosts on his Reaper, but his impact was lower and the team as a whole did better. Misifts didn’t seem able to hold themselves anymore against the offense of Rogue and fell, leaving the series 2-1 in Rogue’s favor.
Now on elimination point, Misifts decided to take the battle to Eichenwalde for map number four. Both teams managed to finish the map, but neither one had an easy time. In order to complete the map, both teams required a little Reaper magic, but fortunately today, that was in no short supply. But we once again found ourselves in overtime.
Misfits attacked first and they had a methodical approach to the initial point, using Nevix’s Mei wall to create picks. They managed to capture the point and begin pushing the payload with no time on the clock and the overtime countdown burning. Despite winning the next engagment, it was also the fight that ended their overtime. For some reason, Misifts forgot you had to stay on the payload, so all six players left it alone and voluntarily ended their own push.
It looked bad for Misfits, as Rogue had 30 seconds more to work with than they did, and they had just hamstrung themselves. It looked even worse when Rogue captured the first point and had just a few meters to push. It looked like Rogue would win the finals, ending Misfits tournament run. But then someone who has been quiet for most of the tournament stepped up: Kryw.
Kryw hit a four man Graviton Surge that he cleaned up himself, gaining a triple kill. The damage Nevix did gave his Mei a Blizzard to further clean up the fight. And from there, Misfits closed out the map when Rogue had just feet to push left. The series was tied 2-2, with one map left to decide it all.
You really couldn’t have picked a more appropriate map. For the last map of the EU bracket, the teams competed on another classic map: Hollywood. I’m not sure if Rogue was suffering mentally from their failure to close the series on the last map, but they struggled on Hollywood. Only capturing the first point with 45 seconds remaining, they had almost no time left to push with. As such, they didn’t even reach the second point of the map.
Misfits, on the other hand, crushed through point A and most of the streets phase. It was only once they approached the winning distance did Rogue put up a real fight. Finally, with Misfits pushed back, Rogue had to hold the payload for another two fights while their ultimates were down. Miraculously, while down two ultimates, they won the next fight off the back of Akm’s Reaper flank that killed both Misfit supports.
But in the final fight, Ryb and Kryw stepped up. After losing both supports again, they hit their respective ultimates. Earthshatter into Graviton Surge allowed the tank players to clean up the entirety of Rogue in order to win the fight and the series.
A narrow 3-2 victory for Misfits means they will continue on to face Team EnVyUs tomorrow morning on live TV for the $100,000 dollar grand prize.
Join us again Sept. 30 for our recap of the Overwatch Open grand finals.
Who do you think will win tomorrow: NA or EU? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @GAMURScom.
Image Credit: www.overwatchopen.com