This weekend, we learned if you let Overwatch League teams into a community tournament, they’re going to snag the grand prize.
The Flash Ops: Experimental Card Tournament was held in four regions from March 26 to March 28. Unlike previous tournaments, which had a hard limit on Overwatch League players, each league franchise was required to field at least three players for the tournament.
Due to this rule, Overwatch League teams took home the grand prize in every region, turning the Experimental Card Tournament into a preseason showdown. Each region had a prize pool of $10,000 USD and the tournament champions took home $5,000. Here’s a rundown of the teams who are a bit richer heading into the league’s upcoming start date.
Most of the Overwatch League’s talent hails from South Korea, but since so many players have moved stateside ahead of the season’s April 16 start, the region’s tournament wasn’t as stacked as expected. The New York Excelsior, looking to keep things simple, entered the tournament as NYXL. They rolled through the competition and took home the region’s $5,000 prize.
The Chinese region’s Grand Finals came down to two powerful teams with Overwatch League talent. Peek-a-Boo, made up of mostly Chengdu Hunters players, faced off against a team full of Shanghai Dragons standouts like Joon “Erster” Jeong.
Peek-a-Boo ended up taking down the Dragons’ team in a 3-2 score to win the region’s grand prize. According to viewers on Reddit, Hunters main tank Ding “Ameng” Menghan apparently showed off his extremely rare Reinhardt skills to score the win.
Tons of Overwatch Contenders players showed up for the EMEA version of the Experimental Card Tournament, but the Paris Eternal decided to show their former colleagues why they were promoted to the Overwatch League. Eternal general manager Molly “AVALLA” Kim assembled her players to create Best Nightcore Mix 2021 and led them into battle.
By the semifinals, only Best Nightcore Mix 2021 and three of the region’s best European Contenders teams remained in contention for the trophy. The Paris Eternal roster, playing under their mixtape pseudonym, took down Overwatch Contenders team New Kings with a 3-1 final score.
Most of the competition’s stacked teams ended up in the North American region, where multiple Overwatch League franchises fielded their entire rosters to acquire the grand prize. Teams like the Florida Mayhem, Dallas Fuel, and Washington Justice got far in the tournament but fell short of the final bracket.
ReaperFriday, also known as the Atlanta Reign, took on the Boston Uprising as JOOKGA in the region’s tense Grand Finals. Despite multiple players on off-roles, including Reign main tank Blake “Gator” Scott on a surprisingly good DPS run, both teams put their best compositions forward for the finals. ReaperFriday had a bit more fun than necessary, however, andJOOKGA took advantage of the former team’s mistakes to take the North American prize with a 3-1 scoreline.