It was the matchup that most fans were expecting and hoping for going into the weekend, and it came to fruition via a rematch in the grand finals. Rogue and Immortals were the last teams left standing on Sunday night of the Overwatch BEAT Invitational.
As two of the top teams in the North American Overwatch esports region, it looked to be a close matchup between two squads jockeying for position ahead of Season One of Overwatch Contenders in August. And that’s exactly what happened, in one of pro Overwatch’s most exciting series in recent memory.
Rogue has been one of NA’s best teams for a while. The Vegas-based all-French roster had won every NA event they had competed in during the entirety of 2017 heading into this weekend, and they were the favorites.
But after coming back together from various teams and picking up two Korean pros to help them win Overwatch Contenders Season Zero, Immortals also had a lot of hype and momentum of their own.
After dropping Immortals into the lower bracket with a 3-1 victory earlier in the day, Rogue had winners bracket advantage in the final. They quickly jumped out to a 1-0 lead with a torrid offensive attack on Hollywood, and Immortals looked overmatched at times.
King’s Row was home to the second game, and Rogue would extend their lead to 2-0 as Immortals over-extended on defense. They attempted a spawn-camp on defense after the first point. Rogue slyly pushed the majority of their team around the right side of the map to get on top of the payload and gain a momentum that could not be stopped.
It was then that Immortals actually swapped out George “Hyped” Maganzini for their third Korean addition, Lee “Envy” Kang-Jae, to fill in a Tank role on D.Va for game three on Dorado. The switch looked to work early on, as Immortals was held a few meters from finishing the map on offense and stalled Rogue out on defense for a while. But a last-second push from the Frenchmen helped them prevail and take a 3-0 series lead.
The series shifted to Lijiang Tower for the fourth game, and Immortals again showed signs of life with a strong first round victory. Dylan “aKm” Bignet’s switch to Pharah with Benjamin “Unkoe” Chevasson pocketing him with Mercy was huge, but Immortals’ objective control won out and they went up 2-0 in the best-of-five round Control map. They’d finish the map 3-0 to prevent being swept by Rogue in the finals. But Immortals were not done yet.
Game five was on Route 66, and it was one of the closest of the series. Immortals were up first on offense and they nearly finished the map, but Rogue held out. For Rogue’s turn, Terrence “SoOn” Tarlier took over on Tracer, harassing Immortals’ backline with ferocity and keeping his team at an advantage. Rogue pushed the envelope to the very end, but Immortals continued to claw their way back into the series with a victory in overtime just meters away from defeat.
Now trailing just 3-2, Immortals picked Temple of Anubis. The much-maligned Assault map saw Immortals capture the second point with 12 seconds left, but Rogue stormed back in a big way as they captured both points with 3:45 left. Unaffected, Immortals blew through two more points in just 1:30 of game time, forcing Rogue into a corner. With the map tilting their way and Sombra EMP’s flying both ways, Immortals held on for an astounding full hold for nearly four minutes to force a decisive seventh game.
Volskaya Industries, one of Rogue’s stronger maps, was picked for the final game, but Immortals was yet again equal to the task as they finished the map in overtime. The Sombra war continued and it looked like the round was destined for overtime, but a tremendous triple kill D.Va Self Destruct by Nicolas “NicoGDH” Moret turned the tide very quickly. Rogue was able to capture the point with just over a minute left, and finish out the map on their next turn on offense to hold off Immortals’ insane comeback attempt to win the series 4-3.
The comeback attempt for Immortals fell short in heartbreaking fashion, but they have forcefully put themselves into the top teams in North America with their recent performances.
One of Immortals’ Korean pick-ups, Koo “Fate” Pan-Seung, has fit in gloriously with masterful Winston play in this current dive-heavy meta. His usage of the Primal Rage Ultimate ability consistently brought in kills. He, combined with stellar young DPS duo Christopher “GrimReality” Schaefer and Brady “Agilities” Girardi, has made Immortals a force, along with top tier Zenyatta and Sombra play from Park “Kariv” Young Seo. Their future is looking bright.
But Rogue are just on another level. Their roster has been together for the majority of 2017, and they’ve seen nothing but success with it, other than a disappointing showing in season three of OGN Apex in Korea. When it comes to NA competition, Rogue is right at the top of the list along with Team EnVyUs, but Immortals has been making a case to be side by side with the two of them in the conversation.
For now, some of the Overwatch pro team squads will go their separate ways as they begin to compete for the Overwatch World Cup group stage. Not Rogue, though, as their entire roster makes up the entirety of the French national team.