The first round robin of the Overwatch Winter Premiere has wrapped and six teams have moved on to the next stage of the competition. Immortals, Kungarna, Team Liquid, Renegades, Luminosity Gaming, and compLexity gaming are the six teams moving on to do battle in another round robin. FaZe Clan and Citizen7 were both eliminated from the competition, with FaZe winning only two series and Citizen7 not winning a single series.
Immortals had a dominant run through the first round robin, only losing one series to Kungarna. In that series, they were completely shut out and did not even manage to capture a point in either of the two games. Despite that bad loss, Immortals pulled through in the rest of their series and looked solid as a team overall. Two players to point out on the squad are Agilities and GrimReality, the DPS players for Immortals who looked strong on different champions. Agilities showed amazing play on both Genji and Roadhog, while GrimReality looked strong on McCree and Reaper. If Immortals can keep up their stellar team-play and their DPS players are able to get the kills, they should manage to get first place in the second round robin.
Kungarna came into the tournament as somewhat of an unknown quantity. By the end of the six match days, Kungarna surprised the Overwatch community by finishing second, with some fantastic wins over top teams. Their best win came against Immortals, where they completely shut out the other team and took a resounding 2-0 series victory. In their two losses, both series went a full three games and the maps were close, showing that even in losses, Kungarna keeps it close. The player to watch for on the Kungarna squad is ConnorJ, their DPS player, whose play, specifically on Roadhog, was crucial in helping Kungarna win five series. Teams will know what to expect more from this Kungarna squad and they may have a tougher time winning series, but I still expect them to place top-three in the next stage.
Team Liquid had some middling success in past tournaments but have yet to reach the upper echelons of North American Overwatch. If they are to become one of the top NA teams, Team Liquid will have to have a good showing in this tournament, and in the first round robin, they showed they can play well. They lost their first two series and their last series, but won the four in-between. Most of their series wins were very tight, but Liquid was able to hold on strong and pull out victories. The player to watch on this team is AZK, who played a great Tracer throughout the seven series and does a great job getting to the backline and taking out healers and DPS. Rapha plays a good D.VA, but after the patch, he may need to find a new hero to play. Team Liquid may struggle to win series in the next round robin because of the manner in which they won their series, but they still may have the fortitude to close out wins.
Stand-in: Finley “Kyb” Adisi
Renegades had a very strong start to the first round robin, where they won their first four series. They were incredibly dominant in most of these series and some fans thought that Renegades would easily take the number one spot after the round robin finished. However, after the break in the middle of the six days, Renegades lost their magic. They ended up losing their final three series, finishing 4-3 overall. Because of their success in the first half of the round robin, Renegades already secured their spot in the second round robin. This allowed the team to do some experimenting in their series, which may explain some of their losses during the second half. Also, during the second half, Renegades had to use a stand-in for some of their games. Renegades DPS player Mangachu has quickly become as the top player in the tournament so far. His play on Pharah has turned heads and has made everyone take notice of his talent. A lot of Renegades’ success will rest upon the shoulders of Mangachu. If Renegades can recapture their form early in the first round robin, they should be able to fight for the top spot of the second round robin.
Luminosity finished the first round robin in fifth place, barely behind Renegades. LG had many close series and some of them could have been tipped in their favor, but they were not able to find the winning fight. Luminosity has been using a stand-in for their games and he made a difference in some of their series. Stand-in Ube had a good showing, specifically on Mei in defensive situations, allowing the team to stop pushes. Another player to keep an eye on in this squad is SuperPlouk. Plouk is a Reinhardt player and he is crucial in any success that LG has on offense or defense; he is able to make impact plays to win fights for the team. Luminosity is at the lower end of the six teams and will have to fight hard to make it to the playoff portion of the tournament.
Stand-in: Segi “Winghaven” Torras Aragonés
compLexity comes in as the final team to make it to the next stage of the Overwatch Winter Premiere. coL has been an exciting team to watch as they have pulled out unique strategies that other teams do not use. One such strategy that has seen success was using Sombra on attack for certain maps. Not many teams have been able to pick up the new hero, but coL has seen success with her. TorkTJO has been the player to use the new hero and change the game for his team. He has been a key DPS player, along with fellow impact DPS NicolasTJO, who has multiple highlight clips during this tournament that feature his outstanding Pharah. Although they have the worst score of the six teams advancing, no team can take compLexity for granted because their unique strategies can catch teams off guard while their two DPS players nuke down the other team.
The second round robin of the Overwatch Winter Premiere will be an extremely close race to advance to the live portion of the tournament. No team is guaranteed a spot and I expect many of the series to go to the full three games.
I predict the following placings for the next round:
- First: Immortals
- Second: Renegades
- Third: Kungarna
- Fourth: Luminosity
Although those are my predictions, it is tough to call as the teams are evenly matched and have star players that can carry each of their teams to victory. The second round robin stage begins on Jan. 17.
Who do you think will be the top-four teams after the second round robin? Share your thoughts below or tweet us at @GAMURScom.
Photo credits: Blizzard