Aug 6 2016 - 10:05 pm

The qualifiers for the $100,000 Overwatch Atlantic Showdown are complete

The qualifiers for Overwatch’s first six-figure tournament are now complete, and the eight teams—four from North America and four from Europe—that will fight for the ESL Atlantic Showdown title at Gamescom on Aug
Samuel Lingle
Dot Esports

The qualifiers for Overwatch’s first six-figure tournament are now complete, and the eight teams—four from North America and four from Europe—that will fight for the ESL Atlantic Showdown title at Gamescom on Aug. 20 have been finalized.

Most of the names are who you’d expect, but with $100,000 on the line it’s interesting that a couple of big teams failed to advance.

In Europe, Misfits, REUNITED, Creation eSports, and Rogue ranked in the top four, securing berths at the main event. This should come as no surprise considering the four teams have been ranked as Europe’s best since Overwatch’s release in May, with no clear champion emerging among them.

The two teams closest to breaking the elite quartet’s grip on the European standings fell one game away from qualifying, with Creation eSports taking down ANOX 3-1 and Rogue sweeping Ninjas in Pyjamas.

In North America, the region’s top two teams had little trouble earning their Gamescom berths. EnVyUs continued what they now say is a 55-series undefeated streak, while Cloud9 managed to avoid the team that’s beaten them in multiple series recently, Team SoloMid, eventually qualifying after winning a close 3-2 series against Fnatic.

In the lower bracket, Fnatic managed to score their spot by beating upstart Ohno, who bested the recently-signed Method team in a surprising series. Fnatic continues to quickly improve, rounding into form capable of challenging Cloud9 and SoloMid.

For SoloMid, the road wasn’t as easy, placed into a lower bracket with a number of solid contenders like Team Liquid, NRG eSports, and NRG Red. Their surprise foe would be Team Liquid, who managed to beat former NBA player Shaquille O’Neal’s No. 1 team in Overwatch, NRG, in a 3-1 series despite playing with new fill-in carry player Gaven “Whaz” Sorensen, a former Quakecon CTF champion. But against SoloMid, Liquid only mustered one game, falling two wins short of reaching Gamescom.

The results mean that Brandon “Seagull” Larned, Overwatch’s most popular competitive player and streamer, will not compete at the game’s first six-figure tournament, failing to qualify just days after his team moved to NRG eSports. That’s a disappointing result for a team that’s long ranked among Overwatch’s best, but based off form over the last few months, it’s clear that Fnatic and SoloMid deserve it more.

The eight teams that will compete for Overwatch’s first major live event are now set, with two weeks left to prepare. EnVyUs, on their fifty-plus-series win streak, must be high on the list of favorites, but they’ll receive stiff competition from the rest of the field. And considering this is the first major live event, one featuring teams from both sides of the Atlantic, anything can happen.

Jan 16 2017 - 6:06 pm

Third-person health bars make competitive Overwatch easier to spectate

And Blizzard has added them to the game's public test region.
Nicole Carpenter
Dot Esports
Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Thank you, Blizzard! Overwatch in-game spectators can now toggle on third-person floating health bars for both teams.

It's a feature that's going to make Overwatch esports much more pleasant to watch—and it'll have a positive influence in caster analysis, too. Blizzard quietly implemented floating health bars for spectators in the latest Overwatch public test region patch, though the feature is expected to make it to the live server soon.

"I think this is going to help casting quite a bit in some of these bigger fights," OGN Overwatch caster Erik "DoA" Lonnquist said in a video on the feature. "You call tell the narrative of the fight a little bit more. You can kind of see who is getting lower."

Previously, this information was only available in the third-person perspective by looking away from the fight and to the team lineup bars at the top. And given how chaotic Overwatch can be, looking away for any amount of time could cause confusion.

Third-person health bars are one of the features fans and casters have been clamoring for, with Blizzard promising that increased spectator functionality would continue to roll out. "I think it really shows that [Blizzard] is listening to us," DoA added. "They're looking at what needs to be done in spectator mode. They're taking the steps they need to make it better. Props to Blizzard for putting it in there."

Blizzard has not commented on when this feature will hit Overwatch's live server, but we're guessing DoA wants it before he starts casting season two of the OGN Overwatch APEX on Jan. 17.

Jan 16 2017 - 4:46 pm

Cloud9 recruits new player ahead of Overwatch APEX Season 2

Former NRG Esports player Daniel "Gods" Graeser will replace Kyle "KyKy" Souder.
Nicole Carpenter
Dot Esports
Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Western Overwatch teams are arriving in South Korea just days before the OGN Overwatch APEX Season 2 tournament series is set to begin—and Cloud9 is just announcing a roster change.

Daniel "Gods" Graeser, a flex/DPS player who was released from NRG Esports in October, will replace Kyle "KyKy" Souder on Cloud9. KyKy will step down from the starting roster, though he'll stay in South Korea as a temporary coach for Cloud9 opponent Team EnVyUs.

Uncertainty in Overwatch's meta is likely the cause of Cloud9's roster shakeup: A new patch is in testing on Overwatch's public test realm and expected to hit the live server at any time. Gods, as a flex player, is like a safety net. With Lane "Surefour" Roberts and Lucas "Mendokusaii" Håkansson also on flex, they've got much of the hero pool covered.

"I'm very excited to be joining Cloud9," Gods said in a statement. "Becoming part of such an amazing organization is definitely a huge opportunity for my career, and I can't wait to see all that we can accomplish together."

Though a last minute roster change seems reckless, it's worked for invited OGN Overwatch APEX teams in the past. In season one, Team EnVyUs was forced to replace Ronnie "Talespin" DuPree after he quit the team days before EnVyUs was scheduled to fly to South Korea. The sudden switch up seemed to work for EnVyUs, who brought on Pongphop "Mickie" Rattanasangchod and won the whole tournament. With KyKy as coach, they're looking to do the same. The former Cloud9 player, however, is not signed to EnVyUs permanently: "[He's] here to help us as a tryout for a coaching position," Dennis "INTERNETHULK" Hawelka tweeted. "We're optimistic about his position."

EnVyUs will take on MVP Infinity when OGN Overwatch APEX season two begins on Jan. 17 at 5am ET (7pm KST). Cloud9 takes the stage Jan. 20 at 5am ET (7pm KST).