Sunday was the day of the finals for Contenders S1, with the matches to be played as Bo7 ensuring that the best team gets the win. The arrangement of the game modes in a Bo7 was as follows: Control – Hybrid – Assault – Escort – Hybrid – Assault – Control. Despite the great production of the LAN portion of the tournament, a few things upset the viewers organization-wise that left a bad impression.
Let’s see what happened in each match.
EU Finals: Misfits vs Team Gigantti (3-4) – The Vikings finally took a trophy home
On day 2 of the playoffs were the finals, starting again with the European one between Team Gigantti and Misfits, the two top teams in Europe, and this time around LinkZr was warmed up from the start. The match format was Bo7.
First map was Oasis that ended 2-0 for Gigantti. On both submaps Gigantti had the better opening, securing the first engagement and rolling from there. University was the closest of the two, with Misfits almost managing to bring it home, but Gigantti’s Fragi with Biggoose said “no”. Moving on Hybrid, Misfits chose Eichenwalde, which they managed to close out and cap all three points during their attack round. Afterwards, with great coordination and rotations, they kept Gigantti before the second point. Logix was a pain in the ass for his opponents, never letting them to rest and always picking off their supports. Once in the Assault game mode, after a short break, Gigantti took Misfits to Temple of Anubis. The opening attack of Gigantti took Misfits by surprise and they conceded the first point after the very first push. However, they managed to stabilize on second point, not allow Gigantti to capitalize on their Ultimate advantage and stall it out all the way to the 7:30 time mark with excellent play by Zuppehw. In the end, though, Gigantti got the 2 cap points they wanted with very little time left in the time bank. Misfits struggled significantly more to cap the first point and then could not find a way to crack Gigantti’s defense and secure the second, losing the map eventually.
Route 66 was the choice of Misfits for Escort, but little they knew how good Gigantti was on it and they suffered a full hold. Score was 3-1 at this point and it was do-or-die time for Misfits. Next up was Hybrid again and, to everyone’s surprise, Misfits were allowed to pick Eichenwalde twice. This time around Misfits did not manage to cap all three points, with Gigantti adapting to their style and strategies, but they fell short of expectations again during their own attack round. They couldn’t top Misfits’ performance and subsequently lost the map. Once more everyone was shocked to see Temple of Anubis for the second time in one match but this was selected as second Assault and it wasn’t a repeat of history like Eichenwalde was. Misfits this time adjusted to Gigantti’s stategies and managed to hold them before capping the second point. Arguably, in the teams’ fist encounter on the map, Gigantti barely capped both points. So, with a few tweaks here and there, Misfits held them back.
Final destination for the match, championship point, was Ilios, the second Control available in the map pool. First submap was the Well. Misfits rolled out with TviQ on Pharah but LinkZr was hungry for some bird wings and managed to chop him down from the skies with his Genji blade. 1-0 for Gigantti. Second submap was the Lighthouse. LinkZr on McCree constantly shut down Logix and TviQ, with Davin following up with kills of his. It was an one-sided affair all the way to the end for the last map and the Vikings, the Finns, managed to get their first trophy in Overwatch. Especially for Fraggi and Zappis, whose career in Ninjas of Pyjamas was full of disappointments and small victories, it was their redemption time.
NA Finals: Team EnvyUs vs Faze CLan (4-0) – PMA smashes Fazes
After the conclusion of the European finals, it was time for EnvyUs and Faze Clan to take the stage for their own finals, that started a lot earlier than scheduled, raising some questions around the organization of the event.
First map was Ilios and once again Team EnvyUs rolled with Seagull as the Pharah specialist needed for this kind of maps. And the Seagull took off, erasing Shadowburn’s Pharah from the game alongside his Mercy with very clever movement and aiming. Lighthouse was an one-sided affair, while Well was a bit closer, up to the point that Effect decided to take matters into his own hands. That seemed to be the motto for the reminder of the match too. Second map of the series was Hollywood, a map that both teams love and have played tons in the past. Team EnvyUs had some of the best practice on the map from their APEX runs and they once again showed that it is their home turf, by not allowing Faze Clan to reach the second point and then just cruising through their defenses. Taimou simply went nuts on Widowmaker play on this map, as usual.
Faze Clan chose Temple of Anubis for Assault and it seemed like they would find some success with it, but once again Effect shattered their dreams and their comps. Both teams managed to cap the 2nd point during their attack, but Faze had no time left in the bank while Team EnvyUs had 1:30 minutes remaining for an extra round. If they couldn’t manage to get a single tick, the game would end in a draw, and Faze would have scored one point at least. But in the overtime round, Effect showed us why he’s the #1 carry in the West alongside Chipshajen, the #1 support. Both got the crucial kills and kept the point alive in overtime for reinforcements to come.
But if you came into this match hoping for surprises, EnvyUs had some more in store for you. Last map was Route 66, chosen by Faze Clan, and EnvyUs brought Seagull back into the mix. It was yet another struggle for Faze to cap all three points, with every point cap going to overtime almost. When it was Team EnvyUs’s turn to attack, they rolled out with unconventional compositions once more. Taimou was on Roadhog, Chipshajen on Mercy and Seagull on Junkrat, and they made it past the first point relatively easily. But then they got stuck for some time due to the extremely well coordinated defense of Faze’s. Seagull saved the day switching to Pharah and unlocking the second point. Third point was capped in overtime, with Chipshajen playing the whole time on Mercy and having some very clutch resurrections. In the overtime rounds, it was time for the final treat of the day to fans and Bastion mains alike. EnvyUs rolled out with Taimou on Bastion (channeling his inner Kragie) alongside Seagull on Junkrat, and they managed to roll all their way past the 2nd point. After securing the second point, it was already game over for Faze Clan that got taken aback by this absurd tactic.
The rematch of the MLG Vegas finals was to be a repeat of history itself. Team EnvyUs didn’t allow any room for Faze to breathe that was always on the back foot, never taking the lead. Not even once. And with this, Team EnvyUs cemented themselves as the best in North America once again with relative ease and one of the top 5 teams in the era before Overwatch League.
Congratulations to Team Gigantti and Team EnvyUs, European and North American Champions of Contenders S1, respectively.
Images with the Contenders emblem in the bottom right corner are courtesy of Robert Paul. Follow him on twitter here.