While we all drink and dance to our hearts content within the lavish confines of the Overwatch League studios, there is a war waging on in Europe. The Overwatch PIT Championship Europe Season 2 has been rolling, full steam ahead. Along their muddy, and debris ridden path, they come to a crossroads. Now that the group stage has come to finality, the amateur scene in Europe is in a minor state of confusion after some surprising results.
Disclaimer: For the sake of transparency the author has done some work with the team “Those Guys” in some regard.
Group A was set to be what seemed like the easier group to predict. Eagle Gaming, the newly established French organization with 12 of the best French players, seemed like early front runners. Notable members being Nicolas “NiCO” Moret and Jean-Louis “KnOxXx” Boyer from the former Rogue lineup, David “Lilbow” Moschetto a former Starcraft 2 player, and Lucas “Leaf” Loison, a stand out DPS player formerly of GamersOrigin. With just the name recognition of a few of their players alone, Eagle Gaming we’re set to take flight, when suddenly their wings were clipped by a baked good, a group of dudes, and a large and unhappy giant. Eagles Gaming barely made it into the playoffs, taking their only win and the last seed away from ENCE eSports. With that much talent on deck, you have to start to question what exactly happened here and if they turn this around, when will that be? Eagle Gaming has drawn Orgless and Hungry, the top team coming out of Group B.
One team that surprised me the most was Those Guys. Headed by the Queen of Europe herself, Ysabel “Noukky” Müller, Those Guys have pulled ahead in Group A with the top slot, all the while not dropping a single match. In this mighty amalgamation of talent, you’ve got a few 123 members in Hafþór “Hafficool” Hákonarson and Jakob “bock1” Kleveland. Former Lazer Kittenz and REUNITED member Finley “Kyb” Adisi at flex DPS. Cameron “Fusions” Bosworth formerly of Mosaic eSports and Ryan “CrusaDe” van Wegen a Dutch player who once played with Cloud 9’s European roster. The young gun that rounds out the roster comes in the form of Daniel “FunnyAstro” Hathaway, who looks to make mark with the team. With eyes glinting of chartreuse, Those Guys have placed themselves on a pedestal for the upcoming playoffs. They are the front runners from Group A, and look to make a statement come playoffs. Those Guys will face off against DOSE in the first match of the playoffs set on January 31st. With their first seed, they’ve drawn the weakest team coming out of Group B.
Group B seemed like much more of a done deal in my eyes, but I couldn’t be more wrong. Orgless and Hungry a team lead by Harrison “Kruise” Pond looked on paper to be a leading front runner when the groups were announced, and this was proven true. What is more shocking is that this team of proven talent still has not been signed to a team. With names like Finnbjörn “Finnsi” Jónasson formerly of 123 and Movistar Riders, Denis “Tonic” Rulyov of 123, and head coach Thomas “Morte” Kerbusch of eUnited. Orgless and Hungry have shown their teeth against some of the fiercest competition there is, all biet small, outside of the Overwatch League. Their opponents are the French superteam, Eagle Gaming. The team itself has yet to maintain a solid footing and seem to still be in the process of finding their identity, but with the amount of talent on their roster, it’s hard to count them out. However, Orgless and Hungry are playing extremely well and will look to avoid any ‘bird strikes’ as they look ahead to their next opponents.
Comprised of mostly Russian players CIS Hope have done what exactly what their byname implies. They’ve brought some hope to eastern Europe and Europe as a whole for that matter. Being the only team to take down Orgless and Hungry, CIS Hope is on no shortage of talent either. Andrei “uNFixed” Leonov, Artem “kensi” Budiak, Ilya “Txao” Makarov, and Normunds “sharyk” Faterins all have their fair share of competitive Overwatch experience that spans the games test of time. Very clearly aligned with the front runners of the tournament, can CIS Hope continue to string together such strong performances? CIS Hope has drawn well and will be facing off against Angry Titans in the second match on the 31st.
With a name like Squid12324 perhaps you approach this team with a “different” mindset, but they’ve proven to be a strong competitor. Alas, roster fluctuation has left this team with more questions than answers leading into the playoffs. Martin “Graceful” Wongprom has left the team after the group stages. Scrambling for answers, Squid12324 is unlikely to perform at the same level as they did in groups.
Squid 12324 along with DOSE need to pull themselves up by the bootstraps if they want to impress potential Overwatch League scouts come time for the playoffs. While the teams stand at attention, dramatic tension is building. Stay tuned to this tournament, you’re going to want to buy-in early to a majority of these names as I imagine that some will likely grace the Overwatch League stage shortly, or even perhaps be signed as academy teams.
Joseph “Volamel” Franco has followed esports since the MLG’s of 2006. He started out primarily following Starcraft 2, Halo 3, and Super Smash Bros. Melee. He has transitioned from viewer to journalist and writes freelance primarily about Overwatch and League of Legends. If you would like to know more or follow his thoughts on esports you can follow him at @Volamel.
Images courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment and One Game Agency/Overwatch PIT.