Image via Blizzard (Licensed)
We now know the first team that will compete on primetime television in Overwatch this Friday.
The NA half of the Overwatch Open at the ELEAGUE studios finished yesterday, with EnVyUs winning the day and securing a spot in the final set to be televised on Sept. 30 where they’ll face the best team Europe has to offer.
Things started off with group stage finals where NRG eSports and Cloud9 managed to beat teams that bested them a day prior, securing them berths in the semifinals. There, though, they ran into group winners EnVyUs and Fnatic, who both looked solid in their semifinal games.
EnVyUs beat Cloud9 in a 3-1 series where the teams played four Escort maps in a row. Cloud9 managed to secure the second on Hollywood after holding their final point for over four minutes, but on Watchpoint: Gibraltar and their final map selection, Route 66, EnVyUs looked dominant.
Fnatic swept NRG eSports in the other semifinal in a series that opened with a surprising map selection: Eichenwalde. The map in Overwatch is a bit of uncharted territory, seeing little play in competition so far, but it seemed like Fnatic had it better understood. They put Casey "buds" McIlwaine in position to succeed and he delivered with Reaper. NRG eSports then pulled out Dorado, and they snowballed the first two points instantly thanks to some solid Mei play from Brandon “Seagull” Larned. Fnatic, though, managed to stall long enough on last to give them a fighting chance in the next round, and they scored a close victory. That sent the series to Hanamura, where it took a last-ditch effort from Fnatic to grab the first point on their first attack, eventually securing them the match and the series.
The NA finals pit EnVyUs—a team of five Europeans transplanted to North America to train and build off their legacy as the world’s top Overwatch team in online competition—against the Fnatic team who has emerged as the next best team in the region since they donned the Fnatic tag.
EnVyUs were the clear favorites, but it was Fnatic who struck first on King’s Row. They held EnVyUs on the first point of the map, something incredibly difficult to accomplish against a top team, and scored the first win in the series.
It was all downhill from there, though.
EnVyUs took the match to Lijiang Tower, and they overpowered Fnatic on the Control game types with stronger teamfight coordination. Dorado came next, and EnVyUs pulled out the recently out-of-favor Pharah and Mercy combo, taking advantage of Zenyatta falling a bit out of favor in the new Ana meta, to put together a formidable attack. EnVyUs then closed out the series on Nepal, showing that they’re the more dominant team in the Control game type.
Cloud9 and NRG eSports took home $18,000 for their efforts, while Fnatic earned a cool $24,000. The big money, though, will come in the grand final, where the immigrant team EnVyUs will face a European rival with $100,000 on the line. While EnVyUs was a heavy favorite to take home the NA title, in Europe the field is wide open. Rogue, champions of the Atlantic Showdown at Gamescom, face stiff competition from Showdown finalists REUNITED and Misfits, whose new look lineup seems to be firing on all cylinders heading into the biggest event of their careers. The European group stage kicks off tomorrow morning, and you can catch the action live on Twitch.