Overwatch Contenders 2019: The Gauntlet Guide
The Giga Arena in Seoul will be the home for this years Overwatch Contenders 2019: The Gauntlet event featuring the best Contenders teams from around the globe. After a long and taxing season, 10 teams have managed to rise above their competitors and claim an invite to this years crowning final of the Overwatch Contenders 2019 competitive season.
Between Oct. 9-13 the best squads from Korea, China, Europe and North America will battle for dominance in the Contenders league under the watchful eyes of scouts from the Overwatch League and thousands of fans and spectators from across the globe. The Pacific and Atlantic showdowns earlier this year netted an extra invite for NA and Korea to this years event. This means that the first ever Gauntlet features four teams from North America, three from Korea and one from China, Europe and Hong Kong.
Eight of the ten invitees will battle for supremacy in two double elimination groups while the Champions of Korea and North America await them at the Finals. At the end of the road a hefty slice of the $250,000 USD prize pool awaits the champions.
Let’s take a look at this years competitors and discuss the potential of every contender for the throne.
Overwatch Contenders 2019: Group A
The opening match of Group A and the whole Overwatch Contenders 2019: The Gauntlet event features the Contenders Korea runner-ups Element Mystic and Pacific Champions Talon Esports. While both squads have a solid chance to make it out of Group A, Element Mystic is the clear favorite in the matchup and the entire group. After ending up the regular season in 6th place, the Korean powerhouse went all the way to the finals and gave Runaway a run for their money in the Korean finals. They ultimately fell short losing 4:2 after dropping both Nepal and King’s Row.
Mystic now seeks a repeat of their home league performance and potentially face up against their archenemy in the Finals. Talon Esports might look to throw a wrench in their wheels, as they will still seek to prove their worth against Korean opponents.
The second match-up of Group A features the European champions HSL Esports and the 3rd seed from North America XL2 Academy. One of the two is likely to go out of the competition once all is said and done but it is up to both squads to show up in force and show why they deserve to advance in the competition. ExceL’s academy team should have a slight advantage in this match-up as they had a bit more matches and a denser schedule then HSL throughout the season.
In the end Group A is arguably an “easier” group the Group B at this year’s Gauntlet event. Our Overwatch gauntlet predictions say that whoever manages to make it out has a mountain to climb in the latter part of the competition.
Overwatch Contenders 2019: Group B
The “Group of Death” features both losers of The Gauntlet Tiebreaker facing up in the opening match-up. Team Envy the NA West champions faces Gladiators Legion the runner-up from NA East. It is hard to scope how both squads will match up against each other. Legion has had a season where they were constantly in the shadow of NA Champions ATL Academy. Team Envy on the other hand won their regions final but felt some of Legion’s pain at the back end of the season as they got dismantled by ATL Academy (4:1) in the Gauntlet Tiebreak. Now both squads are seeking a chance for revenge against their regional champions.
As a followup to the North American drama we will witness the Chinese champions LGE.Huya face off against Korean 3rd seed Gen.G Esports. The Koreans had a solid regular season ending the regular split with a 6-1 record and a tie for 1st with O2 Blast. Both of the top seeds ended up run over by RunAway and Elements Mystic. They then had to battle among one another for a spot at the Gauntlet. LGE.Huya on the other hand had a domineering run in their Playoffs run and ended a lackluster season with the Contenders China trophy. In a true China vs Korea rivalry both teams are seeking to advance to the winner bracket and prove their region’s strength. It should be harder for LGE’s squad as they have to potentially dominate three unfamiliar Korean rivals to earn themselves the ultimate bragging rights.
More then just a trophy on the line
In the end, the biggest stakes at the event are for each individual player. They have to perform at their absolute top form in order to potentially advance to the Overwatch League next season as the Giga Arena will be packed with scouts from various top tier organizations. The battle for personal glory can potentially outweigh the battle for regional supremacy making this event a must watch for every Overwatch fan around the planet.
The Overwatch Contenders 2019: The Gauntlet will be played on Patch 1.39. This means a lot of Orisa and a lot of explosive tank match-ups. If the recent Overwatch League gave us any insight its that whoever gets rolling first in a match-up is likely going to end up the victor.
For direct information about Overwatch Contenders 2019: The Gauntlet follow @OWPathToPro and keep checking our Esports News section for outtakes, predictions and betting guides as the tournament unfolds.