Over the past several months, competitive Overwatch has begun to shape itself into what is arguably one of the most exciting eSports of the year. The game ran a number of online tournaments throughout the beta, but it wasn’t until the full release that we saw teams come into their own. The number of international tournaments suddenly increased tenfold, and it wasn’t long until we had our set number of favourite teams emerging from all around the globe.
This past weekend, however, saw the first ever offline LAN tournament for Overwatch – The ESL Atlantic Showdown, which took place live from Gamescom. Easily the biggest eSports attraction this year, the Atlantic Showdown would finally bring the world’s best teams to the ESL Arena to see who was the best on LAN. This is always a great metric when determining a team’s capabilities, as online competitions are played from the comfort of your home, whereas LANs separate the men from the boys as “big match temperament” kicks in for the more composed players.
The tournament took the best eight teams from Europe and North America to see how they faired on LAN, and it was an incredible display of skill, with added upsets throughout the competition. All eyes were on North America as team EnvyUs and Cloud9 have been dominating the online tournaments throughout the competitive calendar. EnvyUs were perhaps the bigger team to watch as they’d not lost a single match online since the release of Overwatch. Unfortunately for them, there was a sleeping giant in the form of Rogue who managed to dethrone EnyUs in the semi-final, taking the series 3-2 in what can only be described as the biggest upset in Overwatch.
On the other side of the semi-finals was a second North America vs. Europe showdown as Reunited took on Fnatic. Reunited, who recently lost two of their best players to a roster change, managed to take down the titan organization making the grand final a European showdown, and sent North America back to the drawing board.
When it came to the Grand Final it was a safe assumption that Rogue, who took down EnvyUs, were the clear favourites to win. They took down the first map on Hollywood denying Reunited the third and final point only by a hair. They managed to push the payload with ease to the demarcated area and secured map number one. It was up to Reunited to now bring this to an even score as they felt Illios was the place to do it. Being more comfortable on King of The Hill, Reunited still met a tough attack as Rogue managed to bring the map to the final stage. In the end Reunited took Illios 3-2, and it was on to Dorado.
Rogue put up an incredible first defense on Dorado pushing the clock to 8:34, an admirable but slow time for Reunited. On attack Rogue seemed to slow down as well with roughly a minute on the clock and one final push in the bag. Rogue managed to seal it off with 30 seconds to spare, making the score 2-1 and needing one final game to take the Grand Final.
The final map for the series was King’s Row, and again Rogue put up a staunch defense leaving Reunited with an 8:11 time, again a rough time for King’s Row. Rogue took the second point with four minutes to spare, and the smell of victory was in the air. One big teamfight here would seal the tournament, and Reunited knew it. With no ultimates to show for, Reunited gave one last attempt and got punished before staggering deaths on the point to try delay the final push. Unfortunately for Reunited it was not enough as they were subsequently wiped again and Rogue took the Grand Final 3-1, making them the first ever LAN winners for Overwatch.