After a win against Bye Week, we faced NRG Esports in the 4th week of the Overwatch Contenders. We took the series 3 – 1, only losing the first map. This secured our second place standings in North American Group B. If you missed out on the action, we’ll get you caught up here!

Map 1: Oasis

University was up first in the Oasis pick, along with a Pharah duel. Despite Talespin’s prowess on Pharah, NRG’s Stratus was able to get the better of him in most fights. This helped NRG secure the first touch onto the objective, and ultimately win out the first point. Next in the Oasis lineup was the Garden, where we pulled out Brigitte, Mercy and Lucio for mobility and disruption of NRG’s dive composition. Stratus once again played the skies, his Pharah plays knocking out the back line for NRG to grab first touch once again. We weren’t ready to give up, and we answered back with a Tracer play to disrupt the point and flip it. NRG only allowed us 43% on the point before taking it back. On the next plays, we kept the fight even between ultimates and trading kills. Luckily, NRG’s Rocket Barrage was too high above the point to contest us, and we won the objective back with only 2 alive. Unfortunately, we were unable to reconvene on the point, and NRG won it out 100% – 57%, taking the map 2 – 0.

Map 2: King’s Row

On King’s Row, we started on the offensive side with double sniper and triple tanks. Only a Mercy was our healer for the push to first point. We were forced into an early retreat Once our Orisa was picked off and Buds’ Widow was caught out in no man’s land. Despite this, we capped the objective with 1:45 left on the clock. This gave us about 4 minutes to push the payload to point B. We decided to swap heroes for the payload push, gaining Zenyatta as a second healer and replaced Dva and Orisa for Reinhardt and Zarya. Thanks to respawn advantage, we were able to push NRG back and push the payload halfway before NRG could regroup. Once they did, they landed a sneaky Earthshatter from behind us. This forced a regroup from us, and soon the clock read 60 seconds. We used all of the ultimates we could, but Graviton Surge was eaten by the enemy Dva, leaving us unable to catch all of NRG in the Dragonstrike. We were able to gain 106.31 meters, but were unable to touch for overtime.

We were on the defensive next, pulling out a triple tank defense with a Widowmaker, Junkrat and Mercy. NRG chose to rush the objective with a full dive composition, but despite them wiping out Fire on Mercy, we held onto the point thanks to Crimzo’s Whole Hog ultimate stopping NRG’s Dragonblade in their second attempt. NRG eventually cap with 1 minute remaining on the clock, giving them only 3:30 in the time bank to reach the 106.31 meters where we finished. We pulled out Brigitte to counter the dive composition of NRG, stopping the Dragonblade from Genji once more. NRG managed to push us back to the point, but we stabilize at 101.2 meters thanks to Crimzo’s Transcendence. NRG decide to switch to Pharah and Junkrat in order to force us out, and they manage to drop 2 of us with a Riptire. They didn’t convert, however, and we continued to hold at the 101.2m. At the ten second mark, we use Dva’s Self Destruct to clear the path, but NRG push through and we use Valkyrie to hold at the 105.62 mark. Although NRG were close to the point, they were unable to make it before overtime ticked away. With this, we won the second map to tie the series 1 – 1.

Map 3: Temple of Anubis

Once again, we started on the offensive. Our first push was successful thanks to our full dive composition. This left NRG scrambling on the defense though our dive onto the point was a little disjointed. We took point A within a minute, pushing point B with 7 minutes on the clock. On the offensive push to B, we used Dragonblade to disrupt and take down the squishier targets, and capture the point with 6:17 in the time bank.

After our offensive roll, it was now our turn to defend on Anubis. We decided to hold with only one healer, Fire’s Mercy. NRG were able to head to the point relatively quickly, and we hold the push off with back and forth trades until NRG held the man advantage and our respawns were staggered too heavily. NRG win out point A in less time than we did and had 6:35 on the clock for their push to B. We changed up our team composition in order to better hold point B, with Crimzo switching off tank to help Fire support the team. We were unable to hold off NRG for long however, and NRG won point B with 5:49 in their time bank.

Since we took the point faster in our first offensive round, we were on the defensive once again for round 3. We denied NRG’s first push, but at the 5 min mark, NRG wiped our tanks from the frontline, heading to the first point. We were able to stabilize at 47%, but NRG thrashed against our defensive and staggered us out of the objective. This gave them a little over 3:30 to capture point B. Though NRG use Dragonblade to try for a quick capture, we held them off, forcing them into a desperate change to Pharah to take us out. We hold the 2 minute mark without a tick taken from NRG on point B. In the last remaining seconds on NRG’s offense, we zone them out with Dragonstrike, Riptire and Transcendence, making it impossible for NRG to touch. This defensive hold keeps NRG from getting a single percentage on point B, keeping the score at a close 2 – 3 (NRG favored).

With the win in our grasp, we decided on a full dive composition with a Lucio, Mercy, Tracer, Genji, Winston and Dva. Quickly, we took point A, tying the score with 5:45 left to push toward the second objective. Similarly to our offense in the first round, we use Dragonblade to open up point B. Because we fully held off NRG in their attempt at point B last round, we were able to grab the first and only tick needed on the point to win Anubis 4 – 3 and lead the series 2 – 1.

Map 4: Watchpoint Gibraltar

In the final map of the series, we began on the offensive. NRG pull out a Bastion for their defense on the high ground of Gibraltar. Despite their heavy high ground hold, they don’t commit to stopping the payload push, and we gain the 1st point by avoiding the sightlines of the Bastion and drop him every chance we could. We gain point A with 2:27 on the clock, giving us roughly 4 minute and 45 seconds to push towards point B. NRG change out their Bastion for a Tracer, but while they were scrambling for defensive changes, we were able to roll onto point B. This gave us 5 minutes to reach the 3rd and final objective on Gibraltar. NRG pull out a Brigitte to hold against our Genji, which has been chewing up their backline. Although we use 3 ultimates for a heavy push, NRG stabilize the payload around the halfway point with 3:30 on the clock. At the two minute mark, we were able to convert our attack into a 3 – 0 score with 1:44 in the time bank.

It was then NRG’s turn to attack. They decide to push with a padded composition–or as I like to say, “pillow comp”–of quad tanks, Zen and Mercy. This was in hopes to sustain against our defense, but we were able to dispel them quickly with a pick onto their Dva early on. This forced them back to regroup and they decide against the quad tank push. NRG instead run a dive composition and force out our Transcendence and Valkyrie ultimates in order for us to sustain defense. Though we held man advantage, NRG gained the first point with 2:20 to capture point B. This gave us an incredible advantage since we were so quick to capture the points in round 1. NRG were able to push halfway through the hangar section of Gibraltar before we were able to regroup for the second defensive site. We change to Brigitte to hold off the dive composition from NRG, and use rally, but NRG had a Dragonblade up their sleeve for after the duration of Brig’s ultimate. In overtime, NRG was able to convert their Dragonblade into a second point capture. Unfortunately for them, theu only had 2:30 to capture point C. For our third defense, we drop Brigitte for Hanzo, giving us more damage. NRG decide to change to Brigitte themselves despite not going against a dive comp from our side. This was ultimately the wrong move because it killed their momentum from winning the second point, and they change to Hanzo as well at 1:30. Once again, we hold until the overtime counter begins, but this time, NRG had no way of reaching the point, and we won Gibraltar 3 – 2.

After back and forth brawls from both us and NRG, we engineered a 3 – 1 series win. This placed us confidently in second for our group in the NA Overwatch Contenders. Next week is sure to be just as excited as we face Toronto Esports! Be sure to tune in Thursday, August 2nd, for all the action. You can catch the stream on the Overwatch Contenders Twitch channel as well as check out standings, schedules and more on the Contenders website.