ESL Atlantic Showdown – The King Has No Clothes

August 23, 2016 - Esports

The budding Overwatch Competitive scene had its first trial at Gamescom, where ESL Atlantic Showdown, involving four of the best teams from both Europe and North America, was held. The tournament was thought to have a pre-determined winner in Team EnVyUs, which hasn’t lost a series ever. Unfortunately for the mostly European players who moved to NA to compete, the trophy wasn’t in the cards for them.

The tournament started as expected, with EnVyUs demolishing Dignitas and Fnatic 2-0 and making it to the Playoffs as the first seed, with Fnatic trailing behind from Group A. In Group B, the two teams to qualify were REUNITED and Rogue. REUNITED had the fast track after defeating compLexity Gaming and Rogue. On the other hand, Rogue won 2-1 against Cloud9, lost to REUNITED and then had to win against the winner of the C9 vs. coL winner. Needless to say, they managed to do it, making it into the playoffs.

Unfortunately for Rogue, matchmaking in the format used in ESL Atlantic Showdown works be pitting the first place team from Group A against the second seed from Group B and vice versa. Why was that unfortunate? Rogue got matched against EnVyUs. Now, the European team had to either do the (seemingly) impossible and break EnVyUs’ winning streak or take a graceful loss and live to fight another day.

It all went wrong for EnVyUs starting with the first map, Temple of Anubis, which was won by Rogue, when they managed to stop EnVyUs’ onslaught and smashed through their opponent's’ defense when it was time to attack. The next match to be played was King’s Row. Rallying after the shock of losing, EnVyus took the point and escorted the payload all the way. Rogue couldn’t do the same, getting stopped before the last point. Trying to get ahead once ahead, Rogue managed to win Hanamura, followed by an EnVyUs win on Dorado. With the score being 2-2, it all came down to Lijiang tower. The first point was successfully taken by Rogue, followed by two straight by EnVyUs. The Europeans did manage to respond in kind, winning the map and the whole series. Ladies and gentlemen, the king has no clothes.

On the other side of the Semi Final bracket, REUNITED had a slightly easier path to the Finals with only Fnatic standing in their way. Yes, Fnatic is a great team, however, trying to pick the more dangerous opponent between EnVyUs and Fnatic is easy, don’t you think? As it stands, REUNITED didn’t have many problems taking care of their opponents, winning the best of five series 3-1, with a victory on Temple of Anubis, losing on Dorado, and bringing it home on Illios and Hollywood.

Let’s be honest there, only the biggest EU fanboys would have said that both REUNITED and Rogue would be the ones playing in the Final of ESL Atlantic Showdown and yet, that’s precisely what happened. To be frank, I’m quite happy about it. While I do like EnVyUs very much, the fact that the team, which has been apparently dominating the Competitive scene for such a long time can be brought down after all promises great things for the scene.

Concerning the Final match of the tournament, Rogue avenged themselves for the loss in the Group Stage, winning the first game on Hollywood, losing Illios, and then finishing it up on Dorado and King’s Row to win the whole thing, $40,000 included. That should be a nice boost for an European team, which can’t really boast rich sponsors or well-developed org structure, unlike Cloud9, for example. Dividing the money between all players, the prize money won’t be life changing as it was for the winners of The International, Wings Gaming, however, every little bit helps when you’re trying to live the dream.