There are probably three teams in the Overwatch Contenders: Season Zero EU Group Stage that are definitely going to make it through to the playoffs. Those teams are eUnited, Misfits and Movistar Riders. Each of these teams is proven and experience on the international stage and has shown they can succeed in tournament play.
While each of these teams may be a lock, that leaves five spots up for grabs in a region with an incredible wealth of talent that should make these groups exciting. With week one of the Group Stages almost underway it’s time to take a look at how the group stages might shake out for Europe:
eUnited, Bazooka Puppiez, Team Expert, Esporati
This is perhaps the easiest group of the entire Overwatch Contenders tournament. eUnited are likely to run away with things here, though there should be some stiff competition for second place between Bazooka Puppiez and Team Expert. This battle is more than likely going to be decided by the mechanics of the two teams rather than their shotcalling, unlike almost every other match up in this Group Stage.
One thing to watch as teams have had more time to prepare for their opponents this time around is whether or not either of these two teams are able to put any pressure on eUnited to use their ults in different ways or attempt to push them into strange situations as a way to gaining an advantage.
Misfits, Laser Kittenz, Ninjas with Attitude, Esporters Cyberathletes
Misfits is going to come into this Group the clear favorite, though Laser Kittenz are likely to push them harder than people expect. During the Open Bracket, Misfits often had misfires in terms of team coordination and ultimate usage relying on their sheer mechanical abilities to get through their series.
However, Laser Kittenz will come into the series weary of this and will likely attempt to pressure Misfits in unfamiliar sections of the map which may throw the team’s mechanical advantages for a loop. If Misfits want to leave this group as the first seed, they are going to have to work out their coordination issues.
Singularity Ninjas, Vivi’s Adventure, Gamersorigin, Ninjas in Pyjamas
Perhaps Europe’s most competitive group, Group C is a mix of over-performing teams from the Open Bracket and under-performing teams from the Open Bracket. Based on their Open Bracket performance, Ninjas in Pyjamas being in last place certainly makes sense, however, the team has a lot of history and is more than capable of performing above and beyond what they showed in that stage. If they play up to their abilities, it should be easy for them to take first or second in the group.
But the rest of the group is in the opposite position. Each of these teams had unexpectedly strong performances in the Open Bracket stage. Most impressive of these standouts was Gamersorigin who no one expected to be able to compete at the level they managed. The only question remaining for them is whether or no they will be able to continue the success they had early in the tournament into the Group Stage.
Movistar Riders, 1 2 3, Cyclowns, Alfa Squad
The teams in Group D should sort themselves out fairly easily. Movistar Riders are the only team in the group that has proven themselves as competitive at an international event, while Cyclowns managed to qualify for TakeOver2 they dropped out in the first round. The other two teams could make for wildcards, particularly in their matches against Cyclowns, but it shouldn’t be too complicated for Movistar to get out.
The European Group Stage will begin on June 17 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern.