This weekend will mark the beginning of Blizzard’s first long term North American Overwatch competition, with Contenders Season One.
Season Zero, which concluded back in the beginning of July, gave us the six qualifying teams for Contender’s first official season and now we know exactly what the rosters for those teams will look like. The six teams largely kept their rosters the same as they were in Season Zero. It’s no surprise that they did, because the rosters are full of incredible Overwatch talent. The teams themselves provide an interesting balance of big name North American esports organizations and smaller teams, some with almost no sponsors at all.
The only two teams competing in Contenders Season One that didn’t qualify through competition in Season Zero are Rogue and EnVyUs who received direct invites thanks to their successes in other leagues around the world prior to the creation of the Contenders tournament. Because of their established success, those two teams will come in with both the highest expectations and the most established talent.
To help get a better idea of who is competing to be mentioned in the same breath as those two, here’s every roster that will be competing in North America’s first Overwatch Contenders Season:
5 Hour Energy Detroit Renegades
Renegades is a team that’s proven it can succeed. The trip to Contenders Season One went through some of North America’s most difficult opponents and the Renegades roster showed its strength every time with clever flanking and strong DPS play.
Envision have a lot to prove heading into the first season of Overwatch Contenders. One of the smaller teams involved in the league, they failed to qualify through the Season Zero tournament and purchased the spot of Team Liquid, who helped eliminate them from Season Zero. So, heading into Season One, the team will first of all set its sites on proving it deserves to be there.
EnVyUs are one of the oldest competitive Overwatch teams. The team’s first competition on a major stage was in Korea’s first Apex tournament a little over a year ago, which they won handily. Since then they have competed, and dominated in tournaments all over the world. There’s a reason the team was invited to the tournament—along with Rogue, they are North Americas heavy hitters.
Faze Clan is a team full of stars. From tank player FCTFCTN to the world’s most famous Genji, Shadowburn, the roster is absolutely overflowing with talent. The one thing that was missing in their Season Zero run was the ability to focus that talent and make it all work together seamlessly, something they will hope to figure out during Season One.
Alongside having the tournament’s worst name, FNFRGFE also has one of its strangest rosters. Made up of players culled from other professional teams — that’s where the name comes from as well — these players create this team themselves and have since succeeded more than any roster they were on before. Rather than rely on any organization or coach to help them put together the roster, the players simply went with the group that felt right and have been one of North America’s strongest teams ever since.
Immortals are exactly on the border between good and great. It’s already clear, thanks to their win in Contenders Season Zero, that they are on top of most of their North American competition. The only thing the team has left to prove is whether or not they are ready to compete with the best in the world, like Rogue and EnVyUs. With far and away one of the most talented rosters, and the backing that the Los Angeles Overwatch League spot gives, this is the perfect chance for Immortals to make that leap.
Throughout their Season Zero run, Kungarna were a team that consistently outperformed their expectations. It always seemed like their elimination was just around the corner and they just kept surviving. In Season One, they’ll be looking to prove that those performances weren’t flukes and that they deserve higher expectations in the future.
Coming into Contenders Season One, Rogue are the best team. Not just in North America, but in Europe as well. Over the last five months, Rogue have dominated almost every tournament they have entered and are playing on a completely different level than any of the other teams in the western hemisphere. That makes Rogue the high water mark against which all other Contenders teams will measure success.