By Amelia Savery, Blizzard Entertainment
While the Overwatch League rages on, the Path to Pro has been running alongside it, as up-and-coming talent jostle for the spotlight. With 12 teams per region, including Overwatch League Academy teams, Contenders North America and Europe have just concluded their first regular season of the year. Read on for a look at the first-round playoff matchups in both regions.
North American playoffs begin this Sunday, April 15, at 6 p.m. PDT on twitch.tv/OverwatchContenders with the first two of these matchups:
- Toronto Esports (Boston Uprising) vs. NRG Esports (San Francisco Shock)
- EnVision vs. XL2 Academy (NYXL)
- Fusion University (Philadelphia Fusion) vs. Mayhem Academy (Florida Mayhem)
- Gladiators Legion (LA Gladiators) vs. OpTic Academy (Houston Outlaws)
The first contest features the Boston Uprising Academy team, Toronto Esports—in many ways the ancestral home of the Beantown franchise—taking on San Francisco’s own NRG Esports.
For those itching to watch the Korean wunderkind from the 2017 Overwatch World Cup, Yeon-Oh “Fl0w3r” Hwang, you’ll get your chance in the second match of the evening, as XL2 go up against North American institution EnVision, led by the enigmatic Caleb “McGravy” McGarvey.
The action resumes on Tuesday, April 17, at 4 p.m. PDT, as Fusion University—featuring ex-Lunatic-Hai members Seung-Jun “WhoRU” Lee and Kyung-Bo “Alarm” Kim—battle the vaporwave of Mayhem Academy.
And finally, Gladiators Legion and OpTic Academy will emulate the Los Angeles Gladiators and Houston Outlaws’ budding Overwatch League rivalry as they face off for a spot in the top four.
Across the pond, European playoffs begin on Sunday, April 22, at 4 p.m. CEST on twitch.tv/OverwatchContenders with the following matches:
- British Hurricane (London Spitfire) vs. Young and Beautiful
- CIS Hope vs. Orgless and Hungry
And continue on Monday, April 23, at 6 p.m. CEST:
The British Hurricane, the London Spitfire’s Academy team, enter the playoffs with a 4-1 match record, which is the best in the league bar one: Eagle Gaming, who have a perfect 5-0 record. Seeking to upset their playoffs run is Team Gigantti, a team looking to live up to the legacy of six of their former roster members now playing in the Overwatch League (for those playing along at home, that would be Zappis, Fragi, BigGoose, Shaz, LiNkzr, and Zuppeh).
Europe as a region is a proven training ground for some of the best Overwatch talent in the world, and competition in this season of Contenders has been particularly fierce. Whether you’re a European fan or just enjoy consuming top-notch Overwatch, be sure to tune in to twitch.tv/OverwatchContenders.
Beyond North America and Europe, keep track of the Contenders playoff brackets across all seven regions over the next few weeks on the official Overwatch Contenders website, and be sure to follow Path to Pro on Twitter to keep up with the latest Overwatch Contenders news!