Element Mystic defeated Atlanta Academy on Sunday, October 13, taking home the trophy at the Overwatch Contenders Gauntlet final. The final two matches of the tournament showed unexpected results.
Firstly, the loser’s bracket, which saw the Korean team, RunAway, face off against North American team Atlanta Academy, finished with a heartbreaking loss for RunAway. But Atlanta was ecstatic. They became the first team to ever win a series against the reigning Korean team without losing a single map.
Atlanta Academy’s confidence shone through in this game. They found no issues playing outside of other teams’ comfort zones, using unique and surprising strategies to dominate each map. Often paying no attention to each hero’s conventional role, Atlanta opted for an aggressive style. Support took on the entire enemy team and hitscan heroes pushed ahead independently.
Although their plays were chaotic, they worked. RunAway struggled to take control of even a single map in the series. Falling to Atlanta Academy’s anarchic DPS and strong tanks proved too much for them. The pain of the loss was evident on the RunAway players’ faces after the game. Many hung their heads low, with tears streaming down their faces, mourning a victory that meant so much to them.
Unfortunately for Atlanta Academy, their ambition was about to end too. Element Mystic was too strong to defeat and would not lose the same way RunAway did. It was a final four to one map victory for the Korean team.
There are some players from Element Mystic that organizations will keep their eye on during the upcoming Overwatch League free agency. Perhaps one of the most popular might be Kim “SP9RK1E” Yeong-han, one of EM’s DPS players. He showcased his best work in the finals on Doomfist, playing aggressively to push Atlanta back.
Another player sure to be popular during the OWL free agency is Dong-ha “Doha” Kim, who dominated as Sombra on control maps. Although he was stealthy, in contrast to SP9RK1E’s aggressive strategy, he was essential in keeping Atlanta Academy from capturing the map.
Element Mystic has been dominating in Contenders and finally have the victory to confirm that. They finished as runner-up in three out of the four most recent seasons of Overwatch Contenders, with RunAway finishing above them. But this year played differently. First, they became the Pacific Showdown winners and now the Gauntlet champions.
Overwatch Contenders returns in 2020 with a new format and a fresh roster of teams in each region. Next year might be the time when the Korean champions will be dethroned.
Written by Jess Simmonds