[Posting for a friend] Introduction to NA Contenders teams

At the request of someone I know online, and who prefers to remain anonymous, I am posting their write-up on the teams participating in Contenders North America.

I have also been asked to explain that this is not a power ranking. The teams have been listed in the reverse order in which Liquipedia presents them (https://liquipedia.net/overwatch/Overwatch_Contenders/2021/Season_1/North_America).(I believe it might be the reverse seeding order.)

Please find the article below. The opinions expressed in it are those of the author, not mine.

Hello, I saw a little writeup on EU on the sub and decided to try one for my home region. I used to frequent the comments but I deactivated my account, so I gave this to a friend to publish on my behalf. I decided to write the strengths of the teams because I'm not really in a position to criticise because I'm not much of an insider, there's no tier list or anything by design. These are not in order of my rankings, this is in the reverse order of list on liquipedia.

Maryville Esports: This is the first collegiate team to ever make contenders. I've heard the argument a few times that the fact that they made it means that the region has gotten weaker but I don't think that's true- they beat out Susanoo for the fourth place spot. They had better team coordination that match and they played the rush comp smarter and more aggressively than the other side. The roster consists of a few old guard contenders players and Halo from Uprising. One thing to note is that Crakin is missing from Liquipedia so I take it Cameron and Guru will play tank all the time. I think their dps rotation is very strong and could lead to some upset wins if they play their cards right. Overall, this may be a month where they try to get some major takeaways on how to improve and hopefully steal a win in the first round.

Wisp: I don't really know much about them as a team. Slugo is a known entity to me having hopped around in high OD for some time now, he came in to replace Cjay who is banned from tendies for something I don't know about. Chime from ATK mode did some really nice things on tracer in an ATK mode match I caught in a third party tournament, I forget which one. Based on what I saw in trials, Jishua is a very capable rein player and from what I understand the team really likes playing with each other, and it shows with how well they back him up in a rush comp. I didn't think that Wisp would make contenders, I thought they would miss out on contenders along with Maryville, but I love being proved wrong. I think that the team is still growing and might hit a brick wall in contenders but maybe they upset again, we'll have to wait and see.

Obey Alliance: This team was formed from the core of Darkmode NA and Noble smashed together with MattMerc and Tensa coming from elsewhere. Most of these players have played with at least one other person on the roster, and you saw this when they hit the ground running in trials with a quick 3-0 sweep against Wisp, who as opposed to Obey, really racked up momentum over the course of the week(s). I want to highlight the tankline of Obey because I think MattMerc is extremely good. He played for the no-scrims darkmode esports team from s1 of NA Contenders who would've made playoffs if it weren't for 1 map they lost to the original Noble team with Tensa and Brooks, his current teammate and his former Majestados teammate respectively. I watched his match vs Spackle Academy in the Mayhem classic and he really showed up against GiG who I rated highly going into that match and I still do despite having a bit of a bad day in the tournament. Paired with Cowman I think they have a really strong tankline going into the tournament, and the rest of the team has gotten good results in 2020, and I wish them the best going forward.

Rushvival: This team was a balls to the wall rush squad who didn't lose a match in trials. Since they played rush I couldn't really highlight one player for the life of me because funny rush comp but the coordination was really clean and I think Cloudy deserves some credit for that but I don't know their comms structure. For me, trials was a bit of a comeback performance for iCy. He had a bottom 2 showing in gauntlet with Drifters, (I have no idea whether they disbanded or not someone tell me) but he seemed to be back to his old self last week, hopefully he can ride that energy all the way through the contenders week. Their backline has a lot of carry potential especially Lep, I don't think cookiebotting on brig says all too much about someone as a player but he did finish 5-6th in gauntlet, and overall he looked fantastic last week.

Spackle Academy: The team sort of had a free ride into contenders, which says nothing about them as a team. I only caught one game of the Mayhem classic but they happened to be playing in it vs Obey. The team is very very agressive but I think Obey got the beat on them when they pulled off the reverse sweep. The first thing that jumps out at me about this team is that cucumber is on it, and he was rumored for OWL but I won't get into that. He's a very good player on all of the heroes in the offtank role, he was a huge part of the unstoppable American Tornado team which he left. His tank partner GiG is a very aggressive rein player with a decent monkey, I'm a little worried about him on Ball or Orisa but we'll see. I'd especially like to see him play against Darkmode NA because Dreamer is the player he was benched for on Valiant before shit hit the fan. Their dps players are very good, Phi stepped into Ta1yo's shoes to the best of his ability and showed off on widow in s2 NA. With Dynasty and S9mm on the team around him I'm not sure who gets the playtime but they were 4th in gauntlet while starting and 3rd in Contenders October when respectively in 2020. Harryko played with Lep in gauntlet on Team LFT and did his job pretty well, I've got nothing on him outside of gauntlet and the Mayhem series but he's improving. The last player on the team is Aspen, who's some kind of shrodinger's cat in the community being a woman and having been a streamer but also having hit 4700. In my opinion, none of these things actually matter, but getting higher than 5th NA would certainly be a huge boon for her chances of making OWL, she has yet to do that.

Darkmode NA: Definitely a weird mix, although Dreamer and Adam definitely jump out at me as potential top players in NA despite Adam saying himself that he'll be playing on 230 ping. Believe me I've tried it, it's not fun. Not sure what ping Dreamer is playing on, probably 160 someodd. They also have Think from Noble on ping but I don't know how they slot him in if at all. The rest of the team lives in the states. Now that that's out of the way, Aspire is probably the guy who sticks out the most on this team outside of the Tank players is Aspire, his results are alright but he's really good on widow and cree, watch out for that. I think the rest of the team can carry their weight, probably about middle middle NA, Tr33 may be a cut above down the line since he's fresh to contenders, he might be a lot better a month from the time of writing.

Odyssey: Sheesh this team has a lot of dps players, coach Empress has a ton to unpack here. I think Sigma can probably play more than tracer, most likely he can play hitscan heroes decently, but his tracer is the main highlight, I caught the clip of the 6k thanks to a friend, that was a clinic. I wonder how he would stack up against owl teams at LAN off ping. Dove placed 4th with Uprising Academy in gauntlet, K1ng's team flopped but they got 3rd in NA twice, and Malthel got 2nd in gauntlet with odyssey, as did the rest of the roster who came back to odyssey. The team has very good results and a strong core that all came back, with new flexibility at dps. I think NA didn't get any worse since gauntlet so the addition of a great coach in Empress and the added skill at DPS could bring about good things for the Odyssey players.

American Tornado: I don't want to go too in depth because it's pretty obvious what this team is capable of, there is only one new player in False, who is more than capable of filling Cucumber's shoes. If it weren't for Gaebullsi he's probably the next best player for Uprising Academy, had they not headed to korea. One thing I noticed on Liquipedia is that Sugarfree is listed on the roster, but since they have 4 dps he's probably subbing for shits and giggles when he feels like it. I think they aren't necessarily a shoe-in to win the whole thing but teams are going to have to rise to their level and outplay them, because on paper they outskill everyone else.

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