Overwatch Open Finals - EU Group A
Though Rogue were a confident pick for grand finalists, the group stage of the European region was a tight call for any of the teams competing. Group A, in particular, featured four of the best teams in Overwatch right now, and as a result led to a number of close matches. Ninjas In Pyjamas first match against Reunited was very close, in fact, with the final game being the only one where NiP had more control than its opposition - taking all three attack points with 20 seconds to spare and leaving Reunited failing to capture even its first. NiP would then go on to defeat Team Dignitas in an equally close match. With all three games played - and tough rounds for both sides - it was a matter of six seconds that pushed Ninjas In Pyjamas into the playoffs alongside FaZe Clan. The UK team FaZe lost its first match against Dignitas - who won the last two games of the three played with all three attack points captured - and was forced onto the backfoot for the group stage. It prevailed, however, winning both its Payload games, first against Reunited 2-1 and then in its rematch against Team Dignitas 2-0 taking FaZe through to the playoffs.
Overwatch Open Finals - EU Group B
Group B it was a little more clear-cut about who - on paper at least - was likely to lead the groups. Though Luminosity and ANOX both have very capable squads, in the face of Rogue and Misfits - two of the best in Europe, if not the world - it was hard to see either team defeating the efforts of these two squads. And that's pretty much how the group played out. ANOX was the first to fall - 2-0 to Rogue - before ultimately ending placing last in the group after a similar loss to Luminosity. Despite that victory, however, Luminosity had to endure two matches against Misfits, both of which it went on to lose 2-0 without much of a fight. And so while both Rogue and Misfits were heading through to the playoffs, it was an exciting match all the same as the two teams tried to carefully feel each other out for dominance. In the end it was Rogue that would go on to win the series 2-0, particularly showing a strong defence against the Misfits who just struggled to crack the opposition's impenetrable squad. Misfits followed up this loss with a strong victory against Ninjas In Pyjamas in the playoffs, where it would go on to win 3-1. On the other side of the semifinals, however, FaZe Clan looked ready to eliminate the strongest team of the EU group phase. In its match against Rogue, FaZe managed to take two early victories on Payload, before a renewed Rogue came back harder than before - blocking every attempt by FaZe and winning the three straight games it needed to proceed into the finals.
Overwatch Open - EU Playoff Finals
The finals, then, ended up a grudge match between Rogue and Misfits once more. Despite the loss in the group stage, it was clear from the start that Misfits wasn't going to let Rogue repeat its victory. The first game went to Misfits, whose strong defence was just enough to hold Rogue back. The next two games in the series were tight games, with neither side showing considerable strength over the other. Both games, however, would go to Rogue. Backed into a corner, it was clear that Misfits wasn't about to let this one slide. The fourth game ended up going into overtime and Rogue very nearly managed to claim victory, until Misfits achieved a point capture in only 24 seconds. The fifth, final, deciding map, however, was confidently won by Misfits who from the very beginning of the game was playing on another level, eventually winning one extra attacking round over rivals Rogue and, ultimately, placing Misfits in the grand finals. This really will be a clash of the titans, and any fan of Overwatch eSports needs to keep this match on their radar.
You will be able to tune in to the grand finals for the Overwatch Open between NA's Team EnVyUs and EU's Misfits tonight on Ginx eSports TV, Sky Channel 470 or Virgin Channel 290. Tune in from 3AM BST on October 1, or catch up with a repeat of the tournament later in the day at 3PM BST.