While the Overwatch League joined much of the world on holiday vacation, the Overguard and console Overwatch’s premier teams across PS4 and Xbox got together for some friendly (and some not-so-friendly) competition in the inaugural Winter Wonderland Cup. Crafted by events manager Emminik, casted by Schtitle24 and MaggiePK, and filled by 22 teams across both consoles — the WWC was an all-day slugfest replete with novel strats, top 500 players, and a couple dominating performances. On Xbox everyone’s favorite IG models and OG model-citizens the Kinda Thicc Bois came away with 1st place while LastMinuteName and Enigma got 2nd and 3rd respectively. On PS4, the field of 16 teams got pounded by an undefeated and fittingly-named 1st place squad: the Fist, with MonkaS and the Nomads earning 2nd and 3rd places — albeit after some Grand Finals EU/NA drama. A full day of stacked teams treated Twitch to everything from Mercy and Moira POTGs to triple-tank and triple-DPS comps. After rewatching and analyzing the VODs and player rosters, here’s a full recap of the Winter Wonderland Cup and a look at the current state of Overwatch’s console meta and top-tier teams.

Xbox Overwatch: Thicc Bois and Microsoft’s Finest

The day started bright and early with a match between the Kinda Thicc Bois and Baguettes on Anubis and Junkertown. On Anubis the Baguettes attacked first and could not gain any advantage against a KTB squad whose renown HJZI ran defensive Pharah alongside their Mercy JackCarne and shut down all flankers (including a mean murder of the Baguette Tracer ZE_Neekiah). The Thicc Bois full-held Point A, but a defensive dive from the Baguettes and their very own Pharah SL_Slayer kept the match to a draw and forced the teams to settle the score on Junkertown. Both teams ran Bastion-centric pirate ships on attack, with some Pharah duels between HJZI and SL_Slayer mixed in, but it was a combination of BonBon_Muncher’s sturdy Reinhardt and HJZI’s McCree swap that got the Thicc Bois 3 points while their defensive Junkrat Mighty_XV was able to clamp down a dominating Baguette Bastion Neekiah for a 3-1 win.

The Winners Bracket saw the Thicc Bois face off against Enigma in what may have been one of the year’s best matchups. The teams started on Horizon Lunar Colony where both sides predominantly ran mirror trios of Pharah, Moira, and Mercy. The Thicc Bois attacked first and took both points with some real mojo granted by Xbox’s premier Moira HXRVI and another McCree swap from HJZI. Enigma also capped both points with strong Winston play from CrazyCapyJeff and his 13-player kill-streak, but KTB eventually eked out a 3-2 win in overtime. Map 2 was an absolute pleasure from start to finish as Twitch chat’s hero DanSlays_EU played some crafty Tracer for Enigma and their Zenyatta Mykiy clutched it out for a 5-4 win. In a magical moment of holiday sportsmanship, KTB’s HXRVI got the Moira POTG despite losing and their D.Va IUYA finished with 7:34 in objective time, earning enough votes from Enigma for a legendary card post-game. Map 3 brought the teams to Pharah’s stomping grounds: Lijiang Tower. Each team started with a D.Va, Winston, Moira, and Mercy — but the Thicc Bois ran a Pharah while Enigma ran Reaper. KTB comfortably won Round 1, but struggled to cap the point on Round 2 after Enigma reached 99% on the back of some potent D.Va play from DanSlays. Once capped, Control Center’s snowball came into effect as KTB played aggro and essentially spawn-camped their way to being crowned XBox Winter Wonderland Champions.

Kinda Thicc Bois won first place, LastMinuteName won second, and Enigma earned third place for the Xbox Cup. LastMinuteName’s DPS duo showed off on stream with Vracks racking up 44 eliminations for 60% kill participation as Pharah and TribalWarPup piling on an additional 36 eliminations and an 18-player kill-streak during a 2-1 victory over Eternity eSports on Anubis. Eternity’s main support T1_Pingu and DPS Gru_Master handled their business, but the eventual third-place LastMinuteName showed a ton of first-place talent.

PS4 Overwatch: EU, NA, MonkaS, and the Fist

The day continued with some quality PS4 gameplay before finishing with more international drama than Alec Baldwin’s 30 Rock telenovela. The Fist started against the Red Serpents on Anubis where Serpents DPS MrCaliber impressed with 3 gold medals — but the Fist’s superstar Mercy BrokenBoyLeon (rank #10 on PSN) clutched it out with a big Mercy play on Attack and the team’s defensive dive didn’t allow the Serpents to cap point at all. On their next map: King’s Row, roles reversed as the Serpents went with a dive comp while the Fist defended with a stocky Reinhardt/Zarya tank duo. The Serpents got within meters of finishing the map before being stifled by the Fist’s stellar Reinhardt Azentauri and his earth-shatter mindgames. On Attack, the Fist ended up pushing past a Red Serpent triple-tank defense by swapping to Bastion and casually rolling to the 2-0 victory and a matchup with Overguard veterans the Nomads. Despite some quality D.Va play from the Nomads off-tank EliteX_XGamer and some talented, albeit occasionally suspicious (the life of 0 Aim Smoothing mixed with 100 ping), play from their DPS r_u_l_3_r — the hero flexibility and team coordination of the Fist earned another 2-0 victory. With Azentauri’s consistent tanking and DPS flexibility from ConjuredDevil_ and Fuzem8, the Fist’s xTombW91 was able to swap across Zenyatta, Reaper, and Bastion in an impressive demonstration of adaptability.

On the other side of the bracket, the Red Serpents and Nomads each got to take a crack at an upstart MonkaS squad. The Serpents and MonkaS first faced off on Horizon Lunar Colony where some strong play (and an especially fatty shatty) from MonkaS main-tank XXPSJohn held the Serpents to 43% on Point B and a super-concentrated dive with XXPSJohn’s Winston and Sparta_IX’s Pharah on Attack gave MonkaS the W. Map 2 brought the teams to Lijiang Tower where the Red Serpents were unfortunately unable to match the MonkaS dive’s maneuverability. MonkaS moved on to face the Nomads on Horizon Lunar Colony where some nutty Tracer play from r_u_l_3_r and an absurd pulse-bomb meant a close match, but a dive around Sparta_IX’s death-dealing Pharah earned MonkaS the overtime victory. Map 2 brought the teams to Route 66 where the disheartened Nomads were unable to gain any momentum versus XXPSJohn’s hefty Reinhardt and the MonkaS DPS duo SaltyDub and Sparta_IX — sending MonkaS to the Grand Finals versus the undefeated Fist.

Unlike the preceding matches, the MonkaS v. Fist Grand Finals were to be a Best-of-Five with the teams playing on Hollywood, Eichenwalde, and Ilios. On Hollywood, the Fist struggled to attack for the first time all day at the hands of SaltyDub’s well-positioned Soldier 76 before eventually reaching Point 3 on the back of some consistent flexing by XTombW91. MonkaS ran dive for their attack, but a counter-dive swap by the Fist’s Azentauri from Reinhardt onto D.Va enabled his team and their Pharah Fuzem8 to lay down damage and hold MonkaS to just 1 point. While MonkaS’s Mercy Michael1729 pulled off 14.9k healing for 25% of team damage taken, the Fist’s Lucio Cuhm played an extraordinary game and was able to capitalize on his sound-barriers with 6 barriers for an absurd 35 individual barriers, averaging 5.8 barriers per ultimate used. Next on Eichenwalde, the role-swapping Fist swapped XTombW91 onto some dominant Roadhog on attack as the Fist flew forward until a big D.Va bomb from MonkaS’s JaviPR12345 clipped their wings. To force the issue, Cuhm swapped off of Lucio onto Zenyatta for extra damage and with some impressive Zenny play (including a 1v1 vs. MonkaS’s Tracer SaltyDub), the Fist got to Point 3. On defense, the Fist continued flexual prowess by swapping XTombW91 onto Zenyatta and Cuhm onto Roadhog as Fuzem8 continued to dominate with his Pharah play. After failing to break the first choke with a triple-tank comp (D.Va, Zarya, Orisa), MonkaS took advantage of an over-extended Fist squad by capitalizing, capping, and moving the payload within eyesight of Point 2 before the Fist stabilized and shut it down — granting a 2-0 advantage going into Map 3: Ilios.

And thus, the drama began. As the games played into the night for the NA-based MonkaS team and into the early-morning for the EU-based Fist squad — XXPSJohn had to leave and was substituted out for Overguard DPS stud and Season 3 Dedicated Blue teammate: Enjoiable. The newcomer swapped onto his trademark Soldier 76 with Sparta_IX jumping onto Winston and a refreshed MonkaS decisively won Ilios: Well. Next the teams fought on Ruins, but a tough close-out by SaltyDub and the MonkaS squad earned the Ilios 2-0 and pushed the series to 2-1 in favor of the Fist. At this point, it was 6AM for the EU team and as we prepared Map 4 a combination of the Fist’s players and their fans stormed twitch chat with a bevy of accusations ranging from Enjoiable being an illegal substitute to assertions that he was using Mouse and Keyboard and should therefore be disqualified from competition. While SaltyDub and teammates defended Enjoiable from his accusations and neutral spectators proclaimed his innocence, the Fist maintained his ineligibility and refused to continue the series with Enjoiable in play. Despite the Fist’s DPS carry Fuzem8 declaring his willingness to finish the series — the consensus, once the absurd Twitch chat dust settled, forced a MonkaS disqualification in light of an inability to ensure Enjoiable’s roster eligibility with enough time for the reasonably fatigued European Fist players. An incredibly unfortunate finale to the day’s competition was at least climactic with the spice of regional rivalry, hardware accusations, and some worthwhile lessons for our Overguard staff to consider for future tournaments. Moving forward, events will be tailored to better fit regional schedules and event rules and logistics regarding roster shifts will be ironed out and officialized beforehand so that games can be run as smoothly as possible.

In the spirit of nostalgia, we look back and congratulate the Fist for a dominant holiday performance and some impressive attention to regulatory detail, with special thanks to Fuzem8 for his sportsmanship. We congratulate MonkaS for fighting the good fight and look forward to seeing how Dedicated Blue and the third-place Nomads team can finish out the rest of Season 3. On XBox, we fondly look back and thank all of the participating teams for a drama-free, competitive holiday afternoon and congratulate the Kinda Thicc Bois, LastMinuteName, and Enigma for their medal-earning performances. It’s always nice to revisit the holidays and we are both happy to have reaped the rewards of organizational lessons and competitive VODs and excited to reignite some rivalries with some Overguard announcements very soon. Follow us on twitter @TheOverguard, join our discord, and feel free to lambast this piece’s writer @Tepojama for taking his sweet time with this recap and failing to include your favorite player’s plays.