Top 500 players, dive comps, a lot of Mercy, a little Moira, one Hanzo, and one Overwatch Contenders roster. December 9th, 2017 saw the final eight teams of the Overguard’s Haste $1K PC Finals Series 6 whittled down to one champion: Kungarna’s Rap Playlist (formerly Sinatraa’s Rap Playlist, presently Kungarna’s Contenders S2 roster). While KRP’s captain, memelord, and resident megalomaniac mykL (playing under his StoneCold alias) might suggest otherwise — the road was not easy and each Series 6 team impressed, especially the final eight: Toronto eSports, Kungarna, No Anime Allowed, Full Send, Savages GG, Voltic eSports, Oni eSports, and Arizona State University eSports (in order of seeding). The field ranged from Top 500 DPS carries (Derrek of the Savages) to grandmaster tank duos (Full Send’s Iron and Izuma) and even imported T1 Koreans (Toronto’s very own Poro) — but of all 48 players, KRP’s DPS Apply was elected tournament MVP by 63% of voters. Despite Kungarna and Toronto losing a combined five teammates to the Overwatch League’s Boston Uprising, San Francisco Shock, and LA Gladiators (Kungarna: babybay, Bischu, iReMiix; Toronto: NotE, Snow) — the two teams surged out of qualifiers as the top seeds and favorites for Series 6. While DPS heroics ran rampant throughout the qualifiers, coordinated dive comps and balanced adaptability created some stomps in the first round before determining wins in the final rounds.

Round 1: Eight Teams, One Bloodbath

          The first round was a bloodbath, with sweeps across the board. #1 seed Toronto demolished Arizona State despite Twitch chat’s unending love for ASU’s star Tracer Amadien. The well-coached ASU seen during qualifiers (with Baby D.Va staggers galore) fell apart in face of the reigning champion Toronto eSports. #2 seed Kungarna similarly shut down #7 seed Oni eSports 2-0. Oni is remembered by their sick logo and eagerness for piracy (e.g their Bastion pirate ship strat on Junkertown), but unfortunately also as the first stepping stone on KRP’s war path. In a battle between teams with intriguing ult-economies, #3 seed No Anime Allowed and their ultimate overkill tendencies put an early end to #6 seed Voltic eSports and their creative ult usages. And finally, the most competitive match of the first round saw the upstart #5 seed Savages upset the #4 seed Full Send with a very close win in Junkertown and a 2-1 in Nepal…

The Savages ran the pirate ship strat until Full Send’s defensive dive held them just meters away from point 3. And in return, Full Send’s own attacking pirate ship was stymied by a stocky hometown hero defense by the Savages (Junkrat and Roadhog accompanied by Orisa and Widowmaker). Switched from Bastion to Widow, Full Send pushed within meters of a victory until a BeckyLynch transcendence won Junkertown for the Savages. Map 2: Nepal, was successful for Full Send until Derrek the Savage switched onto Pharah. Sanctum saw immobile mirror comps (Junkrat, Soldier, Orisa, Roadhog, Mercy, and Zenyatta) and a Full Send W — but on Shrine and Village, Derrek’s Pharah was too well-coordinated with his diving tanks and the Savages victoriously flew out of Round 1. 

Semi-Finals: Upset of the Year

          Round 2 was highlighted by an unrelenting war path and the upset of the year. Kungarna continued to dominate with a dramatic 2-0 over No Anime Allowed and the Savages pulled the chair from under Toronto with a 2-1 victory. It all started with a peculiar bang as No Anime Allowed defended Numbani’s first point into overtime until a Kungarna all-out dive forced the cap. Kungarna gave up Apply and CarCar’s Pharmercy for a Genji and Lucio combo to complement their D.Va, Winston, and Tracer — prioritizing an aggro comp that was able to push the payload the distance. Of course Kungarna’s defense ended up being just as bizarre. The ever-confident Rap Playlist defended into overtime on the back of a defensive dive that stifled Anime’s own Pharmercy until hubris paid its respects and No Anime Allowed was able to take advantage of KRP’s spawn-camping with a back-cap by Sugarfree’s newly swapped Genji. Unfortunately, momentum was only slightly nudged as KRP came to their senses, locked it down, and went up 1-0. Subsequently, the two teams played Lijiang Tower allowing Apply to jump on Pharah and dismantle a No Anime Allowed squad playing sans hitscan on Night Market. On Garden the teams ran Pharah-centric mirror comps (Pharah, Tracer, Mercy, Lucio, D.Va, Winston), but Apply stayed in rhythm and outdueled Sugarfree’s Pharah for the casual Finals berth.

Elsewhere, reigning champ Toronto succumbed to the maniacal Savages. The teams started on Lijiang Tower: Control Center with a Moira on each side and a Toronto victory on the back of almost every ult in the game. Then on Garden, despite some excellent Pharah dueling by Derrek against Toronto’s Poro — Toronto was able to win again with steady play by their new and seemingly invincible Korean main tank Panker. With Toronto up 1-0 the teams went to King’s Row for the match of the tournament. Toronto attacked first and was only able to cap first point in overtime before stomping through the streets and finally finishing the map as Poro consistently popped off as Genji. Undaunted, the Savages began their attack with Kapo on Hanzo and Derrek on Junkrat. On sheer damage alone the Savages capped the point without ults and started moving the payload until a lost fight led Kapo to switch off of Hanzo onto Roadhog for some high quality triple-tanking all the way to a 3-3 tie. Drama followed into Toronto’s last chance to attack as they nearly capped the first point until AceOfSpades put the Savages on his back and Toronto on his axe with a Reinhardt 6K. The Savages then tried attacking with Kapo on Hanzo again, but after being shut down he switched onto Tracer for a last-ditch effort and helped add to Derrek’s heroics for an OT cap that tied the series at 1-1. Map 3 brought the teams to Nepal. In Village, a combination of Panker’s steadfast Orisa and Dalton’s nifty Tracer play earned Toronto a tough win. However, on Sanctum AceofSpades matched and outdueled Panker on Orisa by starting a Savages roll with a crafty Orisa pull. The team kept rolling with a win on Sanctum and then Village, finishing the upset and landing the Savages a matchup with Kungarna in the Grand Finals.

Grand Finals: The Savages Test Kungarna

          The surging Savages earned a chance to best the unfazed and unimpeded Rap Playlist in a battle between some of Overwatch’s strongest players at their role. The Savages DPS duo Derrek and Kapo got to duel Kungarna’s Apply and Hobbs, Kungarna’s main tank VitaCoco sparred with AceofSpades, Kungarna’s supports CarCar and Crimzo finally joined the Savage supports BeckyLynch and Calyoon in breaking a sweat, and finally, Overwatch’s very own Dr. Disrespect: King mykl aka Stonecold D.vAustin contended with the Savage off-tank Hooey.

The match began with a mirror comp battle on Nepal’s Village. Each team ran Pharmercy dive comps with Tracer, D.Va, Winston, and Lucio as Kapo’s pesky Tracer made it tough for the Savages to finish off the damage Derek’s Pharah laid down on Kungarna’s tanks — allowing Crimzo’s Mercy to build up 4 Valkyries throughout the match en route to a KRP victory. On Shrine the Savages maintained comp while Kungarna’s Apply switched onto Genji, allowing AceofSpades free reign on Winston to pound his chest and the Rap Playlist into 1-1 and a trip to the Sanctum tie-breaker. After some back-and-forth on Sanctum with some strong Orisa play by VitaCoco and well-placed aggression by Hooey’s Roadhog and Kapo’s Tracer, Kungarna ended up keeping the point and winning the map with back-to-back obnoxiously big ults from Stonecold and Apply. First Stonecold launched a kamikaze 4K D.Va bomb and then Apply shut down a Savages push with a 3K rip-tire. With a win on Nepal, the next map of the Finals moved West to Numbani. Stunted by a Savages defensive dive comp, KRP struggled to cap before pushing the payload all the way with 1:45 left in the time bank. Unlike Kungarna’s attacking dive comp, the Savages ran a Pharah-centric dive for their attack with Kapo subbing onto Pharah and Derrek on Genji. With Kapo’s patient Pharah and AceofSpade’s impatient Winston creating space, the Savages stormed the payload all the way to the end until an absurd two-minute hold kept them to an overtime cap. Attacking first with just 1 minute, the Savages dove straight onto the point to snag one tick before getting wiped with enough time for one more push. A full flank around the left was enough to surprise Kungarna and start moving the payload in OT until just about the bus at the streets-phase bend. On the power of Kapo’s rockets and clips, who finished with 57 eliminations (70% of his team’s kills), the Savages held Kungarna to two ticks on the point and tied the Finals up with a 4-3 victory on Numbani.

Map 3 moved back East to Junkertown where a Widow duel surprisingly took precedence over Bastion piracy for Kungarna’s attack. KRP notched 2 points before getting halted in the final phase. The Savages chose piracy for their attack and steadily moved the payload into the final phase with an innovative triple-tank ship of Roadhog, Reinhardt, and Orisa protecting a Bastion and Mercy. Unfortunately, their tanky comp was outlasted by a Kungarna defense supported by Crimzo’s Moira and CarCar’s Mercy — earning the Rap Playlist a 3-2 victory and a 2-1 lead for the Finals. In what would prove to be the last chance for the Savages to prevent Kungarna’s crowning, the teams traveled to Oasis for their fourth map. On Gardens the teams brought out Pharah-centric mirror comps (Pharah, Tracer, Mercy, Lucio, D.Va, Winston) and a coordinated Kungarna with a domineering Apply on Pharah delivered an easy win. For University, Kungarna’s comp stood pat while the Savages changed to an aggressive anti-Pharah squad with McCree, Soldier, Roadhog, Orisa, Mercy, and Moira. With room to operate, Derrek popped off on McCree and the Savages started running up their percentage. In response, Kungarna adapted and countered by swapping off of Tracer, Pharah, and Mercy in favor of a Genji, Reaper, and Zenyatta trio — taking the point away for good at 83%. Hobbs proceeded to chow down on Reaper while VitaCoco played bully-ball on Winston and Kungarna came away with the 2-0 on Oasis and 3-1 for the Finals. Fittingly, Apply finished Oasis with 66% kill participation concluding another strong performance from the MVP. Hats off to Kungarna for dominating in what is likely their final tournament ahead of Contenders S2, but also congratulations to the rest of our teams for putting up a fight and proving that they can compete with some of the best.