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Chinese Power Rankings: Overwatch Contenders Season 3 Week 2

Volamel 2018-11-30 11:59:24
  While Week 1 of Overwatch Contenders: China Season 3 set the tempo for our two groups as they entered the regular season, Week 2 reaffirmed the power dynamics between them. Each group is mirrored from Contenders Season 2. Group A is stacked with three of the best teams and has created a clear delineation from semifinal contenders, and teams that are chomping at the bit for the fourth seed to just make it to playoffs. However, Group B is shaping out to be much closer in nature. This is the group you want to pay attention to if you’re in the market for upsets. Group B already houses the first 3-2 match and will likely continue to produce very close games. That said, let’s jump into our Overwatch Contenders China Season 3 power rankings for week two.  

Week 3 Predictions

Lucky Future (1-3) Big Time Ragel Gaming

Triple Six Legend (4-0) Zenith of Optimism

Flag Gaming (4-0) ReStart

T1W Esports (4-0) LinGan e-Sports

LGD Gaming (4-0) Alter-Ego

Team CC (4-0) Laboratory

 

12.) Zenith of Optimism (=)

  Recent results: (0-4) LinGan e-Sports - Contenders Season 3 (0-4) Team CC - Contenders Season 3   ZOO continue to look out of their depth in this metagame. For example, using Bastion on Defense on Horizon Lunar Colony Point A and them running a spam composition on Numbani Point A Attack with an apparent lack of understanding in positioning to achieve their goals. ZOO always seems to default to a traditional Genji, Tracer, Winston, D.Va composition, which has been successful for them, but it takes a while for the engine to warm. ZOO only really find ground with their Dive composition when they use Dragon Blade or find a Pulse Bomb pick. This drains the clock down so much that they just don’t have the time they need to make a dent.  

11.) ReStart (=)

  Recent results: (0-3) Big Time Ragel Gaming (0-3) Flag Gaming - LanStory Cup Hangzhou (0-4) LGD Gaming - Contenders Season 3 (0-4) Big Time Ragel Gaming - Contenders Season 3 (1-3) Lucky Future - LanStory Cup Hangzhou   B612 had a solid week. ReStart has been a struggling for a while now, but last week I could not point a finger at B612. His Zenyatta was a sight for sore eyes and I appreciate that. The team overall looked solid on tanks against Lucky Future in the LanStory Cup Hangzhou qualifiers, which is nice to see, but ReStart is still having trouble finding and executing their win conditions properly. For example, their Numbani A attack against Big Time Ragel Gaming has great finishing power with EMP into Nano Boost and Dragon Blade. The problem? ReStart never used the three ultimates in tandem. And two their credit there are two ways of looking at this. ReStart either doesn’t know that’s their best way to break the defense or they’re being greedy and trying to conserve ultimates for Point B. ReStart is on the mend, but things are moving slowly.  

10.) Alter-Ego (-1)

  Recent results: (0-3) Big Time Ragel Gaming - Contenders Season 3 (0-4) Lucky Future - Contenders Season 3   Alter-Ego is suffering a lack of stopping power. The duo of KINGKONG and Tarocook1e looked great in week one, but this overcompensated for the fact that having BABYMU on the Doomfist was a little hit or miss. This week it was X8lack who could not find room to breathe and Alter-Ego’s performance suffered because of it. I will say that X8lack does play a wide variety of heroes, but their lack of damage is very apparent in converting a team fight win after the first kill. As much as I think they have potential, it doesn’t mean much when it is not activated. Their week three match is against LGD Gaming who is also suffering from an identity crisis as well, but the fixtures around that team allow them to overcompensate at times whereas Alter-Ego has troubles doing that much.  

9.) Laboratory (+1)

  Recent results: (0-4) T1W Esports - Contenders Season 3 (0-4) LinGan e-Sports - Contenders Season 3   After suffering from some roster issues during week one and during the break leading into week two, Laboratory actually looked improved from their Contenders debut. Skyshow has proven to be a very flexible DPS member for the team. MELO is another fantastic hitscan player coming out of China, so much so, the team has coagulated around him. The team overall still hold their unorthodox moniker because of how incessantly they pocket MELO and from their hero pick rate when it comes to their main tank. Seeds loves Hammond and this comfort pick can prove to be difficult to overcome. They’ve shown ways around the lack of damage mitigation, but it’s going to take some time for them to really flesh out that idea.  

8.) Lucky Future (=)

  Recent results: (3-0) Big Time Ragel Gaming - LanStory Cup Hangzhou (1-3) Flag Gaming - Contenders Season 3 (0-3) Team CC - LanStory Cup Hangzhou (3-1) ReStart - LanStory Cup Hangzhou (4-0) Alter-Ego - Contenders Season 3 (0-3) Flag Gaming - LanStory Cup Hangzhou   In the same way that Alter-Ego and LGD Gaming have had a problem when it comes to the DPS role, Lucky Future has as well but has grown from it. With the addition of RUFF to the Lucky Future roster, this has seemingly freed BLACKBEAN from being the sole threat of the team. This has inadvertently allowed him to flourish even more having an impressive supportive-carry performance on Sombra. BLACKBEAN was integral to their attacks this week outside of his normal role, which is another accolade to give him. Moving from their DPS line, PunkyYager has been a very solid Zenyatta thus far. For a rookie Korean talent, he’s definitely caught my eye a few times. However, Lucky Future needs to hold this level if they want to qualify for playoffs. They are the front-runners for the fourth seed, but one too many map losses could jeopardize their chances.  

7.) LGD Gaming (=)

  Recent results: (1-3) LinGan e-Sports - LanStory Cup Hangzhou (4-0) ReStart - Contenders Season 3 (3-0) Avengers - LanStory Cup Hangzhou (0-3) Triple Six Legend - LanStory Cup Hangzhou (2-3) Flag Gaming - Contenders Season 3 (0-3) Team For Victory - LanStory Cup Hangzhou   LGD Gaming has been left hallowed by the absence of some of their best players that have left for the Overwatch League. That said, they do have a solid grasp of the metagame for the most part, but they struggle when it comes to damage. Whether he is on Genji or Zarya, the team is constantly playing around Showcheng and he has not had a good week. The team puts him in positions, compositionally, to succeed and he’s having trouble across the board from decision making and resource tracking, all the way to just where he positioned his hero was lackluster, to say the least. LGD desperately needs some additional firepower, because, at the moment, they are bedmates with Lucky Future: one to many map losses and your playoffs could be at risk.  

6.) Triple Six Legend (=)

  Recent results: (1-3) LinGan e-Sports - LanStory Cup Hangzhou (0-4) Team CC - Contenders Season 3 (3-0) LGD Gaming - LanStory Cup Hangzhou (3-1) Team For Victory - LanStory Cup Hangzhou (0-4) T1W Esports - Contenders Season 3 (0-3) Team CC - LanStory Cup Hangzhou (3-2) Team For Victory - LanStory Cup Hangzhou   Triple Six Legend’s success comes from two places: their tanks constant dominance in gaining space and their DPS being able to capitalize on that. Their main tank, DPS -- confusing, I know -- has been a great upgrade for this team and the team as a whole has a unique way of solving issues. I wouldn’t call them unorthodox, but I would say they enjoy experimenting with solutions to certain defensive compositions. For example, taking the shield duel with T1W Esports on Hollywood A. It didn’t pan out, but it was interesting and had a very clear idea behind it. As long as things continue along a positive trajectory, TSL is looking like shoe-ins for the fourth playoffs seed coming out of Group A. Triple Six Legend has had a rough schedule as of late and I expect things to look different coming into their week three match against Zenith of Optimism.  

5.) LinGan e-Sports (-2)

  Recent results: (3-1) LGD Gaming - LanStory Cup Hangzhou (3-1) Triple Six Legend - LanStory Cup Hangzhou (4-0) Zenith Of Optimism - Contenders Season 3 (4-0) Laboratory - Contenders Season 3 (0-3) Team For Victory - LanStory Cup Hangzhou   LinGan e-Sports is a team that is hard to judge accurately. When they’ve lost, it’s been against a team that runs a very niche style that almost no one else runs and the times they’ve won, it’s been against teams that they should win against. I need them to be tested and this week they will against T1W Esports. When it comes to their roster, I still think Aidoudou is quite a solid main tank in China but can be a little over eager when diving in with certain compositions. And then there is Kami, who looks to be an obvious ace for the team this season. If Pharah solidifies herself as a counter to the tank heavy compositions, then Kami is an obvious benefactor of this metagame. Even with that, his Zarya is also quite good, which allows LinGan to be able to play more tank-centric compositions more often than not.  

4.) Flag Gaming (=)

  Recent results: (1-3) Team CC - LanStory Cup Hangzhou (3-1) Lucky Future - Contenders Season 3 (3-0) ReStart - LanStory Cup Hangzhou (3-0) Lucky Future - LanStory Cup Hangzhou (2-3) Big Time Ragel Gaming - LanStory Cup Hangzhou (3-2) LGD Gaming - Contenders Season 3 (3-1) Team For Victory - LanStory Cup Hangzhou   Flag Gaming could be so much more and what holds them back is their timidness towards tanks. Jason and Evilx are fantastic DPS, Coldest and Mika are covers all your bases from your support -- and then some, and MG has been a serious threat on D.Va and can bring some veteran status to this team. Again, where they faltered this week was in their absence in the tank matchup. They either need to solve the maps that tanks are more common on with a niche strategy or they need to start practicing tanks. Flag Gaming is easily good enough for a playoff berth for their second season in a row.  

3.) Big Time Ragel Gaming (+2)

  Recent results: (0-3) Lucky Future - LanStory Cup Hangzhou (3-0) Alter-Ego - Contenders Season 3 (3-0) ReStart - LanStory Cup Hangzhou (0-3) Team CC - LanStory Cup Hangzhou (4-0) ReStart - Contenders Season 3 (3-2) Flag Gaming - LanStory Cup Hangzhou   Speaking of timidness on tanks, Big Time Ragel Gaming is not fond of the tank-centric metagame, but have found creative solutions to their problems. Whether it’s running EFFORT on the Soldier 76 and having him run wild flanks on Numbani or cracking out the Mei on Hanamura, BTRG have their own style and enjoy playing it. However, they can and will play tanks if all else fails and it’s serviceable for China. It falls on the shoulders of RIVEN, EFFORT, and Fengm1an to really see this team through to a semifinals run. They have the potential but need to refine some of their pocket strategies down.  

2.) T1W Esports Club (=)

  Recent results: (4-0) Laboratory - Contenders Season 3 (4-0) Triple Six Legend - Contenders Season 3   As we wind down our power rankings, we’ve got a final two so close that they should be tied, but I want to see more from T1W Esports before we can make that call. The were seeded into the LAN finals for LanStory Cup, so it’s impossible to collect data from there, and their matches in Contenders have been ones that they should easily walk over. This week is slightly different. I’m interested to see if T1W continues to theorycraft around this strange 4 DPS composition that is becoming more and more vogue in China. That said I’ve got other small problems. Players like Assassin can be slow to start and Mijia has shown the Hanzo, but really only has found success on his signature Doomfist pick. Now, MoLanran is the constant here. His projectile play works within his region and his Pharah and Junkrat are very strong. I just want to see more of them. To push them over the edge, they’ve got to 4-0 in week three.  

1.) Team CC (=)

  Recent results: (3-1) Flag Gaming - LanStory Cup Hangzhou (4-0) Triple Six Legend - Contenders Season 3 (3-0) Lucky Future - LanStory Cup Hangzhou (3-0) Big Time Ragel Gaming - LanStory Cup Hangzhou (4-0) Zenith of Optimism - Contenders Season 3 (3-0) Triple Six Legend - LanStory Cup Hangzhou   Last but certainly not least, we’ve got the Shanghai Dragon’s academy team, Team CC. With Shanghai looking reborn their academy team is playing alongside them in that regard. They are your definitive tank team. It’s not the cleanest in the world, but for China, it’s perfect. Team CC act as a foil to T1W in a sense that both of their styles are so different. However, I would like to see them play a little slower and more methodical, specifically on Control. If a team matches them on tanks, I can see Team CC dropping a map here and there. Jiqiren has always been someone who acts more instinctually, and it does pay off more often than not, but it makes their consistency wobbly. With the new players they’ve added coming into this season, they could also have some pocket strategies that they are saving for the playoffs. Team CC is still my team moving forward into Overwatch Contenders Season 3.   _____   Joseph “Volamel” Franco has followed esports since the MLGs of 2006. He started out primarily following Starcraft 2, Halo 3, and Super Smash Bros. Melee. He has transitioned from viewer to journalist and writes freelance primarily about Overwatch and League of Legends. If you would like to know more or follow his thoughts on esports you can follow him at @Volamel. Images courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment
 

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