After finishing second at the Overwatch World Cup and shocking the world during the 2023 Overwatch League, Chinese Overwatch has never been this good. And the Aurora Cup Challenge 2023 serves to showcase that. What else did the results of the Aurora Cup Challenge show us? Are there new names on the block or are familiar faces continuing to dominate? And maybe the better question is; did Chinese Overwatch ever leave?
The biggest surprise of the event comes by way of the South Korean team Reverse Clock. Feature talents like former Seoul Dynasty DPS Park "SeonJun" Seon-jun and Dreamers tank Jeong "Jasm1ne" Jong-min, Reverse Clock looked incredible. As the only team to take consistent maps of the eventual champions, the former Hangzhou Spark roster, Reverse Clock catalyzes hope for the future of competitive Overwatch. Not only is the amateur space continuing to level up, but with the Overwatch League dissolving, it's dissipating those experienced players back into the open pool to practice against. This only further serves to support the overwatch competitive Overwatch ecosystem.These new faces seen at the Aurora Cup Challenge 2023 are a welcome sight after such disappointing news.
Champions Once More
Taking home gold at the Aurora Cup Challenge 2023 is the former Hangzhou Spark roster. With Wiston viable and two of the best DPS to ever touch the game, it is to be expected. That said, the former Spark roster left the event with some notable bruises. Not only did Reverse Clock take them to their limit in the Upper Bracket Semifinals, they also made the grand final incredibly competitive. After narrowly missing gold at the 2023 Overwatch World Cup, what does this say about the peak of Chinese Overwatch?Do they struggle at finishing tournaments?Should we view this event with much scrutiny? And possibly; will this be one of the last times we see the former 2023 Hangzhou Spark together at an event? The results of the Aurora Cup Challenge 2023 are promising for Chinese Overwatch as they look for good news of a possible return of their home servers.
A New Meta?
Western Overwatch has always featured more rush compositions whereas APAC loves to force Winston and that law was on display. Both teams dabbled in the final with the former Spark roster playing a little bit of Ramattra while Reverse Clock played quite a bit of Sigma in the final for the Aurora Cup Challenge 2023.Two new picks that feel like colourful splashes here are Soldier: 76 and Ashe. Each team utilized these mid-to-long-range damage dealers to great effect.This may hint at a possible meta switch in the coming months for the West. Reverse Clock tended to lean more on the Sigma and Bastion composition that many fans were accustomed to from the 2023 Overwatch World Cup whereas the former Spark roster continued to flex Guxue on to Doomfist. It is to be expected that such an experienced roster performed so well, but it should be no surprise that teams like Reverse Clock are biting at their heels. The results of the Aurora Cup Challenge 2023 might not be surprising, but what lies under the hood should provide hope for the year to come.New players are competing. New names are thriving. And tournaments are coming. Images via Blizzard Entertainment
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