GosuAwards 2016: Overwatch winners

 

It is time. We released the categories and nominations for the inaugural Overwatch GosuAwards about a week ago, and you quickly showed your interest by voting in our polls. Today, we are happy to share the results and celebrate the game, the pro scene and the community for this spectacular first year of Overwatch.

To reiterate how the GosuAwards are set up, each category will have two winners. One has been picked by our committee of GosuGamers crew and special guests (as seen in our nominations article), while the other has been decided by you, the fans! Some of the categories might have the same option winning both, but the committee has picked their winners regardless of the popular opinion. Without further ado, let's hear it for our 2016 GosuAwards winners!

Team of the Year

Team of the Year

Team EnVyUs

No team has captured the headlines quite as often as EnVyUs in 2016. In July and August, it was their 57-game winning streak; a feat not since repeated. In the autumn months, they were the team that just couldn’t close out victories at LAN events. As the year came to a close, everyone was talking about Talespin’s shock departure, Mickie coming on as his replacement, and the new EnVyUs’ dominant victories at OGN APEX and MLG Vegas.

Stacked with talented players, EnVyUs was the team to beat in 2016. Even in the difficult months following their loss at the Atlantic Showdown, they were always in the conversation, always the threat that top teams were looking to surpass, or looking over their shoulders for. For their sustained excellence throughout the year - and for generating so many of the storylines that shaped Overwatch’s first year - Team EnVyUs is the inaugural GosuAwards Team of the Year.

Rogue

...for winning the Atlantic Showdown, which ended EnVyUs’s 57-game winning streak, and later taking the APAC Premier title as well.

DPS Player of the Year

DPS Player of the Year

TviQ

The anchor around which Rogue was built, no other player has shown the ability to play quite as many heroes at an elite level as TviQ. Running Bastion on Nepal might be the flashiest trick in his repertoire, but in every meta he’s had a deep pool of heroes to turn to, allowing Rogue to remain in contention even when other teams struggled to adapt.

Although he was traded to Misfits right before the end of the year, he assembled one of the greatest resumes in Overwatch while playing under the Rogue banner. With an older roster that featured iddqd, he won TaKeTV's TakeOver. He would go on to win the Atlantic Showdown and the APAC Premier tournaments, get to the EU finals of the Overwatch Open, and make a deep run at OGN APEX season 1. For his consistent excellence and having one of the scene’s deepest hero pools, TviQ is the 2016 DPS Player of the Year.

Taimou

... for leading EnVyUs through Overwatch’s longest win streak, deep runs at several LANs, and wins at OGN APEX and MLG.

Tank Player of the Year

Tank Player of the Year

Cocco

Christian "cocco" Jonsson has been the defensive cornerstone for Team Envyus, which has propelled them to two major titles. His tank play can be defined by precision and spacing, using his game knowledge to ensure he ends up being the last Reinhardt standing at the end of the day. His performances, in conjunction with Chipshajen and Mickie, have shown a much deeper understanding of the game, which he uses to optimize his Earthshatters to maximum effect.

Cocco’s true strength lies in his ability to remain unaffected by the meta changes. While fans today may recognize him for his play on Reinhardt, cocco’s proficient champion pool is quite extensive and plays a pivotal role in EnVy’s continued success. From his days flexing as Winston in the No Hero Limit meta to operating a surgical Zarya during the heydays of Genji, cocco has stood firm as a paradigm of the tank role. Thus, for longevity and outstanding achievement, we honor cocco with the award of Tank of the Year.

Miro

...for demonstrating the high ceiling and skill cap of the tank role, Miro exploded onto the scene with his electrifying Winston. As the first invitee to the Overwatch League Combine, Miro will be a player to look out for in 2017.

Support Player of the Year

Support Player of the Year

Chipshajen

Hard as it is to imagine now, there was a time that Ana wasn’t in the meta (because she wasn’t released yet). In those days, Zenyatta reigned supreme, and no one ran the Omnic monk better than EnVyUs’ chipshajen. Able to keep his teammates alive while also showing up on the killfeed staggeringly often, he was one of one of the deadliest supports in the game.

With Ana’s release, chipshajen made the transition better than many of his peers. Although at times overshadowed by Hidan and Ryujehong, there’s no question that chipshajen runs one of the best Anas in the world, and is just as deadly too. Victories at the OGN APEX and at MLG cemented EnVyUs’ status as a legendary team, and chipshajen’s status as a legendary support, and that’s why he’s this year’s Support Player of the Year.

Ryujehong

...for running arguably the best Ana in the world. With Lunatic Hai he reached the finals of the APAC Premier, and with South Korea he won the World Cup.

Best Competitive Play

Best Competitive Play

Zunba's Surprise Zarya

The South Korean team that went to the World Cup was a step above everyone else at the tournament. Even the highly-touted Sweden and Finland teams that brought full rosters of pro players paled in comparison. Against the USA, who provided them with their stiffest opposition, Zunba pulled off a play that quite literally had the audience gasping in awe.

Using Zarya’s secondary fire to get up to a position that she wouldn’t normally be able to access, she was able to jump down from above and ambush the Americans with a Graviton Surge they couldn’t prepare for. The Graviton Surge initiated a set-piece that used four ultimates – the Surge, Reinhardt’s Earthshatter, Ana’s Nano Boost, and Genji’s Dragonblade, to completely dismantle the American lines in one of the strongest defensive points in any Overwatch map. It was a perfectly-timed sequence that showcased South Korea’s tactical genius and exceptional training, and it’s no surprise it wins the 2016 Best Competitive Play.

Taimou's APEX Apocalypse

...for near-singlehandedly putting a stop to an AF Blue overtime push at the OGN APEX finals with absolutely sublime Roadhog play.

Match of the Year

It's not surprising that the ESL Atlantic Showdown’s Semi-Final between Rogue and EnVyUs has been voted Match of the Year by both the committee and the community. In a time that EnVyUs was widely considered unbeatable, Rogue surprised the world (and themselves) when they won the first map.

This match started off on Temple of Anubis when nobody dared to think of adding a third tank to their composition. EnVyUs started off strong, taking the two points decisively with minutes to spare but Rogue answered in kind and proved stronger in the second playthrough. The teams proceeded to alternate winning maps (King’s Row, Hanamura, Dorado) until the fifth game was played on Lijang Tower. Rogue made EnVyUs play on unconventional maps, and it paid off. Rogue ended EnVy’s 57 win-streak and with fresh confidence defeated REUNITED in the finals to take home their first Major title.

Overwatch Open EU Finals

...for showing just how competitive the European scene is and for finally Misfits to the list of favorites for tournaments in 2017.

Event of the Year

Event of the Year

Overwatch Open

The Overwatch Open had it all: Method defeating Cloud9 in the opening rounds was one of the upsets of the season; NRG losing to Liquid and then coming back to beat them in the lower bracket was a gripping battle of tactics; the EU final between Misfits and Rogue - a 3-2 final that came down to a few ultimate-denying Sleep Darts to clutch the fifth map - was one of the most spectacular games in Overwatch’s history. Misfits going on to defeat EnVyUs, despite playing Hidan as support for the first time and ryb substituting as main tank, was one of the year’s greatest stories.

And for all of the in-game moments, the roster shuffling that happened afterwards – including C9 picking up Method’s in-game leader Roolf and ryb from Misfits – was just as memorable. Add in some of the highest production value Overwatch has seen to date, great viewership figures, and a $300,000 prize pool, and it’s easy to see why the Overwatch Open is this year’s Event of the Year.

Overwatch World Cup

...for bringing thousands of new fans into the scene and for launching the pro careers of Norway’s ONIGOD and Thailand’s Mickie.

Best Play-By-Play Caster

Best Play-By-Play Caster

Andrew "ZP" Rush

Unsurprisingly, ZP has taken home both of the Best Play-By-Play Caster awards. As the face and voice of Overwatch casting, ZP has casted more events than any other and has analyzed more metas than even most players.

Starting with our GosuGamers Overwatch Weeklies, ZP has casted at least one tournament most weeks since November 2015. After streaming Heroes of the Storm for many months, ZP showed interest in casting Overwatch, which we are all very happy he did. These days, ZP gets flown to most major events as he shares his insights with the rest of the casting crew and all the viewers. Pay attention to how many times on-screen talent will quote or reference him, and you understand why he deserves these awards.

Mitch "Uber" Leslie

...for being there from the get go as well, and delivering an amount of (Australian) hype that no other caster can currently match.

Andrew "ZP" Rush

Best Color/Analysis

Best Color/Analysis

Robert "Hexagrams" Kirkbride

This category aims to highlight the people that match up with play-by-play casters, and inject in-depth insights when given the opportunity. This category ended up with two potential winners: MonteCristo and Hexagrams. We might be a bit biased as GosuGamers crew... but hear us out on the committee winner:

Hexagrams has been ZP’s casting partner since November 2015 (while MonteCristo joined the OW family in October of this year), finally getting rewarded for his hard work with LAN invites recently. Originally a die-hard fan of Team Fortress 2 - where he got his first casting experience - Rob has taken his analysis of those mechanics and translated them to Overwatch brilliantly. Hexagrams knows what plays look important, and what plays actually are. Not afraid to be critical when required - but always understanding of the players' circumstances - Hexagrams is a favorite of many (as shown by a number of reddit appreciation threads). Known as "Mr. Sellout," or "Ghost Hex" by some of our most loyal Weeklies viewers, we hope to see Hexagrams improve and get more opportunities at live events as one of the original, King’s Row-grown casters.

Christopher "MonteCristo" Mykles

...for his well-known, respected presence, but even more so for his dedication and rapid comprehension of such a complex eSports title as Overwatch.

Christopher "MonteCristo" Mykles

Meta King of the Year

Meta King of the Year

BeyBlade

It truly seems impossible for game developers to create metagames that are enjoyable for all to play and watch. While the developers keep making the game better and better every month, we still have people complaining about every different meta like it's the worst one yet. Of course there are different reasons that can make meta games so easy to complain about, but the meta king of this year was picked for a specific reason: ease of use.

The strategy - quickly labeled BeyBlade by the community due to it looking like the early-2000's spinning-top toy - involved Nano Boosting a Reaper as he was about to use his Death Blossom Ultimate. This strategy truly showed up during the Overwatch Open LAN, and quickly became a meme. Thanks to both Ana’s quick ultimate charge rate and the nature of Reaper’s ultimate, this strategy was available often and not too hard to execute. Truly all or nothing (all, more often than not), BeyBlade gave only a split second of counterplay in most cases. Characters with stuns had to react to Reaper coming out of nowhere before the incredible damage per second made it too late. Ana was the true MVP during the period this was popular, as she could both start off and shut down this strategy thanks to her aformentioned Nano Boost and her Sleep Dart, respectively. Despite its initial effectiveness, we aren’t seeing as much of the Beyblade these days thanks to the nerf to Nano Boost’s speed increase.

God Comp

...for arguably being the reason we now play with hero limits, because double Winston shields, double Lucio, and double Tracer forced all the fun away.

TripleTank

Drama of the Year

Drama of the Year

No Map Drafts

This drama won’t affect the majority of players and fans but as a dedicated eSports website, we feel this nominee perfectly showcases the eternal struggle to keep both the casual and hardcore parts of the community interested.

Blizzard is often seen as the provider of more casual eSports. Hearthstone is so successful because of it, and Heroes of the Storm is their attempt at a MOBA with clear mechanics and action. StarCraft is of course nothing like that, and Overwatch ends up somewhere in the middle. Something that exemplifies this eternal struggle is the desire of Blizzard to skip a traditional part of eSports: map drafting. They went as far as forcing this rule on a number of events, like MLG Vegas, IEM Gyeonggi, and the Winter Premiere; maybe because most fans won’t care about what team picks or bans what maps, maybe because the pro players have made clear that they really don’t like certain maps/modes. We at GosuGamers do hope that next year, we will be able to enjoy the strategic element of teams drafting maps.

Sombra ARG

...for being a very ambitious way to interact with the community, which turned from satisfying to rapidly sour toward the end.

Sombra ARG

Rivalry of the Year

Rivalry of the Year

Blizzard vs Pro Players

Rivalries are found in most gaming communities, but is rarely as healthy as in Overwatch: the rivalry between the developers and the (pro) players. Time after time, the pro players have shown that they can identify what is healthy for the game, and time after time the developers have been open to this feedback.

It must be hard, as Blizzard, to work on a new game for years, show it to the community and then soon realize that the vision you built the game around for those years isn’t actually viable. This is kind of what happened with Overwatch, when it was made clear early that a one-hero limit should be implemented (in competitive modes at least). Similarly, the current timebank system was heavily influenced by the community-enforced stopwatch mode during early events. Currently, the process of how maps are selected at events is being discussed. Players want to have an impact (through a draft process) while Blizzard wants to guarantee that all of their maps see play. Luckily, the symbiotic relationship between Blizzard and their players has proven to be a solid one time after time.

EnVyUs vs LANs

...for being one of the most gratifying storylines of the year, and showing the value of LAN events right from the start.

Blizzard vs Pro Players

Most Promising Team for 2017

Most Promising Team for 2017

Immortals

The scariest thing about Immortals is how much room they still have to grow. Formerly Sodipop, this team of young guns has risen out of the mire of North American talent and now aims to become one the best in the region. Their initial success at GosuGamers Weekly #13 may have set a high bar for a team in its infancy, but this squad has proven dedication beyond the rigors of competing in one of the closest regions in the world.

Since their acquisition by Immortals right before the Overwatch Open, the team has seen a meteoric rise to the top. Their ability to fight with the best of North America lies in the aim and precision of their DPS stars: GrimReality and Agilities. A recent roster change brought Verbo into the fold and moved Chance to a coaching role, signaling a dedication to growth and improvement for the foreseeable future. Their December Monthly Melee victory over Cloud9 and their subsequent showings against the best of top-teir North American talent is only the start for a team aspiring for competitive success in the years to come.

LuxuryWatch Red

...as a temporary merge with LW Blue, this team saw instant success at IEM Gyeonggi. Luxurywatch Red has already been an explosive name in the East, but their newly-revamped roster may be the catalyst for developing a pedigree of success and victory.

Content Creator of the Year

Content Creator of the Year

CaptainPlanet

A community is like a marriage of multiple parties: it is kinky, ever-changing, filled with bottled anger and as strong as those involved make it. Overwatch is lucky enough to have a solid group of competitors, amazing fans, and also content creators that keep the momentum going. Whether you tune in to a Twitch stream to fulfil your Overwatch needs, or you go looking for quality analysis of the competitive scene in between tournaments, these content creators allow you to never stop learning and enjoying the game.

The person we want to award Content Creator of the Year to is Ben “CaptainPlanet” Trautman. The longer you have been following the competitive scene, the more you will know him. As early as November last year, CaptainPlanet has been analysing the meta game of Overwatch, writing comprehensive articles about the trends of that week or tournament. Currently using tiers to highlight hero pick likelihoods, the Captain allows you to tune in to his meta reports and keep up with what the players are tinkering with (or what Blizzard will soon tinker with).

flame

...for providing top-notch VOD analysis as an ex-pro player which landed him a spot on the MLG Vegas analysis desk.

MOONMOON

Story of the Year

Story of the Year

Embrace of Hero limit

Many things have happened this year that will continue to shape and haunt Overwatch’s future, but the single most significant decision this year (made by the developers) was embracing Hero Limits in Competitive Play, the official tournament ruleset and Quick Play.

It must have been hard for the developers to let go of such an integral part of their vision: allowing players to pick and switch to whatever hero they want, at any point during the match. But it took only a few months of playtesting by the now-pro players to find out that allowing duplicates of heroes was impossible to balance around. For the sake of balance, diversity, and the playing/viewing experience, we are happy that Blizzard reconsidered and embraced the value of hero limits.

BlizzCon 2016

...for setting the bar high and giving us more than we could have hoped for, including a new hero, the arcade, and - of course - KRUSHER99.

Seagull handshake