TaKeOver Group Stages Recap
After two long days of group stages, TakeOver 2 has been a tournament full of clutch moments and surprising results. Haven't been able to catch it? Look no further
Ninjas in Pyjamas vs Cyclowns (3-1)
Our tournament started with an appealing appetizer in the form of the Kings of the North, NiP, against rising stars Cyclown. Both teams had much to prove, as TakeOver would be the most recent look at how prepared either side was for the upcoming Overwatch Contenders. NiP’s dependence on a strong tank front line from the previous triple tank meta showed as they had a few rough games against the European mixed team. A close first map victory on Eichenwalde by the Finns was immediately answered with a dominant 3-0 sweep by Cyclowns on LiJiang. Despite the departure of main tank Mowzassa and flex support Boombox, Cyclowns did not appear to lose any of their synergy on King of the Hill, relying on strong performances from Poks on Zenyatta and Davin on Tracer to counter NiP’s legendary team play. However, as the set drew on, it became clear the lack of practice together weighed on the Cyclowns, as they dropped the remaining two games in an extremely close fashion.
Rogue vs eUnited (3-1)
When Rogue and eUnited both decided to pursue the triple DPS composition as their sole goal last season, it put them on a collision course for this eventual confrontation at TakeOver 2. Both teams were early adopters of dive, crafting teams specifically to capitalize on the flexibility of flankers. The two teams boasted two of the most iconic Tracer players in the West, and, after bootcamps in Korea, they were intent on showing what they had learned. Rogue showed exactly why they were the most feared team in the West by transitioning an extremely close Numbani into a sweep on Nepal. Eunited were able to strike back on Hanamura, but Rogue never seemed to let up. At the end of the day, more practice and better match up knowledge ended up being Rogue’s win conditions, full holding their opponents on Watchpoint Gibraltar.
Rogue vs NiP (4-0)
For the two oldest organizations in the group, this matchup would have been a marquee matchup a few months ago. However, with Rogue’s recent form and NiP temporary hiatus from the scene, the faceoff seemed more outdated than exciting. On the positive side, this set gave us a unique look at how big the changes from meta to meta actually were. NiP’s adjustment to the 2/2/2 composition relied largely on Zappis being the most flexible member of the team. However, with the full pressure of Rogue in their faces, NiP seemed powerless against the continued onslaught. However, NiP’s ability to keep the maps close were a testament to how far teamwork and communication could bring a team. Unfortunately, it was not enough as Rogue would clinch a straightforward 4-0 map score, qualifying themselves for the playoffs.
Eunited vs Cyclowns (4-0)
The toughest part about being traded is having to match up against your old teammates in the largest tournament of the quarter. Boombox’s trade to Eunited looked to shore up Rubikon’s departure from the team, leaving Cyclowns scrambling for a support fill-in only a few weeks before the tournament. Poks looked good in his first match of the day against NiP, but good simply was enough against an Eunited squad out for revenge. Vallutaja and Unfixed were able to execute under pressure, disrupting backline targets, while creating room for Kruise and Sharyk to engage safely. With their backs against the wall, Cyclowns was simply unable to adjust to the relentless aggression of Sharyk and his flankers, as never fully gaining their footing in the set.
Misfits vs Cloud9 - 1-3
“Tactical aggressiveness” was the name of the game in the four-map series, with an overly-aggressive Misfits often overextending, which allowed Cloud9 to brutally punish them shortly thereafter. Misfits’ Reinforce in particular had a tough time, with Reinhardt coming up big against his C9 counterpart Kaiser’s only for Gods to swoop in and steal his thunder just as Misfits was starting to make leadway. Gods’ high-value Dragon Blades allowed Kaiser to play more defensively on his tanks no matter the situation, giving C9 a nice balance that Misfits couldn’t counter. When the dust had settled, Cloud9 came out on top on all but Temple of Anubis, allowing the Americans an early lead in Group B.
Movistar Riders vs Hammers Esports - 4-0
A lot of key fights depended on a Tracer’s response of support ultimates, particularly with Dante and Shaz’s Transcendances. Nesh in particular seemed to find holes in the Iris, grabbing double kills with his Pulse Bomb regardless of the enhanced healing his victims had. Cwoosh, however, were able to take back most of the fights where Movistar was down, with his Genji overshadowing most of Nesh’s heroics. Tomzey’s Lucio was blocked twice - once by Fischer’s Tracer and another by Dante’s Ana - in one of the longest stalls ever broadcasted on Temple of Anubis. In the end, though, it would be Movistar Riders that take the first 4-0 against a team in group B.
Cloud9 vs Movistar Riders
In one of the most action-packed matches of the tournament, Movistar Riders and Cloud9 went blow for blow on Hollywood and Lijang Tower. Hanamura and Route 66 both were more about technical mastery and perfect teamwork rather than one team exploiting a weakness in the other. In a very close match, the teams ended up tied at the end of four, with Gods leading C9 to a victory on Hanamura while Cwoosh led Movistar to a Route 66 win.
Misfits vs Hammers Esports
The series started out relatively Misfits-sided, with the team being able to overpower Hammers for most fights on Hollywood. Come Lijang, though, Hammers stepped up to the plate to give themselves the edge, with Nesh and Fischer in particular coming up with massive hero plays to bring rounds that shouldn’t have been close back in their favor. The momentum kept in Hammers’ favor, resulting in them taking the back three maps for a 1-3 score over Misfits.
Hammers Esports vs Cloud9
Cloud9’s biggest adversary was jetlag, with the team looking visibly exhausted and lacked focus sporadically. Hammers surprisingly took Eichenwalde away from Cloud9 thanks to Christfer's work on Reinhardt, but Cloud9 was quick to answer back with a near-perfect Oasis map. Temple of Anubis also went C9's way, with the team seemingly being able to force Hammers' momentum to a screeching halt in Overtime. In the end, though, C9’s exhaustion seemed to wear them down enough on Route 66 to allow Hammers the final word. Fischer once again showed up in big ways when Hammers needed him to perform, allowing the underdogs to go out of Day 2 on a high note and tying C9 for the match, 2-2.
Did we miss a moment? Be sure to let us know in the comments. Takeover 2 will be back today to finish the remainder of the group stage before moving onwards into the double elimination playoff bracket.
Day 1 reporting provided by Wilson "scr1be" Xu.
For more competitive Overwatch news, follow us on Twitter @GosuOverwatch.
Which region do you think will take home the TakeOver 2 Trophy?
Thank you for voting!
Thank you for voting!