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Recap of European Grand Finals and Q&A with Movistar Riders

April 15, 2017

After intense weeks of Group Stages and Playoffs, 2 teams came on top to meet in the Grand finals, Movistar Riders and eUnited. Even though Movistar Riders and eUnited played in the Upper bracket finals before, where Movistar completely dominated eUnited, we were up for 5 map match in Grand finals, where it came down to the wire on who is going to be the European champion.
First map of Grand Finals was played on Dorado. As Movistar Riders came from Upper bracket, they had a choice to select side, as they opted for defence. Right off the start, Movistar took aggressive positions, being ready to fight eUnited as soon as they came out of spawn. Both teams were running similar compositions knows as the „dive “composition for 1st checkpoint, with only difference being Pharah on Unfixed and Finnsi on solider. First two attacks Movistar defended well, but as soon as eUnited got couple of picks, they pass the point with ease. eUnited passed the second checkpoint without much of a hiccup, as they used their ultimates in the right time. Kruise was doing his job well as Genji, as he managed to get couple of kills each time he used Dragon Blade. At the end, Movistar Riders defended the last point, with the payload being near completion.

Once the sides swapped, both teams used same composition with eUnited deciding to defend at the market at start, unlike Movistar that played way more aggressive. It didn’t make much of a difference as both teams lost 1st checkpoint fairly quickly. eUnited was somewhat force to play aggressive on the second point, and it paid off as they successfully defended, and took the lead in series, 1-0.

Next map was Nepal, and it’s not strange that Movistar Riders decided to pick control map, as they’ve had high win rate on such maps throughout the whole tournament. First point was Sanctrum, and both teams decided to stick with the compositions that they ran on previous map. Both of the teams had equal control of the point till 60%, as team fights went both ways. eUnited did claim 1st point at the end, with a good retake, having previously capped at 99%. Second point was Village. Initial fight took place on the high ground, as eUnited managed to score team kill, having quite a bit on lead in the ultimates department, as well as point. Unfortunately for eUnited, that was the only fight they won on this point, as Movistar Riders steamrolled every other fight, equalizing the score. Third point was played on Shrine, and yet again eUnited took the initial fight. And this time as well it wasn’t enough, as Movistar retakes seemed to be on point. The Fourth point was played on Village yet again, as eUnited did way better than the previous time, not doing major mistakes once they got the point first. They win the fourth point without letting Movistar get a single percent, as they even the score. Last point played on Shrine, and this point was fairly one sided, as Movistar dominated every fight, making the series even, 1-1.

Third map was selected by eUnited, and it was played on Route 66. Movistar Riders started on defence and once again they decided to play aggressive outside eUnited spawn. It didn’t really turn out that well for them, as eUnited finished the 1st point with 4:30 time left. Interesting to note is that eUnited ran Zenyatta on Rubikon, while Movistar decided to go with Ana on Dante, and this was the only difference in the team compositions. All three checkpoints were finished by eUnited, with 1:14 left on the clock. On defence, eUnited tried to defend the 1st point while playing at the gas station, which didn’t work in their favour as both teams had similar time after acquiring first checkpoint. On the last point, eUnited swapped Soldier and Winton, for Reinhardt and Zarya, trying to change things. Movistar Riders managed to complete the point, with 30 seconds advantage over eUnited, heading into second attempt. After poor attack by eUnited, Movistar Riders closed out the map quickly as they secured payload more than eUnited did in the first 30 seconds, taking the lead in the series.

Forth Map was played on Lijiang tower. Starting point was played on Night Market. Most of the fights for this point were happening outside, as both teams capped 99%. However, eUnited did take the lead as they won the last fight in overtime. Second point was played on Garden, and interesting thing to note for this point is that none of the teams decided to go for Road Hog, which could be very useful to pull heroes of the map. Once again both of the teams capped 99%, and this time as well, eUnited got a better end of last fight, making it 2:0. Last point was played on Control centre. Both teams decided to go directly to the point, taking the fight head on. First fight went heavily into eUnited favour, as Movistar was unable to land any of the kills. For a short time, it did look like Movistar would get back into this point, but eUnited managed to combine ultimates with good timing, closing out the map with 3-0 victory.
Fifth and last map of the series was selected by Movistar Riders, as they decide to finish the set on Kings Row, starting on defence. eUnited storms the starting objective in the first attack. Once eUnited reached last objective they had 4 minutes to finish it, also for the last push they decided to go as well with Zarya and Reinhardt as they did with previous payload map. eUnited finished all objectives having 2:03 left on the clock. Movistar’s attack wasn’t as fast as eUnited’s, as they were slowed down by considerable amount on 1st objective. They finish all objectives with 1:04 less time than eUnited. On second attempt, Movistar Riders did amazing attack, making it to half of third checkpoint with only a minute left in total. CWoosh on Pharah did great job, as nobody could counter him, since eUnited had no hero that could effectively deal with him. Once the sides swapped, eUnited won 1st objective quickly, having only 30 seconds left to reach the distance of Movistar’s payload. In the end, there wasn’t enough time for eUnited, as Movistar Riders are the First European champions of Overwatch Pit League.

Following is the short interview with Movistar Riders and how they feel about their performance in the tournament. The questions are as following;

How do you guys feel right now? Is this something you expected?

Riders Sens – We feel sooooo happy and exhausted right now. We’d been working soooo hard to achieve this. From the beginning we always wanted to win but we knew it was going to be extremly hard to do it. Hard work pays off.

Do you think eUnited adjusted to your play well after your first encounter in Upper bracket finals where you had a 3-0 victory ? What was different today? Why do you think the match was so close this time?

Riders Sens – I think they kept playing their own style, with some adjusts ofc but after 2 bo5 the day before, they didn’t had time to change too much so we expected this gameplay. Despite the score, yesterday the games were so close, same with today. They are a really good team and they punish every single mistake.

Is there any other team you expected in finals, other than eUnited? What team made the best impression on you?

Riders Sens – Actually, there are a lot of good teams on Europe and we are all very close imo. Misfits, eUnited, Dignitas or NiP could had reach the finals without doubt. Misfits, eUnited and vivi’s adventure did the best impressions, at least for me. But like I said before, every single top team in Europe is so hard to beat. Also Hammers, despite they didn’t perform that well this time.

What do you think about our tournament? Would you change anything, and how would you rate it?

Riders Sens – The tournament was amazing. We are so happy right now and that’s because of those who were involve in making this tournament possible. For the next one, I think it would be nice to have more info related with maps, calendar and so on, or at least to notify the teams with more time. Also, could had been nice to have at least 1 day or 2 to prepare the Grand Final. Overall, hope you guys keep doing it. 9/10 Tournament.