EnVyUs vs Rogue: time to make them envious

It’s no easy feat to be called the best team in the world. After getting a 57-online-match win streak, however, EnVyUs surely deserved so. The team made of Talespin, Taimou, INTERNETHULK, chipshajen, cocco and HarryHook looked unbeatable, as each and every one of these players had such mechanical skill, unpredictable hero pools and synergy that it seemed like they would win every LAN they decided to play.

That didn’t prove to be true, though, as they have yet to win a LAN tournament. Nonetheless, the Charlottte based team wants to prove that they are still the best by winning the OGN Overwatch APEX, a tournament with four of the best Western teams and twelve Korean ones. That might have been possible if not for Talespin leaving the team right after the playoff matches had been drawn and everyone had known EnVy would face Rogue. Can they, against all odds, overcome the team who is right now considered the best in the world?

Talespin goes into a tailspin

Ronnie “Talespin” Dupree had been part of EnVy since the organization picked their first Overwatch team. He was the only remaining player of the former Hubris squad, and also the only American on the team. Talespin has always been praised by his skills with Pharah, but ever since the hero fell off in the meta, he’s gotten a lot of criticism. Most of the fans pointed at him when discussing whether anyone on the team should be dropped.

Photo from Talespin’s Twitter

It still came as a shock when the organization announced that Talespin would be seeking opportunities elsewhere, since EnVy still had to play the rest of the Overwatch APEX. What initially had been disclosed as him quitting the game completely, turned out to be a major ideology problem between — apparently — the two DPS players on the team. All kinds of people —fans, casters, writers — weighed in, arguing whether it was right of him to leave the team on such short notice.

That left EnVy empty-handed, having to look for a player only a week away from their quarterfinals match. If they already had been considered the underdogs, now they were massive ones, almost without standing a chance. There was just no way they could find a replacement in time for the series. Or was there?

Mickie, the first Asian on a Western team

The EnVyUs organization has pioneered so many things when it comes to Overwatch. They have been the first team to get athlete visas to their whole roster, as well as relocating everyone to a team house. Now, they are also the first Western team to acquire — at least for the remainder of this tournament — an Asian player. No, it’s not a Korean, but instead it’s Mickie, the flex player for Thailand’s World Cup team.

HarryHook in the middle, Mickie on the right / Photo from HarryHook’s Twitter

Mickie stood out at the World Cup with his Zarya plays and so will probably take over INTERNETHULK’s role. That will make the EnVy captain switch to support and meanwhile HarryHook will play DPS. The Thai seems to speak good English and to have good relationship with the players, so he might fit perfectly within the team.

Also, EnVyUs getting Mickie is paving the way for other Western teams to start thinking of picking up Asians. It’s a trend in League of Legends to pick up Korean players, as they are often the best both mechanically and strategically, and it is clear that they are equally good in Overwatch. Players like zunba and Haksal, who are both very good but couldn’t qualify for the APEX playoffs, would be great additions to teams from the West.

Does HarryHook really work as DPS?

A few times during EnVyUs’ Overwatch run, fans have been able to witness HarryHook switching from his usual Lucio to Soldier 76. As pointed out by Elbion, his accuracy with the hero is so good that he is in some ways wasted at the support position. Yes, he is responsible for the shotcalling duties of the team, as well as ult timings, so playing Lucio kind of facilitates that, but it doesn’t mean he can’t do both at the same time.

HarryHook with Spain / Photo by BlizzCon

This match against Rogue is going to be intereseting to see if HarryHook can handle the DPS role full time. Besides Soldier, we’ve seen him playing McCree at the World Cup, but it was against a lesser competition in the form of Brazil. This time around he will be up against one of the deadliest duos out there, TviQ and aKm.

If he really is the real deal and can match the DPS skills of those two, than Talespin leaving might be a blessing in disguise. The former EnVy player had been on a downswing and moving HarryHook to this new role could freshen the team up, specially considering the buffs Soldier 76 has received on the latest patch. It would also be one of the first (if not the first) successful role swaps in Overwatch history.

In case he isn’t, then ok, EnVyUs can still swap everyone back to their former roles and pick a different DPS. It’s not like there aren’t several quality free agents available, or if the organization isn’t wealthy enough to buy someone out of his contract.

aKm, you are wrong!

Something that created a lot of controversy in the Overwatch scene was aKm’s “trash talk” towards EnVy at the APEX playoff draw. The frenchman said that the Boys in Blue are “only number one in NA” and quite surprisingly Taimou agreed with him.

People were hoping Taimou would say otherwise, especially because of his rager and memer fame, but he simply said that his counterpart was completely right. And if you stop and think, he may have been indeed. EnVyUs has failed to win two major LANs — the Atlantic Showdown and the Overwatch Open — when they were massively expected to. They have also lost a best of five to Lunatic Hai in Korea and are farther and farther away from where they once were when it comes to rankings.

Photo from Gamurs

Regardless of whether aKm is right or not, this is the moment that, if EnVy wins the quarterfinals, they would at least reclaim the title of best Western team and prove everyone wrong. Yes, they will probably lose. But if — and that’s a big if — they do win, it would create one of the biggest stories in the history of eSports: a squad that had to make a roster change and two roleswaps for a match against the best team in the game.

And hey, Taimou and co. are in no way expected to win, so the pressure is on Rogue to defeat them convincingly.

Team EnVyUs and Rogue will face off in just a few hours, in one of the most anticipated matches of the tournament. Who is gonna be the winner?

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