With Contenders Australia wrapped up for another season, it’s time to reflect on the outstanding talent of this region.
While making it to Contenders should be an achievement for all players, some players stood out from the rest of the pack. In the Snowball Awards, we look to acknowledge and highlight the truly talented players of this region.
Myself and eight of the region’s brightest Overwatch minds helped vote on who they thought were the best rookies, most improved and finally the most valuable players in Season 2. But without further ado, let’s get into the awards!
The Voting Panel
- Jordan “Elfishguy” Mays – Contenders Australia Caster
- Ben “Sandman” Green – Contenders Australia Caster
- Kevin “AVRL” Walker – Contenders Australia & Pacific Caster
- Matt “Pixie” Carroll – Contenders Australia & Pacific Caster
- Kale “Genome” Morton – Contenders Australia Caster & Snowball Contributor
- Sam “Face” Merewether – Coach for Sydney Drop Bears
- Andrew “Rqt” Haws – Coach for ORDER
- Seetoh “JohnGalt” Jian Qing – Season 2 Coach for Dark Sided
- Andrew “Ducky” Amos – Snowball Overwatch Content Lead
Rookie of the Season
The Rookie of the Season Award is for the newcomers onto the scene. While their names are not as prominent as some of the veterans of the league, they are here to make an impact and shake up the order. The top three rookies had a massive impact on their respective teams seasons and made a name for themselves in a few short weeks.
1st – Exotic (14pts)
2nd – ChroNoDotA (13pts)
3rd – JungleJazz (10pts)
Exotic took a middling SereNity roster and made it a fearful Top 4 team. The young DPS superstar came in halfway through the season to replace Minny while Guzto moved to main tank and instantly made an impact. After three heart-breaking 3-2’s to start the season, SereNity under Exotic finished strong to qualify for playoffs.
They were the first team to take a game off the Drop Bears on Temple of Anubis, where his Junkrat and Genji shone against the immortal roster. In just three short weeks, he made one of the biggest impacts on the Australian scene to win Snowball’s Rookie of the Season award.
Snowball Rookie of the Season Exotic catches Sydney Drop Bears supports off guard, striking down from the heavens above to get a 4k.
ChroNoDotA comes in a tight second but is equally as deserving. The first import into Contenders Australia, the American main tank didn’t let the ping difference affect him. He focused on leading the Kanga roster to LAN through his impressive shot-calling, and it showed with Kanga having some of the best coordination in Australia.
On LAN he showed a glimpse of the full powered Kanga when everyone is on equal ping. While his trip to Australia was short-lived, he has shown the prowess required to make it big back home – announcing at Melbourne Esports Open that he will be playing for an NA Contenders team for Season 3.
JungleJazz comes in only 3 votes behind the leaders. Affectionately known as the “Kanga Esports Shotcaller”, his addition to Kanga allowed Davi to switch back into a more comfortable off-tank role. While his team were making the plays, he lurked silently in the backlines, keeping everyone up and being clutch when it came down to it. His efforts haven’t gone unnoticed, earning a place in the top 3.
Most Improved Player
The Most Improved Player award is for the players who might have under performed in Season 1, but played exceptionally well in Season 2.
1st – Roro (14pts)
2nd – Oily (12pts)
3rd – Merit (7pts)
If there is any team that embodies that spirit of improvement, it’s Kanga. A team who sat in the middle of the pack in mediocrity in Season 1, they improved tremendously after a facelift on the front and revitalization in the back, and Roro is the epitome of this improvement.
Part of Kanga’s squad for Contenders Season 1, he swapped DPS roles with Locus between seasons which saw massive improvements for both players. His Junkrat and Pharah gave Kanga the edge they needed to make playoffs in Season 2. Maid brought out the best in Kanga, especially Roro, in Season 2.
Snowball Most Improved Player Roro and teammate Davi perfectly synergise against Avant to keep Kanga’s defense alive on Temple of Anubis.
Oily, the Roadhog Mastermind, slides in as runner-up to the award. Starting off as the main tank on NoC Predators squad in Season 1, the addition of Joker allowed him to shine in his preferred off tank slot on heroes such as Zarya, D.Va and Roadhog.
Come Season 2 on SereNity, a combination of the meta, roster stability and a full season in off tank allowed him to unleash the beast. His Roadhog frequently featured on our Top 5 plays and was arguably the best in the region. He was a piece to SereNity’s puzzle which they solved coming to the end of Season 2, and if SereNity can keep it together come Season 3, they will look like a top 4 threat.
Roro’s teammate on Kanga, Merit, joins him in third on the Most Improved list. His Zenyatta appeared multiple times on the Top 5’s for Snowball and proved to be crucial for Kanga Esports in their triumphant LAN berth at Melbourne Esports Open. While he is currently looking for a team in between seasons, his drastic improvement from Season 1 to Season 2 would have caught the attention of any team looking to fill their flex support slot.
Most Valuable Player
The Most Valuable Player award is for the best player in Contenders Australia. Their efforts have led their teams to valiant victories, they’ve shone above the others, and they are the Australia’s best offerings to the world.
1st – Colourhex (20pts)
2nd – Punk (14pts)
3rd – Exotic (6pts)
Except for the fact that the winner of the MVP award for Contenders Australia Season 2 is a Kiwi. A deserving one at that. Colourhex is the only player in Contenders around the world to be undefeated in regular season. While he was stopped short of a victory at LAN last season by Sydney Drop Bears, he was the key to Sydney Drop Bears’ success at Rod Laver Arena.
Although he calls himself an egregious feeder, his versatility over all heroes is almost unparalleled in the Australian scene. His Pharah in the grand final against Dark Sided was crucial in their victory, constantly landing clutch concussions and barrages, while his Genji and Widow showed up throughout the season.
Now on Toronto Esports, the feeder team for the Boston Uprising, he’s gotten the call-up to be the first New Zealand player to play in North America – a well-deserved honour.
Snowball MVP Colourhex secures the Season 2 Contenders victory for Sydney Drop Bears with a Pharah 5k on Lighthouse.
The runner-up for the MVP Award is Punk, who is probably not too far away from meeting Colourhex in America. The off-tank for Dark Sided is only 17 but has already been touted as one of the best players in the region by some of the best.
Young Punk’s D.Va is no longer region-renowned but world-renowned after a call-up to the Australian World Cup squad on its way to BlizzCon. After falling painfully short in Season 1 on the Grand Final, he didn’t let the chance slip away once again against ORDER, pulling out the most clutch save in Australian Overwatch in combination with Termo to turn Dark Sided’s series around and secure a spot in the final.
He grew immensely under JohnGalt and Project in Season 2 to become the region’s undisputed best offtank. Dark Sided has left the Overwatch scene in Australia leaving the 17-year-old talent orgless, but with serious street cred, who knows how long it’ll be before he will be on the OWL stage.
Exotic has already been talked about, but to reiterate how well he has performed, he turned a middling SereNity roster into a future Top 4 beast. If SereNity can retain his services for Season 3, who knows how the top end of town will look heading into the next LAN.
Season 3 of Contenders Australia returns in November, but stay tuned into Snowball Esports for coverage of Trials Australia as we see who will make up the final four teams for Season 3!