Ground Zero has a chance to become the first Contenders team in the new format to go undefeated across all four weeks of action, netting yet another win against the Sydney Drop Bears in Contenders Australia 2020 Season 1 Week 3.
The win was one of their most dominant, yet again only losing one map in their run. After sweeping ScrimBux, they had a slight hiccup on Oasis against Mindfreak, before turning up the heat against the Drop Bears in the final.
However, the team wasn’t as confident as they were in previous weeks. According to Felix “ckm” Murray, the break had thrown the team off slightly, and scrims were looking closer than ever before.
“This [win] is especially sweet,” the veteran DPS told Snowball Esports. “We weren’t feeling as ahead this week in scrims as we had in other weeks, so to pull up on match day like we did is a good feeling.”
It’s been a triumphant return for arguably Australia’s most storied flex DPS. After announcing his retirement in mid-2019, he’s come back with vengeance after the World Cup with Ground Zero, and has found the perfect balance between competitive Overwatch and his studies.
“I started planting seeds with Signed and Unter at BlizzCon about this season to slot back into Contenders,” he said. “So far I’ve been able to manage my time well enough, really just means sometimes I have to sacrifice some social activities when things get busy.”
The four weeks off gave Ground Zero time to refine their strategies ?— no matter how far ahead of the rest of the region they seem. On top of that, it gave them a chance to refine their communication, after a mad scramble before the start of the season saw many teams alter their rosters drastically.
“Communication has been a struggle for a while,” he admitted. “It’s really only been coming together recently and we have tons of work to do on that front still.
Regardless of how their communication might be behind the scenes, it’s almost impossible to see a flaw in their play. Their flexibility has allowed them to navigate whatever hero pool is thrown at them, and they have the ability to play counters better than their opponents can play their comfort.
This will become ever crucial with the release of Echo. Overwatch’s latest DPS is now unbanned, and while the Week 4 hero pool hasn’t been confirmed yet, if she is available to play, Ground Zero are ready to pick her up with open arms.
“I think the thing that makes Echo interesting is that she’s a strong dive and poke character, meaning she’ll be able to slot in as a key hero in numerous comps,” he said. “If she’s meta I assume everyone will be jumping on the chance to play her, since she’s fun as hell.”
Contenders Australia Week 3 – Top 5 ???
— Blizzard Esports ANZ (@BlizzEsportsANZ) April 29, 2020
With only one week separating them from a perfect run in the new format, ckm stated Ground Zero aren’t getting too far ahead of themselves. There’s still a job to do, and if anyone can do it, it’s ckm and their veteran roster.
“Obviously we’re not getting too ahead of ourselves,” he said. “Things can change quickly with the fast changing metas. Provided we stay on top of our practice we should be good.”
In other results, Warriors broke into the top four for the first time this season, and locked their place in playoffs, after NoWeaver failed to submit a roster in Week 3. The French organization parted ways with their old roster during the mid-season break, but still currently hold the slot.
Kraken Esports Club also made their mark, jumping straight from Open Division into the top eight after taking down PowerAnchors in the round of 12.
Paradigm Shift, ScrimBux, and Athletico currently hold the final three playoffs spots, but with some teams hot on their heels, next week is going to prove ever crucial.
Contenders Australia 2020 Season 1 will return for Week 4 on May 11.