Finland's history in Overwatch will drive the team's Overwatch World Cup run
Tucked away between Sweden and Russia, Finland is a country known for its love of metal music and coffee. Not everyone thinks of it as a haven for Overwatchâ"itâs no South Koreaâ"but Finland has produced some of the gameâs best players.
With six of its seven players fielded from Overwatch League teams, Finland is heading into its Overwatch World Cup group stage matches in a position to move on to big event at BlizzCon in November, one of the only teams with a chance to match South Korea for the championship spot. Itâs not an accident. Though Finland has struggled in previous World Cupsâ"the team failed to move out of groups last yearâ"the country has one of the more successful tier two and three scenes, with a number of small tournaments designed specifically to harness Finnish talent. The last of which, Assemblyâs Overwatch OMEN by HP tournament, was held in late June in Helsinki.
Related: Finlandâs Overwatch World Cup team is stacked
In areas where esports are supported by smaller tournament scenes, like in South Korea, we see a larger concentration of Overwatch players. For Finland, that means players are scattered through the Overwatch League and Overwatch Contenders scenesâ"Los Angeles Gladiators, Philadelphia Fusion, Houston Outlaws, Dallas Fuel, Florida Mayhem, and Team Gigantti. Team Finland pulled a player or two from each of these teams, creating one of the more stacked rosters in the Overwatch World Cup.
Heading into the Incheon group stage scheduled to begin at 9pm CT on Aug. 16, Finlandâs biggest threat is South Korea. Theyâll face off against the Korean team, made up mainly of New York Excelsior players, early on Aug. 17. Itâs during that match where Finlandâs players will be truly tested. If theyâve retained the synergy to take on the worldâs best players in the South Korean team, they have a real shot at the championship title.
The majority of Finlandâs player have competed together before with great success. Back in 2017, the team that was once Ninjas in Pyjamas turned into Team Giganttiâ"Jonas âShazâ Suovaara, Benjamin âBigGooseâ Isohanni, Joona âFragiâ Laine, Joonas âzappisâ Alakurtti, Jiri âLiNkzrâ Masalin, and Tuomo âDavinâ LeppÃ¤nen were all part of the roster at one point. Together, the roster won ASUS ROGâs Overwatch tournament in August 2017, Overwatch Contenderâs European event in October 2017, and ASUS ROG in November 2017.
Gigantti disbanded shortly after, and players were sprinkled throughout Overwatch League and Contenders rosters. The Finnish roster has the history, but itâll have to stand the test of time if they want to be a formidable opponent for South Korea. The good news is Finlandâs two support players have been able keep up their synergy as Los Angeles Gladiatorsâ important support duo, BigGoose and Shaz. As the backbone of the Finnish team, other players will rely on them to maintain consistency in their matches.
Finlandâs first opponent is Hong Kong, followed by the South Korea match. Russia is up next, followed by Japan and Taiwan. Both Japan and Russia are two other teams to watch as the Overwatch World Cup group stage begins. Japan made an impressive run in last yearâs World Cup; they didnât make it out of groups, but ended up being far underrated last year. As for Russia, the team has two Overwatch League players on-board: Stanislav âMistakesâ Danilov and George âShaDowBurnâ Gushcha. The two DPS players can carry games, and Overwatch players familiar with their play will likely be looking out for them.Source: Google News Finland | Netizen 24 Finland