Sinisa Bucan, February 24, 2017

Overwatch Alienware Monthly Melee – February's fight begins

It seems that the Overwatch Alienware Monthly Melee tournament series is here to stay. Funding has been secured for three new tournaments, and the prize pool has been doubled when compared to previous events, putting the Overwatch stakes even higher.

The prize pool is $10,000, with $6,000 going to the winner, $3,000 to the runner-up, and $1,000 to the team coming in third place. The evolution of the tournament is certainly interesting. It all started back in May 2016 with a prize pool of only $500. It was increased to $3,000 in June and $5,000 in August, which has not changed until now. This is the first Overwatch Alienware Monthly Melee in which the third-place team receives a share of the prize money. The event, usually an all-North American affair, now also has two European teams fighting for the title.

Alienware Monthly Melee always had a nice mix of established teams and up-and-comers seeking glory. In January, the newly-signed Hammers Esports shocked everyone and won the tournament by taking out Luminosity and Team Liquid.

State of the Meta

It seems that the three-tank meta is finally over. The pro scene is now dominated by 2/2/2 team compositions, with teams like Cloud9 taking it a step further and sometimes going with a triple DPS team composition, as we've seen during the Overwatch APEX tournament. Reinhardt, Lucio, and Ana are essential picks, as always. Soldier: 76 is still a popular pick, but Tracer and Genji are well-represented, too. And that’s precisely why McCree is a key pick in a lot of situations. Considering that the meta has been so much faster lately, Winston has also become a lot more useful. His ability to dive in and cause chaos by breaking up the enemy team’s formation is sometimes invaluable.

Group A: FaZe, Rogue, Renegades, Hammers Esports

On paper, Rogue and FaZe are the clear favorites of this group. However, FaZe aren’t in great form. In the last Monthly Melee, they barely made it to the semifinals and then lost to Spicy Boys. Rogue have a lot of international experience, although they didn’t play any matches in 2017 so far. However, the French team had a big 2016 and won APAC Premier, among other tournaments.

Overwatch - Rogue
Overwatch - Rogue

But we can’t forget Hammers who, as we’ve already noted, won the Monthly Melee in January. They also recently beat Team Liquid and Complexity in Group A of the Overwatch Carbon Series. Then there’s Renegades, who are having a great month, with two great wins against Luminosity and Team Liquid in the group stage of the Overwatch Carbon Series.

Group B: Luminosity, Complexity, Immortals, Rise Nation

There’s no two ways about it – Immortals are the favorites of Group B. They are currently the #2 ranked team in both North America and the world. They had a massive January with an 86% win rate, but they are coming off a recent defeat at the hands of Luminosity. Speaking of which, Luminosity’s track record is all over the place. It’s one of those teams that can beat anyone and lose to anyone.

Overwatch - Immortals
Overwatch - Immortals

Complexity are in a tough place right now, with five losses in a row against Hammers, Immortals, Luminosity, and twice against Splyce. They definitely need to break that streak and do something worthy of note at this tournament. There’s no question that Rise Nation are the underdogs in this group. However, it should be noted that they finished at the top of Group A in the last Monthly Melee by beating FaZe and Denial.

Final Thoughts

Overwatch Alienware Monthly Melee is growing, that much is obvious. It’s not a major event, but it is a very good avenue for these teams to test out different strategies and perhaps improve their statistics and rankings. Immortals and Rogue are the favorites, but you can never write off the likes of FaZe and Luminosity. Will Hammers manage to surprise everyone again and take two Monthly Melees in a row?

When Overwatch Alienware Monthly Melee kicks off on February 25, the opening match between FaZe and Hammers should be the most interesting clash. Meanwhile, in Group B, Complexity definitely have something to prove against Immortals.

Sinisa Bucan

Siniša is a writer and translator from Croatia, a small European country on the Adriatic coast. Apart from being a passionate Hearthstone player, he enjoys all kinds of video games, including strategy, role-playing, adventure, and action. Other interests include listening to indie rock and travelling. You can follow him @SinisaBucan.