Sinisa Bucan, May 19, 2017

Overwatch Monthly Melee Returns One Last Time

May's Overwatch Monthly Melee promises to be among the least predictable yet despite Alienware and Curse's confirmations that this will be the the last of this staple Overwatch esports tournament franchise for the foreseeable future.

The Death of a Staple

The Overwatch Monthly Melee has quickly grown into a beloved event featuring big-name teams. Unfortunately, tournament organizers were dissuaded from running the event going forward due to uncertainty regarding Overwatch licensing. 

"I don't want to guarantee that there won't be another Monthly Melee after this month, but we're not planning events for June, July, or onward at this time," Overwatch Monthly Melee tournament organizer MrAlexDanger told Over.gg.

"In February, I was told that [Blizzard] could not guarantee any dates for me past June 1st. Over the following two months I had several candid discussions with Blizzard's eSports team and various coordinators about continuing our event. This continued until finally we had to cancel our commitment to the Melee past June due to uncertainty. I am aware that some events are happening past June, I'm not sure what their conversations look like with Blizzard, maybe they figured something out."

This seems to be a troubling time for Overwatch as tournaments are starting to fade out and several major organizations have already dropped their Overwatch rosters. It could be a simple matter of Blizzard wanting to focus for a few months on pre-OWL tournaments and the League itself, but the fact that Blizzard isn't communicating much about these issues or the rumors surrounding Overwatch League is only making matters worse.

The Last Meal

In the here and now, however, there's a lot of excitement surrounding this month's Melee, and it is partially due to Rogue's absence. The Las Vegas-based Frenchmen have been dominating the North American scene for a while now: they won three consecutive Overwatch Monthly Melees, the North American leg of the Overwatch PIT Championship and Overwatch Rumble before setting off to South Korea for APEX Season 3.

This tournament could reinvent several participant squads with valuable experience and a boost in confidence and notoriety for the winning team. The rest of the year might very well be defined by the outcome of this tournament as it could mark the rise to power of one of the participants.

Selfless vs. Immortals — the Epic Showdown

Group B

  • Immortals
  • Selfless
  • CLG
  • Qualifier’s Lower Bracket Winner

These two teams are currently occupying the fourth and fifth world ranking, but — with first through third (Rogue, Lunatic Hai, and Team EnVyUs) duking it out in South Korea — now is their chance to shine. They'll face each other early in Group B.

Most likely, both teams will pass the group stage, meaning a probable finals rematch. Selfless were victorious over Immortals about three weeks ago when the two teams met during Overwatch Rumble, giving them a clear edge in confidence.

Immortals vs. Selfless
Immortals vs. Selfless

Immortals had a terrible showing thanks to Sinatraa’s Tracer constantly breaking Immortals' formation and Dafran’s Soldier: 76 just racking up those kills. On King’s Row alone, Dafran racked up 31 eliminations and a 63% kill participation, mostly thanks to taking advantage of those high vantage points.

This was a surprise after Immortals had proven that they are one of the world's strongest teams, actually prevailing over Selfless during last month’s Overwatch Monthly Melee. In the third game on Nepal, Selfless were holding the point, but Immortals managed to bait all of their ultimates at no cost. That proved to be crucial in the next push as Abilities’ Genji activated Nano Blade and racked up three kills, including both Selfless supports.

Selfless has undoubtedly been in better form recently, but anything can happen when these two teams meet.

Will Underdogs Feast?

Group A

  • Team Liquid
  • YIKES!
  • LG Evil
  • Qualifier’s Upper Bracket Winner

When it comes to Group B, Counter Logic Gaming and the the qualifier team have little hope to surprise Immortals and Selfless. But things are much less predictable in Group A: LG Evil has pulled into a stunning display, losing none of their last 10 matches except against Immortals or Selfless. Team Liquid remains talented but unreliable, making them a great underdog bet as a team that can beat anyone and lose to anyone.

Team Liquid
Team Liquid

YIKES! is better-known as the old Denial roster starring xQc, Danteh and led by Dahun. Denial finished third in the April edition of the Overwatch Monthly Melee behind Rogue and Selfless, which indicates that YIKES! has a good chance of making it all the way to the finals. It might even be the team to surprise everyone and take the crown now that Rogue is out of the picture. We can certainly imagine they’re pumped to pay back Selfless from denying them a place in the finals in April.

The May edition of Overwatch Monthly Melee will take place between May 19 and 21. You can watch the whole thing on twitch.tv/curse. Don’t forget to tune in and bet on your favorites in order to give the tournament a well-deserved sendoff.

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.