Feed Them To The Lions: A Group Review Of The 7Lions Opponents


Incheon, Los Angeles & Bangkok, the first three Overwatch World Cup group stages have been and gone. With six teams already locked in to the playoffs at Blizzcon in November, the last remaining group is the European show stopper in Paris this weekend. With the Lions going up against some of the best nations that the European scene has, we'll be taking a look at our opponents who have been thrown into the den and fed to the Lions.

Alongside the LANimals, the Paris group stage has five other nations. France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and Poland. All fighting it out to take one of the last two spots to the knockout stages, from Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd September. The Lions looking to take back what's there's and take another trip across the pond.

France

The host nation and fourth placed team at 2017's Overwatch World Cup, France come in with changes in their tank line from last years tournament, with Gael "Poko" Gouzerch replacing Nicolas "Nicogdh" Moret (Who's selected as a substitute) at Off-Tank and Benjamin "Benbest" Dieulafait replacing Jean-Louis "Knoxx" Boyer. While staples to the national team such as Los Angeles Valiant's Terrance "SoOn" Tarlier and Dallas Fuels Benjamin "UnKoe" Chevasson are no surprise, the brothers Bignet may have something to prove this world cup. Dylan "aKm" Bignet's half season in was unimpressive to say the least and even has his own measurement of time in blades. While Michael "Winz" Bignet 2018 was best known for analyst Josh "Sideshow" Wilkinson's depiction of him being AFK on the payload as Lucio. Despite this, France are still likely to be seen as the team to beat and won't want to let down their home fans.

Germany

Germany come in with whole scale changes compared to last years team, with only DPS players Herman "Nesh" Kobrin and Joshua "cRNKz" Colon returning to the team. With improvements at Off-Tank in Metehan "Mete" Aksut and the inclusion of potentially Germany's first OWL player in support Steven "Kodak" Rosenberger, prove that Germany aren't viewing themselves as the underdog most others are. Lead by British Hurricane GM Ysabel "Noukky" Muller, they will be looking top try and claim a scalp or too from either France or the United Kingdom, while ensuring that the other nations don't try and do the same to them. Expect to see them potentially play a similar role too Denmark from the Bangkok group stage. 

Italy

Whilst Italy may not be the most well known team, they have grown and improved year on year. This year DPS Edoardo "Carnifex" Badolato and Support duo Francesco "Bimbz" De Luca and Federico "Nisa" Portolani return again and are joined along side some of the rising talent in the tier two and three scenes. Lorenzo "Midna" Nulli comes in at main tank they've improved their tank line by selecting ex-Samsung MorningStars Edmondo "DragonEddy" Cerini as the starting Off-Tank and Aris "LUFT" Galli as the teams sub to bolster their defences. Marco “HearThBeat” Soffia comes in as the teams second DPS choice. They might be the underdogs of the entire Paris group, but expect to see Italy pick up a surprise win or two in Paris. 

Netherlands

The Netherlands are small but have some extremely talented and experienced players in their seven man roster. Head Coach Thomas "Morte" Kerbusch know's how to lead teams to success as both a player at Reunited and a former coach at Orgless & Hungry. Ryan "CrusaDe" Van Wegen returns to the international stage as a support in a Lucio meta alongside experienced DPS player Jeffrey "Vizility" De Vires. The only changes to the Netherlands side that finished 0-3 in the Katowice qualifier last year are the inclusion of Main Tank Corn and support Sab. They will either contend and be the surprise package of the whole tournament or falter as they did last year, the Netherlands have no middle ground.

Poland

Poland have one player returning from their 2017 team in DPS players Karol "Dayne" Szczesniak, as Mateusz "Matwoj" Holtyn comes in to Paris as the teams substitute player. After an impressive third place last year, Poland will be looking to push on from that performance and if the introductions of the new bred of Polish players turns out as Poland hope it will, you can likely expect them to be the dark horse of this group. 

With stage being set, the prey is prepared, the Lions are ready to go into LANimal mode and the Paris group stage spectacular is about to begin.   

Written by Arran "Halo" Brown

Roaring Into Battle: 7Lions x London Spitfire

partnership-annouce.jpg

The 7Lions are happy to announce our partnership with Overwatch League team and 2018 champions the London Spitfire.

With the Paris group stage incoming, the London Spitfire will be sponsoring the United Kingdom’s Overwatch World Cup team in our preparations before we go into battle! The support provided to the 7Lions by Spitfire, means we’ll be able to bring our extended committee to Paris to help the Lions fight through the group stage and onto Blizzcon in November. 

We would like to thank the London Spitfire for their support of the team and we look forward to showing the world what we can do, when the tournament for us begins on Friday 21st September!

-Stylosa

Jeff Kaplan Endorsement Received: Support The Lions

Yesterday we saw Dinoflask provide us with the shock announcement, that Jeff Kaplan has officially sent his endorsement to Team U.K. to win the Overwatch World Cup. Jeff like the rest of us in the United Kingdom believes that it’s coming home and to show how proud he is to be following the United Kingdom to glory he feels that you need to go out of your way and support the team, while he views proceedings from his gold observatory box.

So by order of Jeff, it’s time for you all to fall into line and show your support for the United Kingdom as they march forward to glory. The first order you have is to get one of our 7Lions logo T-Shirts, so that you can go out and show your pride in being a Lion, otherwise the new rule of receiving a devastating headshot will come into effect. 

Lionst.jpg

https://teespring.com/7lionsow#pid=389&cid=100019&sid=front

There's three coloured T-Shirts to choose from (Blue, Red & White) which has the 7Lions logo on the front, with a smaller logo on the back near the collar and with the slogan "It's Coming Home" just underneath. So play your part in helping the Lions roaring victory to bring it home. 

Into The Lions Den: Meet The Projectile DPS Players

For one last time before the twelve Lion roster is announced, we're going back to the Lions Den and with the Hitscan DPS, Tank and Support players all having their turn in the spotlight, it's now time to take a look over the last group going through trials right now in the Projectile DPS players. With the roster announcements having to be made by July 5th, the players have only a few days to impress the committee and state their claim to a roster spot. Here are the four players trialling in the Projectile DPS position.


Finley "Kyb" Adisi, British Hurricane

When it comes to talking about the best Projectile DPS players in the European Contenders scene, Kyb is one of the names that always seems to be up there. While he's known for some incredible Genji and Pharah play, Kyb is flexible enough to play Hitscan heroes such as S:76 Sombra or Tracer. He's also able flex into an Off-Tank role with Roadhog, meaning that triple tank compositions are more than viable. Kyb is probably one of the bigger names in the scene who hasn't played in a Overwatch World Cup game and is looking to change that this year.    

Jordan "Jellis" Ellis, Free Agent

Although he's currently looking for a team, Jellis has a lot of experience within the tier three scene having played with KSP on the Koord Narwhals on his way to finishing in the top eight in Open Trials and top six in Overwatch PIT season three. Jellis is able to play both Hanzo and Pharah to a high level, flex to any other DPS hero that may be needed and can also play D.Va and Brigitte, meaning his flexibility is is one of the best out off all of those on trial. Looking to go to his first Overwatch World Cup, Jellis is a dark horse to keep your eyes out for. 

Div "Zeal" Valobobhai, Free Agent

A player who's known for his Genji but can flex onto other DPS heroes, Zeal recently played for That's A Disband in Open Trials before they actually disbanded after failing to qualify. That wasn't a massive reflection on Zeal himself though, who played well throughout the trials. Hoping to use the trials to gain experience, Zeal would allow the team to be flexible and not restricted in compositions.  

Carson "Zerggy" Leung, MnM Gaming

At just 15 years old Zerggy is the youngest Lion trialling for a spot on the roster. However, his ability on Hanzo is one of the best in Europe, he's able to play all DPS heroes baring Widowmaker and his mechanics are insane. Oh yea I almost forgot that he does all this with a Trackball Mouse! Zerggy plays on MnM Gaming alongside JBeans and as a team they just came second at Insomina62. While this is Zerggy's first trial for the United Kingdoms Overwatch World Cup team, it won't be his last and I also expect you'll see him playing in tier two and potentially OWL in the future. 

With almost a month of trials completed, we've shown the spotlight on all seventeen Lions that have been participating for one of the twelve positions on the Overwatch World Cup roster. Make sure that you keep an eye out on the 7Lions Twitter for announcements on the roster and further content in the future. 

Author: Arran "Halo of Thoughts" Brown

Into The Lions Den: Meet The Hitscan DPS Players

With the Supports and Tanks, now having had their spotlight in the Lion’s Den. We return for part three where we will be looking into the current DPS players who are trying to show their dominance in both the Hitscan and Projectile positions. With there being eight Lions fighting for the two starting roles (four at both DPS positions) it’s these position battles that are probably going to be the most open in terms of player skill level and hero pools available to each one. We will be taking a look at the Hitscan players in our first look at the DPS trials.

Matt "Dids" Didehvar, Young and Beautiful

Dids is a player who's been around the tier two scene for a little while but has been given an opportunity to show what he can do at the European Contenders level. Claimed by some to be one of the best Hanzo/Tracer/Widow in the tier two scene, he's going to be able to show this when he plays  for Young and Beautiful during season two. Attempting to play in his first Overwatch World Cup, Dids ability on Hanzo and Widowmaker in the current meta, will allow him to make a serious run into the team.

Jamie "Jbeans" Mitchell, MnM Gaming

Jbeans is the starting Hitscan DPS player for British team MnM gaming and one of the countries best up and coming players. Having recently played at Insomnia62, where they came second overall, Jbeans is starting to make a name for himself and this trial will only help that. While he can play McCree and Tracer, he's most known for his Widowmaker play and has built a reputation as one of the best in the country on her. Jbeans comes into his first trials trying to secure his spot on the 7Lions roster.

Kai “KSP” Collins, Bazooka Puppiez

KSP has a six deep DPS hero pool which includes Hanzo, Junkrat, Tracer and Widowmaker, plus the ability to flex on to Zarya when needed, meaning that KSP's range of heroes is impressive to look at and see in action. He comes in to the trials having just helped Bazooka Puppiez get back into European Contenders having previously played for Open Division Koord Narwhals, showing KSP is definitively a promising talent and has the ability to move his way up. This is KSP's first Overwatch World Cup trial and if he plays like he did during contenders qualification, will be a player to watch out for during these trials and possibly further on.  

Michael "MikeyA" Adams, British Hurricanes

One of the countries most established players, MikeyA is another returning Lion who's looking to retain their spot. Having previously played for Cloud9 EU and Mayhem Academy, MikeyA has now signed with London Spitfire's Academy team in the British Hurricane. Known for his Tracer play in dive meta's, he can also play Hanzo, McCree, Widowmaker and if he's needed to switch to Projectile DPS hero Pharah. MikeyA will want to prove that the dip in form for last seasons North American Contenders was a just due to the ping issues and come back fighting to make his second Overwatch World Cup team. 

These are the four Hitscan DPS players are as wide open as your likely to get when it comes to selection day and it's likely that this position will be one of the hardest for the committee to select when it comes to the crunch. 

Author: Arran "Halo of Thoughts" Brown

Into The Lions Den: Meet The Tank Players

We step back into the Lion’s Den for part two of our series, where we look at the trialling Lions who are getting ready for the Overwatch World Cup. After looking into the Supports in part one, we’ll now take a look at the Main Tank and Off Tank positions in what will likely be the tightest of the position battles going on over the next few weeks. With a mixture of both experience and potential competing for the two spots, it’s going to be interesting to see how this particular group fair.

Main Tanks

Christopher "ChrisTfer" Graham, 6nakes

Looking to retain his starting main tank position, ChrisTfer comes into the trials off the back of a second place finish at Season Three of the PIT's Europe Championships with 6nakes. Having played on the same team as SMEX in Singularity in the past, ChrisTfer has experience playing alongside his fellow tank line members. ChrisTfer struggled during Contenders Season One but that could be due to the organisation problems going on at the time. He's started this season fairly strongly and his ability to play Reinhardt and Winston with his new found confidence has helped 6nakes continue their strong form to get back in to Contenders. It's given him a good shot at retaining his international spot.

Cameron “Fusions” Bosworth, British Hurricane

Fusions is the second of three British Hurricane players competing in the trials and the main tank out of the three who's had the most successful season. While he started the season on Mosaic, Fusions joined Those Guys who went on a tear in winning European Contenders season one the British Hurricane. With his ability to play all three main tanks, be it his favoured and well known Winston, the Reinhardt who was his original hero of choice or Orisa. Fusions's play from the tank position makes him a focal point of any teams strategy and one of the players you need to keep on your radar.

 

Seb "Numlocked" Barton, Los Angeles Valiant

The second British player to be a part of an Overwatch League team with the Los Angeles Valiant. Numlocked was the off-tank in the first Overwatch World Cup and one of the best British players in the scene from the beginning, having played in APEX Season One with NRG. Although he was apart of the stage four champions, it's not been the season that Numlocked would have liked as a wrist injury kept him out of the line up early on and he's been a reserve player for most of this season. He has had a bit amount of playing time this season and showed some of his old form and the Winston and Reinhardt that he's known for. With an experience edge over his fellow trialists, don't be surprised if Numlocked does go into groups as the teams main tank option.

Off-Tanks

Michael "Moursi" Moursi, Bazooka Puppiez

After playing for a few teams in the tier three scene for a while, Moursi comes in to the Team UK trials on the back of being picked up by Bazooka Puppiez as their starting Off-Tank for the EU Contenders Trials. Coming over to Overwatch from Team Fortress 2, Moursi is able to play all three off-tank heroes and started to make his name originally with Roadhog before he switched to main D.Va, where he continued to  progressed through competitive play and made his name from there. Moursi's improving game on game and has the chance to help put the Puppiez back into contenders, where he's consistently played well and I'd expect him to have a good showing here at the trials.

Eoghan "Smex" O'Neill, NRG

Having come in to the trials having finished in second place in the Beat Invitational tournament and First in the PIT Championship with NRG. Smex is trying to secure his place back into the national team for the second straight year. He previously played in Contenders Europe Season 0 alongside ChrisTfer on Singularity, Smex then joined OWL Mid Season Pick Ups while he waited to see if he'd be picked up by a Contenders team. He didn't have to wait too long as NRG came calling and Smex has not looked back since. Able to play all three off-tanks Smex is known for his D.Va play and is able to perfectly time his aggression and Self-Destruct ultimate, he has the ability to put his team on his back when required.

Into The Lions Den: Meet The Support Players

With the Seventeen players confirmed and the trials soon to begin. Now is the ideal time for us to jump into the Lions Den and get to know each player that little bit more. While some players play at the highest level in the Overwatch League every week, others currently aren't at that level just yet. As the first part of a four part series, we'll break down the positional battles that are taking place and provide a little bit of background to those players who are trailing for the United Kingdom, so that you can get to know them a bit further. 

The first position we look at has the most experience within the team on both the international stage and at a LAN level. Four supports have been selected for the trials stage, ranging from Overwatch League, Contenders and Open Division with all four being given an equal opportunity to show what they can do and bring to the team. So with out any more hesitation, here's our four supports.    

Isaac "Boombox" Charles, Flex Support, Philadelphia Fusion

Boombox is probably the most recognisable of the Lions invited to trials, with him being the starting flex support for Overwatch League team, the Philadelphia Fusion. Boombox was a part of the same eUnited team as fellow Lion Kruise, but was picked up for his tactical style of Zenyatta play. While the Fusion started the season off slowly, Boombox has showed that he is not only the best Zenyatta from the west but can hang with the best in the world and one of the reasons that the Fusion had a surprise second place in OWL’s stage two where they were one map from victory. After a successful OWL Campaign, Boombox is looking to come into his second Overwatch world cup with Team UK and has added a very nice Moira that he's developed over the course of the season, alongside a situational Ana and a competent Mercy. Meaning his hero pool allows him to be effective in any composition that he’s required to play.

Scott "Daiya" Young, Flex Support, Lovely Dwaves

Daiya, who may be better known by some under his previous tag of PLiv. Comes into the trials as the least known of the four players but a player that has just started to make a name for himself. Currently a part of Lovely Dwarves who recently won ESL’s Go4OW #101, Daiya is a flex support who plays Ana, Mercy, Moira and Zen with a preference to Mercy and Zen. With a peak of 4.5k in the competitive ladder, Daiya is looking to make the next step in his professional career and an invite to the 7Lions trials is only going to strengthen his claim as one of the better support players in the United Kingdom and provide him with valuable experience playing with and against the likes of Boombox, FunnyAstro and Kruise.

Daniel "FunnyAstro" HathawayMain Support, British Hurricane

FunnyAstro is one of three British Hurricane players within the trial squad and he burst on to the competitive scene as a Lucio main this year. The team originally known as Those Guys, stormed Overwatch Pit Season 2 to quickly become the team to look out for during European Contenders season. In fact FunnyAstro has only lost one game in his professional career in a close 3-2 loss to Angry Titans and his Lucio performances quickly got him a trial with OWL team Los Angeles Valiant. Astro is known as one of the best Lucio’s in Europe and that has allowed the Hurricane win the European Contenders and the Battle of The Atlantic at the LAN finals. FunnyAstro is also able to play Moira and Mercy if required and is definitely one to look out for both the 7Lions trials and for the European Contenders Season Two competition.

Harrison "Kruise" PondMain Support, Toronto Esports

Kruise comes in to this year’s trials as the player with the most international experience, as he attempts to make the team for the third straight year. He started the year with eUnited but after they were unable to acquire an Overwatch League spot he was released into free agency. Having originally been a main support player as Lucio when he came on to the scene, Kruise decided to return to Support from Projectile DPS before the first season of the new Contenders and signed to Orgless & Hungry. Despite getting through both Open Division and Open Trials, Kruise left O&H to join Boston Uprising associated team in Toronto Esports in North American Contenders. Kruise showed once more just how good his Lucio was and also produced an unexpected Mercy that was one of the best in the competition. Unfortunately for Kruise the curse of second place returned after a 1-4 loss to Fusion University in the finals. He has however, set himself up perfectly for another world cup run.

These four supports are battling it out over the next few weeks to claim the two starting support roles within the Overwatch world cup squad. This group of support players have such a range of play styles and flexibility that it is likely that this could be the toughest position battle of the entire trial and could definitely be one to look out for.     

Author: Arran "Halo of Thoughts" Brown

Roaring Into Action: Team UK's Overwatch World Cup Setup

7-lions-Brand.png

Your world cup committee is finally here! After a month that included two rounds of voting for your Community Leader and a round for the teams head coach by the countries top 150SR players. We're happy to finally introduce the team who's leading the 7Lions from the group stage all the way through to the knockout rounds at Blizzcon. Here's where you'll find out more about the UK's three man committee, who the backroom staff are and how we're supporting the team to the best of our ability, how are trials process is going to be conducted and which players are currently within our pool to choose from.  

Why 7Lions?

When it comes to sporting events where the countries of the United Kingdom comes together to compete, it's usually either under a Lions banner or with a Lion mascot. The Committee decided it would be fitting to keep up with this sporting tradition and came up with the 7Lions. The reason it's 7Lions is pretty simple, it's the seven players that have been selected to represent the home countries as one and each player will do so with pride. 

The Committee

This year, each world cup side has a three man leadership team known as the committee. This is formed of a General Manager Stylosa, Head Coach Hayes and Community Leader ChipSa, who will work together to provide the best opportunity for Team UK to progress through the tournament. To introduce the committee properly, here's a short piece of background information behind each member and a statement in regards to what they want from the team going forwards.

General Manager "Stylosa"

"It’s an immense honour to be involved with the UK WC team for the third year in a row! Last year we went undefeated in the Santa Monica qualifiers but came short at Blizzcon. This year our goal is to develop the team, the staff and the entire setup to ensure we perform when it really matters. We have World class players and staff at our disposal and I’m supremely confident the UK team will perform fantastically this year."

This is the third world cup that Stylosa is participating in, having previously been a player in the first year and the Community Leader in the second. Stylosa brings that international experience into his third year and first as a General Manager alongside a great knowledge of the United Kingdom's current Overwatch Scene. After the progress made at last years world cup Stylosa is determined to see the United Kingdom go further in the tournament this year.

Head Coach - Elliott "Hayes" Hayes

"My core values as a coach is for the players to grasp the core concept of Overwatch, Teamwork, the rest will come after. This year we have a better chance than ever to make it all the way, we’re going to be working extremely hard to make everyone proud to be British!"

After a successful campaign as the teams head coach last year, Hayes returns to the role for a second year running. Currently an assistant coach with Overwatch League team the Philadelphia Fusion, Hayes's in-game knowledge is second to none within the country's coaching pool and after getting the team to Blizzcon last year, Hayes wants to prove that this wasn't a fluke and that the team can be serious contenders this year.  

Community Leader - Philip "ChipSa" Graham

"Last year's performance was up and down, we had a great group stage but an underwhelming playoffs stage. I'm positive this time we can maintain our form and bring home the trophy."

As voted by you the United Kingdom's Overwatch community, ChipSa is your community lead for the 2018 world cup. One of the UK's most well known and popular streamers, ChipSa comes in with experience of being both a professional player and a community figure. This allows him to have a good understanding of the scene around him and means that he's the ideal person to be involved with the community on a level only he knows how too. 

Backroom Staff

While the committee are the faces of the 7Lions, they can't do it alone. This means that a five man support team has been created to help cover all the bases from team management/analysis to content creation. Here's a brief introduction into what you can expect from us and the roles that we do. 

Operations Manager - Ben "Whatsgood" Goulding is a professional Overwatch analyst, coach and manager with plenty of experience at the trials and contenders level. Currently with team One.Point, Whatsgood is looking to help push the team on throughout the tournament. 

Senior Analyst - Josh "One Amongst Many" Pemberton is a content creator who's been a part of the scene from the very get go. OAM has experience at the international level having played support in the same world cup team as Stylosa in the first World Cup and assisting in the second. OAM has returned for a third year as team analyst.

Social Manager - Ryan "RyanCentral" Horton comes in to the team to help utilise the social media side of the team and provide you with the most up to date information. Ryan is a part time caster and streamer who also runs OWCentral which provides the latest news around Overwatch updates.

Content Director - "Hammeh" is a YouTube content creator who focuses on Overwatch Lore and in game updates. Want to know the background behind new heroes or reworks? Then Hammeh is your man. Hammeh comes in to provide videos updates around the team and the progress that they make.

Content Editior - Arran "Halo of Thoughts" Brown is an Overwatch blogger/writer who's come in to provide articles around the team as they go through the world cup. Known for his focus on writing articles on the London Spitfire and British Hurricane, Halo oTs as he's also known as plans to give you as much interaction with the team as possible, so that you can feel as one with the team. 

Team Selection and Trials

With the competition at the Overwatch world cup likely to be at it's highest as the best players from across the scene come together to represent their countries, we as a team want to provide the United Kingdom with the best possible chance of winning the tournament. To do this it has been decided that we will be using a closed trial system on an invitation only basis and have selected 16 of the nations best players from across both the Overwatch League and Contenders. 

Through both internal and external scrims these sixteen will then be reduced to the twelve players representing the home countries. There will be seven players who will be the main team expected to play and participate for the United Kingdom and the remaining five will be as reserves and on standby in case they are needed further. It's a great opportunity to represent the United Kingdom at an international tournament and recognition is given to all those attending trials. These 16 players are:

DPS: Dids, Jbeans, KSP & MikeyA

Projectile DPS: Kyb, Jellis. Zeal & Zerggy

Main Tank: ChrisTfer, Fusions & Numlocked

Off Tank: Moursi & Smex

Support: Boombox, FunnyAstro & Kruise

We'll be here with you providing updates, as we go through the selection process to see who is going to represent the United Kingdom to become the 7Lions going into the group stage in France. For all updates in regards to the team, regularly visit the team's website here, the UK's team Discord and the teams Twitter & Instagram page. 

Author: Arran "Halo of Thoughts" Brown