Ground Zero have taken home the accolades in the first week of Contenders Australia 2020 after beating NoWeaver in the grand final 3-1, and according to Dale “Signed” Tang, the team is ready for whatever the future throws at them — hero pools and all.
The revitalized Ground Zero roster build on the success of the Order squad in 2019, with Signed and Adam “Adam” Soong heading up a roster brimming with talent. However, the off-season wasn’t all smooth sailing.
After Sam “Quatz” Dennis departed for Warriors, and Max “Unter” Unterwurzacher was shipped off to Europe with British Hurricane, London Spitfire’s academy team, Ground Zero were forced to rebuild days out from the start of the season.
However, with three-time champion main support Lachlan “Bertlog” Main coming out of retirement, and Riley “cuFFa” Brown making his Contenders debut, Signed says Ground Zero have future-proofed their team for 2020.
“cuFFa and Bertlog are great additions to the team,” he said after his team’s win on Monday. “Both have insane mechanics in their respective roles, and it’s coming together well. I think we have the most meta proof roster in the entire region now.”
They showed that off throughout their Week 1 run in Contenders Australia 2020. While they showed off some comfort picks, like Giorgio “Terry” Lahdo’s Ana (previously Tongue) and Adam’s D.Va, the team is getting ready to flex their muscles in future weeks with hero pools.
Ckm and Signed have a huge hero pool between themselves, and with the constantly adapting roster, teams will need to be well equipped with whatever is thrown at them.
“I feel like we have a completely meta-proof lineup,” said Signed. “Ckm can play all the traditional flex DPS heroes and a lot of hitscan, while I can cover almost all hitscan heroes while being able to play some flex too.
“Adam can play every off-tank to an insane level, and so can cuFFa relative to his role in main tank. Terry and Bertlog cover every single support in the game also.
“It’s all up to whether coaches can teach their players on time and create an environment in which the players can understand their role in the new meta and their limits also.”Dale “Signed” Tang
Their finals opponents in NoWeaver were a surprise to most though. The up-and-coming roster took down Sydney Drop Bears 3-0 in the semifinal to book a spot against Ground Zero at the end of Week 1.
While they feature a bunch of talent who has previously been on the cusp of the top echelons of Australian Overwatch, like DPS Kurt “Naahmie” Pedersen and off-tank Thy “Mini” Le, together they’ve shown that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
“I thought NoWeaver was a very ‘scrimbucks’ team, but their performance in officials have shown otherwise,” said Signed. “Despite them having rather volatile results, overall their track record has shown them to be worthy of contending for the top two spot.
“NoWeaver might be our biggest rival currently because they have very legit and consistent players I feel,” he added. “They are running a full local roster which eliminates their ability to have communication issues unlike other teams.
“They have players with insane potential, and with proper coaching they will definitely be a threat.”
We've topped charts as we claim Paris 🥖 against @NoweaverE in overtime!— Ground Zero (@GroundZeroOCE) March 2, 2020
Finishing off the first week of @owpathtopro with a grand final win, earning us 100pt towards the playoffs. GGWP!
[ #GZPZ || #WESTISBEST ] pic.twitter.com/9YBBPuxcHp
Regardless of who their rivals are though, Ground Zero are only aiming for one thing — getting more wins, and making them as flawless as possible.
“Honestly if we just play our own game, we should be looking at another three consecutive dubs next week,” he said. “I trust that our trusty Italian coach Joynt can hook us up with the goods.”
NoWeaver took home 50 points after Week 1, while Mindfreak and Sydney Drop Bears secured their spot in Week 2 and 35 points after coming in 3-4th.
Warriors and Athletico were knocked back down to Trials after a disappointing showing saw the two returning orgs fail to edge into the top four safe zone.
Overwatch Contenders Australia will return for Week 2 on March 8 for Trials, while Contenders will restart on March 15.