Before teams like the NYXL and the Shock, we had Team EnVyUs.
Yes, the same team that the Dallas Fuel can draw their heritage back to was once a dominant force in the early days of competitive Overwatch. But like every great empire, EnVyUs fell. That match, and the team that toppled them, cemented one of the earliest narratives in competitive Overwatch. This is the story of how the EnVyUs fell to the Sweedish and French iteration of Rogue.
Up until ESL’s Overwatch Atlantic Showdown, Rogue had a number of impressive finishes, performing well in the Overwatch Open qualifiers and taking home 2nd at the Acer Pro Challenge, but always looked up at the giants that Team EnVyUs was, and to be fair, most teams did as well. This was a team that for months won everything. That is not hyperbolic.
Team EnVyuS positioned itself at the top early on in Overwatch’s competitive history with a staggering 57-0 match win streak in the summer of 2016. Really wrap your head around that.
From June 12th, 2016 to August 21, 2016, Team EnVyUs went 139-6 in maps before losing a single match. In map five of the first semifinal, Lijiang Tower would have been their 142nd map victory and their ticket into the Atlantic Showdown’s grand finals to face the winner of REUNITED and Fnatic.
Rogue had other plans. They performed the unthinkable. Something teams like Team Liquid, Cloud9, Northern Gaming Red and Fnatic couldn’t get done; Rogue put EnVyUs away. It took everything in the tank, but they did it. Rogue broke the streak. After two months of sheer dominance, after 57 straight victories, there was finally a question to who was the best Overwatch team in the world.
This feat still stands the test of time, even comparing them to today’s standards. Now, it is a fair argument to say “Wait, hold on a minute. Weren’t these online cups?” and “The competition wasn’t as fierce.” And you would be completely right, which makes this so much more obscene. Overwatch was the wild west in 2016. It wouldn’t make sense to see such dominance in such a chaotic and volatile time. Teams were dropping players left and right and somehow EnVyUs managed to run away with 57 straight wins. If that’s not impressive then I don’t know what is.
And this only compounds on itself when we begin to dissect the match that broke the streak.
To truly date how long ago this match was, this was before Junkrat had two Concussion Mines. Even with that, he was a staple on Rogue’s Temple of Anubis Point A defence. Paired with slower compatriots like Reinhardt and McCree, they attempted to clog the tight corridors with as much damage as possible. Meanwhile, EnVyUs opted for an early iteration of the traditional Dive composition, substituting D.Va out for a Zarya.
And wouldn’t you know it, with 7:20 on the clock, EnVyUs blitz out to a commanding time bank lead, finishing the map in the blink of an eye. This seemed like business as usual. EnVyUs was walking over the competition. Their ticket was all but bought into the grand finals and their names might as well have been written on the traditional obnoxious giant check given to champions. Side note: you ever wonder what airport security thinks when they see that because that thing is not going to fit one of those tiny little bins. Yes, we did just take a trip to daydream land. Am I ashamed of that? No, that’s how on the nose this first attack was.
Two fights. Two caps.
However, Rogue was a resilient team. They mirrored their enemy’s composition on their round of attack and managed to breakthrough. This kept the lights on and their hopes for an upset alive. Returning to their Junkrat composition on Round 2, the team began to hold EnVyUs’ advances into Point A.
Point B was more of the same. And soon enough, to all of our surprise, Rogue--took map one. It was here we all sat up in our chairs and unglued our eyes off of our second monitors. We had a game on our hands.
It’s funny how before the days of starting matches on Control, we see a clear narrative set early on and it’s apparent in this match. The underdogs were not going to let this dynastic team just walk over them. Rogue made EnVyUs work for every team fight win. Even with map two, each fight was back and forth and both teams flexed their hero pools around as much as they saw fit. Kevin "TviQ" Lindström piloting Genji as Jonathan "Reinforce" Larsson took up his signature Reinhardt. Timo "Taimou" Kettunen on his McCree and the late, great, Dennis "INTERNETHULK" Hawelka spearheading EnVyUs’ team fights.
Map two would be a friendly reminder the Team EnVyUs was the best in the world for a reason. They were not going to give up the crown easily. Rogue managed to answer back on map three. EnVyUs on map four. It all came down to Lijiang Tower.
Much like the match in general, map five was back and forth. Again set the stage on where Overwatch, as a game, was at, this was back when Control was the best of five rounds, not the best of three. With that in mind, Rogue narrowly takes the first sub-map, battling Team EnVyUs with scrappy Dive compositions. Upon review, Ronnie "Talespin" DuPree’s performance on Tracer was outstanding, nearly clutching the sub-map with a double Pulse Bomb kill deep into the round.
On Control Center, Team EnVyUs roars back, running away with an early lead. However, this takes us to our first trip to Night Market where Team EnVyUs utterly dominates Rogue 100-0. Now, this is an important fact to remember going forward.
And yes, it will be on the test. Rogue answers back with a strong performance on their second round of Gardens which leaves the map score tied, 2-2. In map five of the closest anyone has taken Team EnVyUs in months, in the final sub-map of the series, on a sub-map they recently just lost on, Rogue finally puts Team EnVyUs’ streak to rest.
The kings were dead. Long live the kings!
Like former coach and esports journalist, Samuel “oPlaiD” Lingle, wrote, “Esports is addicted to superlatives.” Problem is, I’m a friend looking for a fix. This is easily one of the best matches of Overwatch lost to the erosion of time and the spectacle of the Overwatch League. Not only that, but this is the game that gave us one of the immortals calls in Overwatch, that many people might not have even been around for.
So I suggest you “put your damn headsets on” and go relive history.
Images via Blizzard Entertainment and ESL.