Players you need to know at the 2023 Overwatch League Pro-Am

Players you need to know at the 2023 Overwatch League Pro-Am
Images via Blizzard Entertainment

Written by 

Joseph "Volamel" Franco


21st Mar 2023 20:15

Seven might be the luckiest number and it's that luck that a handful of Overwatch Contenders teams will be hoping to tap into for the inaugural 2023 Overwatch League Pro-Am. Five representatives from North America and two from EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa) look to not only prove the Overwatch League is mortal but to gain notoriety. This is what you need to know going into the Overwatch League Pro-Am?

Editor's Note: These interviews were edited for brevity and clarity. 

GGRecon polled a majority of the Overwatch Contenders commentators shortly after the finale of the Pro-Am qualifiers. Each gave a vote of confidence towards both players and teams alike, however, one name consistently came up.

If there is one thing you take away from this, it is that Elliot "TR33" Chu is the truth.

Not only did nearly everything single Overwatch Contenders expert praise the Maryville Esports and Saints ace, but they've been doing so for ages.

"Tr33 is a household name for North American Contenders fans," Cameron "Door" Fralick said. "This young player has a mechanical gift that's already proven itself more than deadly enough to dominate Overwatch Contenders."

With applause like that, you should believe the hype.


"TR33's impact on Tier 2 last year was nothing short of incredible," Eren "Kenobi" Erkey said. 

"The term 'young prodigy' gets thrown around a lot but it certainly fits when talking about the Saints' Superstar. TR33's playstyle lacks no confidence and is backed up by some truly fantastic mechanics."

"Just like Saints coach Zachary "iced" Hughes said after their winning interview." 

"'When you got Jordan, you gotta let him play.'"

Vicki "Gottmoxi" Johnson continued the Tr33 celebration. 

"Since coming onto the scene in 2022 he’s felt near unstoppable on the DPS role, to the point the phrase ‘Tr33 factor’ has been coined for his clutches," she said.

"I’m sure myself and many team managers and coaches will be watching to see if his breakneck pace in climbing into the scene extends into the next level of Path to Pro."


Abdulelah "LBBD7" Alfaifi from EMEA's first seed, Twisted Minds, was a popular name amongst the majority of our panel. 

"LBBD is the best Pharah in Europe at the moment and is probably just as cracked as Yi "JinMu" Hu was since this guy one-tricks Pharah and Echo," Dusttin said.

"Twisted Minds is something that Overwatch League hasn't seen in quite a while in a team that leverages LBBD a Pharah and Echo specialist to get much of their value," Door explained.

Stablemates from Twisted Minds, Ibrahem "Quartz" Alali and Ahmad "Youbi" Alyoubi also took home a litany of applause from the Overwatch Contenders experts.

"In a time where we are seeing a rise in Saudi Arabian players coming from the Tier 2 scene, Quartz stands near the top of the list as being one of the most mechanically gifted hitscan players in all of Tier 2 EMEA," Kenobi claimed. 

"Quartz and Youbi have had a renaissance in recent seasons and are definitely slept on," Door said.

Gottmoxi cited that Quartz and the entire Twisted Minds DPS bullpen was pivotal in causing teams to "overthink counters" thus giving them the upper hand. 

"Youbi is a fantastic tracer player arguably the best in Europe as well," Dusttin said.


Outside of DPS players, tank ace from Team Peps, Timber "kraandop" Rensen, easily took home some of the biggest praise. 

"Kraandop is an insane tank easily the best Reinhardt," Dusttin said.

"Those who have been around Tier 2 know about kraandop already and his ascension to being one of the best tanks in EMEA," Kenobi explained. "Kraandop's stalwart play on Reinhardt almost feels like the embodiment of what EMEA tank play is."

Door gave quite high praise to Saints support player Christopher "Cjay" Smith.

"[He] is easily one of if not the best players in Overwatch Contenders right now. All the casters, myself included, thought he was the single most sure pickup for the Overwatch League but he and his duo chose to go the collegiate route instead and are now playing for Saints."

Kenobi on the other hand opted to tap Landon "Vision" Monteferrante from Redbirds Esports. 

"Fate of the universe on the line, I need someone to hit a shot, I want Vision," he said. 

"Vision is one of the most cool, calm, collected and clutch players Tier 2 has to offer. Never has Vision seemed frazzled or phased in a matchup and can win with not only mechanical skill but smarts."

As for which teams fans should be on the lookout for, nearly every team got a vote, however, one upstart team stuck out.

"Trick Room has created a huge meta question within Overwatch Contenders with their introduction of the Bastion Rush composition which they pioneered," Door claimed. 

"Not only did they bring the explosive composition to the party, but it's clear that they're the best at it right now. They could cause some real havoc if other teams aren't ready for what they've got in store.

Richard "RichRad" Pontillo also put Trick Room as a whole into the spotlight stating that "their whole development for this tournament in team synergy was really on point and being in the grand finals against Saints was compelling!"

GGRecon also gauged the confidence of the experts when it came to the qualified teams competing against Overwatch League talent. 

"I've talked to many Overwatch Contenders players about how they feel about the opportunity and there have been a few different mindsets," Door explained. 

"Some players feel like they understand they aren't likely to win games, but are grateful for the opportunity to learn against the best."

"Some players see it as an opportunity to prove that they and their team can hang with the best, and some are just excited to play Overwatch."

"Teams that comprise of previously Overwatch League players or scouted players due to their scholastic recognition will have a higher likelihood of success against the Overwatch League teams," RichRad said. 

"Some of the weaker Overwatch League teams should lose to some of the Overwatch Contenders teams, which will of course be a bad look," Dusttin chuckled. 

Kenobi was confident that this crop of talent would make some noise against Overwatch League talent. "I wouldn't be shocked if a team makes it past the group stages into the Quarter Finals or even further into the Semi-Finals," he explained.

Overall, the panel of Overwatch Contenders experts were measured in their predictions for the back half of the Pro-Am. Many of them admitted that, while they were excited to see these rising stars battle the best, it was an "uphill battle" and that "tier one [talent] is tier one for a reason."

The 2023 Overwatch League Pro-Am will kick off on March 23rd.

Joseph "Volamel" Franco
About the author
Joseph "Volamel" Franco
Joseph “Volamel” Franco is a Freelance Journalist at GGRecon. Starting with the Major League Gaming events 2006, he started out primarily following Starcraft 2, Halo 3, and Super Smash Bros. Melee, before transitioning from viewer to journalist. Volamel has covered Overwatch for four years and has ventured into VALORANT as the game continues to grow. His work can also be found on sites like Esports Heaven, HTC Esports, and VP Esports.
OWL Champion Rupal interview: 'Pros are very frustrated by Overwatch’s direction at the moment'
Overwatch pro play will be unrecognisable in a year, here's why
Hadi on Overwatch in 2024: "I actually think it'll flourish"
Toronto Defiant CEO on OWL's foundational issues and Overwatch esports' future
Overwatch esports' newest breakout star players