It's been two months since the London Spitfire's Overwatch academy team - British Hurricane - was first announced.
So what have they done in that time? How have they been performing in Contenders? George Moncaster shares his views.
With some of the dust settling following recent upsets in the Overwatch League, many eyes have turned to its smaller sibling: Overwatch Contenders.
Contenders is the proving ground for aspiring players from all corners of the globe, with a dedicated scene for each continent, each with their own broadcasts, teams, and operations.
Following a similar format to that of the Overwatch World Cup (another tournament organised by Blizzard), Contenders allows both sponsored and amateur teams to play off against one another over three seasons throughout 2018.
After completing a trial before each season, the teams will compete for a substantial prize pool, with the top orgs having a chance to earn up to $30,000. Some of the best players from Contenders also have a chance of being recruited into the higher-tier Overwatch League itself, one example being Gigantti’s Zappis.
Much like the League itself with London Spitfire (who won Stage 1 and finished second in Stage 2), Britain also has a slice of the Contenders pie, with Cloud9's British Hurricane competing in the European region.
An off-shoot and nod to the London Spitfire team, Hurricane incorporates a similar style of branding, and a similar track record, with dominating plays in the early stages of the competition.
So far, Hurricane have won four matches and lost one, with one more to go in week 6 of the Contenders tournament.
The team played incredibly well early on, dominating the PIT championship, with an impressive record that seems to have carried through to Contenders, despite harder competition.
"I'm really confident in our future results, scrim performance has been up and down but mostly positive."
Fusions, British Hurricane
Coming up against some other notorious Contenders teams, such as Gigantti, Hurricane must continue to adapt in the rapidly evolving Contenders scene however, and make use of its key players.
Unlike the London roster, Hurricane features some up and coming British players. Fusions is the teams current tank, and has played consistently throughout the team's short but lively history. He is also joined by FunnyAstro, another British player, filling in one of the team's support roles.
Alongside him are bock1 and CrusaDe, who also pick up the support role for the team. Following up are Kragie and Kyb, who make up the majority of the team's damage in the DPS role. Last, but not least is Hafficool, who fills in the team's flex role, and completes the picture.
Fusions said: "I'm really confident in our future results, scrim performance has been up and down but mostly positive.
"We're learning from our mistakes and I'm positive that we can turn that into victories in our future Contenders games."
The team is also joined by some esports veterans, with ex-Dignitas member Shifty, picking up the role of team coach, and Noukky, filling in as team manager. Having won four of their five Contenders matches so far, its obvious these members are working hard behind the scenes.
It’s clear that the team is forging a name for itself in the developing scene, with a likeable roster and experienced team of coaches and support on board.
While many parallels can be drawn between the academy team and Spitfire, It’s great to see that Hurricane is able to generate both interest and investment independently, and not be overshadowed by the League team.
Such positive news can only mean good things for the team moving forward, as Contenders picks up again in the coming weeks, with coverage available from the dedicated Twitch channel here.