The other night I sat back and watched Second Wind destroy Wave Check in Overwatch Contenders North America West and after the third match on Numbani, both ZP and Avast both asked a very interesting question: Why isn’t Second Wind an Academy team?
This is actually a pretty valid question when you look at the organization itself. Despite being a homegrown organization, its management and staff have been amazing and has proved that just because you don’t have major financial backing doesn’t mean that you can’t succeed.
Since its formation in November 2017, the org has received $45,000 in total earnings and has helped develop some of the most recognized talents in both Contenders and the Overwatch League. According to Liquipedia, 36 players have joined and left the team (not counting current roster members) with 11 still in Contenders for different teams, and 4 as members of the Overwatch League. These four players being im37, sharyk, frd, and Gods.
That still doesn’t mean they haven’t had their share of hardship. Many are aware of the whole Ellie fiasco, but when they first qualified for Contenders during Season 2 of 2018, they finished tied for last place winning only three maps. However, they started to prove themselves afterwards by finishing in third at Season 5 of the BEAT Invitational losing in the Losers’ Finals against eventual winners Toronto Esports. Shortly after this finished, they placed first in Contenders Season 3 Trials and won one of Jayne’s Tournament of Future Champions. Since then, they have done better than what might appear on paper. Season 3 of Contenders 2018 saw the team finished the regular season in second place in Group B, but lost in the semi-finals to eventual winners Fusion University and most recently finished Season 1 of Contenders North America East in third place, but lost in the first round of the playoffs to Montreal Rebellion.
At the time of publishing, there are six organizations who don’t have an active academy team with all of them ironically being in North America. Those teams are the Houston Outlaws, Washington Justice, Vancouver Titans, Los Angeles Valiant, Florida Mayhem, and San Francisco Shock. With so many teams still never setting up an academy team and in the case of the Houston Outlaws being sold off to avoid a conflict of interest, it would be an amazing way to enter the Academy scene with a huge splash by acquiring Second Wind and giving them a stable financial backing to do even more.
With only two matches left in this current season and in a tie for 3rd place with Montreal Rebellion, it’s still very possible they could be returning to the playoffs once again. If you know anything about Second Wind, you know they will be looking to prove they belong on the pedestal of respected Overwatch teams in the world.