Hell, It’s About Time

We’re nearly there!  We’ve had a Contenders season that saw more than one three-pete.  We had the exciting and surprising Overwatch World Cup that saw South Korea win once again.  The Grand Finals feel like a distant memory.  It’s high time for the highest level of competitive Overwatch to to return to the stage.  With new teams, players, characters, and maps the Overwatch League is going to be better than ever.  Here’s a quick rundown for the first week of the new season.  

News

The Community Countdown Continues

Despite not getting a proper preseason (and more mystery heroes than we though) the Community Countdown has continued on.  Tonight saw the expansion teams face off against each other in Capture the Flag games.  Yesterday we got to see Ana Paintball and Ashe 1v1 contests between some of the best players in the league.  Before that we were treated to some scrimmage matches that quickly turned to games of mystery heroes.  It’s not over either.  Tomorrow you can see the Talent Show match starring not just Overwatch League talent but some streamers as well.  All the action will be on the Overwatch League Twitch starting at 6 PM PST.  

Overwatch League Sponsored by Coca-Cola

In a February 8th press release Blizzard announced the brand sponsors for the Overwatch League 2019 season.  While the announcement also included information about the returning sponsors, the big news was that Coca-Cola will be sponsoring the league.  The press release stated that, “Blizzard Entertainment has named Coca-Cola the official global beverage sponsor for the broader Overwatch esports ecosystem, including Overwatch Contenders, Open Division, Tespa (in North America), the Overwatch World Cup, and BlizzCon®.”  Pretty cool.  

 

Discipline

Rules And Code Of Conduct

No new discipline to discuss this week, but now that I’ve put the discipline tracker back on your mind it’s a good time to take a look at the rules.  In a recent news post on the official website the league provided links to summaries for both the official rules and code of conduct.  Give it a look and try to guess which one Dafran will have read to him first. 

 

Player Movement & Trades

Gamsu to the Shanghai Dragons

Announced earlier today via twitter Boston has traded their Tank  player Gamsu to the Shanghai Dragons.  The South Korean native joins the rebuilt and  now predominately Korean roster of the Dragons, team that wants a win this season more than any other. 

Dogman Moves up to the Atlanta Reign

It’s a beautiful thing to see the Path-to Pro system move someone up and this week that someone is support player Dogman.  Dogman has been moved up from the Atlanta Contenders team ATL Academy to the parent Overwatch League Team the Atlanta Reign.  In a meta that needs good Ana and Zenyatta players we can expect to see lots of  Dogman at Atlanta.  Check out the announcement video on twitter.  

 

Player of the Week

Bunny (Los Angeles Valiant)

I gotta hand it to the Valiant’s champion for the Ashe matchup.  His play on the newest Overwatch hero yesterday was miles above that of his opponent.  That’s not why I’m highlighting him though.  He’s my player of the week for this insane play alone.  

 

VOD of the Week

RunAway vs. KongDoo Panthera, Overwatch Contenders Korea Season Two Final

I’ve highlighted this match before but I need to stress it again.  This is the one series you need to see before the start of the league.  The amount of context that you will gain from just casually watching is immense.  To start with the entire RunAway roster that you see in this VOD is signed to the Vancouver Titans.  All of them.  Watching these guys execute together in this match you can see why the new team wanted to maintain that cohesion.  On the other side of the stage KDP nearly won this match.  Only some clutch plays kept it away from them.  No surprise then that several of their players were picked up for the Overwatch league.  Since they were signed to the Shanghai Dragons they will be in the same division as RunAway Vancouver.   There’s even a sort of rematch coming for these players this Saturday at 4:30 PM PST.  Get hype for that contest by watching one of the most exciting series of 2018.  

This VOD is on YouTube in two parts. Part 1 and Part 2

 

Match of the Week

London Spitfire (0-0) vs. Philadelphia Fusion (0-0)

How long ago that stage final in New York City feels.  199 days ago London dismantled Philly to take the mantel of Inaugural Season Champions.  Fitting then that we start off the new season with a rematch between these two teams.  London, having figured out exactly what they want to do and how to do it have whittled their roster down into a sharp point.  Compared to them the Fusion is relatively unchanged, though they did lose some big names in the off-season.  It remains to be seen though if Philadelphia will play more consistently this season.  Two universes exist before us.  In one the Fusion play aggressive and are led into traps by the Spitfire.  They struggle to coordinate while London clicks heads in a repeat of the Grand Final.  But in the other universe the Fusion come out much stronger.  Proper cohesion meets aggressive mechanical skill as they push payloads faster then should be allowed.   Which universe we get is still up in the air, and both are possible.  The Fusion are the team capable of the highest highs in the Overwatch League, they just needed to be more consistent.  The match is the first one of the new season and will start at 4 PM PST on February 14th, 2019.

 

Valentines day can’t come fast enough.   The teams are ready.  The talent is ready.  I’m ready.  The only question you need to ask yourself is, are you ready?  

About The Author

James Verzuh

James 'CorporalV' Verzuh was a real corporal once. Now he plays too much Overwatch and writes about esports.