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Outerhaven Overwatch League Weekly: Stage One, Week Three

It Just Does Not Stop

I keep thinking that the Overwatch League will settle down.  That the incredible action we’ve been treated to is only for the opening weeks.  That the high level of play will level off.  That the matches will become stagnant.  That I won’t be excited for every match.  I’m happy to say that none of this has happened in the Overwatch League.  If anything, the teams across the league are looking even better in week two than they did opening week.  The high level action just does not stop.  I can’t wait to get into week three.  


Eternal Academy Team Announces Roster

Eternal Academy, the Overwatch Contenders team for Paris Eternal announced their roster earlier today.  Opting for a highlight video with a catchy tune the players who will be representing the city of lights in the tier two scene look really good.  Check out the video and like last week, make sure the sound is on.  


Fusions To Play For Boston Uprising Again

In a tweet from Boston’s President of gaming HuK yesterday it seems that main tank player Fusions will be playing for the Uprising again.  It’s unclear what exactly this means about the players status however.  He had previously been a two-way player for the Uprising, meaning that the number of Overwatch League matches he could participate in were limited unless he was signed to a full contract with a team.  The Uprising team website does now list him on the active roster.  Either we, this is a main tank we can’t wait to see play again.  He wasn’t my player of the week for nothing.    


Table Movement

New top and bottom teams this week.  As the games keep getting played and we march further towards the  end of the first stage, we get a better and better idea of who is the best, who is the worst, and who needs to make changes right away if they want a change at that stage playoff.


1. New York Excelsior (4-0 MD +8)

The rightful kings reclaim their throne.  New York is back on top to the surprise of no one.  Sitting at 4-0 with a nice looking +8 map differential is an outstanding record going into week three.  They’ve had close matches though.  Boston and the Valiant have both made them work for their wins.  It’s worth noting that neither of New York’s rivals for the top spot, Paris and Vancouver, have played as many matches, putting NYXL even further above the group.  NYXL will play Toronto on Friday and Seoul on Sunday night.  


20. Los Angeles Valiant (0-3 MD -3)

What are the Valiant doing down here?  Well, a 0-3 record with -3 map differential goes a long way to explaining it.  It’s hard to say exactly what to make of these losses though.  Are the former division champs really this bad in the new season, or has the schedule been against them?  Their three losses came to NYXL (#1), Toronto (#6), and Hangzhou (#10).  Only time will tell with this team.  Things won’t get any easier for them this week as the Valiant play both the Titans and the Charge later this week.  


Player of the Week

JJANU: Off-Tank, Vancouver Titans

In GOATS you win (and lose) by your tanks.  Now while the Zarya is an essential part of the comp, providing both high damage when charged and the ally bubbles, it’s the tank duo that does the lions share of the damage.  The success or failure of a push often comes down to how well the tanks can combo with each other.  Last week, Vancouver’s tank JJANU showed us all just how it’s done.

With the right combination of ult combos and clutch plays, this tank player made short work of his opponents all week.  From D.Va bomb kills he had no business getting at this level, to turning lost fights into point caps.  It often came down to the plays JJANU made.  It’s something of an intangible, the clutch potential of a player, but when the chips were down this guy came through for the Titans time and time again.  Look at this play on Ilios in the 11th hour to secure the win on Saturday.  

They may not have 4-0’d their opponents, but the wins Vancouver had last week due are in a big way to the plays of this D.Va.  Vancouver will need the strength of this star tank when they play the Los Angeles Valiant later this week.  


VOD of the Week

Shanghai Dragons (1-2) vs. Boston Uprising (1-2)

No that’s not a typo, the Dragons really did get a win last week.  There were several great matches in week two, but none of the other teams ended a 42 game loss streak to get their first franchise win.  In a dominant performance Shanghai defeated Boston 3-1 in a Friday afternoon match.  It wasn’t expected and Boston made them work for it.   Eventually though, the Dragons were able to bring all the skill present on their team to bear. 

Starting off on Ilios Shanghai took the map in a clean 2-0.  Surprising, but it didn’t mean that the Dragons were going to win it all yet.  On map two the teams took to King’s Row and here the superior play of the Dragons began to shine.  They won here 4-3 and it was their defensive chops that claimed them the map here.  Both teams had strong offensive strats, but only the Dragons seemed to have their opponents number.  

After the half Boston must have known what was on the line.  We were treated to a classic of competitive 2-point, a 5-4 Horizon Lunar Colony.  In this match it was clear that Boston was doing everything they could against the Dragons.  Bringing out every trick.  Giving it their all.  It just wasn’t enough though, and with a third map win the Dragons won their first match ever.  

Over 185,000 viewers on twitch watched as Shanghai ground out the win against Boston that has been a long time coming.  For the Dragons, if they can play like this every match, then every team needs to take notice.  


Match of the Week

Paris Eternal (2-0) vs. Atlanta Reign (2-1)

While it’s still a bit early to definitively rank all of the expansion franchises we do know who the top and bottom four of the new teams are.  This week we get a match between two of the best teams to come into the Overwatch League this year and I absolutely cannot wait.  On one side is Paris Eternal. 

Currently undefeated, Paris has been breaking the mold by being a European team that can actually win.  These wins aren’t against chumps either.  They had a great win over the LA Gladiators in week two, and an absolutely dominant performance against last seasons champions London Spitfire in opening week.  There going to have to really use there mastery of GOATS this week when they take on Atlanta.  

For their own part the Atlanta Reign haven’t just come out strong, they’ve shown themselves to be a true competitor.  Despite his history Dafran has proven to be much more than a meme.  His legendary tracking skills have found a home on the required GOATS hero Zarya.  The rest of his team is good too, with supports like Dogman and Kodak also making a big impact in the league.  Its going to be good and I bet it goes to five maps.  


There’s still time for some shakeups in the table before the end of stage one.  As good as NYXL looks, Paris and RunAway Vancouver are right behind them.  The Dragons also have that elusive win, and now will be looking for more.  The pulse bombs fly on Thursday, February 28th, at 4 PM Pacific Time with the Washington Justice taking on the Philadelphia Fusion.  Catch all the Overwatch League matches on twitch.