And What A Week It Was

The Overwatch League is back and the first week of the second season is in the books.  Already the season is defying expectations and reaching new heights.  In the first week we saw every hero in the game played in a match, six of the eight new teams claimed their first wins, six matches went to a map five, and our reigning grand champions lost both matches and sit at the bottom of the table.  It’s been crazy, exciting, thrilling, and most importantly, fun.  I’m so glad the Overwatch League is back.  Let’s get into week two.  

 

News

Watch Parties

With this season taking place almost exclusively at the Blizzard Arena in Los Angeles, it’s easy to think it’s not living up to the intention of a geo-located global league.  True regular home matches are still a year away, but many teams are holding watch parties in their home cities, letting local fans meet up and cheer on their teams.  Teams like Dallas and Boston have already held watch parties for the first week.  More are coming too!  If your a local fan of London, The Valiant, or San Francisco then there’s an Overwatch League watch party waiting for you!  

 

Toronto Defiant Academy Team Montreal Rebellion Revealed 

In a twitter post today the branding for the new Overwatch Contenders team the Montreal Rebellion was revealed.  This team will also be the academy team for the Toronto Defiant.  The city of Montreal had been named the as the home for the Defiant’s Contenders team back on Valentines Day, but it wasn’t until a few hours ago that the teams branding was revealed.  The announcement video speaks for itself.  Make sure you turn the sound on.    

 

Table Movement

It’s a little pointless to be discussing table movement with only one week’s worth of matches played.  Doubly so since this season not every team will be playing every week, or even the same amount of matches when they do.  Even so here’s a quick look at the top and bottom.  

 

1. Philadelphia Fusion (2-0 MD +3)

Coming out of the off-season hungry for a win, the Fusion have been looking perhaps the best they ever have. Dismantling London 3-1 and handing Atlanta their first defeat 3-2.  This is a team that may have figured out their consistency problems from the first season.  Their convincing wins this past week seem to indicate this, but with only two matches it remains to seen if they can keep this seating, or if competitors NYXL and Hangzhou will dethrone them.  They will face Florida and Dallas this week.  

 

20. Shanghai Dragons (0-2, MD -6)

Now with the past week in the books the Dragons are 0-42, only adding to their record as the professional sports team with the longest losing streak in history.  The first week schedule wasn’t wasn’t too kind to the Dragons though.  They had to face a much tougher than expected Hangzhou, who won both of their games last week, as well as RunAway Vancouver, a team which is already a well-oiled machine.  The road ahead for them won’t be any easier with a game against Boston this week, and one against the Fuel the week after.  

 

Player of the Week

Fusions: Main Tank, Boston Uprising

This main tank from Boston was called up to the team only recently.  On February 12th, the same day that Tank player Gamsu was traded from the Uprising to Shanghai.  A longtime figure in the tier two scene in Europe where he eventually found his way to Uprising Academy.  Overwatch fans will best recognize him as a member of the UK World Cup team last November.

Last week this player was an integral part of the Boston’s success.  More than just the typical Reinhardt player, Fusions multiple times in the two matches made quick, effective plays that won team fights for the Uprising.  In GOATS these are the decisions and plays that decide who gets the W.  Fusions was on fire all week and it showed in a great performance against NYXL and a win against Houston.    

Fusions has wasted no time making big plays in his first two matches in the Overwatch League.  Keep an eye on him in this week’s match against Shanghai. 

 

VOD of the Week

There were numerous great games this past week.  In a perfect world where we all had the time for it, I’d say go back and watch them all.  As it stands, I want to highlight the best contest between two of the best teams in the league.  One new, one old, but both showing that they are a force to be reckoned with in this match.

The Spark come into the Overwatch league with not only the best color scheme, but some real good talent.  Guxue and Ria on tank were both hyped coming into the league and in a lot of ways they lived up to it.  Ria came up big with several D.va bombs several times, getting far more kills that way than he had any business getting.  He combined this with the smart Reinhardt play from Guxue to keep the Valiant reeling the whole match.  

The Valiant on their side were no slouches themselves.  Stars from last season such as Kariv and Agilities return to the team and show themselves to be just as good as they were last year.  Their teammate Izayaki, who took to the stage for his first time in this match, made a big impact on the team in the Zenyatta role.  Zen GOATS being one of the strongest versions of that comp, Izayaki proved himself an off-healer comparable to JJoNak himself.  

It’s tempting, I think, to assume that the new teams and players to the league can’t be as good as the returning teams.  They’re hardly old, but seeing the players and teams from last year as an ‘old guard’ is easy to do.  This is even easier when the team in question is newly created for the league.  The Spark made a big splash last week and with this win over Los Angeles they prove that mentality wrong.  

 

Match of the Week

Vancouver Titans (1-0) vs.

RunAway Vancouver passed their first test last week.  They won their first match and in doing so they defeated their old enemies from KongDoo Panthera at their new home with the Shanghai Dragons.  Now the real challenges begin.  In addition to having two matches to prepare for this week, both against teams that have won matches in the Overwatch League, they will face one of the strongest teams in the Overwatch league.  The San Francisco Shock.  

The Shock may have already spoiled their chances for a perfect season with a loss to the Gladiators but let’s consider the two matches they played.  Their loss on Sunday was as close as the 2-3 scoreline suggests.  The final map on Busan even went the distance with all three rounds played.  In their other match they thoroughly, absolutely, and completely dismantled the Dallas Fuel.  These results make them the first truly dangerous opponent for RunAway the Titans this season.  The results of this match, right down to the map wins, will be very telling for both teams.  

 

As excited I was for last week, I’m even more hype for this one.  Hopefully the Outlaws won’t break my heart as bad this week, and all my fantasy players seem some time on stage.  The action resumes on Thursday, February 21st, at 4 PM Pacific Time with the Washington Justice taking on the London Spitfire.  Catch all the matches on twitch.  

 

About The Author

James Verzuh

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