In Overwatch League’s first week with a D.Va ban, we got to see some interesting double shield compositions come out for a variety of teams. Overall, the concept of a ‘meta’ in the Overwatch League is starting to carry less and less value as the hero pools continue to shift. Now, it’s becoming more about adaptation and being able to respond effectively and efficiently to what your opponent is doing. It’s making for some interesting match-ups.
Hangzhou Spark: Clean
Hangzhou walked away with the win against the Hunters this weekend with a very clean performance all around. Kudos to them as it seems to be pretty hard for some teams to maintain consistently clean play against Chengdu. Godsb’s McCree got the job done and the tank line was just looking like a couple of beasts the entire game. There isn’t much else to say here. Hangzhou just simply performed against Chengdu.
Chengdu Hunters: What Is This Turn Around?
The Hunters come out and look like an absolute hot mess against the Spark before taking a 3-1 win against Vancouver? It didn’t even look like the Titans fell into Chengdu’s trap, necessarily. It kind of looked like Chengdu just played better than them, which is pretty weird to say. Ameng looked better on the Orisa as well as Jinmu on the Mei, and when they broke out the ball and the Pharah it took a lot to stop them.
I especially want to bring attention to Chengdu’s last push on Eichenwalde to take that map. It actually looked like they had a plan instead of everyone just rushing in with no real sense of purpose. Stuff like that is definitely going to take this team over the top. There were some rough patches here and there on offense, but their defense looked really good. It was enough to win them 3 out of 4 maps anyway. Beating the Titans is no small feat either. I’m unsure if this is just an anomaly or a real change from the Hunters, but a win like this is pretty big for them.
Vancouver Titans: A Little Rusty, Maybe?
We haven’t seen Vancouver play in the Overwatch League in a while. After winning their first two matches at the beginning of the season, they’ve had a long time to rest. It looks like a fair amount of rust might’ve built up during that time as well. The talent is still there. This is undeniable. The pure talent on this squad is what kept them in a lot of maps against Chengdu and Guangzhou. But something was just off. Maybe they just weren’t ready to make adjustments this weekend after being off for so long. There were times where they looked like they had no idea what to do against these Chinese teams. Some of the calls just weren’t there with the c9 at the end of the Charge game being a big example. At any rate, this weekend was definitely a huge wake-up call for Vancouver.
Guangzhou Charge: Coming Along
Despite the split weekend, I think things are getting better for the charge. They had a pretty clean performance against a rusty Titans team before that drop 3 maps again to the Dragons. Their actual gameplay looks a lot better compared to their last couple weeks though. Happy had some insane highlight reels and Cr0ng had solid performances across a variety of tanks this weekend. The team as a whole also looked to be minimizing those little mistakes here and there as well. Even though it seems like the Dragons just have their number right now, you can’t complain too much about taking a win off of the Titans either.
Shanghai Dragons: Getting Those Reps In
The Dragons still look like the strongest Chinese team, but we’re also already aware that they’re more than capable of beating the Charge. This match for them proves little to nothing as of right now. The Charge gave them some challenges here and there, but they seem to have this team figured out. Diem and Fleta are quite the damage duo though. I suppose this is no surprise. On top of that, the team’s play-calling also looks good. The Charge had some nice plays from time to time as well, but the Dragons didn’t have much trouble matching them. Whether all of this will transfer over to the rest of the Overwatch League still remains to be seen, but they’re at least getting good reps in.
Paris Eternal: Not This Time
I don’t think Paris has much to worry about, even with this loss to Philly. It was another close game with the Fusion bringing it back in the second half again. This time things just went a little different for Paris. At the very least you can ask how Paris seems to keep dropping the next two maps after the half to this team.
Other than that, Paris already got their revenge against Houston and I’m sure they’ll have no trouble with most other teams in their division for the most part. I think Soon had another great game. Nico had some really smart Mei plays, and they didn’t even need Xzi this time. They’ve already proven they can hang with stiff competition like Philly and Atlanta. Philly just had some beautiful counter plays up their sleeve on that fifth map and Paris just couldn’t quite get it done this time. This team is still in a great spot though.
Atlanta Reign: Your Challenge Is Complete
Aside from Paris, Atlanta has had some pretty easy competition. I can only imagine how much they must’ve been waiting for this match. Even though they don’t come away with the win, they’ve certainly proved their mettle. The first two maps weren’t looking incredibly good for them, but they weren’t super awful either. Running the Edison Tracer into the Carpe Torbjorn turrets wasn’t quite like running the Decay Tracer into the KSF Torbjorn turrets. This at least is evidence that KSF was probably having a subpar game against Dallas on the Torbjorn. Edison’s Tracer play is just as top-notch as Decay’s but he was, unfortunately, playing against a better Torb.
Regardless, Atlanta made adjustments and turned it around in the second half. Rightfully so, as they would’ve fallen short of completing this test if they hadn’t. Of course, it comes down to map 5 with the Reign just unable to get it done in the last fight. Still, it was a game that finally showed that this team can actually hang with the big boys. They aren’t just a bunch of schoolyard bullies with no real bite to their bark.
Philadelphia Fusion: I Can’t Even…
I can’t even be mad this time. The Fusion possibly had the two toughest matches this week in terms of their actual competition coming into this weekend and the events that transpired in both games. It’s week 10. (Technically 8) We are pretty much well aware of what these 3 teams are capable of at this point. They’ve all played a moderate amount of games, and they all have winning records.
Against Paris, the score started out a similar, but the actual maps were very different. No one was setting any records this time around, thank Christ. Philly managed to run it back on Hollywood as well. It was a combination of an insanely great wall from Nico and a well-timed boop from FDGod that sealed it for Paris on that map. You could argue that Sado should’ve fortified earlier on the Orisa while attempting to drop down from the high ground. This would’ve denied the FDGod boop and allowed Sado to contest, but he was just a second too late on the activation.
Still, I can’t really be mad at Philly for that. It was just a wonderful play from Paris. The Fusion looked like they came prepared for that map 5 this time though. The mind games were off the charts for Carpe. The counter-pick to Soon’s Tracer with the Torbjorn after forcing him to swap with the Widowmaker was some next-level stuff. They won that last team fight so cleanly too. No drawn out overtime this time.
Against Atlanta, the first 4 maps were flip-flopped when compared to Paris. This is further evidence to me that it really doesn’t matter how Philly goes to map 5. It’ll still always be at least slightly baffling when they do go the distance. The competition and conditions were good for it this time though. In the first map, Atlanta tried to play the punish game with Philly. The Fusion is probably the best team in the league right now at punishing teams for getting aggressive. So that plan quickly fell apart for Atlanta.
In the second half, Atlanta made some much-needed adjustments. On that fifth map, it felt like Carpe practically wanted Babybay to take the Widowmaker mirror. While they didn’t exactly duel on that final stage, Carpe collected a bit more value overall on the Widow in the end that sealed it for them. Was this perhaps Carpe playing another mind game? Maybe, maybe not. Babybay is the type of player that will almost always opt into the damage mirror no matter what. But considering what happened against Paris, I wouldn’t be surprised.
You can’t argue with an 8-1 record. The Fusion has played a lot of games compared to some other teams in the Overwatch League so far. They’ve faced some heavy competition in some of those games. They currently have the best record in the Overwatch League after all of that. That’s good for something.
Boston Uprising: Ehh…
In Boston’s last couple of games against similar-tiered teams in the Overwatch League, they’ve at least been able to take a map off of them. It’s better than nothing I suppose… Look, Boston is probably the team that has had the least amount of improvement since their first game. Practically every other team that has around 5 or so games under their belt has gotten marginally better at the very least. Boston, not so much.
Colourhex looks just as bad on Mei as he’s been all season. Jerry is… Jerry, I suppose. And the rest of that squad is just as unimpressive as ever. Even Myunbong, the player that was looking like one of the more consistent players on this squad wasn’t that great this game either. I mean, they let Danteh’s Tracer beat them. No offense to Danteh, but seriously, someone has to at least contain him. It wasn’t even like Danteh was that impactful, he was just being annoying, which is easy enough to do as Tracer when no one’s checking you. At this rate, there’s a good chance Boston might not even reach double-digit wins by the end of the season.
Toronto Defiant: Yup…
In all fairness, this game could’ve gone either way for both teams. It just probably would’ve been better if the teams went back and forth across the series. Instead, Toronto wins the first two maps pretty handily before dropping the next three.
It was kind of nice to see the Ashe pick come out from Surefour. It was nicer to see him get a little bit of value out of her on map 2. The headshot, coach gun combo kill onto Linkzr was pretty sick. Unfortunately, you could argue it was a factor in their loss on map 3. While they were able to contain Houston on defense on map 3. They just couldn’t do anything on offense. Sure, maybe Danteh’s Tracer threw a monkey wrench in their somewhere, but it’s not like they didn’t stop him on defense. They just looked awful on offense.
Their gameplay just got sloppier as the series went on after the half. I really don’t think Houston did anything different. Toronto just got worse. Not really the ideal way to go down in a 5-map series. Obviously, losing isn’t ideal, but when the loss just looks like you gave up then something’s horribly wrong.
Houston Outlaws: Top Of The Bottom
Houston was on the cusp of being a .500 team after going 0-5 at the start of the season. Their loss to Paris cost them though. Now, while they are 4-6, they could’ve really been 5-5 by this point which would’ve been way better for them, especially with how shaky they’ve been so far.
Right now, they’re still just a top of the bottom team in the Overwatch League. They got their revenge against Boston, I suppose, but the game itself still looked really sloppy. Highly entertaining, but sloppy nonetheless. Boston just had absolutely no idea on how to deal with Danteh’s Tracer. Linkzr looked good. He was trading with Jerry here and there and his Hanzo really started to find a lot of value against Toronto. Regardless of whatever excuse he has for not playing, my point still stands about him playing period because it’s important to get those reps in from game to game. Plus, literally, anything would’ve been better than Blasé on McCree at the beginning of the season. If I was a Houston fan, I still feel like I’d take a bad Linkzr over what they actually got in those first 5 games.
As of now, Houston’s just playing the catch-up game, hoping that they can still get to .500 if their next two games are against competition similar to Boston and Toronto. And there’s no guarantee of that right now.
Washington Justice: Hard To Watch
Washington has really regressed since the season started. I dare say they’re at the point Houston was when the season started. Nothing seems to be going right for this team. The calls look awful, the teamwork seems nonexistent, and the damage players continue to underperform. I mean, did Ellivote just not tell anyone he was walking off the cart against Gamsu on map 2? Where’s the rotation? Ellivote might as well have just taken the 1 v. 1 against Gamsu on the cart because it didn’t feel like the team explicitly needed his help in the fight. And if a tank only has one job in Overwatch, it’s to watch the damn objective…
Corey and Stratus, I mean, where even were they? Did they even log into the server at all? If they weren’t blowing up the game chat at the start of every map, I wouldn’t be surprised if you missed them. This was just rough. Losing to the Fusion is one thing. Philly didn’t even look like they were taking that game seriously, but this is totally different. Dallas is riding some momentum after their last win, sure, but Washington just looked like they beat themselves throughout the entire series. Just an awful showing.
Dallas Fuel: Entertaining
After a hard-fought game to net them their first win of the season last week, Dallas thoroughly flexed on Washington. I mean that in a literal and figurative sense. The compositions Dallas was running were pretty entertaining, to say the least. I think one of my favorite moments, outside of Gamsu casually ferrying the cart to the finish on Numbani, was on the first map. Doha’s Doomfist just randomly dives on Corey’s Widowmaker out of nowhere and just casually scoops up the kill. They were basically right outside of Washington’s spawn area when it happened.
The Fuel just got to do whatever they wanted against the Justice in this game. It was Atlanta Reign-levels of bullying. I just don’t know who should be more ashamed in this situation. The Fuel for committing such heinous acts, or the Justice for letting it happen?
San Francisco Shock: Shock Smash!
Okay, I only have one term in which I can use to describe this game: Caveman game. This game was literally the equivalent of two cavemen smashing their heads against each other in a fight. Neither of them really understands the concept of defense. It’s just relentless offensive aggression all the time even when they’re on defense. The Shock just had slightly better mechanics and target selection when the chaos started to win the fights they needed to win throughout the series. There’s a good chance that if the Glads had won the first fight on their second defense of Eichenwalde, that map ends in a draw. But the Shock just played the aggression game better than the Glads. Also, ANS had a great game too.
Los Angeles Gladiators: Gladiators Smash!
I guess this is to be expected when you have the likes of OGE and Super butting heads at the main tank position. Both the Shock and the Glads facilitate their main tank’s aggressive play pretty well, so it only makes sense. Despite the 0-3 loss, I don’t think the Glads played badly, or even more or less good than the Shock. They just couldn’t win the fights they needed to. You can probably just chock that up to San Francisco’s talent.
Still, you have to ask whether taking the caveman fights against the Shock was the right idea. As important as aggression is among Overwatch League teams, sometimes it’s a better option to punish teams for being too aggressive. This is something teams like Philly and New York have figured out. Knowing how to manage both sides of the coin might be something the Glads will want to ask themselves going forward.
What did you think about this week’s Overwatch League games? Leave your comments below!