Echo has been unleashed in the Overwatch League this week. I have to admit, she didn’t seem as overpowered as I thought she’d be. It might have to do with the Mercy ban this week, as she does seem like the most capable support hero to properly enable Echo. Then again, some of Echo’s strongest theoretical counters were also banned this week… for like the millionth time. (I swear, it feels like Widowmaker and McCree get banned every other week.) Plus, it’s a new hero, so teams are still trying to figure out how to implement her properly. Regardless, there were only maybe two players that looked absolutely OP on Echo this weekend, which I suppose is a good sign for balancing reasons. Anyway, let’s get into it.
Guangzhou Charge: Good Job
The thing about incredibly short games in the Overwatch League is that there’s less to look over and really dig into beyond just saying that one team played well and the other team played like garbage. As I’ve been saying for the past couple of weeks, Guangzhou has been getting better every game. Was I expecting them to completely roll Seoul? Not really. Could they have squeaked out a win? Sure. But to give the Dynasty the absolute business is just another example of how incredibly inconsistent this entire season for almost every team has been. Not to take anything away from the Charge, but you can’t help but at least wonder how much of this win was because the Dynasty looked like a crack team that just got together via a quick play queue.
Seoul Dynasty: What Is Happening?
Seriously. Seoul must’ve had a mean run-in with the Monstars because it looks like someone straight up stole this teams’ talent since their first two games. It’s one thing to lose to the Dragons. Fine. You can even lose to them 0-3, but to lose another 6 maps straight after that to Guangzhou and then Hangzhou is just mind-blowing.
There have been teams this season in the Overwatch League that started off well and has slowly degraded over time like the Washington Justice or the Toronto Defiant. Seoul, right now, has got to have the fastest turnaround from great to third rate so far this season. Are we sure Shanghai wasn’t actually the Monstars in disguise during their match last week? There was very little teamwork. The calls were head-scratching and the resource management was not there. It literally looked like this team forgot how to play Overwatch. It looked like they weren’t able to play at the speed in which this particular “meta” is being played at. Practically no adjustments were being made by this team at all this weekend which doesn’t bode well for the rest of their season. It is baffling.
New York Excelsior: Weird Weekend
The Excelsior probably had the strangest weekend of any team that played. Their match against Shanghai looked really good in the first two maps. Then things just started to slowly fall apart for them. The shot calling started to look off and there was some really strange decision that can only be described as braindead like Mano just straight-up hard feeding in that map 5.
New York gave themselves a good chance to win that series, but they just kept throwing opportunities away. Both teams were clearly still adjusting with how they want to utilize Echo, sure, but I can’t even really blame the Echo play specifically. In that matchup, I think Dding and Whoru were more or less even. It was just a difference in who was getting better value out of their duplicate targets. New York just really started to beat themselves in those last three maps. It was just so unlike them.
Against Chengdu though, I think the pure chaos factor that Echo brings to the table gave the Hunters a bit of a zenkai boost. At times it did look like it was a bit too much for even New York to handle. This is pretty understandable though. It is a new hero after all. New York did manage to get things under control in that last map though. I think the challenge for them in that match up was because the Hunters were empowered by Echo and not necessarily because the Excelsior played badly. Still, an odd weekend for them all around.
Shanghai Dragons: New Hero Woes
After 3-0’ing or 3-1’ing all of their opponents, the Dragons finally got some real competition in New York. This game was certainly a tale of two halves for both teams. Shanghai looked like they were still adjusting to how they wanted to play with the new hero. They looked a little unsure of how to coordinate her with the rest of the other 5 heroes on the field. It more or less enabled New York to play the game they wanted to play against Shanghai.
After the half though, Shanghai started to figure things out with Echo. Lip and Dding began to sync up much better. It was still kind of messy, but the adjustments were made and Shanghai did take that map 5 pretty cleanly. One of the more important qualities for teams in the Overwatch League this season is being able to make adjustments on the fly. Shanghai hasn’t exactly been challenged enough to prove whether they were capable of this. This match is certainly evidence that they can though and that’s a good sign.
Chengdu Hunters: Better Than Last Week
The good news is that Chengdu’s identity is still intact. The bad news is that it’s still not netting them wins. They had a much better showing against New York this week than last week against them and Hangzhou for that matter.
I think Echo really plays to the team’s chaotic strengths, especially in dive compositions. Echo is a hero that can instantly cause a lot of chaos with her duplicate ultimate. The ultimate gives the player instant positioning with whatever hero they choose to clone without actually having to work for it because Echo can fly up, clone an enemy character, and then instantly drop down on top of the other team. The other team is almost forced to go into panic mode at that point which is exactly what the Hunters want.
The sheer chaos Echo causes were enough for Chengdu to take New York to a map 5. Then for some reason, Chengdu started running the Mei/Reaper mirror. That was a strange move from them. Even though fights still got incredibly scrappy and long, the Hunters continued to show little resource management in the long fight which more than likely cost them that map 5. Echo is definitely the best character to have ever been introduced into Overwatch for this team by a mile though. The chances of them frustrating their opponents skyrocket just with this hero alone. I look forward to seeing them utilize Echo more in the future.
Hangzhou Spark: Good Job
Similar to Guangzhou, I don’t really know what to say about the Spark except for “good job.” Not ironically or anything like that either. They genuinely did a good job taking advantage of a confused Seoul team just like the Charge.
I think Guangzhou was a bit cleaner overall, but you can’t really argue with the result at the end of the day. The first map was a little back and forth, but after that, it literally took what felt like a lucky D.Va bomb from Michelle to even score another point in the entire series. Seoul just felt like they were slamming their heads against the wall while the Spark were easily punishing them for it every time.
Dallas Fuel: More Of The Same
So, Dallas gives Washington another 3-0 sweep. It wasn’t as one-sided as the last time these teams played against each other, but it was still kind of one-sided.
The Fuel definitely won this game with some pretty nice defense. Decay had another really nice Tracer game while Doha played it really safe in duplicating tanks with Echo all the time. The decision to not immediately start staggering on Paris point B was a really nice call too. Not much else to really say. Dallas played a really solid game against a slightly better-looking Justice team this time around. That’s all you can really ask for in the Overwatch League.
Washington Justice: Things Have Been Better…
This is certainly a better showing from this team than the last time they faced each other. Still, it’s not the result you’d really like from a team currently struggling right now in the Overwatch League.
I thought Ttuba had a more or less even game with Doha, at least as far as raw Echo mechanics go. It’s mostly how I feel about almost every Echo that played this weekend except for a couple. Most of it just came down to how much value they get out of their ultimate and it felt like Ttuba just wasn’t really finding the same kind of value consistently. Corey had some good plays. On Hollywood, in particular, he did some nice things to keep Washington in the game. He also had some pretty embarrassing moments where he got caught out as well too though. But that just comes with the territory when you’re possibly the only playmaker on this squad currently.
So, a better showing overall, but there are still a lot of the same issues still persisting with this team.
Los Angeles Valiant: Just Add KSP
This match was the biggest example this weekend that Echo isn’t exactly breaking the “meta” as much as we thought she would. At least not yet anyway. The Valiant started out running her with Apply. For the most part in that first half, it seemed like Sharp was getting the better of him, at least in most 1 v. 1 situations. Apply seemed as though he wanted to play with the team more.
This wasn’t working out too well for the Valiant. So, what do they do? Just put KSP in on Ashe, of course. With McCree and Widow banned again for what is like the 4th time already, Ashe is theoretically the hardest counter to Echo. The Valiant did their best to give KSP as much support as he needed. I liked how McGravy was sometimes playing bodyguard for KSP so he couldn’t be dived on as easily. The real winner here is Shax though. He was an absolute thorn in Atlanta’s side throughout the entire series on Tracer.
Even though this weekend was heavily Echo-centric, Echo often sets up Tracer to get those killing blows. Shax was eating with or without an Echo at his side though. I have no doubt that the combination of Shax and KSP made Atlanta swap off Echo to something different. It also made FRD’s Zarya less effective. The Valiant basically won playing their game, which is evident in that pretty clean 2-0 on map 5. Clear adjustments were made from this team, and it netted them a solid win against an Atlanta squad that’s been on a bit of a decline as of late in the Overwatch League.
Atlanta Reign: Officially In .500 Land
I’m going to cut the Reign a bit of slack here. The Valiant needed to change something to turn the match around. That much was clear. Regardless, the response from Atlanta was a little lackluster.
Sharp’s Echo definitely looked better than his Sombra. Granted, Shax was making it really tough for him. His EMPs though were a little ugly on that fourth map. He had at least two EMPs where he only caught the tanks with it. When he caught more than one target, it felt like it was already too late. And let’s not even talk about the zero-man EMP at the end. Edison was going toe to toe with Shax here and there, but it did feel like Shax was winning the duel and squeezing a lot more value out of the Tracer than Edison was. FRD looked a smidge bit uncomfortable playing D.Va as well. It was to the point that he tried to force the Zarya toward the end of map 4 and on map 5 and it just didn’t feel like enough towards the end.
And it really started to fall apart for them on map 5. Masaa looked tired of getting stuck with Shax’s pulse bombs all of the time on Brig and swapped to Lucio which means that Edison can’t check Shax’s as comfortably without those armor packs. The issue is that practically no one was checking Shax all game. Edison could barely contain him at times and that’s how he was able to kill Sharp’s Sombra so much on map 4. It just really looked like the Reign had no idea what to do about Shax. That more than likely cost them this game once they were forced off of Echo by KSP.
Houston Outlaws: Yup…
So, here’s one thing I’ll give Houston credit for. After they saw that the Blasé Echo wasn’t working, they immediately sub him out for Linkzr and put Danteh on Echo. I’m sorry to say this, but every match it looks like Blasé is a Doomfist one-trick more and more. He hasn’t had really great performances on any other hero this whole season. Houston might as well treat him like Chipsa and keep him on the bench until they specifically need an exceptional Doomfist, or just don’t play him at all.
As for the match, I mean, it was an Overwatch League match. There were some small lights in the darkness for this squad. I thought Muma and Meko had some nice halt/rock combos. Linkzr had a pop-off moment or two here and there as he tends to have every game. I can only imagine how many he’d be having if he had just played more this season so far. The Outlaws even managed to draw on map 3. Considering that they currently have the most maps drawn out of any team in the Overwatch League though isn’t exactly a good sign when you take their overall record into account. So, still not looking great for Houston as of now.
San Francisco Shock: You Bunch Of Rascals
So, among all of the players that played Echo this weekend, Rascal was by far one of the best-looking on her. I honestly think only EQO matched him as far as just pure mechanics and squeezing the max amount of value out of the hero. Like, no one else was even close. A big reason why Houston ended up drawing that third map is because Rascal was playing with so much hubris and the Outlaws actually sufficiently punished him a few times.
Striker also impressed me a bit on the Ashe. I’ll be honest in the fact that I’ve had my doubts about Striker here and there this season. I thought at times he looked shaky in pressure situations. While Houston isn’t exactly competition that warrants pressure situations for the Shock, I think he and Rascal are probably the best damage mutation for this squad just for pure synergy reasons. So, while San Francisco may have lost Sinatraa, it doesn’t seem like they’ll be losing a step going forward.
Philadelphia Fusion: You’re STILL Playing With Your Food
So, let’s make one thing abundantly clear: Philly took their foot off of the gas in the second half of this match. Paris did make adjustments by swapping from double shield to dive tanks in the second half, but the Fusion was shutting the dive down almost every time. It always took some kind of hero play from a player on Paris to get anything going for them. EQO had by far one of the best-looking Echos this weekend. Right up there with Rascal. He had Nico beat by lightyears in that match up. Like, it took Fielder’s Ana of all players just to contain him at times because no one else for Paris was. It was an excellent showing from EQO.
Despite dropping map 3 off the back of multiple hero-plays from Paris, that fourth map was especially winnable for Philly, and they kind of just handed it over to Paris. On that final push of checkpoint C, there was a moment where the team looked unsure about trying to secure further chase-down kills after Boombox’s Baptiste killed Nosmite’s Winston. If they don’t get any further chase-downs in that situation then they’re basically giving up the high ground for free. The Fusion doesn’t kill anyone else after dropping down from the high ground and Nosmite comes back and allows Paris to reengage properly. Not to mention the clutch nano boost from Fielder to keep Nosmite alive in EQO’s blizzard afterward. It was a rare moment of indecisiveness for this team that cost them that map.
They win map 5 pretty cleanly though, partly due to the myriad of mistakes that Paris, frankly, were making all game, even in the maps they won. I don’t know how much I agree with Philly just giving up pressure on account of Nico’s Doomfist in position to back-cap in that second round of map 5. Especially when Nosmite’s Reinhardt just went down and Sado’s earth shatter was up. Just shatter the 4 other Paris players, clean them up, and then go deal with Nico’s Doomfist. Paris only had 28% capture at the time. Who cares if Nico back-caps in this situation? This is what I meant about this team playing with their food last week. It’s like this team is more than capable of rolling other teams in the Overwatch League, but then they just don’t and only decide to do it in a map 5.
They’re like a reckless child that keeps experiencing confirmation bias in their questionable decisions even though their parents (The fans in this case) keep telling them ‘No, this is bad,’ but it just keeps working out for them. And I guess if it works you can’t argue with them, but still. Credit where credit is due though. The Fusion gave the Eternal an inch and they took a mile with it. If I see this matchup again though, I swear it’ll be too damn soon.
Paris Eternal: An Inch Earns A Mile
Three games, three map 5s between these teams in the Overwatch League. The only difference is that Paris was in the reverse sweep situation this time. It’s actually pretty crazy how each game between these teams have progressed, specifically the first two maps. It looked rough for Philly in the first match. Then it was pretty even in the second match. Then it looked rough for Paris in the third. It’s even kind of weird that Philly denies the reverse sweep, which is exactly what Paris did in their first matchup.
As for this match specifically though, Paris maybe only looked marginally better since playing Florida? What kept them in the game wasn’t necessarily the team play, but just some great, individual play from Nosmite, Soon, and Fielder. Especially Fielder. The constant mistakes for this team throughout the entire match were rampant. From Soon jumping off of the map on Volskaya to Nico literally hard feeding on Nepal, it was pretty egregious from this team.
Despite it all though, Philly kept a window of hope open for them. Fielder finally started punishing EQO on Volskaya and Route 66. Once Paris found those small openings, they took them and ran all the way to a map 5 with them where Philly finally decided to put their foot down again. It was by far the weirdest way these two teams have gone to a map five this season. That’s saying a lot considering the matchup itself has been incredibly weird all season.
Paris didn’t give up though. And I think that’s the most important takeaway for them in this match. They were determined to take every bit of small breathing room the Fusion gave them and turn it into something salvageable. It’s just those egregious mistakes catching up with them in the end. Now, go play someone else, please? I’m pretty sure Paris fans are as tired of this matchup as Philly fans are…
Florida Mayhem: Okay, Now Play Someone Good
It’s pretty fortunately unfortunate that Florida looks to be making strides forward and they just happen to face Boston twice in a row. Fortunate because who’s going to argue with two free wins in a row. It’s unfortunate because people still aren’t really going to take you super seriously because they’re free wins.
For what it’s worth though, I thought Florida looked fine. It was about an average performance you come to expect from just about any mid-tier team or above to have against Boston. You know, coming in with the mindset that it’s a free win and thus you give the other team a few opportunities to get something done because you aren’t taking them seriously. Pretty standard stuff. And while that may sound like I’m undermining Florida, the fact they can even afford to have a game like that and still win is clearly indicative of improvement from where they started the season in the Overwatch League.
Boston Uprising: Meh
So, as expected, not much has really changed with this squad. Although, what I will say is that Colourhex looked much better on Echo than he has all season on Mei. Like, infinitely better. His Mei was just that bad. Anything but Colourhex on Mei is pretty much an improvement. I also thought Myunb0ng got to shine a little bit on Ana again. I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say that Ana is probably Myunb0ng’s best hero. It’s just unfortunate that he’s been unable to play her very much over the last couple of weeks or so. Jerry was Jerry, I suppose… That’s all I really have to say about Boston.
Toronto Defiant: Standard Toronto
I really don’t know what to say about the Defiant. Some of the things that happened on that first control map sort of made me think that this team had improved in the teamwork department. And you know, maybe they have, but it just wasn’t enough. The next three maps looked like standard Toronto Defiant. Average to below-average defense, horrible offense. With a self-implosion that seems to go off like a ticking time-bomb the longer a map goes on for. All this match really showed me is that first control maps continue to be the most deceiving maps this season in the Overwatch League.
Los Angeles Gladiators: Creeping On Them
Going into this match, I didn’t think the Gladiators would have too much trouble with Toronto, and outside of that first map, they otherwise didn’t. At best, they completely roll Toronto. At worst, we get exactly what actually happened. A solid 3-1 where the Defiant looked unsure about what to do with the Gladiator’s slow-creeping pressure. I got to say, I like the way the Glads played this match overall. Just constantly keeping Toronto reeling once they broke their defense. It wasn’t even super aggro or anything like that either. That may be just because OGE was on Orisa the majority of the time and Orisa has to more slowly move in with her more static shield. Either way, it was good stuff all around from Los Angeles.
What did you think about this week’s Overwatch League games? Leave your comments below!
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