Overwatch League: Week 24 Reactions
Another weekend of 3-0’s in the Overwatch League. Despite this, there’s still a small amount of interesting stuff to go over in terms of individual team performance. Even with Orisa and Ana currently out of the pool, Genji is still a popular damage pick among most teams. On top of that, we’ve gone back to more pseudo-dive-ish compositions. The number of different compositions we saw from teams was probably the most intriguing aspect of this weekend. It doesn’t feel like a concrete meta composition has really settled in just yet. So, let’s get into it.
Vancouver Titans: Gotta Do Better
The Titans had it pretty rough this weekend. First facing off against Paris and then the Glads the very next day. They had a slightly better game against the Glads than they did against the Eternal though. A few more bright spots here and there. I think the two escort maps they played were probably their two best maps all weekend, however messy they were.
Havana was a bit strange against Paris. After almost full holding on checkpoint A, there was very little downtime between fights. Credit to the Eternal’s aggro play, but it didn’t feel like the Titans had any sort of defensive strategy to actually stop the payload. It felt like they were just throwing bodies onto it haphazardly. Then, against Los Angeles, it was almost the same thing. At least they made up for their horrible defensive by capitalizing on an equally as horrible defense from the Glads.
Still, it’s a little concerning for them to take a loss like this from the Gladiators. Paris is one thing, but most generally consider the Gladiators to be around the same power level as team like Atlanta in the Overwatch League. So, you would’ve like to see them put up a better fight against them and show that they’ve learned a thing or two since taking that bad loss against the Reign in week 21. That escort map was winnable for them. It just fell apart at the very last moment. Taking into account how the Gladiators were crumbling during that map as well, who knows what might have happened if Vancouver managed to steal that map away.
Paris Eternal: Must Be Nice
I honestly can’t imagine a better situation for Paris this week. After coming off of a 7-map win in the summer tournament, Paris practically gets to relax against two of the weaker teams in the Overwatch League comparatively.
As a result, they probably had the two most uninspired matches this weekend in terms of the perceived power level gap. And that’s saying a lot considering just how many 3-0’s happened this weekend. There is little to nothing to say about this team that I haven’t already said previously as far as these matches go. The only interesting thing that I thought was kind of funny is that Paris full held Toronto on Temple of Anubis. This is the second time that’s happened to Toronto on that map in three games. The first one was against the Fusion on their way out of the summer tournament.
I also find it funny that in the tournament, during the knockout rounds, Paris was essentially the only team that didn’t actually get to pick their opponent being among the higher seeds. Yet they were the only higher-seeded team that moved on from the knockouts. How embarrassing is that if you’re the 5th-7th seeds.
It’s even more embarrassing if you’re Dallas. They were the highest-seeded lower-seed team battling against the lowest-seeded higher-seed team. If you’re only considering the seeding, Dallas actually had the best chance out of every other lower-seed team to move on from the knockouts. Instead, they were the only lower-seed team that didn’t. That’s pretty funny considering they were the team that definitely did the most ego-driven trash-talking no thanks to Crimzo during their selection interview. And it’s not like Paris even considered Dallas to be weak competition at the time. Benbest was pretty humble, or at least not very aggressive with the trash talk, in that interview. Plus, again, Paris didn’t actually have a choice. The only team left was Dallas.
I saw that there was some type of reward for being the best trash-talking team during those interviews. So, if that was real and Dallas won, congrats to them. I’m sure it’s no skin off of the Eternal’s back. They won the entire tournament after all. All Dallas probably won was a trash-talking contest. How ironiq if that is the case.
Houston Outlaws: This One Hurts
What a heartbreaker. This game was so incredibly close. Those first two maps could’ve very well gone Dallas’s way. Houston had some pretty clutch last-second plays to take those maps. Map 3 could’ve been the same. It’s pretty crazy how that escort map ended. Once Houston got rolling, Dallas needed a big EMP from Doha. They didn’t get it, but they won by surviving the longer fight.
Rapel’s early transcendence is what confuses me the most though. I think Rapel used trans to potentially save Hydration’s Winston and Meko’s D.Va as it did look like they were about to get caught by Note’s gravitic flux. Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, Hydration and Meko both had their movement abilities off cooldown and just jumped out of the AOE of the flux. This leads me to believe that Rapel panicked and pressed ‘Q’ out of instinct instead of reading the situation first.
After that, Danteh’s EMP stuffs Doha’s EMP. This means that there’s still no need for the trans by that point either. Houston effectively mitigated Dallas’s two biggest ultimates by other means. So, things were still looking really good for the Outlaws. Dallas won the longer fight because Paintbrush got his sound barrier at just the right time. That’s when Houston really could’ve used that trans. It’s just really questionable that Rapel used it when he did. Who knows what might have happened if Rapel had just held his transcendence a little longer.
Then there’s that last map. It was probably the toughest way a team could ever C9 in an Overwatch League game. Houston forced OT, but then no one else could touch again in time. It hurts even more when you realize that Houston was pushing Dallas back towards the objective after killing Note, and probably all six Outlaws players were all converging on the objective at the same time just before OT ran out.
I’m hesitant to even call this a C9 because I think Danteh touched to force OT, but he had to translocate out. At that point, after killing Note, it looked like every Houston player was making a concerted effort to touch, but they just couldn’t make it in time. Houston was well-aware that someone needed to touch. I think they even knew that they could force the fight on the objective because they just took down Note. They just mismanaged the time in which they had to touch. They didn’t just completely forget about the objective.
If Houston was just a step quicker in their execution or Danteh manages to win the 1 v. 1 against Decay on the objective, things might have been different. I guess what I’m saying is that I do not think this was a C9 in the most basic definition of the term. Thus, I don’t think Houston has anything to feel embarrassed about, but it still hurts all the same.
Dallas Fuel: Finally Got One
So, this is apparently Dallas’s first completed reverse sweep in the Overwatch League in franchise history. I’m unsure of how many attempts this team has had at a reverse sweep in the past, but it had to come sooner or later.
Even sweeter that it comes at the expense of their in-state rivals as well. That’s only half the story to me though. What really stood out to me was Onigod, finally. Once he was put in during the second half, I thought he was actually making the significant impact that Dallas wanted from him on Ashe. This was definitely his best game since Dallas added him to the roster, even if he only played two maps. He was finding a lot of opening picks that kept Dallas in those two maps, and this time it wasn’t just the Doha show. I want to see more of this from Onigod if they’re going to keep putting him in with Doha.
The rest of Dallas also had themselves a game as well however sloppy it was. While the win itself can be attributed to several miscalculations from Houston, credit to Dallas for capitalizing on the advantages Houston gave them when they needed to. It’s something Dallas has done more or less throughout the entire season. It’s just a strategy that hasn’t been very reliable against most teams, but it worked out here.
Dallas still has a lot of work to do to integrate Onigod if they’re really serious about it. This match is a good start though.
Hangzhou Spark: Eh
Okay, this match epitomizes how rough it can be for teams trying to adjust to the new meta every week or so in the Overwatch League. The Spark practically ran through Seoul throughout two maps before things start to look a bit more even during map 3. In the end, Seoul crumbles, and Hangzhou walks away with the ‘W’.
As it’s been apparent to me for Hangzhou during the entire season, really, this team is benefitting from some sort of outside factor having to do with either them being really good in the meta or their opponent being awful in it. In this case, it was the latter up until map 3 where Seoul kind of started to put things together. Ultimately, it was all for not.
I’m unsure how much this match says about Hangzhou though. I don’t think they played this game to perfection or anything. That started to really show once Seoul started getting things together on map 3.
This match is also the epitome of how frustrating it is to watch APAC games and also why I think this region is the weaker one of the two. There are only seven teams in this region and you mean to tell me that only three teams in it have a winning record right now? Yet it seems like every team’s power levels have been fluctuating dramatically between each other from week to week save for the Dragons and Guangzhou as of recent. Meanwhile, NA has thirteen teams competing against each other, and seven of those teams alone have winning records right now. As many teams as APAC combined. You’re kidding me, right?
Seoul Dynasty: Ugh…
I don’t even know what to say. It’s amazing that Seoul even has a .500 record in the Overwatch League. In reality, they’d be 4-8 right now, but they have four combined bonus wins from the last two tournaments, giving them that .500 record. Regardless of their record though, it’s really unhealthy for any team to keep dropping matches like this. How do you even pinpoint what the problem is? I can’t even speculate what could be wrong with this team anymore. Is it the meta? The players? The coaching staff? Who knows! All I know is that, like Boston earlier in the season, I’m getting tired of talking about them. This is not a good sign.
Guangzhou Charge: My Faith Validated
A little bit of a shaky start on that first control map. The Charge quickly got things going throughout the rest of the game though. Out of all the teams that chose to play some Zarya this weekend, Cr0ng was definitely among the best. I feel like I’m starting to say that about him every weekend. He is an absolute monster on the off-tank role. There are very few off-tanks making as much of an impact on that role in the Overwatch League like Cr0ng. The rest of his team just plays so well around him too. Just great stuff all around from this squad.
They’re probably the team that has glowed up the most since the season started for them, and it’s very satisfying to watch. They earned every bit of that win against the Dragons in the summer tournament. I was optimistic about this team going all the way back to week 9. I’m happy to see that my faith wasn’t misplaced.
London Spitfire: Still Got Some Kinks
This team can still give really good teams a run for their money at times in the Overwatch League, but they still have a fair number of problems to work on. The shifting meta system this season has not been kind to them overall. Ever since online play started, Glister hasn’t been displaying the same type of firepower he had early on in the season. Fortunately, they have been able to supplement this with players like Schwi, Babel and Although for a solid damage player rotation. It just isn’t the same type of star power potential we were seeing from Glister in the first couple of weeks. Sanguinar and Highly is still a really good backline combo as well.
It was the tank line that looked pretty outclassed during this match. I was getting some Mano vibes from Jmac on Winston in this match. Normally, that would be a compliment, but Mano has been pretty suspect all season, looking a little disconnected from the rest of the team. Maybe it’s the new meta, maybe Jmac just had a bad game, but it’s an issue London should probably sort out sooner rather than later.
Chengdu Hunters: Chengdu’ing It
This game was by far the best match this weekend. It didn’t really have a lot of competition, and it certainly wouldn’t be my first pick if you want to see some extremely high-level Overwatch played from beginning to end, but it was highly entertaining.
The first two maps were absolutely abhorrent for Chengdu. The only bright spots were, of course, each player’s mechanical skill on the heroes they fielded. Once the second half started, the Hunters found the composition that worked for them and things started coming together. That Numbani defense for them, in particular, was so beautiful to watch. It was probably the best defense this team has had on any map this season. The ultimate management. The time management. The teamwork and situational awareness. The individual mechanics. It was all excellent from start to finish.
Jinmu’s Genji was an absolute terror. Lateyoung’s Zarya was one of the best we saw this weekend. Yveltal’s Mercy was nutty. Molly was actually outplaying Jjonak on Zenyatta at times. Leave’s Ashe was bonkers. He was hitting some insane shots, especially towards the end of that game, and the number of dynamite kills he was getting was crazy. And Ameng. My goodness, Ameng. You cannot say enough about this guy on Wrecking Ball.
One thing that really impressed me about this game was how active Chengdu was. It felt like every player’s APM was through the roof with Ameng’s going past the stratosphere. He was everywhere on the Ball, coming at New York from the top, from the side, from behind. And the rest of the team mirrored Ameng’s active nature. Everyone was always doing something even when they weren’t engaged in a team fight. This no doubt contributed to the rough Sombra game Nenne had. I’ve already said it before but it’s worth bringing it up again. Ameng truly is the heart of this Hunters squad. I don’t think they’re really the same without him on that Wrecking Ball. This match only further confirms that to me.
I doubt the Hunters will have another game like this for the rest of the season, but it was fun watching that Chengdu magic. If Chengdu continues to play like this, even if it doesn’t net them anymore wins for the rest of the season, I think I will at least be satisfied in knowing that they’re willing to just stick with what works for them. That’s honestly all I’ve been wanting from them for a while now.
New York Excelsior: You’re In The Chengdu Zone Now
This loss was a combination of a lot of things. A lot of things had to go right for the Hunters and a lot of things had to go wrong for the Excelsior. All of the stars aligned for Chengdu in this match.
New York has had a lot of sloppy games this season. It came back to bite them in the ass this time around. You could literally see New York’s play get worse and worse from map 3 onward, culminating into that map 5. Map 3 was a little back and forth. Map 4 a little less so, and map 5 was where New York was fully ensnared in the Hunters’s trap. That’s really the long and the short of it. The Excelsior made so many sloppy mistakes and head-scratching decisions in this game.
It’s been a while since a team has fallen into the Chengdu zone in the Overwatch League. You’d think New York would be the last team to do so. Hell, teams avoiding the Chengdu zone is probably half the reason why the Hunters have been losing so much this season. All New York had to do was avoid the trap. There are several games, both winning and losing, that exemplify how shaky this season has been for New York. You can add this rather embarrassing loss to the list.
Los Angeles Gladiators: Could Be Cleaner
When was the last time we saw Bischu play for this squad? It’s been a while. It was nice to see him though. Based on how the Glads played in that first map as a unit, I’m unsure if it would’ve made that much of a difference if Space or Bischu was in, especially when you consider map 2.
Los Angeles kind of started to let things get away from them on map 3 though. I dare say that we just saw our first case of reverse Watchpoint: Gibraltar syndrome? I don’t know. That’s the only way I can really explain the massive brain fart this team had on their first defense. It was an absolute comedy of errors.
The Titans were very close to getting the full hold in the final seconds as well. Given the mental problems this team has been having all season, there’s a good chance that match could’ve gone to five maps if Los Angeles gave up that escort map.
Fortunately, they didn’t. Still, this team has to avoid getting into their own heads all the time, because you can bet a better team in the Overwatch League would’ve made that hold.
Washington Justice: Eeyup
Let me just start this by saying I didn’t know if Toronto was going to be able to handle Ttuba’s Genji even without the nano-boost. I guess it didn’t really matter though since Washington had no idea what to do with the dragon blade without the nano-boost, or even the Orisa halts for that matter.
Personally, I’m happy to say that my suspicions about the Justice in week 21 were correct. Nano-blade is OP for them, and they haven’t genuinely improved as a team. Regardless, I still found this match to be an interesting one coming into it. Toronto and Washington are two teams that have received a little zenkai boost due to Genji being meta again. So, I saw this match as a way to determine which team had genuinely gotten better and which didn’t.
The entire match itself was a little rough around the edges, but it was clear that Toronto was the more capable team, being able to make small adjustments here and there. Even so, I’m still pretty disappointed that the Justice couldn’t at least take a map off the Defiant.
Other teams in the Overwatch League have proven this weekend that a non-nano-boosted Genji without Orisa halts can still work. This means that it’s back to the drawing board for Washington if they still want to keep utilizing Genji.
Toronto Defiant: A Marginal Difference
With that being said about Washington, Toronto isn’t exactly out of the frying pan yet either. It’s crazy to me that I think this team had a better game against Paris than they did against Washington. It was a better-looking game at the very least. Still not the result you would’ve liked though.
It looks like Beast put his time on the bench to good use. His Reinhardt looks to be improved, or at least he’s found ways to slip shatters through the tight openings of a double shield composition. Against Washington, he had some big ones. Against Paris, not so much. I think Surefour was the player of the weekend for them. Sure, Agilities still looked fine on the Genji, but without those nano-boosts, it’s harder to create space with the dragon blade against good teams. Surefour’s Ashe was a huge boost in that department against both Washington and Paris.
At this point though, teams are starting to adjust to Genji being back in the meta. So, the little boost that Toronto got during the tournament is now much less effective. Even more so now that there’s no nano-boost available. Despite that, Toronto has gotten better as a team. I can’t deny that. It’s just unfortunate that the improvement is marginal compared to a team like Paris in the Overwatch League.
San Francisco Shock: Stop It
I wonder how much Boston influenced the decision to put Super on Genji. I can almost guarantee that the decision would’ve probably been a million times harder if Boston wasn’t San Francisco’s opponent this weekend.
I’m unsure of what to even say. This match says so much more about Boston than it could ever say about the Shock or Super’s Genji specifically. His Genji was fine. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad either. It was fine. It’s a good sign that Super started looking a lot more comfortable towards the end of the match than he did in the beginning. But obviously, the other five guys on the squad were doing most of the heavy lifting, especially Striker and Smurf.
All I’ll say is that, if the Shock had to face a team like Paris again instead of Boston, there’s a good chance we might not have seen Super on Genji at all in this match. Not that it still wouldn’t have been considered, but come on, it’s Boston for crying out loud.
Boston Uprising: I’m Done…
Well, I guess it’s back to square one with this team… Jesus Christ… Forget all of the chatter about improvement that’s been hovering around this team for the last couple of weeks. At some point, this team has to actually start winning consistently, or else all of that “improvement” means nothing.
Boston’s last win is still against the Gladiators all the way back in week 15. That’s essentially when all this “improvement” talk for this team started. Boston has played a few teams close since then, but they’re still 2-15 on the season in the Overwatch League.
I mean, come on, they haven’t even gotten a win in either of the two tournaments that have happened since then. They’ve faced some pretty easy opponents like Washington and Vancouver as well. Even the Fusion practically gave this team a chance to steal a map off them at least. They earned themselves such an easy win condition on Hanamura against the Valiant this weekend as well. Yet they still lose that map. That is truly El Clásico-levels of bad from this team. They have officially reverted back to that Boston. The Boston that shoots itself in the foot every single time. That has no killer instinct whatsoever. The Boston in which their perceived most-impactful player is basically a meme in the Overwatch League.
The amount of chances that this team has had to start getting some more wins and at least start playing good teams closer is staggering. Yet they’re still 2-15. Dead last in the standings and a whopping 10 maps behind the Justice in 19th place. Think about that for a second. Both teams have played the same amount of games, have gone through drastic roster changes (The Justice admittedly a little more drastic than the Uprising, but that’s not exactly a good thing for Boston.) and Washington only has one more win than them. Yet Washington is still somehow 10 maps ahead of Boston. You cannot make this up.
And to top it all off, they get embarrassed by Super’s Genji… Really…?
Los Angeles Valiant: Self-Defeating
Okay, so, I have a lot of questions for this team. First off, do they not respect Atlanta as a team or something? That Atlanta match was absolutely baffling to me. Especially, when you consider how the Boston match went. Why is Shax riding the bench against Atlanta but not against Boston? The Uprising is clearly the weaker competition out of the two. So, why would you play your weaker hand against the better team? Now, I don’t know what happens in scrimmages every week that convinces Overwatch League teams that the compositions they’re running are the best for them, but it obviously wasn’t the best against Atlanta.
The issue I have with this is that Shax played the very next game against Boston. This leads me to believe that this team had the Genji/Tracer up their sleeve the whole time. They just refused to play it against Atlanta for who knows what reason. I guarantee that the Valiant could’ve played anything against Boston and they still would’ve been walking away from that match with the win. In fact, they practically did play anything they wanted against Boston and they came out with the 3-0.
But against the Reign, they almost strictly stick to Genji/Ashe with McGravy on Sigma? Okay… It’s not that Genji/Ashe can’t work. We’ve seen some teams in both NA and APAC this weekend run Genji/Ashe and succeed with it. Toronto, Florida, and the Hunters ran it and won at least one of their matches this weekend. It’s just that it seemed to be so hard for KSP to get anything done half the time. The Reign were all over him. They were giving his Ashe very little room to work with and KSF wasn’t making up the difference. He started finding a little more success on map 3, but it took some insane shots from him. Even then, it still just wasn’t enough.
What really grinds my gears about what the Valiant did against Atlanta is the fact that Shax has already won the Tracer head-to-head against Edison all the way back in week 13. Now, that was still a five-map series, but the Valiant still won and Shax was taking Edison’s lunch in the Tracer matchup in that game.
Why would you not play Shax when you know he is capable of bopping Edison in that matchup? No offense to KSF, but I’d still rather see Tracer/Ashe than Genji/Ashe from this team. Shax is just that good. Everyone and their grandmothers know this by now. It was pretty obvious this weekend that KSF’s Genji just doesn’t create the same kind of space for KSP’s Ashe that Shax’s Tracer does. At the very least, I would’ve liked to see McGravy on D.Va playing that bodyguard role for KSP like how he did against the Gladiators in week 11.
It just doesn’t make any sense. Honestly, I think that’s been the M.O. for this team all season; do stuff that doesn’t make sense, even when they have the option to do something that does make sense. Sometimes it works out for them and they look really good and we start praising them for their innovation. Other times it doesn’t and they look really bad and we start criticizing them for their questionable decisions.
Honestly, I wouldn’t be so frustrated about this if they had just played Shax at any point during that Atlanta match, even if they still ended up losing. But since they didn’t and then suddenly decided to play him against a much less capable team in Boston, it leaves me asking what could’ve happened if they played him against Atlanta. It feels like such a self-defeating decision on their part.
Atlanta Reign: Could’ve Gotten More
After giving the Valiant a good bopping, the Reign takes one from the Mayhem this weekend. Los Angeles looked really unprepared for Atlanta. As such, Atlanta walked away with the 3-0. I think the Mayhem was a little more prepared for this matchup. Edison had a pretty hard time in that match. BQB was managing him much better than the Valiant did.
The fact that Atlanta either wins in a 3-0 fashion or not at all this season is a pretty interesting stat. It’s basically all or nothing with them. As a fan, to know that this is a legitimate quality about your team can probably be a little nerve-rattling. It means that if your team gives up even one map to their opponent, they’ve essentially lost. On the same token, it’s always nice to see your team win cleanly.
Now, does beating the Valiant in any way change my opinion of Atlanta? Not really. Mostly because I do not believe the Valiant played their strongest hand against Atlanta. Yes, the Mayhem did play the same composition the Valiant did against Atlanta and they made it work. The Mayhem also played that composition better than the Valiant with the main goal being to shut down Edison’s Tracer. I’m pretty sure the Valiant could’ve accomplished the same thing if they had Shax’s Tracer check Edison’s; something he’s already done in the past. Either way, for what it’s worth, taking a ‘W’ off the Valiant is probably the Reign’s most impressive win of the season. It’s just a shame it doesn’t have a lot of competition.
Florida Mayhem: Solid Win
Not much to say about Florida.
They’ve cooled off a bit in recent weeks, but they’re still a pretty solid team right now in the Overwatch League. Overall, they just played a better game than Atlanta. It did not look like they were afraid of the dive from Atlanta at all. Even after the loss on Route 66, Florida just doubled down and full held Atlanta on Eichenwalde. I don’t know how he did it, but BQB was keeping Edison’s Tracer in check on Ashe. That’s some Carpe-level stuff right there. Maybe not as explosive, but just as impactful. He did not look threatened by Edison’s Tracer at all, or by anyone on Atlanta that came after him. Especially on Volskaya. The guy looked practically untouchable on that second point defense even as Gator and Edison made multiple attempts to get at him. Just good stuff from this team all around.
What did you think about this week’s Overwatch League games? Leave your comments below!