Overwatch League 2021: Week 2 Reactions
Week 2 is in the books for the Overwatch League 2021 season. Despite all of the 3-0’s and 3-1’s, I feel like this week was still pretty entertaining. Maybe not for the same reasons as last week, but still. Regardless, we’ve now gotten to see every team play at least twice and things are developing quite nicely so far.
With the May Melee tournament just over the horizon, teams are trying to rake in as many wins as they can to give them the best seeding possible. So, let’s jump into what happened in Overwatch League in the last round of matches.
Paris Eternal: Breadbowl .500
Honestly, I don’t really know what to think about the Eternal’s weekend. They probably had the most entertaining match in terms of silliness. It wasn’t exactly El Clásico. You can never really recreate that, but that Hanamura map came close.
They also gave Houston a good 4-mapper in Overwatch League action. All I know is that I appreciate the turnaround. I mean, if you want to call it a turnaround? They won the sloppy game and then lost the less sloppy game. Both of those games being 4-mappers, but felt completely different from each other.
That, to me, says this team is capable of playing up and down to other teams’ levels. That’s what I kind of get from them after these first two games.
There are probably a few other macro things you could point to as well this early on, but that’s what I’m going to roll with for now. Either way, depending on how every other team ends up developing this season, Paris might not be a team you want to be caught sleeping on.
Vancouver Titans: Eh…
I don’t have much to say about the Titans that I didn’t already say last week. It just feels like a lot has to go well for them, currently, to be able to steal those maps off their opposition. I just don’t think that’s really going to be sustainable over a season. Really, I just want to talk about two things: that offense they had on Blizzard World and Temple of Anubis against the Justice.
The Blizzard World offense was painful to watch, to be honest. The indecision on display was maddening. I swear, only, like, two team fights happened in those 4 minutes and they both resulted in full wipes. That offense was so incredibly slow it took Assassin about 2 minutes to get one EMP. That slow EMP charge favors Assassin, though, because the Titans spent around 3 minutes of that offense just mulling around waiting to engage. What is the idea here? Linkzr and Dalton aren’t finding opening picks and Shredlock’s Winston is getting nothing done. If you’re going to dive with the Winston, you don’t necessarily have to be ‘fast’, you just have to be decisive, and the entire Titans squad looked like they had no idea what was happening during that offense.
The issue with Temple of Anubis wasn’t exactly the gameplay, but how much faith Uber and Mr X actually had in the Titans to win that map, which was very little. It’s largely representative of how much faith the average person has in the Titans as a whole. Vancouver earned themselves a very easy win condition. Washington only obtained, like, 5% extra on their second attack of Point A. If this was largely any other team right now, the casters probably wouldn’t have made such a big deal out of it. But since it was the Titans, they did. Even after winning that map, Uber and Mr X were still unsure of the Titans’ chances. It’s just kind of sad…
Los Angeles Gladiators: Salvage Complete
So, the Glads end their May Melee qualifier run at 2-2. Maybe not quite the record you’d like to see if you’re a LA fan, but the two games this weekend is definitely something you do. A clean sweep of both London and Boston. The sweeps are pretty important as they could be the difference-makers that will determine whether or not the Glads make it into the knockouts.
They still have teams like Paris, and more notably, the Shock under them, and there’s a good chance that at least one of them will knock them out of the top 6, as well as any other team this early on, save for Vancouver.
Next week’s matches could go a variety of ways. So, who knows what will happen. Still, the Glads are probably sandwiched into the most nerve-racking spot right now and it might not hurt to cross your fingers and hope that things play out most favorably next week.
London Spitfire: The Little Moments
London had a lot of little, special moments this week. It’s just kind of rough they were up against the best-looking western team, currently, in Houston right now, and a team we kind of expect to be up there soon as well in the Glads.
The individual plays were there, like Hybrid’s McCree head-shot killing Happy’s Widow from spawn out of nowhere on Gibraltar. Or Shax almost clutching out that offense on Volskaya against the Glads. The coordinated plays were there, like their point A defense on Hanamura against Houston. But rarely did those two things overlap with each other consistently throughout their games this week.
I’m also not really a fan of their ultimate usage so far either. It feels like they often either overcommit or under-commit with them. London feels like they can be a good team if these things come together more often. We’ll have to see how things develop though.
Chengdu Hunters: This Is A DPS Difference Right Here
Chengdu goes 1-1 this week for a 3-1 overall. Even with the loss to Philly, Chengdu is in a great spot going into the May Melee. There’s honestly little to complain about. The Fusion game was pretty intense and the New York game was another clean 3-0. Though, the Fusion game did kind of make Ga9a look like a Ball one-trick, which could be an issue down the line.
That third map against the Excelsior, in particular, represents everything scary about the Hunters right now. Jinmu is getting a lot of well-deserved credit for his Pharah, but Leave and Jimmy have been putting in work too. Leave’s played every map for the Hunters so far and he’s looked great on just about every hero he’s played.
Leave is who makes this Chengdu squad’s DPS lineup so flexible between him Jinmu and Jimmy and he was giving Ivy and the rest of New York absolute hell on that Echo. If they can learn a thing or two from the Philly game, Chengdu is only going to get stronger.
New York Excelsior: A Few Kinks
New York also came out of this weekend 1-1. The Chengdu match was kind of rough, luckily, the Hangzhou match was much better. There were still some rather odd happenings here and there, but it was good enough for the win. I think this new roster has a fair number of kinks to work out as things progress. Ivy and Flora, in particular, were a little streaky this weekend.
Jjonak also didn’t look very comfortable on Baptiste. I still think the Excelsior will be good this season, but whether or not they’ll be better than last season, which was still good just weird for them, is something I’ll definitely be keeping my eye on.
Philadelphia Fusion: Watching Carpe Just Hits Different
First, congratulations to Carpe on 10K kills. May the next 10K be just as entertaining. Listen, there are a lot of great DPS players that do a lot of great things in this league.
But man, watching Carpe go to work just hits different. This isn’t some new revelation or anything either. Since day one of Overwatch League 2018, when I think of primetime DPS play, I think of Carpe. It, honestly, kind of saddens me that he’ll have fewer eyes on him this year due to competing in the east now. This guy has always been an absolute freak and that Chengdu match is just the latest example.
The meme is ‘Nano-Carpe’, but I cannot stress enough how hard some of the things Carpe did are while he was nano’d. The play on King’s Row where he rolls out of cover, instantly blows Jinmu out of the sky, and then erases Nisha shortly after WITH Elsa’s D.Va absolutely SMOTHERING him, desperately trying to protect his Mercy, was ACTUALLY God-like. I know we use that phrase a lot in gaming, but there really is no other way to describe it. I mean, how do you stop that?
There was nothing else Elsa could do. He is LITERALLY clogging up Carpe’s entire screen with that fat D.Va mech and yet this guy still manages to find the flash-bang stun AND the thread-the-needle headshot kill onto the Mercy. Any other DPS player in the league would be lucky to get the flash-bang stun, let alone the headshot kill.
This isn’t to sell the rest of the Fusion players short, though, they’re all playing really well. But Carpe, man. Watching this guy just hits for something different.
Hangzhou Spark: Feels Bad, Man
An unfavorable 0-2 start for the Spark for the Overwatch League 2021 season. Having essentially the same starting lineup as last season, save for a new off tank and support, you probably would’ve liked to get off to a better start.
Still, they did manage to take two maps off of their opponents, and that new support did have a pretty nice weekend, all things considered. Takoyaki subbing in for Guxue though… Probably not the performance they were looking for out of him.
Now, when it comes to subs, we don’t always have a clear idea of what’s going on behind the scenes. When subs don’t always look like they have a clear motive, which happens pretty often in this league, there could still be a few factors that we don’t tend to consider as spectators.
The most obvious one is the team just wanting to give that player some PT. But there are also factors like communication bonuses or just maybe that particular player doing very well on these particular maps during scrimmages.
In Takoyaki’s case, it had to have been either PT or scrims because it did not look like he was communicating well with the rest of the team. There were a few times in that Fusion game where it looked like he was just straight up throwing the map.
The pressure to do well on his debut must have been getting to him or something because it just felt like he was trying to do way too much at times. You really hate to see it. Honest screw-ups like this can really stifle a player’s career before it even starts, and we might not ever see them reach their real potential because of it.
Hopefully, Takoyaki, as well as other players on Hangzhou’s bench, get the chance to do well this season.
Houston Outlaws: What Is This Overwatch League Team?
Okay, currently, Crimzo is probably leading the pack in the ‘Most Improved Player’ award so far in these last two weeks. Crimzo was one of the biggest trash talkers on that Dallas squad last season, but now his play is actually backing the trash talk up.
Happy must be having the time of his life on this squad right now, even when he’s playing Symmetra, which makes me happy because Sym is one of my favorite characters and it’s nice to see her get played on maps that’s not Lijiang Tower or Hanamura only.
KSF vs. Shax was a nice little clash of former teammates. You could argue that Shax kind of popped up and stole KSF’s starting role on the Valiant last year, and this was like KSF’s response. It makes me happy for KSF, but a little sad for Shax considering that I wish London made that map a little closer so we could see them battle more.
And will somebody please check Jjanggu? He is getting way too much work done on that Reinhardt and it’s absolutely disgusting to watch.
Boston Uprising: This Worries Me
Boston… They ran into an angry Gladiators squad and an okay-looking Dallas squad. There’s only one thing I’ll comment on over anything else right now: The body language from the players does not look good at all. They look like a confused and defeated bunch already. Nobody on that Boston squad looked remotely happy in any of the 6 maps they played this weekend. That is REALLY worrisome and it has me concerned with the team culture.
Yeah, losing doesn’t feel good, but it doesn’t feel like your standard sadness from losing. They looked depressed. They looked tired of playing already. When they lost that Havana map to Dallas, it looked like they all had a severe lack of confidence in their skills as players. And that’s a scary place to be in a competitive space. For the sake of these players, I really hope they can turn things around quickly.
Washington Justice: Justice For Jerry
Washington comes out of this weekend with a good 2-0 start. There were a few hiccups here and there, but so far, I like what I see. It’ll be interesting to see how they’ll fare against other teams. For now, while I could talk about Decay, I could talk about Mag, Fury, or Bebe, I want to talk about Jerry. I’m happy that Jerry is on what looks to be a good team now.
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After his league debut last season in that forever legendary match against Houston, Jerry was sort of this mix between a good player and an excellent meme. Now that he’s in a much more capable rotation of damage players, he can fill the role that I think he’s a little more suited for.
When Washington wants Decay on the Tracer, Jerry can come in and play the ranged hitscan heroes. He still gets to play the heroes he’s good at while not necessarily having to be the team’s best player, which was something that just was not going to work with Boston, I don’t think. It looks like he’s found a good place on the Justice and I’m looking forward to seeing how he progresses.
Dallas Fuel: Sp9rk1e Looks Fun To Play With
It’s a shame Sp9rk1e came into OWL during this age of online play because I have a feeling if he were able to play live on-stage, he’d be loving it, and so would the fans. The pop-off he had after winning that Havana map against the Uprising kind of reminded me of Mickie and the sort of energy he brought to that Dallas team a few years ago.
I can appreciate that, especially with the situation Dallas is in right now. A 2-2 record going into the first tournament without a dedicated hit scan player is probably more than what most were expecting from this squad so far. It’s not perfect, but players are stepping up and genuinely doing the best they can which is all you can really ask for.
What did you think of this week’s Overwatch League matches? Leave your comments below!