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Overwatch League Review

Josh Brester, Jay Journal Staff

After winning Game of the Year in 2017, Overwatch has created their new competitive scene, the Overwatch League. With fan favorite players from the Overwatch World Cup being paired with each other, people quickly drew their thoughts as to which teams would be the most dominant. Once the first matches of the Overwatch League began on January 10th, it quickly became apparent that the matches wouldn’t be as straightforward as people thought.

Once the Overwatch League teams were announced, and fans got to see which teams had their favorite players, Dallas Fuel (ranked #10th). One of the Fuel’s players, xQc, even received the “Most Valuable Player” award after the Overwatch World Cup. Fuel also began with an American D.P.S (Damage Per Second) player, Seagull, who quickly became a fan favorite when the game came out.

With these two talented and popular players, along with the rest of the team’s star roster, this team quickly became one predicted to be a top team. After the first week, things didn’t go so well for the Fuel, with them losing both of their games. On top of that, at the end of the week, xQc received the first Overwatch League ban for making a gay slur towards one of Houston Outlaws’ (#5th) main tank player who was known to be gay, Muma. With this ban, xQc then was unable to play anymore games for the first stage.

As one of the most popular teams not doing so well and having one of their players banned, fans looked for other teams to support. With teams like Seoul Dynasty (#2), the New York Excelsiors (#1st), and London Spitfire (#3rd) being the top teams in the beginning weeks of the league, Fuel then slipped to the bottom of the bracket, never being able to climb above even the bottom three teams.

Four weeks into stage one, the board for which teams were the best and worst became more and more clear. Spitfire was at the top at the time, seeming unstoppable, with the Excelsiors and Dynasty in second and third, at the time. The obvious predictions for the fifth and final week of stage one were that these three teams would be the ones fighting it out in the end for the prize pool (since it’s the top three teams from the stage that get a chance to win grand prize of $125,000). Things then quickly changed, with Dynasty losing to one of the teams behind them, Los Angeles Valiant(ranked #4th currently). This was huge, because this loss for Dynasty actually gave four teams a chance to make the top three, depending on how their matches and other teams’ matches went. The team that was able to take advantage of this was the Outlaws. They had the difficult task of getting into the prize pool by beating Spitfire. They were successful, making their entrance a reality. The next and final match they had to win was against the Boston Uprising (#7th). This team was also one of the four that had a chance to get into the prize pool, but after a close 3 to 2 match, the Outlaws won.

After losing to the Outlaws, Spitfire didn’t get a break. Their next match was against the Excelsiors, and after another close 3 to 2 match, Spitfire lost yet again that week. The thought was that Spitfire would get beat by the two teams that beat them earlier that week, and it would be the Outlaws fighting the Excelsiors for the prize. Things then again didn’t go as people expected, with Spitfire actually ending up beating both teams.

With the first stage ending, no one knew what the next stage would hold. With xQc back on Fuel’s roster, they could’ve been able to shine this stage, and take back some of the glory that they lost. With the stage changing as well, rosters also changed. Fuel received D.P.S. player Rascal from the Spitfire team and also signed two other D.P.S. players, Effect and AKM. The big question wastwo out of their five D.P.S. players would be on the main roster, and if having this many D.P.S. players would actually help the team. Effect and AKM took these spots. It turned out to not help them, with the team still unable to win necessary matches. With a recent announcement from xQc that he might be leaving Fuel, things weren’t looking too good for the team.

Another big transfer was Los Angeles Gladiators (#8th) receiving Spitfire’s tank player, Fissure. One of the issues that people saw in the Gladiators within the first stage was that their main tank player, iRemiix, wasn’t performing on the same level as their other player that’s a flex player but also plays tank frequently, Bischu. And with Gladiators having one of the smallest team rosters, with only three D.P.S. players, two tanks (with Fissure), two support players, and one flex, they really couldn’t do anything in the first stage. Though having a small roster might have been an issue in the first stage, it’s one of the things that has helped them in the second. With most teams having 11 to 12 players, coordinating and being able to always be on the same page can be hard. Not for Gladiators, with their team really being able to understand how they work and play together.

New signings also shocked people. with the team at the bottom of the roster. with no wins during stage one, Shanghai Dragons (#12), added several new members. One of those new members, Geguri, was the first female player to join the Overwatch League. Even with their new roster, they still have yet to win a match in stage two. The second team is the Philadelphia Fusion (#6) with the new signing of Eqo. While Eqo hasn’t seen much action yet, when he has player he’s shown he’s more than capable of performing at the same level as his D.P.S. peers.

With the final week of the second stage coming up, now is the perfect time to watch and see which teams will either step up or start to fall. All the match dates are on the Overwatch League website and all the matches are on twitch.tv.

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