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Another week of Overwatch League comes and goes. The meta is starting to become clearer, with certain teams doing better than others. Stage 4 is far from over, but here is the weekly recap of week two. I am looking over each Overwatch League team, giving a small description of their week along with a grade. Much like as I said in last week’s recap, the grades are my opinion, but I am trying to look at every team with no bias. To start off this week:
From 14 wins in a row to four losses in a row, the Uprising are falling down hard. This week, they lost convincingly against the Dallas Fuel 3-0 and took their match against the Valiant to a map 5, but lost in that as well. While there is hope for this squad as shown in the Valiant match, these two losses mean a lot. This team is currently in the bottom three of the stage standings, along with Shanghai and Florida. I can guarantee nobody guessed this before Stage 4. In their match against the Fuel, their attacking duo of Striker and Mistakes didn’t show up. Their improvements in the Valiant match showed that they are adapting to this new meta, but they still are learning. Striker hopping onto Widowmaker and Mistakes going onto McCree in certain maps looks significantly better than their old Tracer/Widow combo in this stage.
The only question is if are they going to continue to get better or if their skill against the Valiant was their best. I’m giving them a 3/10.
It has been a while since the Fuel has had a two-win week. To be exact, the last time they had a week where they won two times was Week 1 in Stage 2; all the way in late February. This week, the Fuel proved that they have a legitimate shot at the stage playoffs. People started to write them off as a bottom three team that only won against the Shanghai Dragons, but with a 3-0 win against Boston and a 3-1 win against the Philadelphia Fusion, they are changing for the better. Mickie and OGE are continuing their rise, along with the team itself. Taimou is showing his skills, popping off on Widowmaker against Carpe for heaven’s sake.
The only question left for Dallas is simply: can they keep this up? They face the Shock and Spitfire next week, but they have momentum. I’m giving them a 9/10 and my team of the week.
I was half tempted to just copy-paste last week’s blurb on the Mayhem and just plaster it here, changing just the matches and links. They lost 3-1 against the LA Valiant and got swept 4-0 by the LA Gladiators. They did show more coordination than last week, but the only other player coming even close to Sayaplayer’s skill right now is Tviq. As I said last week, this team is just slanted; with their attackers shining and their tanks and supports being invisible to us and dead quickly in-game.
This week looked better than last week, but almost anything would’ve been so. I’m giving them a 2/10.
Los Angeles Valiant
Winning is the name of the game in Overwatch League, and the Valiant continue to win. They aren’t clean wins, but the 3-1 win against Florida and their map 5 win against Boston continues to put them near the top of the stage standings. Much like last week, their big players are staying on fire. Space, Fate, Soon and company are showing something that the Valiant needed earlier in the season: consistency. Much like last week though, the issue comes out of the opponents they faced not being their best. Florida is one of the worst teams in the league right now, and this Boston team is collapsing.
The last stage it seemed as if the Valiant were finally making it into the top teams in the league, but their schedule was similarly easier than most (not facing New York at all in the regular season in Stage 3), and maybe this time it is different. We’ll have to see as the weeks pass, but they are doing well and I can’t see them not making the playoffs. I’ll give them a 7/10.
That was a short-lived good time for Houston. Last week, they won in convincing fashion against two good teams, proving that their comments on their team were right. They even got my acknowledgment of being the team of the week. But this week, it just was the other side of the coin. With a 3-1 loss to the LA Gladiators and getting swept 4-0 by the San Francisco Shock, their team has started to show weaknesses. Jake’s performances were almost just as good, but Linkzr’s dropped off significantly. Spree was used less due to coaching. Losing to a good team like the Gladiators wasn’t a big surprise considering their history together, but their loss against the Shock really showed how their defensive strategies were miles behind their attack ones.
With games against bottom three teams Shanghai and Florida next week, I expect them to bounce back. For this week though, I’m giving them a 2/10.
Los Angeles Gladiators
This team, right now, is the second-best team in the league. Starting off this stage last week with two wins, they kept their form up this week. Against at least equally tough competition, they won 3-1 against a red-hot Houston Outlaws and swept the Mayhem 4-0. While I do know that they are tied second by wins with the other LA team, their map difference shows how much closer they are right now to the top than any other team. Boston was like this last stage, being the only team who could compete with New York. It might be a bit early to call, but this team could give New York a tough time in this stage. Surefour, Shaz, and Fissure are all continuing their stellar play.
The question of the Gladiators is what Houston’s was last week: can they keep this up? They already have for longer than Houston, so the future looks bright for the purple LA team. I’m giving them an 8/10.
Mere hours after I posted my article last week about the Spitfire, they made a massive and permanent change in their roster. Benching four players to their inactive roster for the rest of the season (TiZi, WooHyaL, Hooreg and HaGoPeun), it seems like they thought the same way I did. Doing so, they made a concrete roster with no more musical chair swaps; planning to keep their core for the rest of the season. The only question was: would this work? The answer (at least, this week) was a promising yes. Winning against both a good San Francisco Shock side and a downfalling Seoul Dynasty side 3-2 shows two key things to me: that they very much are still in playoff contention and that they will only get better in time. Birdring, though he’s been back for a couple weeks now, looks back to his Stage 1 playoff form. Profit and the rest of the gang are finally playing up to their standards.
But this roster change might’ve caused an issue that the casters and analyzers from Watchpoint brought up, a very key issue. What happens if one of their key roles gets an injury? With this inactive roster not being able to rejoin the team at all until next season, an injury on this side could be the reason why they might not do too well. In Stage 4, they are improving to their fans delight, and I’m giving them a 7/10.
San Francisco Shock
While this team is known across the league for being very young and full of potential, their performances this week might’ve changed every team’s outlook on the current meta. As I mentioned near the end of my article on the latest patch, the dive team composition took a big hit with the introduction to Brigette. Or so I thought. With a close 3-2 loss against the Spitfire, but a convincing 4-0 sweep of the Outlaws, they have proved one key thing: dive comp isn’t dead. The skill they have in team synergy to accomplish this is very impressive. Sinatraa, Super, Moth, Sleepy, and company really worked well together to dismantle a red-hot team like Houston using what people thought was an outdated technique. As good as this is, the main question is how will this technique face against consistent top levels teams like New York or the Gladiators?
Much like last week, their future looks bright, but this season will prove to be the toughest part of it. I’ll give them a 6/10.
This week truly was a mixed bag for the Fusion, as they won once and lost once, but the fashion in which they did both was the problem. They did sweep the Shanghai Dragons 4-0 but then lost 3-1 to an on fire Dallas Fuel squad. The Dragons game showed how Sado meant so much to this squad’s resurgence, and EQ0’s introduction to the lineup again made their flex attackers so much better. But on the opposite side, their Dallas game showed how Brigette still can still shut down certain comps. Shadowburn’s long-awaited return to the lineup was great, but he clearly wasn’t used to this meta yet, either being shut down or being forced to play Widowmaker. Carpe also showed some weakness for the first time in this stage.
While the Dragons game made fans think the Fusion were cruising, the Fuel game was a slap in the face. Will they recover well is the question now. I’m giving them a 5/10.
New York Excelsior
Another week, another two convincing wins for the number 1 seed. While they won both games last week, they did have a map tied against the Mayhem and a map lost against the Spitfire. This week was the perfect week, with two 4-0 sweeps against the Dynasty and against the Dragons. As I mentioned last week, the flexibility of this lineup is proving to be crucial in this meta. With Libero as a great Hanzo, Pharah, and Junkrat; his depth of hero knowledge is leading New York to some clean wins. Pine is continuing to play well, as well as Saebyeolbe and JJonak. As an avid watcher, the re-introduction of Janus to the lineup last stage led to many close games. This stage though, it seems like Janus suits the meta surprisingly well, but the team effort is clearly the best thing about this team.
The only caveat, much like other teams, was that this week was easy for them. Seoul is in dismay while the Dragons are a winless team. Still, I’ll give them an 8/10.
This team truly might go winless this season, and that really makes me sad as a sports fan. They got swept in both matches this week 4-0, first by the Philadelphia Fusion and second by the New York Excelsior. While last week at least showed a little hope in two map wins out of their two losses, these sweeps this week really must make this squad feel bad. Freefeel is being chastised and nicknamed ‘Freekill’ in Twitch chat. Geguri and Ado are having flashes of brilliance, and Fearless is starting to die more and more in-game. This team was always mired with communication issues, and I feel like these losses and the pressure to not go winless is starting to break them. Being riskier is causing major problems, especially in this meta.
The only positive I can see this week out of this squad is that they literally can’t do any worse. They need to get mentally tough and re-strategize. Unfortunately, I’ll have to give them my first ever 0/10.
Polish-Canadian game enthusiast. I've been entrenched in gaming for as long as I can remember, with my first game being Pokemon Yellow and my most played games being Borderlands 2 and Overwatch. I have a degree in Film Studies, but writing about esports just makes my job all the better.