I’m insane and have nothing better to do, here’s a recap of all of the action from week 1 of the Overwatch League 2022 season.
LA Gladiators 3-1 NYXL
The first match of the season saw the debut of the post-Jjonak NYXL facing stiff opposition in the form of my preseason favorite, the LA Gladiators. On map 1, Kevster’s soldier provided the difference for LA as they took Lijiang Tower 2-1. Map 2 was more of the same, with Shu and Kevster rolling through Midtown to put LA on match point heading into Circuit Royal. On Circuit Royal, LA brought in 3 subs: ANS for Patiphan, Skewed for FunnyAstro, and Space for Reiner. These changes did not work out for LA, as NYXL took the map by holding the cart on their defensive half for over 4 minutes right before the final checkpoint. Yaki and Gangnamjin provided the heroics for NYXL on Echo and Lucio, respectively. Map 4 saw the return of Patiphan, FunnyAstro, and Reiner, and after a back-and-forth first few minutes of the new Push gamemode on New Queen Street, LA were able to break through and finish off NYXL for a 3-1 series win.
Raisin’s MVP: Shu (LAG, Flex Support)
SF Shock 3-0 Paris Eternal
The Shock debuted their new roster against an experienced Eternal roster that nonetheless seemed outclassed from the beginning by the talent Shock brought to the table. Map 1 was a fairly easy 2-0 for San Francisco on Ilios, with Proper leading the way. On map 2, King’s Row, Paris chose to swap out their tank, Vestola, in favor of Daan to play a more Winston-centric style. Though they were a bit more successful with Daan in the game, Shock still took the map convincingly. Map 3, Dorado, saw Shock bring in Kilo for s9mm to play Widowmaker, a move that helped San Francisco complete the map on offense before stopping Paris short of point 2 on defense to cap off the 3-0 sweep.
Raisin’s MVP: Proper (SFS, Damage)
Atlanta Reign 3-1 Florida Mayhem
Florida Mayhem kicked off their quest for redemption with their new roster against a team that has been stamped as a championship contender after finishing 2nd in 2021, the Atlanta Reign. Neither team made any substitutions throughout the match, so the Mayhem lineup of Checkmate, Hydron, Someone, Anamo, and SirMajed faced off against the Reign lineup of Kai, Nero, Hawk, Ojee, and Ultraviolet for all 4 maps. On map 1, Someone’s Winston was able to get more value than Hawk’s Doomfist, leading to a 2-1 win for Mayhem on Lijiang Tower. Mayhem’s choice to move to a close-knit, Reinhart-based team composition on Eichenwalde saw some initial success, but ultimately without a way to negate Ultraviolet’s anti-nades playing so close together came back to bite Florida and Atlanta were able to win the map, leveling the score at 1-1. On map 3, Gibraltar, Someone tried to play Roadhog on offense. Atlanta full held, and although Someone did eventually get some sense knocked into him and switched to Winston for defense, it wasn’t enough to prevent Atlanta from winning the map. He stayed on the Winston for map 4, Colosseo, but at that point Atlanta seemed to have figured Florida out and they took the map and series in decisive fashion.
Raisin’s MVP: Ultraviolet (ATL, Flex Support)
SF Shock 3-0 London Spitfire
London Spitfire started off their season inauspiciously by getting steamrolled by a clearly superior Shock team. Map 1 saw London attempt the classic EU strategy of playing Rein anywhere and everywhere, but without a second tank to pressure Shock’s back line or mitigate damage, Proper was free to fire away for kill after kill on an easy 2-0 Lijiang Tower win for SF. Map 2, Eichenwalde, was considerably more friendly to London’s Rein-centric style of play, but ultimately the talent gap between the two rosters was too much to overcome and Shock headed to Gibraltar on match point. For Gibraltar, London had no choice but to give up on the Rein strategy, so they brought in Poko for Hadi to play Zarya instead. Shock again replaced s9mm with Kilo to play Widowmaker. Again, Shock simply overwhelmed Spitfire, completing their attack with 2:07 in their time bank before stopping London short of point 2 to finish off a 3-0 series and a 6-0 week for the 2-time champions.
Raisin’s MVP: Coluge (SFS, Tank)
Boston Uprising 3-2 Vancouver Titans (Game of the Week)
Week 1’s most entertaining matchup came from two teams who appear to be headed for the bottom of the league standings. It might be a bit early to call this one a true Toilet Bowl, but this was certainly not a flawlessly played match. Map 1, Ilios, was a 2-0 win for Boston, as Valentine’s Genji tore through the Titans with ease. Map 2, Midtown, saw Boston shoot themselves in the foot a bit by bringing in MCD for Crimzo in part to play Zen on defense, where he was unable to find much value as Vancouver tied up the series 1-1. On map 3, Circuit Royal, Boston made the somewhat surprising decision to sub out star dps Striker for Victoria, a move that paid off as the Uprising won the map convincingly with their unusual Sigma-Brig-Zen composition. Map 4, Colosseo, saw the return of Striker and Crimzo for Boston, who held the lead for most of the map until a clutch tac visor from Shockwave pushed Vancouver over the top to send the match to a map 5. It is worth noting that at this point in the series, Vancouver were 2-0 in maps where Shockwave played, and 0-2 when he was subbed out for Aspire. Naturally, that meant Aspire played map 5, a 2-1 victory for Boston on Oasis powered by the surprise appearance of the Marve1 Doomfist and an unfortunate C9 to end the match.
Raisin’s MVP: Shockwave (VAN, Damage)
Houston Outlaws 3-0 Dallas Fuel
The first live event with spectators in the Overwatch League since the pandemic began, the Battle for Texas pitted a heavily favored Dallas team against the ever-confusing Outlaws. Immediately, Houston pulled out a surprise in the form of Danteh on tank, there to 1-trick Doomfist in a meta favoring Winston play. This innovation, combined with strong Echo play from Pelican, allowed Houston to neutralize Dallas’ star Winston player Fearless, leading to a 2-0 win on map 1, Oasis. Map 2, Midtown, saw Dallas swap out Fearless’ Winston for Hanbin’s Zarya, but again Houston were able to shut Dallas down, with the dps duo of Mer1t and Pelican thoroughly dominating the map. On map 3, Dorado, Houston played possibly the best single map any team played this week. Switching out Danteh’s Doomfist for Piggy’s Dva and moving Lastro from Lucio over to Mercy, Houston was able to leverage a masterful use of the high ground on point 2 to prevent Dallas from reaching the 2nd checkpoint before pushing through with just under 2 minutes remaining to secure the map and the upset.
Raisin’s MVP: Lastro (HOU, Main Support)