People sometimes ask me why I don’t do this in any sort of official capacity, or why these articles aren’t posted somewhere where someone might actually read them. Well, there’s two answers to those questions: the first is that I don’t want the pressure of expectations; the second is that I’d feel bad making people read my takes that just end up being horribly wrong. I’ve been Avast-level lately with my preds and it does not feel good. Anyways, here are this week’s recaps and power rankings.
Chengdu Hunters 3-1 Hangzhou Spark
Jinmu played a little bit of Pharah on Nepal, which didn’t go very well. Otherwise, both teams played the same 5 meta heroes for the whole match. Leave’s Sojourn was the difference maker for Chengdu throughout, consistently finding railgun shots and just generally putting out more damage than his counterpart, Shy. I wouldn’t say Hangzhou looked terrible here, but small differences in ability in this meta can swing matches decisively.
Seoul Dynasty 3-0 LA Valiant
To LA’s credit, they showed quite a bit of fight on map 3 after getting absolutely demolished on the first two maps (they won 0 fights on Nepal and 2 total on Hollywood). Still, nothing Valiant tried could overcome the massive talent difference between the two squads. Profit proved to be miles ahead of Sasin on Brig, Diya looked like a diamond ranked player compared to what Smurf was doing on Junkerqueen, and Stalk3r dominated the matchup with Becky. Seoul looks like the real deal in this meta.
Atlanta Reign 3-1 London Spitfire
Speedily’s Overwatch League debut got off to an inauspicious start with a loss on Nepal, but as the match progressed his Genji combined with new Reign acquisition Vigilante on Brig turned the tide in Atlanta’s favor, with Backbone looking uncharacteristically ineffective on his signature Mei. This version of Atlanta certainly has a lot of talent, as there aren’t too many dps lines in the league you’d want in this meta over Kai and Speedily. London would’ve liked to continue building on the momentum gained from last week’s win over Houston, but it was not to be.
San Francisco Shock 3-0 NYXL
The big story this week for Shock was that Mikeyy apparently got exposed for hitting on a bunch of underaged girls, which is not something you want to see out of your tank player, to say the least. That being said, for now, he was benched for Coluge in this meta anyways so Shock haven’t lost a step in game, as Proper continues to be the best player in the world. NYXL played decently, I guess, with Kellan’s Junkerqueen being a highlight, but there’s not much that you can do against this Shock team in this meta.
Vancouver Titans 3-2 Washington Justice
Goddamnit Washington. You had 1 job. Show everyone that the Titans aren’t the real deal by mopping up with your superior talent and Decay on Sojourn. Things started well for Washington as they took a 2-1 lead heading into Push, and they were in position to close the match out on Busan before an untimely Ajax from Opener who then failed to build another beat in time for the final fight to give Vancouver their first win over a real team this season. Justice cannot afford to lose games like this. Their margin for error is simply too small.
Seoul Dynasty 3-0 Guangzhou Charge
Charge looked a little bit better than Valiant against Seoul, at least. Jimmy clicked a few heads and Guangzhou was able to parlay that into a few fight wins, but ultimately Smurf and the rest of the Dynasty proved to be far too much for Charge to handle, with none of the maps really looking close. Seoul won a few style points by unironically running Fits on Tracer for a few points on Paraiso.
Hangzhou Spark 3-1 LA Valiant
After experimenting with Guxue on Junkerqueen against Dynasty, Spark returned to using their normal lineup with Bernar on tank and were able to find success against a Valiant team that doesn’t look awful but can’t seem to take the steps they need to get to where they are actually winning games. Becky’s Echo play and a timely Bob from Ezhan on Junkertown gave the Valiant a map win and some hope in the series down 2-1, but ultimately Hangzhou were able to close the match out with a full cap on New Queen Street for a comfortable 3-1 win.
Shanghai Dragons 3-1 Philly Fusion
I’m honestly surprised Fusion won a map here. The gap between these two teams going into this game was immense, but credit to Fury and Zest for helping to make this competitive. Eventually, however, Lip and Leejaegon decided enough was enough and ran over the Fusion on the last 3 maps to give Dragons another match win and set things up for a showdown next week when Shanghai faces Seoul for the first time in this meta.
Toronto Defiant 3-0 Boston Uprising
We all get that Punk was not the problem, but there’s something I think that needs to be added: he’s not the solution either. Mag’s Junkerqueen has been fine for Boston, and from what he showed early in the stage with Washington we know he’s capable of playing it at an elite level. Don’t try to tell me Punk’s comms are crucial to the team either - the Uprising roster as currently constructed will always field at least 3 Korean speakers, 5 when Mag and MCD play. Boston has simply been running into a string of really good teams. (Toronto, Shock, and Fuel, Boston’s 3 opponents with Mag on the roster, are 11-1 this stage when not playing against Boston). Hotba and Twilight are just really good.
LA Gladiators 3-0 Paris Eternal
It looks like all Gladiators needed to get back on track was to face the worst team in the league. Also, bringing Space in to play tank instead of Reiner might have helped, but who knows? As for the match itself, Mathel and Dove stood no chance against Kevster and Happy, and the dps diff overcame whatever problems the Gladiators have been having with their team this stage for an easy 3-0 win. Lukemino and Rakattack look like a pretty decent support duo for Paris, at least. Malthel isn’t the worst Genji in the world either, but against Kevster it’s tough to compete.
Houston Outlaws 3-0 Vancouver Titans
So, this is what it’s supposed to look like when Titans face an actual contender. No amount of Dpei magic could stop Pelican and Danteh from running over Titans all series long. Aspire found a couple of nice shots on Sojourn, but ultimately whenever Pelican decided to win a fight, which was most of the time, there was nothing Vancouver could do.
Guangzhou Charge 3-2 Philly Fusion
Remember when people were trying to say Philly was the best team in the East region? I remember, and I’ll never let any of those delusional fans live it down. Philly went up 2-0 behind some good plays from the veteran duo of Fury and Carpe before Jimmy woke up and remembered that Carpe is supposed to be washed up and Charge’s support line outplayed Philly’s en route to what has to be an absolutely devastating reverse sweep. There may be no coming back from this for Philly. Sitting at 7-9 with a -4 map differential, it may be time for Fusion to acknowledge that their playoff runs in the first two tournaments were nothing more than flukes.
Shanghai Dragons 3-0 Chengdu Hunters
Dragons further affirmed their place alongside Seoul as belonging to a class of their own in the East region, showing the depth of their roster in a clean 3-0 over Hunters. Even as Leave held his own and even outdueled Lip from time-to-time on the Sojourn, Leejaegon and the rest of the Dragons simply held down the W key and ruthlessly battered the Chengdu backline. Izakayi looks super comfortable on the Brig considering he’s never really played it before and Void’s Junkerqueen is solid enough. Seoul at this point are looking a touch better than Shanghai this stage but I still expect their match next week to be extremely close.