The Overwatch League's second week in Stage 1 has come to a close, with order starting to form as more matches are played. There were several mismatched games this week as the Korean elite exerted their dominance, but in the midst of the 4-0s, were a few gems and promising performances for some of the teams that struggled in Week 1.
Game of the Week: Los Angeles Valiant v London Spitfire
With a weak start from the Dallas Fuel, the LA Valiant have become the West’s best hope in the early stage of Season 1. After a challenging game against NYXL, the challenges kept coming for LA Valiant as they took on the London Spitfire.
There was plenty of skill on show from both teams; Agilities had flashes of brilliance, and So0n sustained his scintillating Week 1 performances. Amidst the fighting, ingame leader Fate was at the heart of everything, leading his team in every push as they executed superb dives on the domineering Koreans. If Fate maintains this level of play, it won't be long before he is rated on the same level as the other world-class Korean tanks.
This isn’t to forget the London Spitfire, whose DPS players popped-off as always, but special mention should be given to Bdosin and Fury, who stepped up when their team needed it. A must watch of this week's games for the talent alone, but also an important result as several teams start to pull away at the top.
Other notable games:
After Week 1, the LA Gladiators had confidently beaten one of weaker teams in the league and lost to one of the best. Their fixture against the Philadelphia Fusion gave a more explicit indication of where they might fall in the grand scheme of Season 1.
The teams clashed across all maps with ShaDowBurn once again demonstrating why he is so highly regarded on both Genji and Pharah. On the other side, it was a collective effort from the LA Gladiators team to step up and keep pace with the star power of Fusion, though Asher played particularly well. While it is too early to say who will finish higher, it sets the scene for a close, competitive season outside of the elite.
The Korean teams have set themselves off in a pool of their own at the top of the table, while the Dallas Fuel have struggled through a tough set of opening fixtures. The original EnVyUs lineup was reinstated for this game and came out swinging, demonstrating to those quick to judge that they are still able to contend with the best in the world.
While there were stellar individual performances across the board, Taimou on Roadhog was the standout. The Finn has proven what he can do in previous competitions, but he was back to his best here, with a performance that is only accentuated when you take into account the quality of his opposition. The result may not surprise, but the dramatic improvement in Dallas Fuel’s level of play may be the starting point for a turnaround in their fortunes.
Another important game took place this week as the middle of the table begins to form. As always, the San Francisco Shock were putting all their efforts into setting up Babybay, and he delivered on multiple heroes. As the series progressed, it went back and forth, with the Boston Uprising frontline doing everything they could to keep the pressure on. Strong performances from DreamKazper and Neko helped tip fights in Boston’s favor as the series raged on.
While it does not feature as many of the bigger names in the Overwatch League, this game was exciting, close and hard thought, and is definitely worth checking out.