Raisin
Country: United States
Registered: September 18, 2017
Last post: June 26, 2022 at 8:08 PM
Posts: 551
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Another quick rundown of this week’s Overwatch League action from both the east and west regions. Let’s go:

LA Valiant 3-2 Philly Fusion (Match of the Week)

Fusion looked absolutely dominant for 2 maps and then somehow Ezhan took over and Valiant pulled off an unlikely comeback. Marve1 seems to be an amazing addition to the Valiant roster. Belosrea played Hog at one point. Don’t play Hog.

Seoul Dynasty 3-2 Chengdu Hunters

A back-and-forth affair featured a few painful c9s from Chengdu that ultimately led to Seoul taking the series. Mmonk and Nisha look very comfortable playing Zen-Ana and Leave’s Sojourn is a strong factor for this Chengdu team. Still, Profit is unmatched on Tracer in the East region and Seoul leaned on him to secure the win.

London Spitfire 3-0 NYXL

It appears NYXL is still a very bad team. They had no answer for either the Hadi-Backbone or Poko-Shax lineups that London threw at them, and Spitfire continued to use their strong team play to overwhelm a weaker opponent.

Dallas Fuel 3-0 Florida Mayhem

After a tough week 7, Dallas seems to have found the composition and lineup they want to play. With Guriyo on Sojourn and Fearless on Winston and Ball, Dallas was able to comfortably handle Florida’s dive and rush compositions and cruise to a 3-0 sweep.

Atlanta Reign 3-1 Vancouver Titans

On map 1, Aspire looked like prime Striker on Tracer, absolutely carving up the Reign backline and landing pulse bomb after pulse bomb. Then, he started to play like a normal human and the talent differential between the two teams swung the game back in Reign’s favor as Kai continued to play well on Sojourn.

Hangzhou Spark 3-0 Guangzhou Charge

Charge is the worst team in the east region by a pretty wide margin, it seems. Develop continues to struggle and the rest of the team just looks uninspiring. Rio and Crong have had some nice moments but overall the Charge has a long way to go before they become relevant.

Seoul Dynasty 3-0 Shanghai Dragons

As I predicted, playing double flex-support makes Dragons worse. I did not, however, think it would get this bad. Without Leejaegon Shanghai seems to be missing something crucial, as Bebe and Izayaki were unable to prevent Profit from running all over the Dragons, leading to a clean 3-0 for Seoul.

Chengdu Hunters 3-1 Philly Fusion

Philly seems completely lost. Belosrea once again picked Hog. Hog never works. Chengdu being able to let Ga9a loose on Winston and Ball has given Jinmu and Leave the space they need to rack up kills and follow up on Mmonk’s discord orbs.

Toronto Defiant 3-1 Washington Justice

The good news for Justice is that they realized they can just play Happy-Decay on every map and DPS diff every other team in the league. The bad news is that the tank play of Kalios and Mag still needs work and Krillin and Opener are nothing special. Muze dominated this match and if he continues to play this well Defiant should be able to compete with the better teams in the region.

SF Shock 3-1 Atlanta Reign

Ojee is not a flex support player. Viol2t is one of the best flex support players to ever play the game. Atlanta trying to mirror double flex support against Shock did not work out, as Atlanta was only able to compete when they could put Ojee on Brig. On Ana and Bap, Atlanta simply could not match Shock’s impact.

Dallas Fuel 3-0 Vancouver Titans

Aspire played quite well once again, but there’s not much he could’ve done to overcome the massive talent and coordination advantage Dallas held in this match. Titans have looked better this stage, but that’s up from being absolutely awful early on.

LA Valiant 3-1 Guangzhou Charge

Marve1 continues to be a huge boost to the Valiant roster, playing well enough against Rio and Crong to allow Ezhan to dominate the DPS matchup. Farway1987 hasn’t looked quite as good on Zen as last year, but that may have something to do with him being on a worse team.

Hangzhou Spark 3-0 Shanghai Dragons

Without Lip and Fleta both playing at an MVP level, Dragons need someone else to step up. So far, they haven’t found anyone to fill that hole. Lip, unable to play his best heroes on most maps, has not been the absolute superstar he was last season.

SF Shock 3-1 Florida Mayhem

Florida tried to counter Proper by putting Xzi in on Sojourn, but this was not enough as the support players on Shock continued to show that they are a major strength for the team. SirMajed has been an interesting player to watch so far, but he’s not quite on the level of Viol2t or Finn, and it showed in this match.

LA Gladiators 3-0 Houston Outlaws

Houston Outlaws committed 2 of the worst C9s in OWL history on the first two maps before their mentals shattered and they got full held on Eichenwalde. Other than that, Houston seemed to understand the meta and their own strengths and weaknesses pretty well, in particular doing a great job playing around ANS’ Widowmaker on Gibraltar.

Boston Uprising 3-0 Paris Eternal

After showing some life in last week’s win over NYXL, Paris fell flat in this brutal sweep at the hands of a competent, if not spectacular, Boston Uprising. Wub and Dove are the worst DPS duo in the west region by a wide margin. Boston seemed to have found their preferred lineup going forward, which should help bring some consistency to this team.

Team of the Week (West): Dallas Fuel
Player of the Week (West): FiNN (Flex Support, SFS)

Team of the Week (East): Seoul Dynasty
Player of the Week (East): Ezhan (Damage, LAV)

Power Rankings

West

  1. LA Gladiators (+0)
  2. SF Shock (+0)
  3. Dallas Fuel (+1)
  4. Atlanta Reign (-1)
  5. Houston Outlaws (+0)
  6. London Spitfire (+0)
  7. Florida Mayhem (+1)
  8. Toronto Defiant (+1)
  9. Washington Justice (-2)
  10. Boston Uprising (+0)
  11. Vancouver Titans (+2)
  12. Paris Eternal (-1)
  13. NYXL (-1)

East

  1. Seoul Dynasty (+0)
  2. Hangzhou Spark (+2)
  3. Chengdu Hunters (+3)
  4. Shanghai Dragons (-2)
  5. LA Valiant (+0)
  6. Philly Fusion (-3)
  7. Guangzhou Charge (+0)
posted 1 week ago

Weekly recaps are back, but this time instead of giving long-winded summaries of each match I’ll just give brief thoughts and updated power rankings. It's way easier for me this way.

London Spitfire 3-2 Florida Mayhem

London figured out how to play a second comp. Poko on Sigma is legit and gives the team a way to win maps that don’t let Hadi and Backbone play their heroes. Mayhem has work to do and Someone wasn’t quite as inspiring on Ball as when he was on Winston.

SF Shock 3-0 Dallas Fuel

Dallas couldn’t quite figure out their dps lineup in time to avoid getting steamrolled by a Shock team that knows its win condition (Proper). Guriyo-Sp9rkle seems like the answer for Dallas, but the team still has room to improve once they figure that out.

Washington Justice 3-1 NYXL

Justice just needs to put Happy on Sojourn permanently and they’ll steamroll teams. Him and Decay form a deadly duo that is complemented well by Kalios’ Sigma. As long as the team doesn’t make errors like playing Assassin on Sombra, they’ll be a force to be reckoned with.

London Spitfire 3-1 Toronto Defiant

Defiant in theory should have a good lineup with Hotba on Sigma and Twilight on Zen, but they seem to have trouble putting things together and not shooting themselves in the foot. They will benefit greatly from not playing Sombra anymore.

Atlanta Reign 3-2 Boston Uprising

I’m still not sure how Atlanta lost 2 maps in this series, but good on Boston for fighting hard I guess. Kai, Ultraviolet, and Hawk are simply too talented in the current meta for Atlanta to have performances like this.

LA Gladiators 3-0 Vancouver Titans

Titans looked a lot better with Mirror on Doomfist to go with the Aspire-Shockwave dps duo, but still they’re nowhere near good enough to beat a team like Gladiators. Surprisingly, ANS didn’t play much Sojourn as Patiphan ended up doing the heavy lifting on that hero. Apparently Space sent explicit photos to a 16-year-old, so that’s not good, but Reiner seems good enough to handle whatever comps Glads want to play.

Houston Outlaws 3-2 Washington Justice

Again, if Washington simply lets Happy kill everything they will win. Houston looks good enough in the new meta, although the choice to sub out Pelican for even 1 map is concerning, especially in a close series like this one.

LA Gladiators 3-1 Paris Eternal

The talent gap was pretty clear in this one, as Patiphan cemented his position as Glads’ top Sojourn player. As long as he’s in the game and the team doesn’t make any terrible decisions, they’ll be able to beat just about anyone they come up against.

Atlanta Reign 3-0 Dallas Fuel

Dallas were on the verge of winning the first map of the series before Ultraviolet pulled out a massive clutch play to give Atlanta a lead they would never relinquish. Kai is just too good to keep in check for very long, and on the last 2 maps he basically took over.

Florida Mayhem 3-1 Toronto Defiant

A rather ugly game for Defiant that saw some great moments from Heesu but otherwise very lackluster play. Mayhem doesn't seem like an overwhelming team, but Rupal has been a good addition and SirMajed looks better when he’s not playing Ana. He still hard feeds from time to time, but he makes up for it a bit more.

SF Shock 3-0 Boston Uprising

Boston doesn't quite know what to do with their supports. MCD has not been very good but they haven’t had much success with Crimzo-Faith as a duo either. Punk and Itsal have been ok but not nearly good enough to be competitive with a team like Shock.

Paris Eternal 3-2 NYXL (Match of the week)

This was a good, old-fashioned toilet bowl between a team that simply lacks talent (Paris) and a team that has talent but no idea what to do with it (NYXL). In the end, NYXL threw harder after going up 99-0 on the final point of control on map 5. These teams might lose to Vancouver they’re so bad.

Houston Outlaws 3-0 Vancouver Titans

Breaking news: the Titans are still very bad. Mer1t and Lastro ran around killing everything all game and there was nothing Titans could do to stop them. Houston did the concerning move of subbing out Pelican for a map again, but this time they were playing Titans so they won anyways.

Team of the Week: SF Shock
Player of the Week: Kai (Damage, ATL)

Power Rankings (with changes from last week)

West

  1. LA Gladiators (+0)
  2. SF Shock (+1)
  3. Atlanta Reign (+1)
  4. Dallas Fuel (-2)
  5. Houston Outlaws (+0)
  6. London Spitfire (+3)
  7. Washington Justice (+1)
  8. Florida Mayhem (-2)
  9. Toronto Defiant (-2)
  10. Boston Uprising (+0)
  11. Paris Eternal (+1)
  12. NYXL (-1)
  13. Vancouver Titans (+0)

East (no changes)

  1. Seoul Dynasty
  2. Shanghai Dragons
  3. Philly Fusion
  4. Hangzhou Spark
  5. LA Valiant
  6. Chengdu Hunters
  7. Guangzhou Charge
posted 2 weeks ago

13. Vancouver Titans (0-6, 0 League Points)

The Titans have one tank player, False. False has been horrible thus far. Either he gets better or this team continues to be the worst in the league. Shockwave has shown some positive moments, but that’s the only nice thing I can say about this team’s performance so far. Without changes to the roster or major improvements in individual and team play, the Titans will be lucky to win a match all season. I apologize for overrating them at the beginning of the season.

Biggest Surprise: London Spitfire
Biggest Disappointment: Washington Justice
West Region MVP: Hanbin (Tank, DAL)
West Region ROTY: Proper (Damage, SFS)

East

1. Seoul Dynasty (4-2, 7 League Points)

As it turns out, Profit and Smurf are very good at the video game. These two powered a Seoul team to a lower bracket run in the Kickoff Clash tournament capped off with a clean 4-0 over Philly. The Dynasty have already faced the Dragons 3 times this season, and while Seoul is 1-2 in those matches, they won the match that mattered most in the lower bracket finals of the tournament. The team seems fairly meta-proof due to the sheer flexibility shown by Profit and Smurf, although Fits may have trouble adjusting if the game changes in ways that force him to take a more active role rather than just sitting back while Profit kills everything.

2. Shanghai Dragons (5-1, 6 League Points)

Shanghai’s personal Kryptonite seems to be this Fusion squad, who despite having a negative map differential against teams not named the Dragons are 6-0 in maps against Shanghai so far this season. Fleta being subbed out on most maps in favor of Whoru suggests that this may not be Shanghai’s best meta, but even when Fleta has been in and on his best heroes it is clear that Lip and Leejaegon are the stars of this team. Once they figure out Fusion I expect Shanghai and Seoul to face each other in every East region tournament finals for the rest of the season.

3. Philly Fusion (3-3, 5 League Points)

A great run to the Kickoff Clash tournament finals helped alleviate some concerns surrounding this young Fusion team that have been creeping up recently. Getting sent to the Chengdu Zone in week 4 and going 0-7 in maps against Seoul Dynasty are not promising signs, but still you can point to their two wins over Shanghai and win over Hangzhou in the tournament as signs this team is headed in the right direction. The rookie core of Zest, Belosrea, and FiXa have been every bit as good as Fusion fans could have hoped for going into the season. The team has some flexibility with Fury off the bench on tank and the alternating duo of Carpe and MN3 on dps, so they should be fine in most metas.

4. Hangzhou Spark (5-1, 5 League Points)

The Spark had a great regular season stage before being unceremoniously sent home from the Kickoff Clash tournament after only winning 1 map in 2 matches. Still, the emergence of AlphaYi as a potential superstar and strong play from the support duo of Irony and superrich gives hope to a Hangzhou team that has never quite made it to the top of the APAC region despite having plenty of talent in years past. The team has good flexibility at the tank position with Guxue and Bernar covering just about any hero you’d want to play, but there are some question marks as to their dps players other than AlphaYi and how the team might adapt to a changing game.

5. LA Valiant (1-5, 1 League Point)

A team with an unfortunate talent for losing close series, the Valiant finally broke through with a 3-1 win over Chengdu in week 4 for their first match victory since September 5, 2020 when Kai and McGravy led them to a win over the Florida Mayhem. Valiant have looked solid thus far, with Diya finally living up to the hype he always gets for having been the best player on the worst team OWL ever saw. The team has 5 dps players on its roster but only 1 tank and 2 supports for some reason, so questions remain regarding flexibility, but Sasin has been able to make Zarya work quite well so far, and perhaps Valiant can become the APAC version of London where they run 1 comp regardless of the meta.

6. Chengdu Hunters (2-4, 2 League Points)

The magic seems to have run out in Chengdu, as an inability to have 2 tanks distract while Jinmu goes and kills everything has left Hunters without a solid game plan. Additionally, a meta where Mmonk is forced off of Baptiste also has hurt the Hunters. Still, the possibility for them to send a team to the Chengdu Zone is always there, and perhaps as Ga9a gets more comfortable playing as a solo tank they’ll be able to recapture what made them so tough to beat in years past. Daizi’s Zarya has not been good, and Chengdu would like to avoid playing him if at all possible if they want to be successful. Leave has always been a bit overrated, but on paper the Chengdu DPS duo is still as good as Spark’s or Philly’s.

7. Guangzhou Charge (1-5, 1 League Point)

Develop needs some time to, well, develop if Guangzhou want to be a good team. Choisehwan and Crong have been solid, but the rest of the squad needs to step it up. This Charge squad is in a similar situation as NYXL where I really only see them succeeding if the meta shifts to allow them to play a very specific comp. In this case, they’ll need to be able to put Crong on Sigma, Choisehwan on Tracer, and Farway1987 on Zen in order to really compete with the better teams in the region. Those 3 in particular are certainly talented when playing their preferred heroes, but the team as a whole needs work in order to win more than 1 or 2 games each stage.

Biggest Surprise: Philly Fusion
Biggest Disappointment: Chengdu Hunters
East Region MVP: LIP (Damage, SHD)
East Region ROTY: Vindaim (Main Support, SEO)

posted 1 month ago

This is way easier than doing weekly game recaps, so here are power rankings with a summary of each team’s stage.

West

1. LA Gladiators (4-2, 7 League Points)

Despite a couple of ugly reverse sweeps against Dallas and Shock in weeks 2 and 3, Gladiators were able to get their revenge by winning 19 of their last 20 maps against good competition to claim the Kickoff Clash title in the west division. Reiner has been a breakout star on tank and Patiphan has been a solid compliment to Kevster. Overall, the meta has been good to Gladiators but with the depth this team has I can’t foresee too many changes that would make them worse. Every player on the team has been one of the best in their role so far this season.

2. Dallas Fuel (5-1, 7 League Points)

Despite a confusing loss to Houston in week 1, Dallas were able to find their place in the stage 1 meta by putting Hanbin on Zarya and Edison on Reaper and running at the enemy with bubbles. This worked against pretty much every team they faced until Gladiators seemed to figure something out and were able to use Kevster and Patiphan to dps diff Edison and Sp9rkle. Hanbin thus far has been the star of the team and an early MVP candidate, but if the meta shifts away from his hero pool Fearless should be able to fill in. The biggest worry for this team is the dps line. If Sp9rkle is unable to play comfort heroes and pop off they may struggle against the more talented teams in the region.

3. SF Shock (6-0, 6 League Points)

Their 6-0 regular season record is a bit deceiving, as they did not have to face Atlanta or Dallas, but the Shock still seem like a contender for one big reason: Proper. The rookie DPS God has dragged his team (with a bit of help from Finn) to a good position heading into stage 2. The roster seems fairly flexible, especially the support line, so I can’t see meta changes hurting this team too much.

4. Atlanta Reign (3-3, 4 League Points)

Some ugly regular season losses for this team have been canceled out by a great performance in the Kickoff Clash tournament, featuring wins over Mayhem and Shock. Hawk seems to have stabilized the team from the Tank role, playing a good Zarya and Doomfist on maps where Gator isn’t in. Kai remains the team’s best player, although meta changes could lessen his impact in future stages. Ultraviolet has been a fantastic addition on Ana, although his support partner Ojee has not been quite as phenomenal.

5. Houston Outlaws (4-2, 4 League Points)

Outside of a bad week 1 loss to Toronto that they were able to get revenge for in the Kickoff Clash tournament, Outlaws have been fairly good at beating the teams they are supposed to and losing to the teams they are supposed to, looking weaker against Shock and Gladiators but pulling out wins against Florida and London. The current meta might have been about as bad as possible for Houston, but they were able to find enough success with Danteh and Piggy playing comfort heroes to keep them in games while Pelican did Pelican things. They still have blind spots in the form of Winston and potentially Wrecking Ball play, but I imagine Outlaws will continue to land somewhere in the middle of the pack for most of the season.

6. Florida Mayhem (4-2, 4 League Points)

Someone’s Winston and Rein play has kept Mayhem relevant as the team builds their identity around an unusual set of players. Hydron has been good but not outstanding and SirMajed has had some inconsistent moments, but I don’t see this team falling too far unless the meta shifts in some way that Someone is unable to adapt to. This team’s 4-2 record is potentially a bit inflated as the best team they’ve beaten so far this season has been Washington Justice, but they’ve played good teams close and don’t have any really bad losses on their resume, so there’s certainly hope in Florida.

7. Toronto Defiant (4-2, 4 League Points)

Defiant are a similar story to Houston, not seeming like they have the talent to compete with the best teams in the region but not bad enough to lose to the teams below them in the standings. The primary difference is that while Houston have 2 potential stars in Mer1t and Pelican, Toronto only really have 1 (Twilight). A good amount of depth at tank keeps this team fairly meta-proof, but they will have to figure something out regarding their dps line as Although has looked shaky at times. An early stage 2 match against Mayhem should be a good test for both teams as to how they handle changes to the game.

8. Washington Justice (3-3, 3 League Points)

Once again, the Justice are massively underperforming in relation to the talent they have on their roster. A meta that let them run Decay on Tracer, Happy on Soldier, and Mag on Winston should have been perfect for the Justice, and they were able to showcase their potential against Reign in week 2 and on the first two maps against Shock in the Kickoff Clash tournament, but ultimately they were unable to find any kind of synergy between their star players and they ended up dropping the last 2 matches they played in the regular season, including an ugly loss to Boston, before going 0-2 in the tournament. Decay needs to figure things out fast if Justice want to turn their season around and reach their true potential.

9. London Spitfire (3-3, 3 League Points)

The Rein 1 trick team was a pleasant surprise during stage 1, nearly qualifying for the tournament despite being near the bottom of everyone’s power rankings heading into the season. They still aren’t good, as evidenced by the fact that they lost 3-0 to Houston in a relatively non competitive match, but perhaps they’ll be this year’s Chengdu Hunters and continue to pull off unexpected upsets like they did in week 4 against Atlanta. The team seems to have no flexibility whatsoever in their team compositions. No matter the meta, no matter the map, expect Hadi to be on Rein pressing the W key while Backbone looks for Mei walls.

10. Boston Uprising (2-4, 2 League Points)

Having shed Marve1 and Striker in favor of a consistent lineup of Valentine, Victoria, and Punk, the Uprising seem to be at least respectable and unlikely to lose any more maps against Vancouver Titans. They aren’t good, and probably never will be, but at least with some flexibility and solid dps play the Uprising will not be a laughingstock like in years past. I don’t expect them to win more than 3 matches in any given stage, but I don’t think they’ll ever go 0-6 either. For what is now a very low-budget squad, I guess that’s not the worst thing in the world.

11. NYXL (1-5, 1 League Point)

How can a team this talented be this bad, you ask? Simple: they aren’t actually that talented. Outside of Yaki, who always seems to underperform, nobody on this team is really a force to be reckoned with. Myunbong has been average on Ana, Gangnamjin is stuck in Lucio jail and looks like he’ll remain there for the foreseeable future, and Flora has simply been bad. Kellan has been underwhelming on tank so far and with what is functionally a 5 man roster, the team has almost no flexibility. The only way this team does well is if the meta specifically shifts to Zen-Ana-Tracer so that Gangnamjin, Myunbong, and Yaki can play their best heroes and drag the other two members of the team to respectability.

12. Paris Eternal (0-6, 0 League Points)

A team that simply seems to lack the talent to keep up with the rest of the league. Glister, supposedly the team’s star dps player, has been below average. Daan and Vestola have not had the impact they’ve needed to, and Kaan and Dridro haven’t been able to replicate the success they had last season. Taking Outlaws to map 5 was a step in the right direction, but I don’t see this team producing any real results any time soon.

posted 1 month ago

Toronto Defiant 3-0 Paris Eternal

Toronto looked to solidify their place among the upper tier of teams in the West division against a Paris team in flux after having to cut Naga due to financial issues. In Wub’s debut, Paris would’ve like to justify bringing him in to replace their long-time starter, but unfortunately they were outclassed from the beginning by Toronto. With Vestola in to play the Zarya-Reaper composition on New Queen Street, Paris looked unprepared for Toronto’s aggression, as Muze and Twilight helped give Toronto a nearly insurmountable lead with 5 minutes left on the clock. At that point, the map was basically over and the last 5 minutes were just a series of messy fights with no clear winner. Route 66 started a bit better for Paris, as they were able to hold Toronto short of the final point, but on their offense Vestola overextended to use a graviton surge that was countered by CH0R0NG’s sound barrier, costing them time on 1st point, and Wub’s dragonblade got slept by Twilight at the end of 2nd to seal a Toronto map win and a 2-0 series lead. Finally, we came to Eichenwalde where Vestola did a bit of feeding early on as Muze dominated the tank matchup en route to a full cap with 3:25 in the time bank for Toronto on offense. On Paris’ offense, Finale was able to lock down Glister and Wub with his Echo play, and Muze cleaned up at the end of fights to secure the full hold for Toronto and a clean series sweep.

Raisin’s MVP: CH0R0NG (TOR, Main Support)

Team of the Week: Dallas Fuel

Player of the Week: Decay (WAS, Damage)

Power Rankings (With Changes From Last Week)

West

  1. Dallas Fuel (+3)
  2. LA Gladiators (-1)
  3. SF Shock (+0)
  4. Washington Justice (+2)
  5. Atlanta Reign (-3)
  6. Toronto Defiant (+1)
  7. Houston Outlaws (-2)
  8. Florida Mayhem (+0)
  9. London Spitfire (+1)
  10. NYXL (+1)
  11. Paris Eternal (+1)
  12. Boston Uprising (-3)
  13. Vancouver Titans (+0)

East (No changes)

  1. Shanghai Dragons
  2. Seoul Dynasty
  3. Philly Fusion
  4. Hangzhou Spark
  5. Chengdu Hunters
  6. Guangzhou Charge
  7. LA Valiant
posted 1 month ago

Dallas Fuel 3-2 LA Gladiators (Game of the Week)

The showdown between heavyweights pitted a Dallas team that liked to use Reaper and Zarya against a Gladiators team that preferred Doomfist and Soldier. On map 1, Colosseo, each team produced a solid amount of push before a clutch play by Kevster on Tracer gave the Gladiators the edge they needed to go up 1-0 in the series. Map 2, Gibraltar, Dallas brought in Fearless in place of Hanbin as both teams were locked into the Winston-Ana-Brig composition for the entirety of the map. Dallas captured the final checkpoint with 1:03 remaining in their time bank. Not to be outdone, Gladiators, propelled by Skewed’s Brig and Kevster’s Genji, were able to cap with 1:04 remaining. While this created a situation that was actually advantageous for Dallas, I’m not going to get into the specifics of my whole payload map attacker's advantage rant here and just say that Skewed made the difference in propelling LA to a map win to put themselves up 2-0. Dallas, now needing to win 3 maps in a row to take the series, brought back Hanbin for Eichenwalde to play Zarya and put Edison on Reaper once again. From here, Hanbin took over the series. His Zarya provided a source of damage Reiner simply could not match on Winston as Dallas began their comeback with a win on Eichenwalde to cut the deficit to 2-1. Ilios was a back-and-forth affair, with the two teams trading rounds to set up a decisive round 3 on Lighthouse. Here, Hanbin made the surprising swap onto Winston where he put the team on his back and led Dallas to a win on Ilios, setting up a decisive map 5 on New Queen Street. Things were looking good for LA on the final map as strong play from Kevster and ANS gave them the first checkpoint and forward spawns, but key plays by Chiyo, Edison, and Hanbin allowed Dallas to fight back and take the lead with just 25 seconds left on the clock to secure the map and complete the reverse sweep.

Raisin’s MVP: Hanbin (DAL, Tank)

NYXL 3-1 Vancouver Titans

Another Titans match, another loss for the Breadstick Boys. Not much else to say, really. NYXL didn’t look great here but they’ll have to be happy with their first win of the season. Map 1, New Queen Street, saw Titans finally do what everyone had been wanting them to do and play Shockwave. His Soldier play proved to be the difference maker in an incredibly close map with each team having chances to win. Vancouver had to be feeling pretty good about their chances heading into map 2, Gibraltar, especially with Shockwave remaining in the lineup to play Widowmaker and Soldier. Any hope of Titans success, however, was immediately snuffed out by False picking Roadhog. Titans got full held. They then proceeded to C9, giving New York the map and tying the series up 1-1. Shockwave and Skairipa led a stout defense for Vancouver on Eichenwalde, stopping NYXL short of the 2nd point and giving some more fleeting hope to Titans fans, but then Yaki remembered he was more talented than the entire Titans roster combined and his Genji helped NYXL produce another full hold to put them up 2-1 in the series. Map 4, Lijiang Tower, was very close, and Vancouver seemed poised to send the series to a fifth map before some heroics from Flora on Reaper and Kellan on Winston kept New York in the map. From there, Yaki took over the game on Tracer, killing 4 players in the decisive final fight to finish off New York’s first win without Jjonak.
Raisin’s MVP: Kellan (NYXL, Tank)

Houston Outlaws 3-2 Florida Mayhem

A must-win game for Houston, who could not afford to start 1-3, and a key test for Mayhem if they could compete with the better teams in the region. Map 1, Colosseo, began with Outlaws taking a lead on the back of Pelican’s Echo, and although Mayhem were able to make a push to make the map close, in the end, it was a massive sleep dart from Ir1s onto Checkmate’s Sombra while he had EMP that gave the Outlaws the advantage they needed to take the map and go up 1-0 heading into map 2. That map, Route 66, saw Piggy sub in for Danteh to play Zarya. The Outlaws basically were copying what Dallas has been doing, with Zarya, Reaper, and Genji enabling a slower style. This strategy was working well for a while on offense, but a swap to Echo from Checkmate allowed Florida to shut down the Reaper and hold Outlaws just before the 2nd point. On offense, Mayhem stalled for a while on 1st point, but were eventually able to break through as Piggy died with 99% to grav, tying the series up 1-1. Danteh came back in on King’s Row, where Houston’s offense went reasonably well, fully capturing the map with 1:19 left in the time bank. Pelican’s Echo did what we’ve come to expect from Pelican’s Echo. Florida had a chance to match that, or at least come close, but then Anamo walked off of the map and Houston took a 2-1 lead. Map 4, Lijiang Tower, was Checkmate’s revenge map on Sombra, as he shut down Danteh’s Doomfist and Mayhem rolled to a victory 2-0 to send the match to New Queen Street. Houston were now playing a map 5, so hopes were not high, but Mer1t pulled out a miracle to save the Outlaws and keep their season alive.

Raisin’s MVP: Ir1s (HOU, Flex Support)

SF Shock 3-1 NYXL

A matchup between two teams headed in opposite directions, the only question here seemed to be if NYXL could take a map or not. On New Queen Street, they would not succeed in this task as Proper dueled Yaki to a draw on Tracer, effectively killing New York’s best chance at creating an advantage. An early lead in the map allowed Shock to coast to an undramatic 1-0 series lead. On map 2, Dorado, Proper and Yaki shifted to facing off on Genji, with Proper gaining the upper hand in part due to the pressure provided by Kilo and Coluge. Kilo in particular destroyed Flora in the Widowmaker duel on New York’s offense. Up 2-0, it looked like the Shock were in position for the sweep, but NYXL had other plans on King’s Row. With s9mm stepping in for Kilo to play Echo, San Francisco’s attack went well, fully capturing the map with 2:18 remaining. NYXL responded by swapping to the Zarya-Reaper composition, pushing through the map 43 seconds faster to set up more rounds. A sound barrier from Gangnamjin to counter s9mm’s nano-blossom provided the difference as NYXL took the map to force the Shock to finish the match on Control. SF brought Kilo back in for Oasis, and he and Proper took turns making big plays to lead Shock to a quick 2-0 map win to close out the series.

Raisin’s MVP: Kilo (SFS, Damage)

posted 1 month ago

Week 2 recap time, let’s do this.

Florida Mayhem 3-0 Vancouver Titans

The most lopsided match of the season so far showed just how far Vancouver have to go before they become a good team. Mirror’s debut was less than ideal, and False continued to look bad. Map 1, Colosseo, saw Mayhem become the first team to fully cap a push map as Someone and Checkmate ran all over Titans to set the tone for the series. Dorado started off pretty much the same way, with Mayhem setting an absurd time, capturing the final point with 2:36 remaining. Vancouver showed some fight on their offense, but by that point it was too late to make a comeback, and Florida took a 2-0 lead heading into King’s Row. King’s Row itself was a slaughter, with Mayhem setting a 3:16 full-cap time, and then Someone proceeded to spawn camp Titans as Florida full-held to finish off a brutal sweep.

Raisin’s MVP: Someone (FLA, Tank)

SF Shock 3-1 Houston Outlaws

Houston appears to be in trouble. No Winston, no win. It seems like they were figured out by Toronto and now every team just plays Tracer into Danteh’s Doomfist and kills him. Shock leaned into this strategy by playing Kilo instead of S9mm on all 4 maps and mostly using him on Soldier or Tracer. Danteh managed to find good value on occasion, but ultimately on symmetrical maps (Control and Push), slow starts by Houston doomed them to a loss. Map 1, New Queen Street, was the most one-sided of the match. Danteh and Pelican were unable to find any value on their signature heroes and Shock easily swept through and fully capped the map. Map 2 saw Piggy brought in for Danteh to play Sigma on Circuit Royal, and Pelican tried playing Bastion for some reason. Houston nearly got full held, but a timely switch off of Bastion to Genji did the trick for Pelican and the Outlaws were able to at least get the first point. That was as far as they were able to get though, as the hill on point 2 proved too difficult for Houston to climb. The Outlaws defense was going well, holding outside of Shock’s spawn on second point with 2 minutes remaining, but then a bad sound barrier by Lastro and some completely inexcusable stagger kills off of the payload let Shock push the payload the required distance to secure the map and a 2-0 series lead. Houston brought Danteh back in for Midtown, where his Doomfist combined with Mer1t’s Soldier and Reaper were able to outplay Coluge’s Winston and Proper’s Tracer to fully capture the final point in overtime on offense and then hold Shock short of point 2 to send the match to a map 4. Map 4 was, unfortunately for Houston, Control, where they have historically been awful. Ilios was a clean 2-0 for Shock, with Danteh’s Doomfist finding very little value and Proper’s Echo cleaning up on the advantages generated from Coluge being on Winston. Houston are now 5-1 on asymmetrical maps (Hybrid and Escort) and 1-5 on symmetrical maps (Control and Push).

Raisin’s MVP: Proper (SFS, Damage)

Washington Justice 3-0 Atlanta Reign
Coming off of an up-and-down week 1, Washington Justice decided they’d rather be up by dismantling the previously unbeaten Atlanta Reign. Map 1, Colosseo, was a great example of why the Push game mode is awful and desperately needs a rework, as Justice basically won purely off of the fact that they won the opening fight. Hawk’s Doomfist seemed to get a little less value than Mag’s Winston, but the real difference maker for Washington was Decay, who absolutely dumpstered Nero in the Tracer duel. Decay pulled off a Fleta Deadlift on Colosseo (admittedly a slightly less impressive feat in the era of 5v5), accounting for 13 of the team’s 23 kills. On Dorado, Hawk tried a switch onto D.Va, but in addition to Decay, Happy started to do Happy things. Pulling off a DPS diff on Kai is not an easy task, but Happy made Kai look silly trying to play Soldier against Happy’s Widowmaker. Washington fully capped Dorado with 3:21 left on the clock, a blistering pace that Atlanta could not hope to match. On offense, Kai decided he’d had enough and swapped to Widowmaker himself, a decision that immediately paid off with 2 headshots sending Happy back to spawn where he decided to forgo the Widow duel in favor of playing Soldier himself. The role of dealing with Kai then passed to Decay, who mercilessly pestered Kai on Tracer, preventing him from hitting any more headshots as Happy dealt with the rest of Atlanta. A full hold sent the series to Eichenwalde with Justice holding a 2-0 lead. Atlanta finally broke through with Hawk on Zarya and Nero on Reaper. Reign’s offense plowed through the map, setting an almost-unbeatable mark with 4:13 remaining after completing the map. Justice, for their part, had a good attacking half by most standards, finishing with 1:52 left after a beautiful boop from Opener forced a C9 at the end of the map. Nevertheless, Justice had work to do if they wanted to overcome the over 2 minute difference in the time banks. Thanks to a clutch Reaper ult from Decay and the weird quirks of Escort maps, Washington were able to find enough to close out the upset in 3 maps.

Raisin’s MVP: Decay (WAS, Damage)

London Spitfire 3-1 Boston Uprising

The continuing trend of London playing Rein everywhere gave us a very close first map, as Colosseo saw neither team reach a checkpoint in their push. Ultimately, Marve1’s Doomfist was the difference maker as Boston took an early lead in the series. From there, things went downhill for Uprising. Map 2, Route 66, had both teams play the meta Winston-Ana-Soldier comp, but for Boston, there was an unusual decision made to play Punk on Winston instead of Itsal or Marve1, who are more experienced on the hero. A close map ended in a London victory after a long overtime push on their second attack led by SparkR’s Soldier. On Midtown, Boston brought Marve1 back in to play Doomfist, and London went back to their trademark Rein. After a horrible C9 on point 2 on defense, Boston were unable to reach that point on attack giving London a 2-1 series lead heading into map 4. Map 4, Lijiang Tower, was just about a best-case scenario for London, as Rein can be very effective on that map. Strong Soldier play from SparkR and a good showing from Landon paved the way for a 2-0 victory on Lijiang Tower and a 3-1 series win for the Spitfire.

Raisin’s MVP: Backbone (LDN, Damage)

posted 1 month ago

Toronto Defiant 3-2 Houston Outlaws

Houston was coming off of a 3-0 win over Dallas. Toronto was coming off of a 3-1 loss to Justice, who we had just seen get destroyed by Dallas. Houston seemed to have a solid grasp of what they wanted to play, leaning on Pelican’s Echo to carry them in fights while everyone else just stayed alive. Everything was pointing to a Houston win. Houston, of course, lost, because that’s what they do. Starting off on Lijiang Tower, Pelican and Mer1t looked dominant until a C9 handed the map to Toronto 2-1. In classic Outlaws fashion, if they had simply done the simple things right they’d have won the match 3-0 but instead they wind up losing. Map 2, King’s Row, saw Pelican’s Echo cause too many problems for Toronto to handle, as Houston tied the series up. On Gibraltar, Defiant started off strong with a defense holding Houston before point 2 and a couple of picks giving them some early cart push on attack, but from there it was all Outlaws as Mer1t and Ir1s took over to put Houston ahead 2-1 heading into New Queen Street. Map 4 was where things turned around for Toronto, as they were able to exploit a weakness in Houston’s roster. With Danteh being a Doomfist 1-trick and Piggy being an OW1 off-tank, nobody on Houston can play Winston. Muze, however can, and his play on the hero could not be matched by the Outlaws, who, with Danteh playing all 5 maps in the series, were stuck on a Doomfist pick that seemed to be getting less and less value as the match went on. Due to the snowbally nature of Push as a game mode, once Toronto won a couple of fights early on, the map was basically over. Houston’s final chance to avoid stumbling was on Ilios, where despite some early success by Danteh, the space and pressure created by Muze on Winston overwhelmed the Outlaws and allowed Finale to run wild on Tracer, and the map turned into a rout as Toronto easily won Ilios 2-0 to finish off the 3-2 series win.

Raisin’s MVP: Muze (TOR, Tank)

Team of the Week: Atlanta Reign

Player of the Week: Ultraviolet (ATL, Flex Support)

Power Rankings (now split up by region because it makes more sense to do it that way, +/- compared to preseason rankings)

West

  1. LA Gladiators (+0)
  2. Atlanta Reign (+1)
  3. SF Shock (+4)
  4. Dallas Fuel (-2)
  5. Houston Outlaws (+1)
  6. Washington Justice (-2)
  7. Toronto Defiant (-2)
  8. Florida Mayhem (+1)
  9. Boston Uprising (-1)
  10. London Spitfire (+3)
  11. NYXL (+1)
  12. Paris Eternal (-2)
  13. Vancouver Titans (-2)

East

  1. Shanghai Dragons (+0)
  2. Seoul Dynasty (+0)
  3. Philly Fusion (+1)
  4. Hangzhou Spark (+1)
  5. Chengdu Hunters (-2)
  6. Guangzhou Charge (+0)
  7. LA Valiant (+0)

Note: Changes to rankings in East Division, despite 0 games being played, are due to reports about Chengdu having to sell off/cut some of their players because of financial issues.

posted 1 month ago

Washington Justice 3-1 Toronto Defiant

The fifth iteration of the Toronto Defiant roster kicked off the 2022 season against a team known for high-end talent and inconsistent results, the Washington Justice. Map 1, Ilios, was a convincing 2-0 for Defiant, with Muze’s Winston consistently finding more value than Kalios’ Zarya and D.Va, and Decay struggling to find value on Genji for Justice. On map 2, Midtown, Washington brought in their preferred Winston player, Mag, and thanks to a long hold midway through the 2nd point on their defense, Justice were able to tie the series up 1-1. Map 3, Circuit Royal, was where Justice's talent truly began to shine through. Bringing Kalios back in for Mag, Washington played the same Sigma-Brig-Zen composition as Boston had earlier in the week, taking advantage of Circuit Royal’s long sightlines to allow Happy to basically kill everything with Widowmaker. Whether Toronto put Heesu on Widowmaker or Sombra to try to counter Happy, they were unsuccessful, as Washington took the map and a 2-1 series lead heading into map 4, New Queen Street. Map 4 was a tightly contested affair, with Mag’s Doomfist facing off against Muze’s Winston. Ultimately, Washington was able to gain the upper hand and finish off the series thanks to strong play from Happy and Decay as well as some timely help from Push mode’s forward spawn mechanic.

Raisin’s MVP: Happy (WAS, Damage)

Atlanta Reign 3-0 NYXL

Atlanta looked to build off of the momentum gained from their win over Mayhem by making a strong statement against a New York team that looked rather middling in their loss to Gladiators. Map 1, Oasis, started off with Ultraviolet instantly winning the first team fight for Atlanta with a huge anti nade, and the Reign cruised from there, winning an easy 2-0. Map 2, King’s Row, was a little better for NYXL, as they were able to contain Kai’s Soldier and generate some fight wins with Yaki’s Genji, but ultimately Nero’s Tracer and Reaper play were too much for them to handle and Atlanta won the map. On the final map, Route 66, a really bad C9 on their defensive half put New York in a hole they were ultimately unable to climb out of, as Atlanta closed out the series for a dominant 3-0 sweep.

Raisin’s MVP: Nero (ATL, Damage)

LA Gladiators 3-1 Boston Uprising

The heavily favored Gladiators probably came into this match feeling pretty good about their chances having witnessed the nonsense that was the Uprising’s win over Vancouver. The series kicked off on Ilios with Gladiators playing their “A” lineup (Patiphan, FunnyAstro, Reiner), and while Boston were able to win some fights thanks in part to Striker’s performance on Soldier, ultimately LA took the map 2-0 behind some strong play from Patiphan and Kevster. Eichenwalde saw Boston play the best they looked all week, with Punk’s Zarya leading the way to a convincing map win as Boston held LA before point 2 on defense and then pushed to victory with just over 2:00 remaining on their attack. Heading into Gibraltar, both teams made subs, with ANS and Skewed coming in for Patiphan and FunnyAstro on the Gladiators’ side, and Boston bringing in Victoria, Itsal, and MCD for Striker, Punk, and Crimzo. ANS’ signature Widowmaker pick proved to be too much for Boston to handle, as even when he wasn’t killing everything the fear he struck in Boston’s hearts gave LA all of the space they needed to win team fight after team fight. Kevster’s dragonblades provided the cleanup as LA went up 2-1 heading into Colosseo. Map 4 saw the return of the lineups used by both teams for the first 2 maps of the series, and while Boston was able to generate some push late in the map, the advantage LA gained from unlocking forward spawns first ended up being a difference maker as Patiphan and Kevster closed out the map, and the series, for the Gladiators.

Raisin’s MVP: Kevster (LAG, Damage)

London Spitfire 3-0 Vancouver Titans

In a matchup between two teams that went a combined 1-29 last season when not facing each other, each side was looking for a chance to shake off an ugly start after playing poorly in loses earlier in the week. Oasis showed that London were willing to stick with the Rein composition they’d used against Shock despite not being successful with it in that match, but this time, perhaps due to the fact that they were facing a much weaker opponent, London were able to find success, as Hadi and Backbone were able to generate tons of space for SparkR to shoot from behind, leading to a 2-1 victory for Spitfire. Map 2 was King’s Row, famously friendly to Rein, and London took advantage, stopping Vancouver halfway through the Streets phase before pushing to the mark with over 2:40 remaining to put the series win within one map. That map was Route 66, where London was forced to swap to a Winston composition, which ultimately resulted in a really bad C9 on their offense right before the final point. Vancouver were in a pretty good position to take the map, but strong play from Hadi and SparkR shut down the Titans’ attack short of the 2nd point, ending the match in a 3-0 win for London.

Raisin’s MVP: Hadi (LDN, Tank)

Florida Mayhem 3-1 Paris Eternal

Two teams looking to shake off losses earlier in the week faced off in what seemed like an especially important test for Mayhem. If they couldn’t win this match, things would not look good. Oasis was a closely contested first map, with Daan finding some success on Rein, but ultimately Mayhem were able to use their ults more effectively, taking the map 2-1. Map 2, Midtown, featured an intense Genji duel between Naga and Checkmate, with each taking turns making big plays throughout the map. Ultimately, though, it was Glister’s Soldier play that decided things in Paris’ favor, as they were able to stop the Mayhem’s attack short of point 2 to secure the map win and tie the series up. Circuit Royal saw Paris make a substitution, bringing Vestola in for Daan in order to play Zarya. Mayhem appeared to win the map fairly convincingly, fully capturing all 3 points before holding Paris short of the 2nd checkpoint, however OWL ruled that Mayhem had used an illegal teleport strategy on their attack and had to redo that portion of the map, and though things didn’t go quite as smoothly for Florida the 2nd time around, they were still able to reach the mark needed for victory. Map 4, New Queen Street, saw Paris bring Daan back in place of Vestola, but this did not have the intended effect as Florida rolled through to finish off the series and claim their first win of the season.

Raisin’s MVP: Someone (FLA, Tank)

Dallas Fuel 3-0 Washington Justice

Dallas, looking to take out their frustration stemming from being upset by the Outlaws in decisive fashion, brought the hammer down on a Washington Justice team that at least can be reasonably satisfied with a 1-1 week. Map 1, Lijiang Tower, saw the Dallas duo of Edison and Sp9rkle dominate their counterparts on Justice, leading to a 2-0 Fuel win. Eichenwalde was a continuation of this trend, with Edison’s Reaper putting in massive work containing Mag’s Winston and devastating the Washington backline. Hanbin came in for Fearless to play Zarya and Doomfist, setting up Edison and keeping him protected with bubbles while he killed everything. Finally, on Route 66, with Justice bringing Kalios in for Mag for the Zarya mirror, Hanbin looked to assert his dominance as the better OW1 off-tank. He did just that, as Justice were unable to get anything going on their attack, pushing the payload just 41.96 m before being stopped in their tracks. Dallas wasted no time pushing to that mark, completing a dominant 3-0 sweep.

Raisin’s MVP: Edison (DAL, Damage)

posted 1 month ago

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)

posted 1 month ago

I'm not sure exactly what Shahz is to the valorant community, but I'd say Sp9rkle is sort of like TenZ, Fleta is a bit like Cned, and the closest thing to a zombs I can think of would be Coluge. A good hype man might be ultraviolet or danteh, and a good pure aimer could be Happy or Leave

posted 1 month ago

Having played a bit of OW2, having seen enough roster changes to warrant it, and having heard some things through the scrimbux grapevine (thanks, Gabe), I've decided to update my preseason power rankings. Having already subjected people to my thoughts previously, I'm just going to post my 1-20 rankings without comment.

  1. Los Angeles Gladiators
  2. Dallas Fuel
  3. Shanghai Dragons
  4. Atlanta Reign
  5. Seoul Dynasty
  6. Chengdu Hunters
  7. Philly Fusion
  8. Hangzhou Spark
  9. Washington Justice
  10. Toronto Defiant
  11. Houston Outlaws
  12. Guangzhou Charge
  13. San Francisco Shock
  14. Boston Uprising
  15. Florida Mayhem
  16. Vancouver Titans
  17. Paris Eternal
  18. Los Angeles Valiant
  19. NYXL
  20. London Spitfire
posted 2 months ago

Update: With super's retirement, Shock drop all the way to 14th in my power rankings.

posted 3 months ago

Unfortunate but it was pretty obvious this was going to happen sooner or later. Too much money to be made in streaming for super to really have any reason to stick around in OWL.

posted 3 months ago

Aspire and Choisehwan are just as talented as Hydron, while Eileen and Shockwave have shown much more ability than Checkmate or Mirror. I just don't see the Mayhem lineup, especially the support line, being able to measure up to the rest of the league. I think your point about Gunba is a good one, and it's certainly possible Hydron becomes the next Kai and carries the team to a surprise success, but right now I just don't trust a Mayhem org that managed to go 5-11 with a significantly more talented lineup to win. Of course, Titans and Valiant aren't exactly trustworthy themselves, so that point may be meaningless. Either way, I think it's reasonable to say that they won't be as bad as London and probably won't be as good as Boston or Philly.

posted 3 months ago

Update: With the news that LA Valiant will likely be signing Sasin to play tank I think I can move them up to 18th in my initial ranking.

posted 3 months ago

Yes. In 2019 (the last time sinatraa was actually good at a game). https://www.over.gg/11743/shd-vs-sfs-overwatch-league-2019-season-s3-s3p-gf/?map=7

posted 3 months ago

I lie in wait, always prepared for anyone who might be tricked into reading my questionable takes about pro overwatch. You didn't just revive the dead, you woke the sleeping (Shanghai) Dragon

posted 4 months ago

11. Toronto Defiant
Led by star support player Twilight, the Defiant look to finally find some consistency in their roster and in their results. Since their debut in 2019, the Defiant have undergone complete roster overhauls 4 separate times, with the current team retaining only Heesu from last year's team. Even if the team doesn't have a ton of history together, however, the players individually bring a significant amount of experience, with Heesu, Hotba, Muze, and Twilight all having played for teams that made deep playoff runs.

12. Philly Fusion
Veteran tank player Fury returns to Philly after a year in Washington, to find only one other player remaining from the 2020 team that finished in 4th place. That player, of course, is dps legend carpe, who has become almost as synonymous with the city of Philadelphia as Ben Franklin or overrated sandwiches. The two of them will look to find success for a Fusion team coming off a disappointing 2021 season as well as the tragic passing of Alarm, who was not only an MVP-caliber support player but also a beloved teammate and friend. We miss you Alarm.

13. Boston Uprising
2020 Grand Finals MVP Striker returns to the team that originally signed him back before the inaugural season in 2017. He joins new additions Marve1, Crimzo, and MCD as well as returning starters from last season’s 7-9 Boston team Valentine, Punk, and Faith. Depending on how well the team can create opportunities for Striker and how well Striker adapts to the new game, this team could finish pretty much anywhere outside of the top and bottom 3.

14. NYXL
For the first time in team history, the NYXL will play without their MVP, Jjonak. As the team rebuilds around the former Florida Mayhem duo of Yaki and Gangnamjin, fans must look to the future as the franchise that went 56-12 over its first two seasons tries to reinvent itself after going 7-9 in 2021. Yaki and Gangnamjin come in with their own uncertainties, having played for a talented but underwhelming Florida team that was the biggest disappointment in the league at 5-11 last year. They are joined by former Boston support Myunbong, new tank Kellan, and dps Flora, the only holdover from last season’s NYXL.

15. Paris Eternal
Last season’s pleasant surprise at 8-8 returns a very similar team, with the biggest change being the addition of dps Glister to make up for the departure of Onigod. A team that traditionally has favored team play over individual talent, Eternal may struggle to adapt to the new game. Then again, I’ve underestimated this team in the past and Glister has shown flashes of potential during his time with London and San Francisco.

16. Guangzhou Charge
A team still looking for its first playoff win after 3 years in the league, the Charge have made the rather unusual choice of bringing back the majority of their roster from 2021 despite going just 5-11 in the regular season. The dps duo of Eileen and ChoiSehwan are hoping to have a breakout year after playing respectably last season but being unable to carry the rest of the team. New support players Unique and Molly will try to be upgrades over 2021 starters Mandu and Kariv, and they will have to be if this team wants to go anywhere in 2022.

17. Vancouver Titans
The breadstick kings come into 2022 fielding a roster headed by the dps duo of Aspire and Shockwave, who is back with the Titans after a year riding the bench in San Francisco. The additions of Masaa and Aztac on support should be solid upgrades over Roolf and Fire. As of this writing False is the only tank player on the Titans’ roster, which could be problematic, but, as with everything else, I’m only speculating about a game I’ve never even seen played. Either way, this team finally managed to get rid of LiNkzr, so they’ll be better than they were last year.

18. Florida Mayhem
Built around the unproven talents of Checkmate, SirMajed, and SOMEONE, as well as two unusual veterans in MirroR and Anamo, this Florida team seems to have embraced all of the memes and might be banking on the Avast/Plat Chat companion stream to keep people interested while they get pummeled by superior talent. GM Albert “Dickomode'' Yeh has to prove he’s capable of building a team after last season’s disappointment, or else Mayhem should move on from the community darling. #BrickedUp

19. London Spitfire
A team that went 1-15 last year has brought back 2 players, dps SparkR and Shax, and will look to the addition of veteran fan-favorite tank player Poko to lead this group of otherwise unremarkable talent. The team continues to insist on an all-EU roster despite the lack of success from previous all-EU teams, but there is at least some legitimate talent on the roster. I’m not expecting much from London, but maybe Shax can lead them to respectability.

20. LA Valiant
Everybody’s favorite punching bag hasn’t announced its full roster yet, but from what we do know nothing about this team looks particularly promising. They’ve abandoned their previous all-chinese identity by adding dps players Innovation and Becky from Contenders KR. They’ll join Diya to form an unimpressive but potentially competent rotation. The Valiant support line currently consists of Coldest and Lengsa. Neither of them are fantastic, but at least they’re not putting a tank player on support again. Depending on who else they sign (they have not announced a tank player yet) the potential of this team ranges from “Chengdu but without the talent to push them any higher than 15th” to “somehow subjecting Diya to another winless season”.

posted 4 months ago

A new year, a new season, and an entirely new game that nobody has seen any of these teams play before. That's right, in this edition of my pre-season power rankings I'm going to be attempting to predict teams' success in Overwatch 2 despite never having seen the game played at any level. Given my record, I'm expecting this to be 100% accurate except for Chengdu who are somehow again going to outperform my expectations. Anyways, with apologies to Tamagao, Hudsen, and all of the other actual writers who have worked for this site and vlr, here is the order of finish for all 20 OWL teams for the 2022 season.

1. LA Gladiators
The most complete team. They have a support line with god aim and fantastic flexibility. Space seems like an ideal solo tank player. ANS-Kevster is a scary dps line, with incredible aim and experience. Patiphan is the X factor. He might be an mvp candidate or he might ride the bench all season, but even if he does, the aforementioned duo of ANS and Kevster are more than capable of carrying. With the support of a great org in The Guard and elite experience at the highest levels of esports, Gladiators can finally break through to win a title and earn the respect they've been seeking as one of the league's perennial favorites.

2. Shanghai Dragons
2021's champs return with a lineup featuring the dps gods Fleta and Lip. These two can carry the team far even if they don't get the same level of tank and support play as last year. Shifts in the way the game is played could hurt this team a bit, as Leejaegon might not be as effective in certain possible metas forcing the team to sub him out for newly acquired BeBe, but Void and Izayaki should be good enough to keep the Dragons in any game while Fleta and Lip kill everything.

3. Seoul Dynasty
Losing Jjonak to retirement hurts this team, but the Dynasty still look to be a top team in 2022 for 1 reason: Profit. Overwatch's GOAT looks to carry over his incredible flexibility, god aim, and unbreakable mental into this new era. With his trusted partner Fits and new addition Smurf, Seoul can never be counted out. As usual, expect this team to underperform in the regular season before going on a run in the playoffs.

4. Chengdu Hunters
With a reputation for chaotic play and a legendary love of low-heal, high damage compositions, Hunters seem best suited to make the transition to OW 2. While I don't rate the duo of Jinmu and Leave as highly as some people, they're still legitimate threats who know how to play with the space created by star tank Ga9a. Farway1987, Mmonk, Yveltal and Nisha form possibly the most flexible support rotation in the league.

5. Dallas Fuel
Returning mostly the same team from last year's 3rd place squad, Dallas look to star dps Sp9rkle to lead their team into the future. It will be interesting to see who gets the majority of the playing time between tanks Fearless and Hanbin, as neither seem completely capable of filling every role but both have the potential to be stars on their best heroes. Fielder and ChiYo form a potentially deadly support duo, although the pair's flexibility remains a bit of an unknown.

6. San Fransisco Shock
Unlike many of the teams above them, the Shock's strengths are not found in their dps line. Rather, their biggest strength comes in the form of their team captain and the face of the league, super. A unique talent who can play just about any tank hero, look for super to take on a much greater role with the departures of smurf and Choihyobin. Viol2t still has the potential to be the best support player in the league, but we'll have to see if he can meet that potential, as he did in 2019 and 2020, or if he'll falter as he did in 2021. Coach Crusty must reassert himself as the best in the business for this team to truly contend for a championship. If things start to go poorly and super retires to become a full-time streamer, this team could end up in a downward spiral that might send them to the bottom tier of the league.

7. Atlanta Reign
Last season's surprise finalists return with a western-focused lineup led by legendary tank Gator. With the ability to play a wide variety of heroes at a high level, the leader of the original GOATS squad that revolutionized Overwatch back in 2018 will try to replicate that team's success as a trailblazer and innovator of novel strategies in a new game. The loss of dps player Pelican and support players Ir1s and Masaa weaken the team a bit, but at least they retain one star dps in Kai.

8. Washington Justice
On paper, this team has the talent to compete with anyone in the league. Dps players Decay and Happy have incredibly high ceilings and great flexibility, while tanks Mag and Kalios provide consistency and flexibility. Supports Krillin, OPENER, and vigilante are relative unknowns, but the biggest question for this team will always be whether they'll be able to avoid self-destructing and failing to meet their potential. Last season's team had the potential to be the best in the league but ultimately had to settle for 7th/8th after nearly failing to qualify for playoffs and then winning just 1 of 7 maps they played once they got there.

9. Hangzhou Spark
Over the past couple of seasons, the Spark have become a bit of a benchmark for the other teams in the APAC region; the good teams beat them and the bad teams lose to them. Led by dps Shy and tank guxue, the Spark figure to be on a similar level as last year. Not quite competitive with the league's elite but more than capable of beating up on weaker teams like the LA Valiant. New support addition Superich is highly thought of, but it remains to be seen if he'll be able to adapt to the changes coming in OW2.

10. Houston Outlaws
Similar to the Spark, 2021 saw the Houston Outlaws, aside from a pair of early season upsets, mostly beat weaker competition while losing badly to their rivals in Dallas and Atlanta. The team has made some big changes, with the additions of Pelican, MER1T, Lastro, and Ir1s giving the team the option to field a full-Korean lineup for the first time in franchise history. I’m not sure I’m a fan of this, as it makes it difficult for Houston to find a role for their only remaining western player, Danteh, who had a down year in 2021 but is still probably capable enough to consider giving some playing time to. PIGGY being the team's sole tank player is the biggest unknown for this team, but other than that expect this group of veterans to perform at a consistent league-average level while Pelican tries to carry.

posted 4 months ago

East

1. Philly Fusion (4-0) (+0)
Two convincing wins over Spark and Hunters have established Fusion as the team to beat in the east region, and the favorites to win the championship as a whole. Having locked up the #1 seed in the east for the May Melee tournament, Fusion, thanks to the MVP-level play of Carpe and Rascal, are exactly where they need to be after 2 weeks of play.

2. Chengdu Hunters (3-1) (+0)
An easy win for Hunters over NYXL was followed by their first loss of the season, 3-1 at the hands of Fusion. That match showed where Hunters' weaknesses as a team lie, and Fusion exploited them ruthlessly. On Ilios, Jinmu's preference of Pharah over Echo seriously hampered the team, as Rascal was effectively able to duel him without a pocket, essentially turning the fight on the ground into a 5v4 for Fusion. Additionally, GA9A's Rein and Jimmy's Mei proved to be liabilities on Havana, bringing into question the team's ability to play rush compositions. Leave's Sombra has been fantastic this season, but when it came to longer-range hitscans like McCree or Ashe it was clear Carpe had a significant advantage over him.

3. Shanghai Dragons (1-1) (+0)
Dragons, potentially needing 2 wins to qualify for the May Melee tournament, face off against Spark and NYXL this week. They should be favored in both matches.

4. Seoul Dynasty (1-1) (+0)
Seoul Dynasty, a team that would also like 2 wins this week, go up against NYXL and Valiant. Valiant, at least, should be a free win for them.

5. NYXL (1-1) (+1)
After getting stomped by Hunters 3-0, NYXL decided to stop throwing and play Ivy in what would end up being a 3-1 victory over the Spark. Ivy is clearly the team's centerpiece. Whether it's on Mei, Tracer, or Sombra, the team is at its best when he's making the plays. Though a difficult week 3 (vs. Dynasty, Dragons) makes it tough for NYXL to make the May Melee tournament, they certainly can be a threat in the east going forward.

6. Hangzhou Spark (0-2) (-1)
Two brutal losses this week to NYXL and Fusion put Hangzhou firmly outside of the May Melee tournament as well as the better half of teams in the east. Guxue, Bernar, and Architect will all need to play better for this team to find success going forward.

7. Guangzhou Charge (0-2) (+0)
Similar to the situation in the west with Boston and London, the week 3 matchup between Charge and Spark could spell disaster for the losing team, with the difference being that Spark will be the clear favorite going in. Charge's supports in particular need to step up their game if the team wants to stand a chance in their upcoming matches.

8. LA Valiant (0-2) (+0)
I refuse to say anything good about this team. The fact that they won a map in week 1 is still a tragedy.

posted about a year ago

Week 2 of OWL 2021 was a week that saw some fantastic matches (Fusion vs Hunters) and some not-so-great matches (Justice vs Titans). With every team now having played at least 2 matches, here are my power rankings after the second week of the OWL 2021 season, formatted the same way as last week.

West

1. SF Shock (1-1) (+0)
I started writing this post when Justice had just demolished Titans on Dorado to go up by 2 maps in their series and it seemed like Justice were headed for a dominant 3-0 victory. I was going to put Justice in the #1 spot. Then, dumb shit started happening. In short, Justice simply haven't shown me enough to put them above Shock just yet. Shock face Mayhem and Reign in week 3, and winning both of those matches would put them in a good position to do well in the May Melee tournament.

2. Houston Outlaws (4-0) (+3)
With 2 relatively easy wins over Eternal and Spitfire, Outlaws showed that last week wasn't just a fluke. Jjanggu and Piggy continue to dominate and Crimzo has shown that he's fairly good on the Baptiste. Happy and Danteh are a good DPS duo, but when Danteh gets subbed out the team looks worse. Having clinched their spot in the May Melee tournament, I'm expecting big things from this team in the coming weeks.

3. Washington Justice (2-0) (-1)
When playing at their best, Justice can beat anybody in the league and look good doing it. The sheer amount of talent on this roster gives them an incredibly high potential. The trouble they seem to be facing, however, is consistency. Looking shaky on the early maps against Fuel and on the last 2 maps against Titans is a concerning sign for the team going forward, but they'll have a chance to smooth things out next week with matches against Uprising and Defiant.

4. Florida Mayhem (2-0) (-1)
Mayhem face Shock and Eternal in week 3. A 3-1 record should be good enough to get them into the May Melee, but I'd imagine they're more interested in beating Shock and establishing themselves as a top contender.

5. Dallas Fuel (2-2) (+1)
Fearless looked very good for Fuel in their two matches this week, a 3-1 loss to Justice and a 3-0 drubbing of Uprising. Fuel seem to be settling into their place as a middle-of-the-pack or slightly above average team in the west, and if they can get a replacement for Xzi I would not be surprised to see a playoff run from this team.

6. Toronto Defiant (2-0) (-2)
Similarly to Mayhem, Defiant head into week 3 preparing to face off with a top-tier team followed by a bottom-tier team, with their matches being against Justice and Spitfire. They should only need 1 win to qualify, so expect to see them in the May Melee tournament.

7. LA Gladiators (2-2) (+1)
A pair of 3-0 wins over Uprising and Spitfire should take the sting off of the disappointing week 1 for Gladiators. As it turns out, when Birdring and Kevster play every map, this team can be pretty good. They probably won't qualify for the May Melee tournament, but the end-of-season playoffs are still well within reach for the Gladiators. They are off next week and will look to solidify their lineup going into the June Joust qualifiers starting in week 4.

8. Atlanta Reign (0-2) (-1)
Reign will look to emulate the success Gladiators saw this week in week 3 as they face Eternal and Shock. While it is unlikely they will qualify for the May Melee tournament, a good showing against Shock would go a long way in establishing the Reign as a legitimate threat in future tournaments.

9. Paris Eternal (1-1) (+2)
Eternal, led by strong play from Onigod and Daan, beat Titans fairly convincingly in their first match of week 2 before putting up a respectable showing in a 3-1 loss to the Outlaws. With matches against Reign and Mayhem on the schedule in week 3, Eternal have a chance to show they're capable of winning against some of the better teams in the region. They would need to win both matches to qualify for the May Melee, which seems unlikely, but a win over Reign would land this team solidly within the middle of the pack in the region.

10. Boston Uprising (0-2) (-1)
A bad week for Uprising, marked by 3-0 losses at the hands of Gladiators and Fuel, puts them in danger of truly falling into the bottom tier of teams. To avoid a repeat of the last 2 seasons, they'll need to improve significantly. In week 3 they face Justice and Spitfire, and while I'd pretty much write the Justice game off as a loss if I were Boston, the Spitfire game is a must-win if they want this season to be considered a meaningful improvement from the previous 2.

11. London Spitfire (0-2) (-1)
A week which saw them lose maps to Jake on both DPS and support in the same match leaves London in a significantly worse state than their fellow Euros on Eternal. Similarly to Uprising, the matchup between those two teams in week 3 may seal the coffin on the hopes of the Spitfire should they lose. So far, the tank line of Molf1g and Hadi in particular have failed to live up to the expectations set on them after their tear through Contenders EU in 2020.

12. Vancouver Titans (0-4) (+0)
At 0-4, the Titans are already being counted out from end-of-season playoffs entirely, and with good reason: they simply lack the talent to compete with the better teams in the league. They'll probably end up ahead of whoever loses the Spitfire-Uprising match, but I can't see this team beating anyone outside of the bottom 4 or so teams.

posted about a year ago

I don't really see Vancouver winning 3 maps across their series this week. Maybe they're better than I'm giving them credit for, but I feel like on paper there's no way a team could make up the talent gap between their roster and Justice's, even if only for a map. I'm glad you share my confidence in Fusion. Houston's potential 4-0 start actually makes me so happy, although I wouldn't quite call them the best looking team in NA just yet. Shock still look better when they aren't throwing and just play Nero-Striker as their dps line.

posted about a year ago

Chaos reigned supreme in week 1 of OWL 2021, with major upsets happening in both the east and west regions. The most common composition seen was the Mei-McCree-Dva-Rein-Lucio-Bap rush, but there was plenty of variability, with Winston and Zarya being favored on maps like Gibraltar and Eichenwalde. Keeping in mind that we are early in the season and results aren't necessarily indicative of how teams will perform long-term, these are my current power rankings, split by region, with their records and changes from where I had each team in preseason:

West

1.SF Shock (1-1) (+0)
The Shock opened the season with a 3-1 win over the LA Gladiators before falling 3-2 in a 6 map thriller to the Houston Outlaws. It seems like the Shock are still figuring out what roster they want to run and how to properly use Glister, in particular. Part of the reason they lost to Outlaws was that they made the mistake of thinking they could give Ta1yo a map. The primary reason they haven't moved in the rankings is because my #2 team didn't play and my #3 team went 0-2.

2. Washington Justice (0-0) (+0)
The Justice did not play this week and will open up their season on April 24 against the 1-1 Dallas Fuel. I'm excited for Mag's debut.

3. Florida Mayhem (2-0) (+1)
With two convincing 3-1 wins against the Atlanta Reign and Vancouver Titans, the Mayhem showed that they were capable of handling the middle/lower end of the region. After a week off, their first true test comes in week 3 when they face off against the Shock. OGE and Slime looked very comfortable with their new team and OGE in particular made some huge plays on the Winston.

4. Toronto Defiant (2-0) (+2)
An easy 3-1 win over the Titans followed by an extremely close 3-2 triumph over the Reign puts Defiant right where they want to be heading into their week off, after which they take on the Washington Justice in a match between two teams with very high ceilings due to the talent on both rosters. AnSoonJae and Heesu were standouts for the team in week 1, with Sado's main tank play often being the deciding factor in whether or not they win a specific map.

5. Houston Outlaws (2-0) (+4)
A strong performance from the team's new tank line led the Outlaws to 2 huge wins this week over the Fuel and Shock. The team seems to rely quite a bit on the players' individual playmaking abilities, but so far that hasn't been a problem, with Happy being able to make a big impact without taking up all of the team's resources. In week 2 they'll look to improve to an impressive 4-0 record with matches against London Spitfire and Paris Eternal in which they should be favored.

6. Dallas Fuel (1-1) (-1)
The Fuel followed up their disappointing loss to Houston with a convincing 3-1 win over the Gladiators. Not having an immediate replacement on hitscan dps after the sudden retirement of xZi clearly made an impact on the team, with Sp9rkle struggling to find value on his normal heroes. They haven't quite figured out what to do with their support line, but Fielder, Rapel, and Jecse collectively haven't been awful.

7. Atlanta Reign (0-2) (+0)
The Reign did not look completely outmatched in either of their losses this week, with maps often coming down to the final fight. Their dps, as expected, performed fairly well, but Ir1s and Gator were shaky at times, particularly in their loss to Defiant. When they next play in week 3, they'll be looking to pick up their first win of the season in a match against the Paris Eternal before facing off against the Shock.

8. LA Gladiators (0-2) (-5)
The Gladiators looked bad in their two losses. For a team that was predicted by many to be a title contender, they have a lot to work on. Muze was thoroughly dominated by the Shock tanks in their opening match, although, to be fair to him, the Shock tanks are the best in the world. The team continued last year's trend of making bizarre substitutions, with Mirror coming in for Birdring on a few occasions and Skewed and Moth being switched around on a map-to-map basis. Why a team that isn't Shock would ever consider subbing out Birdring or Moth at any point is a complete mystery to me. In week 2 Gladiators will look to right the ship with theoretically easier matches against Boston and Paris.

9. Boston Uprising (0-0) (-1)
The Uprising begin their most promising season since 2018 in week 2 with matches against the Gladiators and Fuel.

10. London Spitfire (0-0) (+0)
The new-look London Spitfire begin their quest to prove me wrong in week 2 against the Gladiators and Outlaws.

11. Paris Eternal (0-0) (+0)
The baguette team starts the season off in week 2 with a very winnable match against the Titans followed by a clash with the Outlaws.

12. Vancouver Titans (0-2) (+0)
The Titans showed some life against the Mayhem after getting stomped by Defiant earlier in the week. Teru is playing better than I expected, but as a whole the team still lacks the talent to compete with most OWL teams.

East

1. Philly Fusion (2-0) (+1)
With convincing wins over Seoul Dynasty and the hapless LA Valiant, Philly showed early on why you never count out a team with Rascal on it. Tobi and Hotba played well considering how little time they had spent with the team, and Carpe and Alarm are still MVP candidates. Next week Fusion have two interesting matches: first, they take on Hangzhou Spark in what will be a key game for both to establish themselves early on as top teams; next, they face off with the Chengdu Hunters, who we'll get to in a moment, in a matchup that could determine the favorite in the whole region going forward.

2. Chengdu Hunters (2-0) (+3)
Yeah so apparently this team is insane. They took the previous consensus #1 team in the region and absolutely demolished them in a clean 3-0 sweep. Their match against Valiant earlier in the week wasn't amazing for them, but they still won 3-1 and were never really in danger at any point. With the ability to play a variety of comps and the amazing flexibility provided by their dps line, their upset of Shanghai doesn't seem like a fluke.

3. Shanghai Dragons (1-1) (-2)
After a easy 3-0 over Charge, the Dragons were seemingly unprepared for GA9A's Winston and got rolled. Fate hasn't been incredible but I don't think he's a downgrade from Fearless. The current meta doesn't seem too bad for them, so I'd imagine they'll play better as they get more accustomed to what teams are doing. Shanghai will get a week off to figure things out before taking on Spark and NYXL in week 3.

4. Seoul Dynasty (1-1) (+0)
The Seoul Dynasty had a fairly average week in which they lost to one of the best teams in the region and then beat one of the worst teams in the region (Guangzhou Charge, 3-0). ToYou seems to have at last solved the Dynasty Off Tank Issue which should provide some stability to the roster. It'll be interesting to see how the team does with a full season playing with one established lineup.

5. Hangzhou Spark (0-0) (-2)
Spark being below Dynasty is simply a result of them not having played yet. We'll get a better idea of where they stand after their week 2 matches against Fusion and NYXL.

6. NYXL (0-0) (+0)
The team that, according to Scrimbux, is the sleeper pick in the east this season gets its first chance to prove just how good they are in week 2 against Hunters and Spark.

7. Guangzhou Charge (0-2) (+0)
A rough start to the season for the Charge combined with solid performances by their former members now playing for teams in the west seems to confirm the idea that this team simply got worse from last season to this one. I don't really expect them to beat anyone other than Valiant.

8. LA Valiant (0-2) (+0)
They're awful. Not much else to say.

posted about a year ago

Update #2
Philly's loss of FunnyAstro, even if only temporarily, puts them below Shanghai in terms of where I think they'll finish. Boston losing Soon isn't ideal, but IM37 fills his role already and given the plat chat rumors of Jake support I'm not going to move them down.

posted about a year ago

Update La Valiant have now revealed their roster and though I still don't rate them better than any of the other teams in the east region there are some potentially serviceable OWL players there and if they found an actual main support they could at least not make complete fools of themselves the way 2018 Dragons did.

posted about a year ago

Hello to all 3 of you who still use this website! There's less than a month left until the start of OWL 2021, and rosters have been mostly finalized. That means I finally get to share my completely arbitrary, off-the-cuff, hot-take power rankings for the season. I'm splitting this up between West and East. Anyways, here are my thoughts:

West

1. SF Shock: The Shock prepare for their shot at a third consecutive championship season with a roster that looks much like the ones that won them the first two titles. Gone are ANS and Rascal and in their place come Glister and Nero. While I believe both to be slight downgrades, Striker is still good enough for this to be a top dps line. Moth is replaced by fdgod, which shouldn't make a huge difference either way, and the core of Smurf (or super), Choi, and Viol2t still ranks as the best in the game hands down. The team is flexible enough to play in any meta and are still coached by Crusty.
2. Washington Justice: The Justice were a very good team at the end of the 2020 season with their one glaring weakness coming from the main tank position. To remedy this they have swapped the underperforming Roar for one of, if not the, most hyped rookies coming into the current season in Mag. Paired with Fury, the Justice tank line will be as good as any in the league except for maybe Shock. Closer and Bebe are an interesting change from Ark and Aimgod, but I wouldn't necessarily call it a downgrade.
3. LA Gladiators: After a disappointing end to their 2020 season, the Gladiators chose to part ways with their long-time support duo of Shaz and BigGoose. In their place they've signed a pair of highly regarded free agents in Moth and Shu. This is undoubtedly a huge upgrade for the team. Moth's leadership and championship experience combined with Shu's mechanical prowess give Gladiators a strong support system to enable their star dps duo, Birdring and Kevster.
4. Florida Mayhem: After a solid year that saw Mayhem finally rise from the bottom of the standings and show some consistency, the Mayhem are back with a similar roster that features the additions of OGE for Fate and Slime for Kris. I feel these changes make Florida a better team, although I wouldn't put them quite at the level of the championship contenders right now. Yaki and BQB will need to be as good as the top dps in the league like Striker or Fleta in order for them to win against the best of the best, which is a tough task for those two, but not impossible.
5. Dallas Fuel: Dallas Fuel is a slightly worse version of last year's Paris Eternal because they don't have fdgod. That said, they'll still be pretty good with the dps line of Sp9rkle, Doha, and XZI leading the way. There is, of course, the possibility that this team self-destructs and finishes in the bottom 3 because Dallas does that sometimes, but at least this time the entire roster has experience.
6. Toronto Defiant: Heesu and Sado are two great pickups for this team that will now, for the first time in a long time, have some expectations placed on them. Michelle is a bit of a question mark on off tank after sitting on the Dynasty bench for most of last year, but the rest of the roster seems solid, if not quite on par with the higher-tier teams. Here's hoping lastro can sex big dick his way into a successful season.
7. Atlanta Reign: With a streamlined roster and an improved dps line, the Reign will look for Edison, Pelican, and Kai to carry them while the tanks and supports form a respectable team behind them. Iris playing flex support full-time will help the team after dogman struggled in that role for most of last year.
8. Boston Uprising: The laughingstock of OWL no longer, Boston looks to cast aside the last two years of futility and put up a good showing with the additions of Soon, Stand1, Valentine, IM37, and Faith. They're still the Boston Uprising, so I wouldn't rate them too highly yet, but they won't be playing in any toilet bowls this year.
9. Houston Outlaws: With the additions of Happy and KSF, Outlaws finally have an above-average dps line. They've also added JJanggu to save us all from the horrors of the Hydration main tank. They still won't be great, with an inexperienced tank line and below-average supports, but they won't be a complete disaster to watch. I have no clue why they brought back Jake. He will never play, and given his record as an IGL I wouldn't trust his coaching.
10. London Spitfire: The better of the two teams that sold their players to pick up EU contenders players, they'll improve over last year simply because last year they were so bad there's really nowhere to go but up. I have 0 confidence in the Ripa-Kellex support line, but at least Shax is one of the better dps they could've picked up.
11. Paris Eternal: Onigod is good, but the team as a whole is mostly made up of EU contenders players that weren't on British Hurricane and therefore lost a lot to British Hurricane. I couldn't justify putting Spitfire any higher than 10th, and since Paris seem like a worse version of Spitfire, I figured wherever I put Spitfire I'd put Eternal one spot below them.
12. Vancouver Titans: A team that was consistently the worst in the league last season lost its best player in Shockwave and replaced him with Linkzr, who sucks. FRDWNR and Fire are nice upgrades from KSAA and CarCar, but they won't be enough to keep this team out of the bottom of the standings.

East

1. Philly Fusion: Coming off a strong 4th place finish in 2020, Philly added an MVP-caliber player to their already loaded roster. Rascal makes this team scary good. The dps lineup of Carpe and Rascal is as good as any we've ever seen in Overwatch. It's hard to overstate how dangerous this roster is. Also they picked up Mano. Mano's pretty good.
2. Shanghai Dragons: Top tier team from last year returns functionally the same roster that led them to a 27-2 regular season record and a 3rd place finish in playoffs. They haven't really gotten any better, which is why I have them below Fusion, but Fleta, Void, Lip and the gang are still good enough to make this team a top contender. Erster adds back some of the flexibility lost with the departures of diem and DDing, but either way I'd still expect Fleta and Lip to get the lion's share of the playing time.
3. Hangzhou Spark: Bernar and Seominsoo are solid pickups that will bolster an already strong roster. Their dps line, led by all-star hitscan GodsB is well above average. Their tank line, with perennial MVP candidate Guxue, is arguably the best in the East region. The supports do their job well enough to win most of the time if the dps pop off.
4. Seoul Dynasty: Profit is good. The Dynasty are weird. This is the same team that went 12-12 in the regular season and then went on a playoff run that got them all the way to the championship game. In the Nexus cup, they beat Shanghai and then lost to Dallas. Nothing makes sense about Seoul.
5. Chengdu Hunters: Every year I rate Chengdu too low, and every year I end up regretting it. If ball continues to be meta, I can see them doing really well. I don't know much about their new main tank GA9A, but his team had plenty of success at least. Other than that, not much has changed about Chengdu, so I expect them to land somewhere around where they were previously.
6. NYXL: How hard can Jjonak carry? The identity of this team is similar to the identity of the Spitfire last year: players from the same region that are presumed to be worse, cheaper options from previous years. That mentality and those expectations could hurt the team.
7. Guangzhou Charge: I don't have a ton to say about this team. They swapped a big part of their core for some decent contenders players and Kariv. Maybe they'll be better than I think.
8. The Other Team in The East Region: Just sell the slot to someone else if you don't have the money for a real team.

posted about a year ago

Do we have confirmation that Spitfire is going western or is that just speculation? Anyways thanks for the updates, Snivy

posted about a year ago

Oh shit the legendary ROADHOD videos have been made private I can never watch them again sadge

posted about a year ago

Welcome back to Profit's Pocket Playoff Galaxy. We hope you enjoy your stay

posted about a year ago

I don't know if those changes are drastic enough to save a team that got rolled by Boston Uprising, but I would definitely prefer those changes to none at all or getting rid of everyone but muma and hydration.

posted about a year ago

I like Harsha, he's been a part of the community forever and has always been a great personality around the league. That being said, every single member of Houston's roster, staff, and management should never be allowed anywhere near professional overwatch ever again.

posted about a year ago

Has playoffs Profit been activated early?

posted about a year ago

There is nothing more American than taking the best people for the team regardless of where they are from. Just win baby.
Paris fans seem perfectly content to come out in force to support xzi's mvp candidacy, so I think the nationality aspect to the team is less important than it appeared at the start of Paris' existence. Justice don't need Americans. They need wins. Decay helps them get those way better than any American currently outside of OWL.

posted about a year ago

It really shouldn't. I thought we were over 10 IQ takes like this

posted about a year ago

Apply and KSF also play some hitscan heroes but yeah in terms of pure hitscan it's just Dalton left

posted about a year ago

Score is just not shown correctly. Paris won Hollywood, and the series 3-1

posted about 2 years ago

London subbing in their b team down 2-0 to the #1 team in their region does not inspire confidence in the team's ability to play at a high level.

posted about 2 years ago

If Titans didn't want to get disrespected maybe they shouldn't have fielded such a bad team. The casters don't have much else to talk about when watching a top OWL team stomp a bunch of mid-level contenders players who are on high ping. If it were against any other team I would 100% agree, but Titans deserve to be treated like a joke.

posted about 2 years ago

Brussen retires with a career OWL map record of 3-18. Playing for Boston sure seems like fun doesn't it.

posted about 2 years ago

This leaves the Justice with 5 usable players plus Lullsish under contract. They will need to find a new dps within the week

posted about 2 years ago

Dynasty mentally shattered

posted about 2 years ago

The scrim god has returned

posted about 2 years ago

No happy, no win

posted about 2 years ago

Shock aren't taking the games seriously because they aren't on LAN I think

posted about 2 years ago

The game itself hasn't gotten any worse, at least. OWL matches have been fun to watch and hero pools have made ranked more interesting. Honestly, I don't really care that much about viewership counts and stuff as long as playing and watching the game is enjoyable.

posted about 2 years ago

WyattR does it again, expanding his empire

posted about 2 years ago

Lane Roberts probably regrets leaving the Gladiators after this one. Oof.

posted about 2 years ago
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