The inaugural season of the Overwatch League consisted of 12 teams. Nine of the twelve teams were based in the continental U.S. The other three were based in London,Seoul, and Shanghai. Leading to season 2 of OWL eight new teams will added from multiple parts of the world. There will be 3 new teams based in China. Hangzhou Spark, Guangzhou Charge, and Chengdu Hunters. Culminating to a total of four Chinese teams in Season 2. Canada will be getting their first two teams the Toronto Defiant and Vancouver Titans. The U.S. will be getting two additional east coast based teams the Atlanta Reign and the DC based Washington Justice. And finally, Europe will be getting their second team with the Paris Eternal. I would of liked to have seen Korea getting an additional team but regardless it’s great to see all these new teams and their identities. The Overwatch League is expanding immensely after just one season. Eight additional new teams is amazing for the growth of the League and I look forward to what the future will bring. All these new teams are bringing new players to the league and old players returning to new teams. Will one of the new teams win the championship or will it be a team from the inaugural season?
The past weekend was the NYXL homecoming weekend event. The team was going to appearances at the pop-up shop and host two showcase matches against the Philadelphia Fusion and LA Valiant. Their first match was against Philly and it was the one I was looking forward to the most. Philly ended up knocking out NYXL from the playoffs in the summer. So even though it was just an exhibition match I felt that NYXL would try hard to win the against them. At the start of the match both teams composition consisted of the current meta, 3 tanks and 3 supports. It was a best of 4 matchup. New York ended up winning the first two matches and were up 2-0 in the series. After halftime, Philly ended up winning the next two matches. So we would see a tiebreaker map. The tiebreaker map is done in a Control map also known of king of the hill. The teams have to capture an objective and maintain control of it until the timer reaches 100%. First team to win two rounds wins the Control series and there is no possible scenario for a draw. NY won the first round of the control map and Philly won the second round. We were down to the last round and both teams were going at it. The one thing about the current meta is that the duration of a team fight is very long. New York lost the objective at 99% and just needed to win a single team fight to reclaim the point and win. With a clutch charge from their Main tank “Mano”, New York reclaimed the objective and ultimately won the map and series 3-2. It was a great match and I was happy that New York got their revenge. Even though it was just an exhibition match.
The following day NYXL hosted the LA Valiant for their match. What was interesting about this matchup was that the Valiant’s roster was incomplete. They were short players due to personal commitments and only had 4 available players when a team consists of 6 players. To keep the show running New York ended up letting LA “borrow” players from their own roster to complete the team for the sake of the match. So LA was going to play with a mixed roster but at the cost of a competitive match. Even though it was going just going to be an exhibition match I was looking forward to some competition between the two. As I expected the match ended up living up to the words “friendly match”. I wasn’t disappointed though the matches weren’t serious but they were fun to watch since the team compositions didn’t consist of the current meta and some of the players were not playing the positions they are known for. Ultimately after several fun matches the LA Valiant with their mixed roster won the series 3-1. Regardless of the outcome I’m really looking forward to Season 2 of the Overwatch League. Eight new teams will be entering the league and I’ll be discussing that in another blog post.
My favorite OWL team, the New York Excelsior recently opened a Pop-up shop in Brooklyn. They had one over the summer but this time around the shop will be open every weekend until Christmas. NYXL will be selling exclusive merch through collaborations with brands like Champion and Undefeated. I guess they want to esports merch to be more fashionable and to change the stigma of what a gamer would wear? Pretty neat approach to things. When I got there I even saw that they had a LAN set up. So you could not only shop but you also play with friends or other people who were there. Everyone was friendly and was having a good time. I ended up leaving with a Starter Jacket but didn’t try out the LAN. But i’ll definitely be going back.
Along with the Overwatch world cup finals, last weekend the newest hero was also introduced. Her name is Ashe and she is the leader of the Deadlock Gang. She’s basically like futuristic American frontierswoman. Her character design has strong Wild West influences. She is never alone though. Ashe always has her trusted B.O.B. at her side. B.O.B is her omnic butler. For her ultimate ability she call out B.O.B to the field and he will plant himself in a spot and target everyone in sight. Many people enjoyed the unique direction they went with this character. She isn’t a ability based character like previous characters that were added and most importantly she has B.O.B. Below is a photo of the duo. I look forward to her addition to the hero roster.
Last weekend was the last stage of the Overwatch world cup. It featured the remaining 8 countries that advanced during the group stage. South Korea,Canada,USA,UK,Finland,China,Australia, and France. South Korea were favorites to win it from the start.But dark horses like China and USA had people believing that they could possibly beat South Korea. In USA’s first match they went up against the UK. They look strong in the first map, which they won. But after that they lost 3 straight maps. The UK were underdogs going into this match and were able to best USA in a best of 4 series. As the tournament went on eventually we were down to the last two teams. The favorite South Korea and the dark horse China. In a very one sided match South Korea beat China 4-0 in a best out of 7 series. This was South Korea’s 3rd consecutive win of the world cup. Proving year after year that they are on an entire different level compared to everyone else.
Over the past year I developed a passion for esports. Mainly in part to a new thing called the Overwatch League. During the season I grown to enjoy new things I would of never imagined and share great moments with friends. This past weekend was the OVERWATCH WORLD CUP Los Angeles GROUP STAGE. It is annual event where several countries form a team of their best players and compete for victory in a best of 4 series. The countries that participated in this stage were Canada,USA,Brazil,Austria, and Norway. The most anticipated match of the stage was USA vs Canada. Two powerhouse teams in the West. Once they finally faced each other America came out victorious with 3-1 victory. It was arguably the best match of the weekend but the most memorable moment in my opinion came in the Austria vs Canada match. Where Canadian player “Agilities” pushed 3 members of the enemy team off the map.
***This post was originally published in the CT101 blog***