Winners and Losers from OWL Week 3

Is it just me or is it weird that a fourth of the season is over? I feel like we are just getting started but here we are at the May Melee. We have four matches on everyone’s record to start forming a consensus on each team. After an up and down weekend let’s look at some particular winners and losers.

Winner: A-Tier

With the dominance of Shock and Shanghai over their regions last year it felt like the regular season was a competition for third place. So far we have not seen any team look especially clean. It really feels like we have a lot of great teams but no unquestioned favorite. Dallas might be the hottest as of right now but can you confidently pick them against Jinmu’s Pharah? Every team has question marks while still being a contender and I think this sets the fans up for a great viewing experience.

Loser: Past Champions

The Shock are beatable. Well that’s new. I don’t think we are at the point to question Crusty’s decision making yet but there have definitely been some interesting choices. Like other teams it seems the Shock need a little more time to find themselves. It might take some time to balance the team around FDGOD’s aggression or figure out what Glister’s role is, and having to do is a refreshing reminder that no team can dominate forever. Another past champion, the Spitfire, has really struggled so far. This team was supposed to get a jump on teams by already having built in ready to go team coordination. That is not what we have seen so far as they often don’t seem on the same page and haven’t successfully integrated Shax and Blase.

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Winner: Sunday

Outside of maybe Toronto vs Florida every Sunday match was a great watch from the quality of Overwatch being played to the broader narratives that came from the results. This is what having regular tournaments bring to OWL. The importance of tournaments can’t be stated enough because without Sunday this would have easily been the weakest weekend of OWL so far. Alot of 3-0’s and matchups that lacked intrigue. Personally I’d like to see each team play maybe one or two extra games between tournaments. That way we have more of an understanding of each team and it would remove the “four way tie” possibility that we almost found ourselves in.

Loser: The Camera

To be clear, it is impossible to catch all of the best action all of the time. I really do think the behind the scenes team do an awesome job overall. However I think there should be a few things that are required viewing. If Fearless has Primal keep the camera on him. A Fearless ult is equivalent to a Genji blade. I want to see every Fearless Primal no matter what other action is going on.

Winner: Mayhem

Things broke really well for the Mayhem so far this year. Their wins leading up to the tournament were Atlanta, Vancouver, and Paris. Then they got Toronto in the first round. That is not exactly a murderers’ row of opponents but then they beat Washington who had looked great. And you know what, good for them. They should be an inspiration to good but not great team’s everywhere. Take care of business in the games that you should win then hopefully you can step up for a game or two in the right situation and suddenly you are going to Hawaii.

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Loser: IBM Player Rankings

I get that this is a paid sponsorship and that those connections are important for the league but this really feels like a waste of time this early in the year. Firstly, it reminds me of NFL QB stats where fans can’t easily understand how it works. What is passer rating and why does it max out at 158.3? Should I care that his QBR is lower? What is QBR? Why is Mag at 134 and Yaki at 135? More importantly the equation they are basing these off of so clearly weighs wins significantly that all we can learn from it is, “If you win you have good players”. All six Gladiators are ranked between 60-70. Maybe they are fine-tuning it or with more maps played it will be able to differentiate the player from the team result but as of right now it’s a useless “stat” that is getting heavily featured on the broadcast.


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