Winners and Losers from Week 1

OWL Week 1 Winners and Losers

We have finally arrived. Week 1 is in the books and we have fresh Overwatch League content to consume and argue about that isn’t the legitimacy of Torb having two turrets. The games this week truly delivered as well. With as many map 5’s as there were 3-0’s the league showed off how competitive this season will likely become.

Winner: Balance

Every hero was played. That is incredible. Let me say that again. Every single hero in the game was played. Sure a few like Bastion and Roadhog had very short stints but an appearance is still important. Multiple times completely different comps went up against each other and treated the fans to clashing styles and unique matchups. I always felt the best possible meta would be one that was highly map dependent. That way we could see multiple looks from teams over a whole game and in week one that is exactly what we got. It is likely things will evenly out to be either rush or double bubble however we saw a couple different iterations of those comps. Not only that but this time last year the idea that Zarya, Winston, and Tracer would ever be meta was stuff of dreams. Credit where it’s due, Blizzard has gotten the game in a great place balance-wise coming into this season.

Loser: The Guangzhou Charge

Look it is week 1 so let's not get too stressed but picking up a map would have been nice. The Valiant picked up a map this week and the Charge couldn’t find one? What worries me more is I don’t see a clear focus for the team. Choisehwan played well on Tracer and we know about Kariv and Crong but there didn’t seem to be a direction. Everything felt so lackluster. There are talented players here but the Charge felt like the clearest example of a team still finding its identity.

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Winner: Texas

What can be said about the Outlaws? They came out ready to play this weekend taking the battle of Texas for the first time in quite awhile and then rode that energy right into their matchup with the Shock where they came in hot and pulled off the upset. Are they suddenly a top 5 team? Probably not, but they showed that this season might at least be fun instead of painful for Houston fans who need a reprieve from Deshaun Watson news. And let’s not forget about the Fuel. Xzi’s injury revelation left alot of people writing off the Fuel until they find a replacement hitscan but they showed that they can manage just fine. Sparkle held his own on Tracer when needed and it turns out when you have Fearless and Hanbin there is always hope. Fuel might be the team benefiting most from the game’s current overall balance getting away with running unique comps that play to the team’s current strengths. Both Texas teams showed that they have some real potential this season while putting to rest alot of offseason questions.

Loser: overwatchleague.com

As the production continues to improve season to season (face cams are an incredible addition), can we talk about the website? Look this will be alot of nitpicks but these things add up. Was no one updating it over the weekend? As of Sunday night the top article was from Friday morning. Can we get the stats from the games entered as the games end? How about box scores? When I’m looking at the schedule why can’t clicking on the team send me to the team’s page or to their roster? I think there are lots of possible improvements but some of these seem simply effort based. It seems obvious that the website should be updated as the weekend goes on.

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Winner: The new look Hunters

Sigma and Brig aren’t OP? Houston has their shit together? The Shock lost? You might be worried that this season feels too different but it's ok, APAC has your back. Seoul is still inconsistent and Chengdu is still Chengdu. Now I know it isn’t quite the same without Ameng on ball. But the Hunters seem to still be thriving in chaos. They started off by losing a map to “Los Angeles” which likely ruined alot of prop bets on how long it would take Valiant to get on the scoreboard. Chengdu still won 3-1 but boy was it ugly. They followed that up by rolling Shanghai. This new version of Chengdu looks to play things a little more conventionally with a balanced roster and normal comps. But that wildcard feeling is absolutely still present.

Loser: Atlanta Reign

The Reign losing to Florida felt right. Most people have placed them in a similar role as last year. The team that gets the easy wins against bottom dwellers but can’t beat anyone important. But then they got reverse-swept by Toronto. It’s week 1 so we don’t have all the answers. Does this mean Toronto is good? Reign is bad? It’s likely somewhere in between but this wasn’t exactly a fun opening weekend if you are an Atlanta fan. The new look Reign didn’t feel all that different except with the loss of Babybay and Dogman the team seems to lack the personality it had last year that at least made them fun to cheer for or against.

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