Congratulations to the Toronto Defiant on their first victory in the Overwatch League. Their 3-2 reverse sweep of the Houston Outlaws was one of many matches that needed a fifth map to reach their result in Week 1. Looking into Week 2, the Toronto Defiant continue their early season campaign without their veteran support Se-hyeon “Neko” Park. With Houston behind them, attention now turns towards the surging Atlanta Reign, and a Los Angeles Valiant squad hungry for their first victory.
Week 1 Recap: Houston Outlaws (0-2)
Last week, Toronto opened their season against the Houston Outlaws squad that struck quickly. Their hard fought first two victories on Nepal and Numbani were filled with highlights from the veteran Outlaws squad.
After finding their footing after a devastating C9 on Numbani, Toronto responded with three straight map wins to claim the series and victory over Houston.
Player of the Game: Seung-hyun “Ivy” Lee
Ivy put on a magnificent performance in his first action of the season. Having lead the team in damage on all five maps against Houston, Ivy seems to have emerged as the team’s feature flex DPS and Zarya specialist.
Atlanta Reign: 1-1 (2/22)
With a decisive victory over the Florida Mayhem and a narrow loss to last year’s runner up Philadelphia Fusion, the Atlanta Reign look like an early competitor in the 2019 season. Decisive plays from their tank line of Hyun-jun “Pokpo” Park and Dong-hyeong “DACO” Seo have lead to overwhelming team fight victories. This; combined with the team’s overall flexibility, offers a great many compositions available to the Reign as the season continues on.
The play of a certain Daniel “dafran” Francesca certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed. The Reign will rely on his mechanical ability on a multitude of heroes in their matchup with Toronto.
Both teams bring a certain aggression that many teams have displayed this season. The real aspect that separates these two teams is their willingness to break meta. On Atlanta’s side, fans have enjoyed multiple appearances from dafran’s Torbjörn, Tracer, Hanzo and Sombra. Alternatively, Toronto’s Kang-jae “envy” Lee has displayed a wonderful flexibility as the team’s primary off tank. His ability to utilize heroes such as Sombra, Pharah, and McCree offers creative compositions for the Defiant to regularly utilize.
Ivy and Envy will play a key role for the Defiant in Week 2. Their overwhelming damage output in Week 1 helped seal their victory over the careless Outlaws. With big time performances from these two and some creativity from the coaching staff, Toronto stands a fair chance against Atlanta.
Prediction: Reign 3 – Defiant 2
Atlanta Reign Fact: Currently, dafran’s 10,014.52 average damage per 10 minutes sits ranked 10 in the league. His final blow average of 7.74 is currently 4.
Los Angeles Valiant: 0-1 (2/24)
The Los Angeles Valiant fought hard for the hometown fans, but their opponent; the Hongzhou Spark, had different ideas. The talented Spark squad defeated the Valiant in a very close game handing Los Angeles an opening match loss.
Despite the early loss, the Valiant possess many talented players eager to get back on track after their disappointing week one. One player in particular stood out as a key cog in the Valiant’s success. Off tank Indy “SPACE” Halpern ate Graviton after Graviton in their matchup against the Spark. Toronto’s gameplan should revolve around shutting space down and preventing him from pressuring with his kit’s abilities. Envy and the Defiant will surely be tested by his previous team and his Season 1 replacement this week.
Atlanta and Los Angeles are both strong opponents for the Defiant in Week 2 but they are not unbeatable. With the aggressive mentality they had against Houston, Toronto will once again aim to win their engagements on their terms. Quickly and decisively. With their ability to utilize Sombra between both envy and, Do-hyung “Stellar” Lee, perhaps the Defiant will utilize more Sombra based compositions in Week 2.
Prediction: Defiant 1 – Valiant 3
Los Angeles Valiant Fact: Both of LA’s Zarya specialists Young-seo “KariV” Park and Kyle “KSF” Frandanisa rank in the top 7 for average damage per 10 minutes.
Week 2 Player to Watch: Do-hyung “Stellar” Lee
The talented DPS for the Defiant may not have wowed fans in his Week 1 performance, but his versatility on Sombra may be of great use to Toronto in Week 2. With envy needing to confront the impending threats of Daco and Space, fans may see Stellar more widely utilized as a flex option for the Defiant in Week 2. As he spends a majority of his time on Brigette, Toronto will have to decide which hero carry’s more importance, envy’s DVa or Stellar’s Brigette.
Featured Image Courtesy of Hunter Braine
All Player Images Courtesy of the Overwatch League
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