The second season of the Overwatch League is finally upon us and the newly formed Toronto Defiant head into Week 1 with one opponent on the docket. Readers can expect a weekly series, providing both insight from the previous week as well as predictions and analysis on upcoming matchups. With the conclusion of the off-season, Toronto begins 2019 facing off against the Houston Outlaws this Friday.
Houston Outlaws: 0-0-0
After their middling finish in 2018, the Houston Outlaws approached 2019 looking to finally address the elephant in the room. Without a clear Tracer carry in Season 1, Houston struggled against teams built around superior Tracer talent. When teams like the Philadelphia Fusion and the Boston Uprising found their strides, Houston struggled behind Jacob “JAKE“ Lyon’s lackluster Tracer performances.
Their recent acquisition of Dante “Danteh“ Cruz from the San Fransisco Shock now brings another DPS in the fold. Unlike JAKE, Danteh offers a proficient Tracer along with some potential flexibility for his team.
With starting flex support Se-hyeon “Neko“ Park suspended to start the season, a key factor in Toronto’s success against Houston falls on Joo-seong “RoKy“ Park’s performance. Without a true flex support active for the first three weeks, Toronto is put at a major disadvantage. RoKy’s success is pivotal for a Toronto victory in Week 1.
It is not yet certain what compositions to expect from either side ahead of their matchup. The Outlaws carry an abundance of DPS options while also possessing a roster built to run GOATs. On the other hand, Toronto looks to boast an aggressive dive composition built around their aggressive tanks and DPS. Much of their off-season was built around innovation and meta establishment. The Defiant have an absolute chance to knock off a Season 1 contender if they play their cards right.
Map Pool: Volskaya Industries, Nepal, Route 66 and Numbani
Prediction: Defiant win 3-2
Player to Watch
Ivy’s aggressive playstyle should accompany the aggressive tank core of Kang-jae “envy“ Lee and Gyeong-mu “Yakpung“ Jo with devastating kill potential. It seems the Toronto coaching staff made an effort to roster an incredibly flexible and mechanically gifted DPS to function as the team’s offensive centerpiece in 2019.
With inconsistency in the backline being an evident issue to start the season, Toronto will want to choose their fights for quick and decisive victory. Ivy could display incredible flair in his debut versus the Outlaws.
All Images Courtesy of the Overwatch League
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