With Season 2 of the Overwatch League just around the corner, fans are buzzing about how they think teams will fare as they start the season. In this new series, The Game Haus will highlight what to look for in the upcoming week’s matches and will also provide a recap of last week’s games. Without further ado, here’s the first look at what Week 1 holds in store for the London Spitfire!
Opponent 1: Philadelphia Fusion (0-0-0)
Bringing us back to last season’s grand finals, the Philadelphia Fusion help London kick off the first game of the season. With both teams making very few offseason roster changes, fans should anticipate seeing similar lineups to the last time these two teams butted heads. While the rosters haven’t changed much since end of last season, the meta certainly has. This matchup will immediately show viewers if GOATS continues to reign supreme, or if teams have started coming up with strategies to dismantle the triple support – triple tank compositions.
The last time these teams went head-to-head, the Spitfire dominated with back to back victories 3-1 and 3-0. With Volskaya in the map pool for this match, London have a chance to recreate the final map of last season and reassert their dominance over Philadelphia. Ilios, the match opener, was a weak point for the Fusion last season. While London was no stranger to control map struggles last season, they had an overall winning record on Ilios and should be expected to take this map.
Hollywood, on the other hand, was Philadelphia’s best map by overall win percentage last season and should be an easy win for them. The final map of the night is uncharted territory for both teams; Rialto wasn’t in the map pool last season, so we have no past data to make predictions on. Both teams performed consistently well on Escort maps, so it could easily swing either way.
From a pure numbers perspective, though, London has the edge in terms of total Escort map wins. If Philadelphia wants to give London a run for their money, Rialto is the map to do it on.
Prediction: London wins 3-1
Opponent 2: Paris Eternal (0-0-0)
For their second game this week, the Spitfire go against the Paris Eternal in their season debut. While Paris brings in a few familiar faces, a majority of their roster consists of players who are joining the League for the first time. Going up against the reigning champs might be a bit of a daunting task for a team filled with new talent, but if nothing else, this match will give Paris experience playing on stage.
It’s hard to discount the year of preexisting teamwork and coordination London brings into this match over Paris, but that’s not to say this match won’t be competitive. Georgii “ShaDowBurn” Gushcha and Terence “SoOn” Tarlier, two DPS players for the Eternal, are OWL veterans and should bring the same high caliber level of play they were known for last season. Be sure to keep an eye on them as they go toe-to-toe against Jun-young “Profit” Park and Ji-hyeok “birdring” Kim in the Spitfire’s DPS line. That is, assuming both teams aren’t running their DPS players on support or tank roles in this meta.
All in all, don’t anticipate this to be a strong showing from Paris. Expect it to be more of a learning experience for a new team that’s getting used to playing together onstage.
Prediction: London wins 4-0
Player to Watch: Jae-hui “Gesture” Hong
Gesture’s stellar tank play has enabled his team to take space and set up positioning they otherwise couldn’t dream of. If GOATS continues to be the dominant strategy in the beginning of Season 2, the Spitfire’s synergy with Gesture will decide the tempo of their team fights this week.
Against the Fusion in particular, Gesture will need to adapt to playing against either of Philadelphia’s main tanks and their favored styles. Against Su-min “SADO” Kim, Gesture must prepare to face a more passive Rein than that of the notoriously aggressive Joona “Fragi” Laine. Gesture’s ability to either set the pace of the team fight or quickly adapt to his opponent’s style will be the deciding factor in making sure he’s an effective tank this week.
Tune in for the London Spitfire’s season debut against the Philadelphia Fusion on February 14 at 7:00 PM EST!
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