Each Overwatch League team have announced their schedule for the third season. With the teams returning to their home, they’re required to host a minimum of two Homestand Weekends. Fans have seen these incorporated into this current season already, with Dallas and Atlanta already playing host to one. The regular season this year will end with the Kit Kat Rivalry Weekend, hosted by the LA Valiant in Burbank, California.
Next year, the Valiant aim to continue their tradition. They’ll be hosting two Homestand Weekends, with their second one being the last set of matches in the season. These games will be played at The Nova, where their Kit Kat Rivalry Weekend will be this week. On top of their own scheduled Homestands, the Valiant will be attending 16 Homestands around the world. With a stop in China, a stop in Europe, and a tour on the East Coast, the Valiant have an interesting 2020 ahead of them.
A Complete Schedule Breakdown
🐶🐱 BABY #VALLA ANIMALS 🐱🐶
— Los Angeles Valiant (@LAValiant) August 20, 2019
This is the Valiant’s fully released schedule. They start early on, in February of 2020, and end in early August.
Overview of the Matches and Scheduling
Overall, the Valiant will be playing a total of 28 matches across the world. Most of their stints have them on the West Coast, with multiple trips to Dallas and their five Homestand Weekends. Being in the Pacific West Conference, most of the Valiant’s games are against those on the West Coast, as well as those in the Pacific East Conference. In fact, they begin and end their season in matches against the Dallas Fuel, as well as closing out 2020 in a Battle for LA against the Gladiators.
In their own conference, the Valiant ended up ranking fourth out of all five teams. Edging out a struggling Dallas Fuel wasn’t very hard, but the top three in the Pacific West Conference hold a sense of fear. The San Francisco Shock, Vancouver Titans, and LA Gladiators are all teams with immense talent. In this new 2-2-2 meta that’s been enforced, these teams have also shown a sense of stability. Despite a brief stumble from the Titans, these three teams display dominance, despite the meta shifts.
The Beginning of the Season: A Trip to China
The first weekend for the Valiant will give fans a sense of what they’re working with against the Pacific West Conference. Their first match is against the Dallas Fuel, on February 18th. The next day, they take on the Vancouver Titans. These two games could be the very polar opposite of each other. It’s hard to think about possibilities when roster changes could happen at any moment for any team. However, that opening weekend will surely set the tone for the Valiant’s season.
Additionally, they leave the country almost immediately to spend time in China. Attending three Chinese Homestands in a row, the Valiant will be put to the test among some of the most chaotic and talented teams in the League. The Seoul Dynasty and the Chengdu Hunters greet them on February 22nd and 23rd.
Intentional or not, the Hunters and the Valiant have a small rivalry of sorts brewing. Due to the Hunters gatekeeping the Valiant for their current playoff run, it’ll be interesting to see if that storyline continues into 2020. The following weeks, the Valiant face off against the Shanghai Dragons, the Hangzhou Spark, and the Guangzhou Charge. All of these teams have proven to be formidable opponents in this 2019 season. If the Valiant can hold their own in their first foray across the ocean against some of the best, they could stand a chance in the long run.
Headed Across the Country for Success
The middle of their schedule gets a little easier, despite a brief game against the San Francisco Shock in Vancouver. In their adventure to the East Coast, the Valiant face off against the Toronto Defiant, the Paris Eternal, and the Boston Uprising in June. Currently, Paris are the strongest of these struggling teams, showing brief signs of life before their season ended. The Defiant and the Uprising, however, have yet to find their footing in a post-GOATs world. The Valiant have the upper hand against these teams that face struggles, and constant roster changes.
From there, the end of the Valiant’s season gets a little tougher. Facing teams like the London Spitfire, the LA Gladiators, and the Atlanta Reign won’t be an easy feat. These teams have currently come into their own, especially Atlanta. They’re starting to look like the team fans saw in Stage 1 of this current 2019 season. Additionally, teams thought to be nothing less than filler have shown that 2-2-2 can give strong players the power they need. The Washington Justice and the Florida Mayhem are names that look to make a splash in 2020, and the Valiant will have to put in the work to prove themselves against these flourishing franchises.
The Valiant end their season in a similar way that their journey begins. Facing off against the Fuel one last time on August 8th gives them a chance for a last-minute win. Their last game couldn’t be anything other than the Battle for LA in their last Homestand Weekend of the regular season. In Burbank, the Valiant will make their final stand once more, proving their growth over the last year, and the one before.
Did the Valiant Get Lucky with Their Schedule?
With some teams hosting the maximum of five Homestand Weekends, fans wonder which teams got the better end of the traveling deal. For the Valiant, their schedule makes it easy to hit the places they need to go while giving the players time to rest in between these long trips. Starting their season in China to hit three Homestands lets them enjoy their time while also competing against the Pacific East Conference. Afterwards, they stay on the West Coast for most of their time, with brief trips to Dallas for their Homestands.
Their trip to the East Coast also preludes their trip to Europe, making the trip across the ocean easier as well. There’s enough time between their appearance at the NYXL Homestand at the end of May and their appearance at the London Homestand in the second week of June for them to relax, and get some much-needed downtime. This certainly quells concerns of overextended travel times, as well as player burn out, due to too much travel combined with nonstop Homestand Weekends.
Predicting the Valiant’s 2020 Success
The overhead view gives the Valiant a fairly fair schedule. They face some of their hardest opponents in the beginning and the end of their season, giving them time in the middle to grow and adjust. This is also based on the idea that most of these teams, besides a small handful, don’t make any major roster changes to shake things up. Boston and Paris are two examples of teams that could undergo massive roster changes, for example. Therefore, predicting the success of these games is harder than usual.
2-2-2 will still be the enforced meta for the 2020 season, meaning each team will have two players on damage, two people on tank, and two people on support. The Valiant, right now, are finding success in this sort of set up. Sigma’s introduction into the game for the 2019 Playoffs could see more shifts and changes before the Grand Finals in September.
With the general knowledge of this past season, and seeing the way certain teams have dominated those lower on the food chain, it’s safe to say that the Valiant will be a middle of the pack team. They’ll have to fight hard for their successes, but once earned, there’s no doubt that they’ll be on an upward trend.
Featured Image Courtesy of the LA Valiant website.
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