The long-awaited start of the OWL 2020 season is finally here. Tomorrow, the matches between the team’s being hosted by the Fuel and the NYXL begin and it’s anyone’s guess who will come out on top in each match.
Precisely because it’s anyone’s guess, this author, Connor “GoopyKnoopy” Knudsen has made his predictions about how the league’s first week will turn out. As a reminder, games will now be played in a format of first to three wins, rather than the previous system of four maps and a potential tie-breaker.
Toronto Defiant 3-2 Paris Eternal
The weekend should start with a good one as two teams with many changes take the stage. Neither of these teams seems all that formidable from the preseason eye test, but a matchup between the two of them should be interesting. In the end, the edge goes to the Defiant who are more likely to be match-ready in Week 1, only having to prepare for one game and having no language barrier to work around.
London Spitfire 0-3 NYXL
New York should dominate this, pending an insane amount of malaise on their part. There’s just not enough data on London to believe in their ability to win a map in their opener. If it were against someone else, maybe, but not NYXL.
London Spitfire 3-2 Paris Eternal
This match looks to be much like the first of the weekend, with the edge going away from the Eternal, yet again. Look towards Se-won “BERNAR” Shin to potentially have a solid showing in his first match against a team the Spitfire are better matched up against. It looks to be a tough opening weekend for Paris.
Boston Uprising 0-3 NYXL
Same thing as the London match, NYXL will dominate this in front of a home crowd who should be primed to boo the team from Boston. If this is anything less than a 0-3, the Uprising should be elated.
Los Angeles Gladiators 1-3 Vancouver Titans
This match will look closer to a 3-2 than a 3-1 for the Titans, but it’s hard to pick against them looking very strong to open the season. Chan-hyung “Fissure” Baek is likely to still be on the team by Friday, so the Titans should walk away victorious, especially considering how unproven the Gladiators DPS core still is.
Los Angeles Valiant 2-3 Dallas Fuel: MATCH OF THE WEEK
The Fuel will be marching out to their sold-out home crowd for the first time this season against a team that has been rumored to be thriving in preseason scrims, the Los Angeles Valiant. On paper, the Fuel could easily be picked to lose this game, however, the home-field advantage may just be enough to get them a victory. Either way, pay attention to this game’s result, it could prove to be an excellent litmus test for how strong both teams truly are to start the year.
Los Angeles Valiant 1-3 Vancouver Titans
The Valiant will prove here that they are better than people have rated them and may just put the whole league on notice. It’s going to be incredibly tough for them to win this match, but look for the young team to put up a fight against the Titans.
San Francisco Shock 3-0 Dallas Fuel
This is one team that home-field advantage won’t help you against. Sorry Dallas fans, you may want to look away for this one.
In short, this opening weekend will be about adaptability and pre-existing synergy with teams reaping the benefits of being able to adapt to the newer, more wide-open landscape. Bet on those who have shown promise in the past and, when in doubt, give the edge to home-field advantage.
To hear more about Connor’s predictions as well as what the WatchHaus crew is predicting for Opening Weekend, check out the Preseason Spectacular episode below. Airs live at 5:30 pm EST.
Follow me on Twitter: @GoopyKnoopy I would love to dialogue with you about anything I’ve written!
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Featured Image Courtesy of Ben Pursell For Blizzard Entertainment
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