“LADS, LADS – KEEP IT TOGETHER!” Josh “Sideshow” Wilkerson’s impression of the Paris Eternal during Stage 1 was, in a word, hilarious. Mostly because of how seemingly spot on it was. The first stage of the Overwatch League was rough for the Paris Eternal. Starting strong, they quickly lost their footing and were unable to regain control by the end of the stage. The departure of former head coach, Julien “daemoN” Ducros during the break between Stages 1 and 2, seemed to be a step in the right direction for the Eternal. Under Félix “Féfé” Münch, Paris started to show more signs of life as the second stage progressed. Although Paris did improve during Stage 2, they still have a long way to go.
Highs and Lows of Stage 2
Fans of the Eternal were cautiously optimistic at the beginning of the stage. Their first match against the Guangzhou Charge ended in a stunning 4-0 victory, but they suffered a heavy 0-4 blow from the Chengdu Hunters later that same weekend. Fans of Paris would see them go through many highs and many lows, the lowest being their 0-4 loss against the Toronto Defiant, who were considered by many to be one of the worst performing teams of stage 2.
The Eternal’s playstyle is continuously fluctuating between night and day. Paris has moments of greatness, like during their game against the Dallas Fuel. Although they lost that series, the Eternal did manage to tie Dallas on Paris and were extremely close to securing the victory on Blizzard World; they made the boys in blue work for that victory, and that promise is what continues to give fans hope. Although the Eternal ended the stage with a 2-5 record, they continue to show promise and will eventually grow into the team that fans hyped them up to be at the beginning of the season.
Breaking up the Bench
The departure of daemoN meant an entire shift in the Eternal’s starting roster was imminent. Starting from the tank line and working his way down, Féfé reworked the roster to strengthen their GOATS play as best he could within the shorter stage break. Nobody was expecting perfection from the Paris Eternal this stage, but what improvements they were able to make were applauded.
Under Féfé’s rule, players such as Damien “HyP” Souville, Nicolas “NiCOgdh” Moret and Benjamin “BenBest” Dieulafait would find themselves on the bench while Luís “Greyy” Perestrelo and Roni “LhCloudy” Tiihonen rose to power. Taking out BenBest meant that it was finally LhCloudy’s time to shine. While BenBest is a formidable Reinhardt player, it was clear from the get-go that he was not the leader that Paris needed him to be. In GOATS, a team is only as strong as their main tank. Under BenBest, Paris floundered, so it made sense to give LhCloudy a try.
Before joining the Paris Eternal, LhCloudy made a name for himself on Team Gigantti in the EU Contenders scene. A man of few words, LhCloudy filled the leadership role that Paris needed with ease. Overall, the team looked a lot better, and LhCloudy was able to be a more flexible main tank. Taking up the role of Wrecking Ball for triple DPS compositions, LhCloudy was a force to be reckoned with as he rolled his way on through to the point.
Switching Things Up
Alongside LhCloudy, Greyy took up the role of flex support. Greyy is a talented Ana, and fans were thrilled to see his gameplay of her whenever he had the chance. His use of Ana’s biotic grenade on Hanamura during the Eternal’s match against the Florida Mayhem was one of the biggest-brained plays of the stage. Although the Eternal’s support line still had issues with layering their support ultimates, the team did move more as a cohesive unit than they had during the previous stage. However, one move, in particular, had many fans scratching their heads. During the Dallas Homestand Weekend, Paris decided to swap out Finnbjörn “Finnsi” Jónasson and put in NiCOgdh on D.VA. While NiCOgdh has a history of playing D.VA for Eagle Gaming, his D.VA is not stronger than Finnsi’s. As a result, Paris crumbled before the London Spitfire; although Paris was able to bring back a fight against the Hanghzhou Spark, the upward trajectory they had built faltered for the remainder of the stage.
Their Warrior Spirit Burns
While the meta is once again looking to favor GOATS, the Eternal will shine on the off-chance DPS players are freed from their cages. With Terence “SoOn” Tarlier, George “ShaDowBurn” Gushcha, Karol “Danye” Szcześniak and NiCOgdh on their side, the Paris Eternal are looking stacked.
All four of them have a rich history as flashy DPS players; SoOn especially made a name for himself last season on the Los Angeles Valiant as one of the best Widowmakers in the League. Danye impressed during the 2018 World Cup qualifiers playing for Team Poland, and ShaDowBurn is still a top tier Genji and Pharah player. What glimpses of DPS play that fans were able to see during stage 2 showed great promise for the Paris Eternal. The Eternal’s DPS lineup is one of the many reasons fans were initially excited when the roster officially dropped. All four of these players bring something unique to the table, but GOATS has held them back. A DPS meta would greatly benefit the Paris Eternal, and allow them to reach their full potential as a team.
Although Paris ended the stage with more losses than wins under their belt, most of their losses were closer than those results suggest. The Eternal have all the right pieces; they have incredible players and a strong coaching staff on their side. However, communication will need to be the priority focus for the Paris Eternal if they want to shine. If Paris can get a better grasp on their communication, and stop layering those support ultimates, they will be in a much better place next stage.
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