For the Washington Justice, Stage 1 of this season of the Overwatch League was an ostensibly poor debut for the team. Before the Justice defeated the equally lackluster Florida Mayhem 3-2 in Overtime, the expansion squad had yet to tally a win. With the addition of former New York Excelsior support player, Yeonjoon “ArK” Hong and a possible meta shift with patch 1.34, they will look to right the ship.
Preview For This Week
Toronto Defiant (5-2)
The Toronto Defiant are somewhat of an enigma, their 5-2 record would indicate they’re in the top tier of the league. However, their only victory over a Stage 1 playoff team came in week 3 against the Boston Uprising. They primarily beat up on lower tier teams – a tier that that the Justice find themselves placed in.
When playing against Stage 1 playoffs teams, the Justice were 0-4 with a map differential of (-10) with loses to New York Excelsior, Philadelphia Fusion, San Francisco Shock and Seoul Dynasty. To Summarize, this looks like another lopsided match in the making.
Chengdu Hunters (3-4)
Keeping with teams that are difficult to quantify, the Justice play the Chengdu Hunters on Sunday to close out week 1 of Stage 2. On the one hand, in Stage 1 the Hunters lost to teams such as the Shanghai Dragons and had to go to overtime to handle the Florida Mayhem. While on the other, they nearly beat the Vancouver Titans in week 4 and did beat the Atlanta Reign in week 5.
They were able to accomplish these results by catching their opponents off guard with damage heavy compositions that could counter the GOATS meta from a distance. For a perfect example of this tactic in action, look no further than Yi “JinMu” Hu laying waste to the Titans on point A of Temple of Anubis, or Luo “Elsa” Wenjie absolutely popping off on Torbjorn against the Reign on Horizon Lunar Colony.
With the potential shift to a DPS heavy meta, this match up is a lot more interesting that it would have been in Stage 1. The Hunters should continue to be one of the more exciting team to watch and the shift away from GOATS can’t hurt the Justice as they try to improve on their Stage 1 performance.
Player to Watch: Junhwa “Janus” Song
It will be interesting to see to what degree the changes made to armor functionality will affect Stage 2. In theory, more DPS Heroes will be run and tanks such as Reinhardt will be easier to take out.
Although if Jayne’s Tournament of Future Champions played on the 1.34 patch is any indication, we will see a version of the “GOATS” meta with Winston rather than Reinhardt, due in no small part to the speed boost nerf Lucio received.
These factors make it exciting to see what Janus can do on Winston. If the first scenario plays out, then he will be able to farm his ultimate ability quickly by tackling squishy targets. If it’s the second scenario, then the battlefield should open up a lot more and we will see a combination of GOATS and Dive with Winston taking out the other team’s supports. Either way, Janus should be a large part of the success or failure for the Justice this week and in the match to come during Stage 2.
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