Now that Overwatch League week three is over, there is time to account for what happened across the league. More specifically, it is time to look at the perceptions of players, teams, and the league has changed through the first three weeks. This is called the OWL Stonk Market.
Stonks Up: Philadelphia Fusion
Oh boy, they are fun. The Fusion so far this season look like the Atlanta Reign during the second half last year. After beating the NYXL in convincing 3-1 fashion behind stellar team play, the Fusion nearly threw their series vs Toronto. They did prevail though, behind clutch plays from FunnyAstro and Carpe. This team has done everything very well. They have played their macro and micro game well, they rarely use ults in bad situations (save Ivy vs Toronto), and are not over-aggressive. Oh, and the Fusion are not even playing Fury right now. This is a top-four team, and has a chance to take the title at the end of the year.
Stonks Down: Houston Outlaws
The Houston Outlaws are more than unlucky, they are cursed. This past week they won two maps, lost to the Uprising had a slot machine at flex support, and the airlines they flew on to DC sent their bags to Baltimore instead if DC. That was just this week. What else has happened to them this year? Here is a list:
– Two weeks ago Super’s mom posted a profanity-laced tweet questioning the Outlaws use, or lack of use, of DPS Danteh. All of a sudden he was starting this week.
– They started Blasé on McCree over Linkzr, and ended up having the worst headshot percentage in the league.
– Players on the team that were thought to be sick come out publicly to say they are healthy, causing the public to question the team decisions. Plenty of players on the team are sick though.
– They played Brigette Lucio and got absolutely rolled.
– They left their planned team house because the surrounding homeowners complained.
Get this team inhero pools already, please.
Stonks Up: Paris Eternal
This was a little unexpected. The Eternal came into the season with expectations of being a bottom-five team and would suffer while Sp9rk1e was ineligible. So far neither of those look true. With Hanbin now eligible, they are able to play a multitude of compositions that they were not able to run the first week of the season. The DPS have been the most surprising part though. Nico has performed above expectation and Xzi has looked like a world-beater on hitscan heroes. If Paris can weather the storm till June when Sp9rk1e becomes eligible, Paris may make an unexpected run this season.
Stonks Down: Washington Justice
The Washington Justice are in a worse spot than the Dallas Fuel right now. The Justice returned to DC for their homestand after a promising showing in Philadelphia the previous weekend only to lay a dud versus the home crowd. The Paris Eternal, with Hanbin now in tow, pulled off a 3-1 victory over the Justice. The following day, the rookie filled London Spitfire pulled off a reverse sweep of the Justice in a match that featured a laughable offense on Dorado by the Justice. Yes, Corey came out and said he was sick. Sure they had to make content during the week. This team though is where their talent level says they are. What are the Justice? A team with a top 3 hitscan DPS but a weak team around him?
Stonks Up: Toronto Defiant
The Defiant this season have been a pleasant surprise. Some analysts, not to name names, had them as the 19th ranked team in the league. Boy were they wrong. What the Defiant have managed to do in terms of team composition is true to their name. They do not play the meta that often, they are Defiant. When they play to Agilities and Beast’s strengths on Genji or Doomfist and Mei respectively, their teamplay and coordination are great. Just watch Temple of Anubis vs the Fusion. Yes, that map plays into Agilities best heroes, yes they lost the map. But, look at how they played that comp and their coordination. One can not ask anything more from them. After a win over the Hanbin-less Eternal and a close loss to Fusion, the Defiant are exceeding expectations.
Stonks (Slightly) Down: NYXL
It is not completely fair to drop the NYXL too far in the power rankings after this week. They lost to the Fusion, but that was a hard-fought map where they just got outplayed at times. The NYXL have not beaten great teams though. They have beaten Boston, London, and Houston this season, which are arguably the three worst teams in OWL. Before any logical judgements can be made about the NYXL, give it a little more time. Their next true test will be on March 14th vs Atlanta Reign.
Stonks Down: Pacific Conference Scheduling
COVID-19 is ruining the Pacific Conference right now. It is not killing them health-wise, it is killing them scheduling wise. The first six homestands in Asia are canceled, no Pacific West team has played a single match yet, and the Pacific East teams won’t play till the last weekend in March. Yes, these teams get to build up chemistry together, yes they get to scrim a lot, but that means nothing right now. There is no announcement on how they will make up the games at this moment, but the first attempt has already failed. In a make or break season, OWL needs to figure out a way to solve this problem for the sake of the league and the teams.
Stonks Up: Reinforce & Custa on the Desk
Before the full lineup desk was even announced before the season, this was the odds on guess for the desk. Despite all the production issues, Soe stepping into her hosting roll, and incomplete chemistry, Custa and Reinforce have been a bright spot on the desk. The addition of two former Overwatch pros and fun personalities, in general, has made for a fun change to the desk. Reinforce and Custa allow the broadcast to have smart, reputable analysis by former pros while also continuing the general memery from the past two seasons. If the desk can figure out its production issues and Soe can ease into the role, the desk could be great.
Stonks Down: Player Health
With team travel came the inevitability of players getting sick, but this is ridiculous so far. Many of the illness rumors stem around the Houston Outlaws. In addition to innumerable other problems, the Outlaws bear the OWL plague right now. Multiple members of the team are or have been sick. During an interview with Sideshow, Outlaws coach dream stated that Hydration played sick last week, in addition to not playing this past week. Add to the sick list Washington Justice star DPS Corey. Over social media, Corey admitted he played sick during the Justice homestand this past weekend. OWL teams need to do a better job helping players stay healthy. So far, not so good.
What do you think the Valiant will do over the break? Tell me on Twitter at @TheWiz_SPM
Featured image courtesy of @OverwatchGG on Twitter
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