Overwatch League

Overwatch League power rankings: Stage 4 Week 2

The first week of stage 4 was quite interesting as we saw some teams that were expected to be very good falter. We had five teams sweep the week and five teams get swept. If this continues we could see not only the stage playoffs but season playoffs come down to the wire in the coming weeks.

As a reminder, this is overall power rankings, not just for this stage.

Here are the power rankings heading into week 2:

12. Shanghai Dragons 0-2 (VS. Fusion & Excelsior)

Overwatch League Power RankingsThese Dragons are much more like Mushu than Drogon. Many people expected their match-up against the Fuel to be their time they would finally win a match. It was a new stage and they had time to finally practice and develop as a team. Then they lost, again.

Week 2 will not bring them any reprieve as they go up against two squads that are 2-0. There is one major positive though, they are not in last as their map record is better than both London’s and Florida’s.

11. Florida Mayhem 0-2 (VS. Valiant & Gladiators)

Overwatch League Power RankingsThis team is truthfully not much better than the Dragons at this point. They have had some moments but none really to talk about in week 1. Even though they were able to secure a tie against the Excelsior on one map they were then swept by the Fusion.

It will be a Los Angeles week for the Mayhem as they face the two hometown teams who are also sporting 2-0 records. This team has the ability to surprise and their entrances continue to be solid but, that might be the only thing they have going for them.

10. Dallas Fuel 1-1 (VS. Uprising & Fusion)

Overwatch League Power RankingsThe Fuel currently sit in 7th in the league for this stage and that’s great. But, let’s not forget that their win was against the Mushu’s, sorry Dragons. They were then promptly swept by the Gladiators in their next game. Seagull is finally seeming to learn D.Va and that should help this team going forward.

The runners-up last stage look a little like they do when they go into their slump. Boston could be beatable this coming week is Dallas is truly able to come together. As for the Valiant, it is likely not the same.

9. London Spitfire 0-2 (vs.  shock & Dynasty)

Overwatch League Power RankingsWho would have guessed this fall from grace? A team that made the first two playoffs (when only three teams did) has won five of their last 12 matches and were only able to win one map in week one. To be fair to them they played the Excelsior and the suddenly hot Outlaws but those are teams they should at least be able to look even against.

This is a really major week for the Spitfire. They are still sitting third in the season standings and are currently in the playoffs. But, if they have another terrible week against a rising Shock team and a hungry Dynasty squad they could fall right out of the playoffs by weeks end.

8. San Francisco Shock 1-1 (Vs. Spitfire & Outlaws)

Overwatch League Power RankingsAfter barely missing the playoffs in Stage 3 this team had a solid showing to start off Stage 4. After losing a close series against the Gladiators the Shock were able to beat a struggling Seoul Dynasty team. While Seoul has been pretty bad lately that doesn’t mean the Shock don’t deserve the credit. This team is vastly improved and could beat just about anyone at any time.

If the Shock want to show that they’re the real deal this week would be a good time to do so. London is coming off an atrocious week but is still a solid squad. A win back to back weeks against “Korean teams” would be huge for them. Also if they can cool off Houston then San Fran might be on Stage 4 playoff watch.

7. Seoul Dynasty 0-2 (vs. Excelsior & Spitfire)

Overwatch League Power RankingsSeoul might be the most disappointing team this entire season in the OWL. They have never made a playoff, are barely holding onto the sixth season playoff spot, and they went 0-2 in week 1. Their match against the Valiant was reminiscent of what they look like when they are playing their game even in a loss. Against the Shock, they went back to their average form.

Like their London counterparts, this is a nut up or shut-up week for the Dynasty. The Excelsior are (spoiler) easily the best team in the league and they always lose one game per stage. Seoul better hope it’s against them. As for their game against London, that team has fallen even further than them. If the Dynasty miss out on that game then they could be well on their way to finishing in the bottom third of the league.

6. Philadelphia Fusion 2-0 (vs. Dragons & Fuel)

Overwatch League Power RankingsAfter shocking the Uprising the Fusion cruised in their game against the Mayhem to start of the stage well. This team continues to surprise the league with their consistent play. They are in fifth for the season due to having the most games played because they can’t finish teams off. They are tied with third record-wise and if they win both this week they could be the only team in that spot by the end of the week.

With their week 2 schedule, it would not be surprising to see this team sitting at 4-0. While both the Dragons and Fuel are getting better they still are no match for the Fusion.

5. Los Angeles Gladiators 2-0 (vs. Outlaws & Mayhem)

Overwatch League Power RankingsTalk about a team on the rise. This team has been slowly climbing the ranks ever since they added Fissure and Silkthread. They are very consistent in their team-fights and after taking care of business against the Shock and Fuel the Gladiators will look to continue to climb.

This week features their toughest match of weeks 1 and 2, the Outlaws. This will be a test for both teams as they continue to push towards not just a stage playoff but, also the season playoffs. If the Gladiators cannot be upset by the Mayhem and take at least two maps against Houston, if not the match, then they could find themselves in the top six.

4. Houston Outlaws 2-0 (vs. Gladiators & Shock)

Overwatch League Power RankingsAfter a less than stellar Stage 3 it looks like Jake and the boys are back. They swept the Spitfire in convincing fashion and 3-1’d Boston. Is it possible that the meta this time around suits them better? Probably. What is more important is that they looked like they were back in a groove as a team. Last stage they seemed to struggle to find their cohesion that has made them so good.

The Outlaws sit right outside of a playoff spot currently but with six teams within two games of each other, everything can change week by week. They start off the week by playing a team that is scorching hot and only two map losses behind them. This could be an epic series and if the Outlaws can win it, even barely, then they are announcing to everyone to watch out.

3. Boston Uprising 0-2 (vs. fuel & Valiant)

Overwatch League Power RankingsOh Boston, what was up this week? After not losing a single game last stage they go out and lose both of their week 1 games 3-1. While the Fusion and Outlaws are very good teams, one would expect that Boston would win at least one of their match-ups. They are still sitting in second in the overall standings and would have to go into a huge slump to fall out of it.

Boston will face Dallas and the LA Valiant this week. Dallas can put up a fight but unless Boston throw, they should be able to handle this match-up. The Valiant and Boston are going to be going blow for blow. These teams match-up pretty well across the board and should have a very entertaining series.

2. Los Angeles Valiant 2-0 (vs. Mayhem & Uprising)

Overwatch League Power RankingsThis team continues to play very well at all positions, even after losing Silkthread. They were able to beat Seoul in overtime in an impressive series for them and then they handled Shanghai. This team is currently in the playoffs and it is unlikely that they will fall out as they currently sit in fourth.

This week they have the Mayhem and the Uprising. The Mayhem will more than likely take one map off of the Valiant but shouldn’t be much of a threat. The Uprising are a totally different story. While they had a rough week, they tend to do this at times. Boston and LA will absolutely be battling it out this week in what should be an excellent match.

1. New York Excelsior 2-0 (vs. Dragons & Dynasty)

Overwatch League Power RankingsIs anyone honestly even surprised at this point? They are 29-3 this season and continued their dominance by beating the Mayhem and Spitfire this week. The Excelsior do not seem to have any glaring weaknesses. If anything the announcement of new teams joining might be the only thing as they could potentially lose some players this offseason. Not saying they will win season one because anything can happen but, this team is incredibly good.

Focusing on this coming week, New York plays Shanghai and Seoul. The Shanghai game is a win 99 times out of 100. Seoul, on the other hand, might be like a starved tiger. If the Excelsior aren’t careful they could lose their one match a stage this week.

 

 

You can like The Game Haus on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other great TGH writers along with Robert!

“From Our Haus to Yours”

Here are the Odds of Your Team Winning Season 1 of the Overwatch League

Season 1 of the Overwatch League is nearly over. Only Stage 4 remains as teams battle it out to make the playoffs. As of now, the only team to have officially made it into the playoffs are the New York Excelsior. Their dominance has been well documented, as they have been to every stage final and won the last two.

Who can make the playoffs?

Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

Unlike the Stage playoffs, the Season playoffs will have six teams battling it out for the Season 1 title. As of now, the only team to clinch a spot is the aforementioned New York Excelsior. There are also three teams that have been eliminated. These teams include the Dallas Fuel, Florida Mayhem and the winless Shanghai Dragons. That leaves eight teams to battle it out for the five remaining playoff spots.

Stage 4 will feature many important match-ups as many of the teams will be playing for their season playoff lives.

You can keep up to date on Stage 4 as it starts next week on Twitch and the Overwatch League’s official website.

 

“Never tell me the odds”

You may be wondering to yourself: “what are the odds of my team winning it all?” Look no further, there are a bunch of trustworthy betting sites on sportsbettingdime.com that will provide you with the most up-to-date odds. Overwatch League is still a fairly new esports league, compared to others like Dota 2 and League of Legends so not all sportsbooks will have Overwatch League odds. Take your time to look over each site as they each have their own advantages. In this case, try to pick one that offers a sign-up bonus because if you’re planning on betting on a team that’s not the New York Excelsior and your team doesn’t win, at least you get some sort of compensation.

Here are the most recent odds:

Courtesy of: Overwatchleague.com

New York Excelsior (2/3)

London Spitfire (9/1)
Boston Uprising (9/1)
Seoul Dynasty (9/1)
Los Angeles Valiant (19/1)
Los Angeles Gladiators (50/1)
Philadelphia Fusion (100/1)
San Francisco Shock (100/1)
Houston Outlaws (100/1)
The most interesting odds are three of the last four teams. To start, the Gladiators having a better chance than two teams that have been ahead of them in the standings all year is surprising, to say the least. That also brings into question why the Outlaws and Fusions chances are so low.
Is it because of their below average performances in Stage 3? Or is it that all the teams above them are simply getting that much better? Either way, those might be odds worth betting on.
Another team of note is the Seoul Dynasty, as they have been slowly falling down the standings after having a very average Stage 3 with a 5-5 record.

Take ’em or Leave ’em

Leave ‘Em:

The Spitfire and the Dynasty.

Neither team has looked exceedingly strong as of late. This is due to teams finding their groove after a rough start, as teams have added talent either through pickups or players coming of age. Additionally, some of the talent that has been picked up has been at the expense of both of these teams.

Take ‘Em:

The Uprising and the Fusion.

Boston was the best team for most of Stage 3 and should be able to make the changes necessary to put up a fight against the Excelsior. As for the Fusion, they had a down Stage but have been consistent for most of the season. Look for them to make some adjustments as they push for the playoffs and could surprise a couple teams.

 

You can like The Game Haus on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other great TGH writers along with Robert.

Ryujehong reminds the Overwatch League: Seoul are in it to win it

At first glance, putting support superstar Ryujehong on Winston doesn’t sound like the best idea. In practice, though, it’s proven to be the Seoul Dynasty’s smartest change yet.

How embarrassing


2018-04-26 / Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

Ryujehong, for all his skill on heroes like Ana and Zenyatta, is not a great Winston. He can’t juggle players with Primal Rage like Fissure or xQc. His shield timings could be better. His engagements were often a little too early, or a little too late. With a host of little flaws in a game that has no margin for error, many Seoul fans braced for impact as the horde of Outlaws faithful in the arena prepared for a gleeful slaughter. Seoul’s game against London the day before had shown that Jehong still had a long way to go before he could handle top-tier tanks, and Muma is no slouch, to be sure. In the end, though, the two fan-bases switched demeanor entirely. How could Jehong’s awkward, newly-minted main tank play help his team crush Houston so convincingly?

Let’s coordinate our efforts


The key was, as it so often is in Overwatch, communication. Ryujehong made up for his middling main tank mechanics by having a plan for every push. His communication and decision making are his greatest strengths, beyond all the head clicking and sleep darting, so why not use them?

Playing to those strengths is harder than it sounds in a frenetic game like Overwatch, and it didn’t always work for Seoul. A strict focus on certain strategies often left Jehong & Co. unprepared for Houston’s signature curve balls, but clean comms and insane mechanical play from the Dynasty’s deep roster often compensated for it. Overthinking can often be just as dangerous as under-preparing- you have to have a certain balance of flexibility and structure to really succeed. That balance will take some time for a player learning a new role in a pro setting, to be sure, but it will be so worth it.

 

Houston, uhh, we have a problem


2018-02-10 / Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

The Outlaws often made life difficult for Seoul over the course of their four-game series, but there were plenty of times that they made things easy, too. While it’s clear that they’ve worked hard to perfect their strategy of controlled chaos, such methods can quickly go off the rails if they aren’t keeping a good hold of things in game. And things definitely got away from them, as evidenced in the scoreline.

Ultimately, Seoul just caught the Outlaws on a bad day. They looked tired. There were no caffeine-gum speeches from Jake, no coy winks to the camera. Just flat, beleaguered expressions. The stage break is definitely going to help Houston, but I think the Dynasty will benefit plenty, as well. They’ll have lots of extra time to get Ryujehong used to working in his new role, and to develop more of those set strategies that worked so well for them in week five. If they can nail down their new play style, and finally lock in a good roster, we could be seeing a return to force for the Dynasty- and not a moment too soon. Seoul’s still in the playoff hunt, after all.

 

STAY UP TO DATE

Follow me on Twitter @thibbledork!
Questions? Message me on Discord! (thibbledork#0282)

Featured Photo Courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment

Follow The Game Haus for more esports and sports stories!!
Twitter: TGH Esports
Facebook: The Game Haus

Multi-Esport Cities

While the Esports industry is very young, franchising has allowed for it to mature much faster than its traditional sports counterpart. With franchising coming into play there are many different groups and people buying in, and these entities want esports teams in their cities.

This means that many fans will start to want to see their teams in person and thus esports arenas are the next step, you can check out why that is here.

The teams in League of Legends have not officially stated what cities they will be based in, so some of this is a bit of guessing as either they were founded in these cities or have major investments from them.

Now here is a list of US/NA cities that already have multiple teams in them:

Boston:

  • Boston Uprising (Overwatch League)
  • Celtics Crossover Gaming (NBA2k)

Cleveland:

  • 100 Thieves (League of Legends)
  • Cavs Legion (NBA2k)

Dallas:

  • Dallas Fuel (Overwatch League)
  • Mavs Gaming (NBA2k)

Houston:

  • Clutch City (League of Legends)
  • Houston Outlaws (Overwatch League)
  • OpTic Gaming (League of Legends)

Los Angeles:

  • LA Gladiators (Overwatch League)
  • LA Valiant (Overwatch League)
  • The Overwatch League
  • NALCS

Miami:

  • Florida Mayhem (Overwatch League)
  • Heat Check Gaming (NBA2k)

Milwaukee:

  • Bucks Gaming (NBA2k)
  • FlyQuest (League of Legends)

New York:

  • Counter Logic Gaming (League of Legends)
  • Echo Fox (League of Legends)
  • Knicks Gaming (NBA2k)
  • New York Excelsior (Overwatch League)

Oakland/San Francisco Bay Area:

  • Golden State Guardians (League of Legends)
  • San Francisco Shock (Overwatch League)
  • Warriors Gaming Squad (NBA2k)

Philadelphia:

  • 76ers GC (NBA2k)
  • Philadelphia Fusion (Overwatch League)

Toronto:

  • Raptors Uprising GC (NBA2k)
  • Team Solo Mid (League of Legends)

 

We will make sure to continue updating this list as more esports franchise, more teams commit to cities, and more teams join the already franchised leagues. An EU and Asia list will come out once a couple other franchising esports leagues finalize.

You can ‘Like’ The Game Haus on Facebook and ‘Follow’ us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other great TGH writers along with Robert!

“From Our Haus to Yours”

Brigitte in the Overwatch League: A five word horror story

Plenty of people have critiqued the Overwatch League for limiting balance changes to only take place between stages. I’m one of those people. Five weeks of Mercy dominance was painful, and the discordance between live balance changes and the Overwatch League’s sluggish iterations is jarring, to say the least. With Brigitte in the Overwatch League’s active roster next stage, things are about to get even worse.

 

Read More
Overwatch League

Overwatch League stage three playoff odds

We have one final week remaining in Overwatch League’s third stage of play. Some teams have already booked their ticket to the playoffs, while others will be fighting hard in week five to get in. There’s even a team that has a shot at going undefeated throughout a stage. Here’s a look at teams’ odds of making it.

Overwatch League Stage Playoff tickets booked

Overwatch League

Boston Uprising Victory by Robert Paul

The Boston Uprising and New York Excelsior have booked their tickets to the stage three playoffs. There’s no doubt that these two teams have been dominant throughout this stage, and NYXL has been there all season. The Uprising have tough opponents in week five, going against both Los Angeles teams. These two teams are still fighting to maintain their spots in the playoffs, and could challenge Boston’s win-streak. In the end, there is no scenario where they can drop out of the stage playoffs.

The same is true for the NYXL. They’ll also be going up against the worst teams in the Overwatch League in week five, and should be able to pad their win total. Going against the lower tier teams may also allow the NYXL to practice and prepare more for the stage playoffs than other teams. Boston could be practicing potential opponents during their week five play as well. Whichever of these two top teams claims first place, they’ll have their pick of the three teams to play in the stage playoffs. This is a heavy advantage, so don’t look for NYXL or Boston to slack next week.

Stage Playoff Odds: Absolutely In

Valiantly to the Playoffs

Overwatch League

2018-04-11 / Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

A huge revamp of their roster seems to be paying off. Although the “honeymoon phase” is over and they’ve dropped a few maps, the Valiant are poised to enter the stage playoffs. They could’ve punched their ticket this week, had they beaten the Houston Outlaws, but they’re on the verge of doing so. If the Valiant take a win over Boston or Philadelphia in week five, they’ll make the playoffs in any capacity. As many hockey fans know, all you need is to get in to the playoffs to win.

Look for the Valiant to regroup and use the strong play and leadership of Custa and the Tracer skill of Bunny to carry them into the playoffs next week. If the Valiant drop both their games and miss the playoffs, it will be a disappointing end to stage three after such a strong start. For the team’s confidence heading in to stage four, they need to make it in.

Stage Playoff Odds: Strong

Gladiators Brawling their way through

Overwatch League

Courtesy of the LA Gladiators Twitter

The Los Angeles Gladiators are also on the verge of making the Overwatch League stage playoffs for the first time. With the revamped stage playoff look allowing four teams to get in, the Gladiators want nothing more than to be one of the four. To secure their place in the playoffs, they’ll need to win both their games next week. Playing a game against Boston hurts those odds, but a game against Florida could pick them up a win that could be the buffer against many of the currently 4-4 teams looking to make it. Regardless of both wins, the Gladiators will need to pick up at least a single win, as either Houston or San Francisco will pick up a win to tie the Gladiators record. If they tied, the Gladiators currently have the differential in their favor, but to feel comfortable they’ll need one.

Stage Playoff Odds: Moderate

The Battle over 50-50

Overwatch League

San Francisco Shock by Robert Paul

There are four teams sitting at 4-4 records heading into the final week. The San Francisco Shock, Houston Outlaws, Philadelphia Fusion and Seoul Dynasty. A win for each would have them tie (if Gladiators drop at least one) the Gladiators. The Outlaws or Shock are guaranteed a victory, as they’ll face each other. This means at least one of them will get to 5-4 in week five. This is also true for Seoul and Houston, as they will face each other on the last day of the stage. If Houston drops one of those, they’re most likely out. If the Shock win against the Outlaws, their chances look good, as they’ll play the Florida Mayhem after them.

Philadelphia will start the week with a good opportunity for a win against Dallas, but will have to battle the Valiant at the end. If the stars align and the right teams lose (every other 50-50 team and the Gladiators), then the Fusion may make the playoffs. Seoul has the toughest schedule of the three. They have to play against the London Spitfire, and then go against Houston the next day. Looking at the standings, it’s a tough road for all of them, but they’ll be closely watching both L.A. teams during week five and hoping their play falters so they can slide into the playoffs.

Stage Playoff Odds: Low

Strong Endings to carry into Final stage

Overwatch League

Shanghai vs Dallas by Robert Paul

The London Spitfire have looked completely different compared to the end of stage two. Being a top three team to end the stage, they lost out to the Fusion in the semi-finals. Unfortunately for them, they won’t have that chance again. They’ll join the Mayhem, Fuel and Dragons with no chance to enter the stage playoffs. Their play in the past few matches has looked great however. London is finally looking like London of old, and looked poised to have a run during stage four. They’re going to be in contention for the season playoffs if they’re able to be competitive during the final stage.

The other three teams however, are far removed from the season playoffs. The Mayhem have looked great since Sayaplayer and Awesomeguy have been regulars in the lineup, and it shows in the standings. They’ve jumped over the Dallas Fuel for 10th place. The Shanghai Dragons are still without their first win of the season, and everybody will be hoping they can pull one out during the final stage. For the Dallas Fuel, they’ve had quite the up-and-down season, with both players and management scandals constantly racking them. They’ll look to establish a winning culture during the final stage, and look to come out strong in season two.

Stage Playoff Odds: Impossible 

You can like The Game Haus on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other great TGH writers along with Dalton!

Featured Image courtesy of Overwatch League and Blizzard

Stage

Overwatch League stage three week four primer

The fourth week of Overwatch League’s stage three is upon us. Coming into this week, there are a lot of stories unfolding for different teams. Stage playoff spots are up for grabs to newly contending teams wanting a chance to be champions. Here’s what to look for throughout the week.

Overwatch League Stage Undefeated

Overwatch League

2018-01-27 / Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

There have been no teams that have pulled off a perfect 10-0 throughout an Overwatch League stage. Currently, the Boston Uprising look to challenge that. They currently sit at 6-0 on the stage, and play against favorable teams this week. The Uprising will be tackling the Shanghai Dragons and Dallas Fuel, which are two of the weaker teams in the League. While the Uprising look to continue their impressive and purely dominant play since the release of Dreamkazper, they’ve taken down top tier teams. The New York Excelsior lost a game five thriller to the Uprising, while also beating the London Spitfire, Seoul Dynasty, and Houston Outlaws. No matter the team, Boston hasn’t had a problem.

One is all you need

Overwatch League

Now a dream, soon a reality by Robert Paul

On the other end of the spectrum from the Boston Uprising are the Shanghai Dragons. They are battling over halfway through stage three without a single win on the season. They’ve continued to impress as the roster adapts to playing together, and communication has steadily improved. However, they will have an incredibly tough time finding a win during this week. As stated above they’ll take on the on-fire Uprising, and then will have to battle the Philadelphia Fusion for their first win. All signs point to another disappointing loss for the Dragons, but all they need is to win one to boost their confidence.

London Spitfire hoping for takeoff

After a five map win against the Los Angeles Valiant, a previously undefeated team during stage three, the Spitfire are looking to turn this stage around. They currently sit at 2-4, but looked much more impressive than they had looked against the Valiant. Birdring was not in the lineup for the Spitfire, taking the week for a wrist injury. It all clicked for the Spitfire as they looked dominant in taking the first two maps against the Valiant, and dominant once again in the decisive map five. They’re hoping to translate that success against the other California based teams, the Los Angeles Gladiators and San Francisco Shock this week. For this stage, all three teams sit around the same level of play, and they’ll all be pushing for a spot come week five.

Valiant want to bounce back

After looking a little disconnected against the Spitfire, the Valiant will have to push back. They have games against the Outlaws and the Florida Mayhem this week. While one can usually write off the Mayhem, they’re always ready to take advantage of being looked down on. They have the talent and skill to take teams to the limit, and the Valiant can’t sleep on them this week. The other match against the Outlaws looks more difficult on paper. The Outlaws are one win back of a stage playoff spot, and only one win back from catching the Valiant in League standings. It should be a thrilling map that the Valiant will need to take to avoid possibly sliding out of the stage playoffs.

Two weeks left, who gets in?

Overwatch League

Overwatch League Inaugural Season Teams

There are four matches remaining in stage three, and there could be a few playoff spots ready to change teams. If the Valiant are unable to bounce back after their Spitfire loss, they could fall out of contention. Meanwhile, if the Shock can’t take their two matches this week, they’ll likely see one of the many teams one win under them surpass them. These teams include: Gladiators, Dynasty, Outlaws and Fusion. If the Spitfire pull off two straight wins in each remaining week, they could see themselves vault into the stage playoffs once again. Boston’s run of 6-0 should see them secure a spot, but if they have a major collapse, (unlikely), they could fall out as well.

For the first time, there are multiple spots in play for the stage championship. The previous two stages have seen teams battle for the third spot, since the Spitfire and NYXL had been locks for the other two. This time around, it’s anybodies game out there. This should be a great week for the Overwatch League and its fans, and set up an even more thrilling week five.

You can like The Game Haus on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other great TGH writers along with Dalton!

Featured Image courtesy of Robert Paul

Overwatch League

Overwatch League: Have the Korean teams been figured out?

The Overwatch League is currently halfway through its third stage. For the majority of the season, the Korean teams have displayed a dominance that other teams were constantly trying to match. As the stages have progressed, more and more teams have been able to grab wins against these near unstoppable teams. With constant play and recordings available to the other teams, have the Korean teams been figured out?

Overwatch League Prediction: Seoul Dominates

As the inaugural season for the Overwatch League kicked off, many pegged the Seoul Dynasty to be the top team. Currently they sit in second place to the New York Excelsior. However, they kicked off the first season with a bang. They’ve gone 7-3 in both stages, going 0-4 against the other Korean teams.

Overwatch League

Seoul Dynasty by Robert Paul

Stage three has seen Seoul look much weaker than before. They opened the stage swept by a resurgent Los Angeles Valiant, and then dropped another game to the Los Angeles Gladiators. As of this writing they’ve yet to face the other Korean teams in stage three, but their diminishing dominance leads to a likely loss against both. Many believe that the Seoul Dynasty have dropped maps due to deploying a “b-team” during matches against weaker opponents, and they’ve been chastised for it.

They missed both stage one and stage two playoffs simply from map differential, and winning a few more against weaker teams could’ve pushed them into a higher tier of play. As the stages have continued, the Dynasty have looked less and less like the dominant team they were in the beginning. Many teams have figured out who the key players on the squad are, and make quick work on them during play. As their strategies and style of play is shown more and more, teams are able to study and counter it efficiently.

Spitfire Losing Altitude

The London Spitfire were another top projected team at the beginning of the season. Over the first two stages, they backed that prediction up. They managed to play three matches on the final day of stage one to win the championship. They followed that up with a one win better record in stage two, and fell in the semi-finals. Birdring has been one of the most consistently impressive DPS players over the course of the season. His teammates always find a way to make the right plays.

Overwatch League

London Spitfire from Overwatch League

Unfortunately, this dominance has come to a screeching halt in stage three. Going 7-3, then 8-2 over the first two stages, the Spitfire are close to doubling their losses. Midway through stage three, they’re at a paltry 2-4. Their wins have come from the Florida Mayhem and Valiant. They’ve lost to top teams in this stage, and their recent play seems to be a combination of factors.

First is the fact that many of the teams have been playing for a decent period of time now, and work more cohesively. Another is that teams have adjusted their rosters and styles to be more competitive. The Valiant aggressively retooled before the start of stage three, and are at the top of stage three. The Boston Uprising have overcome adversity and meshed new players seamlessly into their lineup. The San Francisco Shock had one of the most well-known Tracer player’s finally reach the age limit to play.

The Spitfire have added a single player since the season started, and bid farewell to two of them. Rascal went to Dallas, (since released), and Fissure has been the main-tank the Gladiators needed to be competitive. While those teams have had their ups and downs, they both look more impressive in stage three than the Spitfire have.

NYXL Reigning Champs

Overwatch League

NYXL from Overwatch League

The New York Excelsior have had their way with the Overwatch League. They lost one game in the first two stages, losing an extra in the first stage playoffs. They then came back with a vengeance in stage two, capturing the championship. They’ve been dominant, and they continue to look so, but the cracks are starting to appear.

In stage three, the NYXL have already lost a game. In a surprising upset, the Boston Uprising, (on the first match without released Dreamkazper), defeated NYXL. Without their top DPS, recently adjusting, the Uprising delivered a statement to the rest of the league. They exploited the NYXL by consistently targeting and removing Jjonak from the play, who has been an absolute game changer for the NYXL.

With a surprise upset handing the NYXL their first loss of stage three, and a close match against the Philadelphia Fusion almost doubling their loss total, the NYXL no longer look impenetrable. Teams have realized just how valuable Jjonak is to the team and their style, and the quicker he’s removed from a fight, the greater the chance to win the fight is.

South Korean Dominance End in Sight

Overwatch League

Top Six Team Stage Standing Comparison

These three teams were the apex model of teamwork at the start of the Overwatch League. Two of them have taken stage championships. Their dominance lasted through the first half of the season, but looks to be over. Seoul has had an ever-so-slightly decrease in play throughout each stage. London suddenly is close to doubling their total losses from two stages during stage three. The NYXL lost to a team that had just lost one of their best players, and couldn’t capitalize.

Meanwhile, the revitalized Valiant and Boston Uprising sit 5-1 and 6-0 in stage three, and look unstoppable. Boston has taken out both the NYXL and Seoul Dynasty, while Valiant swept Seoul and face London next. A passing of the torch to the teams that have figured out and studied their Korean opponents may be happening before our very eyes in stage three, and it has made the Overwatch League all the better for it.

You can like The Game Haus on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other great TGH writers along with Dalton!

Featured Image courtesy of Robert Paul

OWL Team Skins

Why the Atlantic Division in OWL is better than Pacific… by far

With almost three-quarters of the Overwatch League already done, teams are working hard to make the playoffs and separate themselves from the rest of the pack. However, when it comes to divisional differences, there is a huge discrepancy in success, one division is simply way more competitive. Teams in the Atlantic division are way more successful than their Pacific division counterparts. The overall standings are direct proof of these major divisional differences.

Standings

Courtesy of Overwatch League

Atlantic Division

Atlantic

Courtesy of Overwatch League

The Atlantic division consists of six teams, relative to the east side of the United States: Boston Uprising, Philadelphia Fusion, London Spitfire, New York Excelsior, Houston Outlaws, Florida Mayhem. If you have been keeping up with the Overwatch League, you would recognize that five out of these six teams have been in the top half of the standings every stage; not to mention that two of these teams are stage champions. So, what makes this division so much better?

One reason that teams in the Atlantic Division are so much better is because teams in the same division play each other more. With division rivalries such as Houston Outlaws vs London Spitfire or New York Excelsior vs Philadelphia Fusion; games are bound to be more competitive. One could argue that this could also apply for teams in the Pacific Division. However, the reality is that team play in the Atlantic division is way better. Simply, better team play within divisional matches increase teams’ skill capacity and makes the whole division better. It is no surprise that the only teams who have reached the playoffs, in all stages, are Atlantic teams.

Pacific Division

Pacific

Courtesy of Overwatch League

The Pacific division also consists of six teams, in relation to the west side of the United States: Los Angeles Valiant, Los Angeles Gladiators, San Francisco Shock, Dallas Fuel, Seoul Dynasty, Shanghai Dragons. Most of these teams have been struggling in the Overwatch League. Seoul Dynasty are not playing up to their expectations, Dallas Fuel are struggling to find their footing, and the Shanghai Dragons are still win-less in 24 matches. The only teams that have looked somewhat promising are both Los Angeles teams and San Francisco Shock, even then Seoul would still be more favorable than the Shock.

The real challenge for Pacific teams is when it comes to cross divisional play, almost all of them struggle. The only two teams that are consistent enough to beat some of the Atlantic teams are the Los Angeles Valiant and Seoul Dynasty. Both teams have enough individual talent and coordinated team play to rival the Atlantic division powerhouses. Yet as a whole the Pacific division is drastically weaker than its Atlantic counterpart.

Looking Ahead

The question isn’t about talent; there is more than enough talent in the Overwatch League. The question comes down to team play and coordination. Are teams willing to adapt to an enemy’s playstyle and are players looking to improve? Likewise, will teams from both divisions perform more consistently to deliver high level play? With the final playoffs coming in the next couple of months, division leaders and overall standings become much more important. Only six teams get into the playoffs and the Atlantic and Pacific division leaders getting an automatic bid. From the way teams are playing right now, there is a very high chance that we could see five Atlantic teams and only one Pacific team in the final playoffs. To see if the Pacific teams will step up or if the Atlantic teams will continue to dominate, tune into the Overwatch League.

 

For more of the best esports news, follow The Game Haus on Facebook and Twitter. If you would like to keep up with my posts or myself, come check out my twitter:@J02Armstrong. Thanks for reading!

Featured Image Credit: Blizzard Entertainment | Overwatch League

 

The bloodiest battles in the Overwatch League are yet to come

Now, I’ve talked about why this stage in particular is going to be great. So far I haven’t been disappointed, either. We’ve had some great games so far, and this week should be no exception. I’m looking just a bit past this week, though, to week 3 of the Overwatch League’s third stage. A week so packed with potential that I’m writing about it eight days in advance. Why is that far-off day worth worrying about now? Follow along, dear reader, and I’ll show you…

The battle for LA is back with a vengeance

Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

One of the hottest rivalries in the Overwatch League, this hometown hoedown never disappoints. In S1W3, the Valiant squeaked by with one of the league’s first reverse sweeps ever in a harrowing 5-map affair that kept the crowd loud all night long. In S2W3, we saw a decidedly different outcome, a 4-0 smash from the Gladiators, whose shiny new main tank Chan-Hyung “Fissure” Baek made it look easy against the Valiant’s sagging shields.

Now in S3W3, it’s anyone’s guess as to who will take the lead in the head-to-head rivalry. Fissure has cemented himself as a fixture for the Gladiators. The Valiant are looking good after acquiring ex-Dallas Fuel support Scott “Custa” Kennedy and Seoul’s former Tracer star Jun-Hyeok “Bunny” Chae. Indy “Space” Halpern has looked good, too, moving up to the main roster after turning 18 earlier this month. Even so, the Valiant’s new additions will need to work overtime to prepare for the onslaught of purple fists, rockets and shuriken sent out by the Gladiator’s insanely versatile DPS lineup, which recently added Ted “Silkthread” Wang to its already impressive arsenal.

Keep an eye on this match for sure, but also keep in mind that it’s not the only big rivalry we get to see this week…

 

This state ain’t big enough for the two of us

Dallas vs. Houston has been… not as competitive as the Battle for LA. I’ll be real with you there. S1W2’s high-noon brawl left the Boys in Blue bleeding in the street, with Houston cruising comfortably to a 4-0 sweep. I would hope that the Fuel put up a bit more of a fight this time around, but it’ll be up to their front line to make that happen. Their new tank Minseok “OGE” Kim is set to make his debut in week two against Seoul- maybe.

Debut or no, Dallas has a lot of work to do to put up a fight against the Outlaws, even with their recent stumbles against the Boston Uprising. Unkoe and Jonathan “Harryhook” Tejedor Rua have been working well together, at least. The DPS corps is looking strong, and if Brandon “Seagull” Larned has to swap back to his former role as projectile specialist, they could be even stronger. Ponghop “Mickie” Rattanasangchod should be returning to off-tank, too, where his phenomenal D.Va play can really shine.

No, no, EFFECT. You have to get MAD at Muma! Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

Houston has been struggling a bit with consistency, but still has fantastic upset potential so long as their heavy hitters come to play. Jacob “Jake” Lyon needs to pack the caffeine gum and get to chewing; his frenetic Junkrat play has torn top teams to pieces, and his Tracer is steadily improving, too. Shane “Rawkus” O’Flaherty has been on a bit of a tear himself. That Soldier:76 flex on Numbani last week? Or the Roadhog flexes on Junkertown? More, please!

We could even see some changes at main tank for the Outlaws, too, with Russel “FCTFCTN” Campbell waiting in the wings. I wrote a bit more on that here– suffice to say, he’s pretty good. You could say I like the guy. I don’t know if Dallas will by the end of the day, though.

I don’t want to send this one off as a 4-0 sweep for the Outlaws, though I’m sure many could come to that conclusion with confidence. Dallas has that spark, even now, and they tend to bite teams that underestimate them. Let’s hope the desk gets EFFECT really, really mad. The power of NMA might just win the day for them, like it did against Shanghai.

 

Speaking of Shanghai…

2018-04-04 / Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

Yes, the Dragons are winless. No, that probably won’t change any time soon. But if it had to happen… if Shanghai had any chance at all… it would be here, in S3W3, against the Florida Mayhem. With games against Seoul, Boston, Philly, New York, and London, there will be no better opportunity for Shanghai to win a game this stage- or this season, even, barring their other match against Florida in S4W4.

Shanghai doesn’t need a win, per se. They’re not in the hunt for any playoffs (unless we see a BIG turnaround in stage four,) and the roster is going to need to take its time to get things right and find their groove. All the same, though, a victory- ever- in Season 1 would mean great things for team morale, which is a crucial point for a game as intense as Overwatch.

Besides, how could you not want the Dragons to get a win at this point? The underdog story is one of the most quintessential American tales in the history of anything, ever, and Shanghai are definitely underdogs at this point. Florida aren’t much better off, frankly, though the gap between the two teams is still four wins and 31 maps wide. Each team is reshaping their roster in a big way, and that could mean an upset when the Dragons need it most.

 

Follow me on Twitter @thibbledork!
Questions? Message me on Discord! (thibbledork#0282)

Featured photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

Follow The Game Haus for more esports and sports stories!!
Twitter: TGH Sports
Facebook: The Game Haus