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.

 

 

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“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.

 

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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.

 

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Featured Photo Courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment

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KSV Rebrands as Gen.G, Prepares to take the Mobile Esports Scene by Storm

KSV IS NOW GEN.G

GLOBAL ESPORTS ORGANIZATION REBRANDS AND EXPANDS

 

Gen.G’s New Clash Royale Team Joins Organization’s Existing Stable of Championship Esports Teams in the Overwatch League, League of Legends, and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

Out with the old, in with the new

Global esports organization and industry leader KSV eSports has officially rebranded to Gen.G, a title that reflects the organization’s elevated focus on establishing a new Gold Standard of excellence in global esports for a new generation.

To accompany this change, the company is unveiling fresh logos, branded jerseys and more. These new benefits apply for current and future Gen.G teams competing in the world’s most popular esports, including Overwatch, League of Legends, and PUBG. The rebrand highlights Gen.G’s focus on setting the gold standard for gaming lifestyle and culture.

“Gen.G fully represents our vision to set the gold standard for the global esports industry,” said Kevin Chou, CEO of Gen.G. “We are bridging the gap between east and west, and ushering in a new generation of esports entertainment for teams and spectators around the world through unrivaled fan engagement, premier athlete development, and strategic business partnerships.

 

staying mobile

As part of the rebrand announcement, Gen.G is also announcing first details for a new esports team in Shanghai playing in Supercell’s China Clash Royale League.

Gen.G’s leadership boasts more than 20 years’ combined experience in mobile gaming. Through the founding and building of Kabam, the mobile game developer behind several blockbuster titles, such as Marvel: Contest of Champions, Gen.G has established itself as a major force in the mobile esports scene. Kabam’s has had great success operating in China for more than 7 years with 400 employees. Backing from major mainland companies, including Alibaba, puts Gen.G in a great position to use their experience to set the gold standard in mobile esports.

“Gen.G’s experience working in China and with mobile games give us invaluable insight to the mobile esports market as we welcome team G.O to our organization in Supercell’s Clash Royale League,” said Kent Wakeford, COO of Gen.G. “Our highly-experienced executive team has a proven track record of success, providing unparalleled insights into best practices for our franchises that allow us to provide world class amenities and support for fans, athletes and brands.”

The Chinese Clash Royale team establishes Gen.G as one of the first organizations to operate in all three of the largest esports markets (S. Korea, United States and China). Tapping into China’s 183 million active mobile gamers affords Gen.G the opportunity to leverage past experience and success to connect esports fans and brands across borders.

 

Don’t forget about us

On top of their new, mobile esports ventures, Gen.G is also making sure its commitment to its other esports teams stays as strong as ever. Their list of accomplishments across franchises is, frankly, hard to ignore.

The Overwatch League’s Seoul Dynasty is a part of Gen.G, with stars like ryujehong and Fleta forming the backbone of a fantastic team. Their League of Legends team won the 2017 LoL World Championship in Beijing. Gen.G’s Heroes of the Storm team went undefeated to become the HotS Global Champions at BlizzCon 2017. Their PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds teams won the inaugural season of the Afreeca PUBG League and currently hold 1st place in both the OGN PUBG Survival Series and APL Season 1. Gen.G’s Clash Royale team is ranked in first place in the China Clash Royale League, as well.

 

For more information on Gen.G:

 

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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 

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Featured Image courtesy of Overwatch League and Blizzard

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.

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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.

 

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Featured Image Credit: Blizzard Entertainment | Overwatch League

 

Los Angeles Valiant

Los Angeles Valiant roster overhaul paying off

Before stage three of the Overwatch League started, the Los Angeles Valiant made a flurry of moves. Bunny, Custa and Space joined the team while mainstays like Unkoe, Envy and Silkthread departed. The drastic change has worked wonders and has made the Valiant look incredibly strong this stage.

Los Angeles Valiant Roster Recap

Los Angeles Valiant

Space and Soe courtesy of Robert Paul

Quick recap of exactly what happened to the Valiant roster. To kick things off, they announced they had acquired Bunny from the Seoul Dynasty. Next, they made a trade with the Dallas Fuel and swapped support Unkoe for Custa. Their next move remains clouded in mystery to exactly what the reasoning behind it is, but they “mutually” terminated Envy’s contract. Following this announcement was that backup DPS GrimReality was moving into an assistant coaching position, removing him from the roster. During the off-stage break, flex-tank player Space turned 18, and became an active player for the Valiant. Their final move was to trade with their rivals, the Los Angeles Gladiators, by unloading Silkthread from their roster.

Los Angeles Valiant

Custa by the Los Angeles Valiant

So for those keeping track, two players from the Los Angeles Valiant’s starting roster, Unkoe and Envy, were removed. Two DPS that weren’t being given a chance anymore, Silkthread and GrimReality, get moved off the roster. With Envy gone, Space takes the D.va role. Bunny starts to challenge Agilities for the second DPS spot behind Soon, and Kariv goes back to being a support alongside Custa.

Has it Worked?

Fans looked on at what the Valiant were doing to their team, and wondered how exactly things would play out. Many weren’t expecting these kind of results however. At the end of stage three, week two, the Valiant have gone 4-0. They played two teams many don’t give much of a chance to, Shanghai Dragons and Dallas Fuel, but they also played up-and-coming San Francisco Shock as well as near-dominant Seoul Dynasty. They rolled through every team 4-0 except for the Dallas Fuel, who looked vastly improved with OGE in the lineup. With a total map score of 14-1 throughout two weeks of play, the roster moves have worked out incredibly well.

Working as a team

Los Angeles Valiant

Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

One of the main differences that the Los Angeles Valiant have shown through this stage is their team communication. Custa was constantly touted as a leader in Dallas, and he seems to have brought those skills to the Valiant. Alongside with Kariv, they’ve barely missed a beat together. Space has jumped in and performed as well if not better than Envy, and if the rumors about personal issues were true, the team mindset may be cleared with him off the team. Bunny and Agilities have also been great swapping in-and-out depending on the map. Bunny specifically has given Soon the ability to flex on some different heroes, as his McCree and Reaper have been producing great results lately.

With a new looking roster missing zero beats throughout stage three, the Valiant could easily be contending for the stage three championship. They’re producing great results against both challenging and “easy” teams, showing that they have the drive to win no matter the team. If anything, it’s a great time to be a Los Angeles Valiant fan, and the future looks bright.

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Featured Image Courtesy of Robert Paul

Los Angeles Valiant official roster moves for stage three

The Los Angeles Valiant have been the team circulating the rumor mill since stage two of the Overwatch League ended. As we prepare for stage three to begin this Wednesday, here are the official roster moves the Valiant have made.

Los Angeles Valiant Mutually Terminate Envy

Los Angeles Valiant

Envy by Robert Paul

Rumors of a conflicting personality have swirled around Envy, one of the Valiant’s best tanks. Then there were reports the Valiant attempted a trade with the Dallas Fuel for flex player Seagull. At the end of the day, on April 2nd, the Valiant announced they had agreed to mutually terminate Envy’s contract with the Valiant. No trade, no incoming player. This move effectively creates the opening for incoming tank Space. Envy proved to be an extremely talented D.va player that could take games over for the Valiant. Whatever the reason may be for his termination and removal from the team, Envy is sure to find himself continuing his professional career.

Valiant and Fuel Support Swap

The long rumored, (and personally disliked), Unkoe for Custa swap has finally happened. It separates long-time teammates Unkoe and Soon, while bringing in a veteran player in Custa. Custa is by no means a downgrade from Unkoe, and not essentially an upgrade either. Both the Fuel and Valiant are excited to receive their new players, as they should be. Reports that Unkoe, much like Envy, had personality clashes within the team, could have potentially hindered play. Custa is also an incredible support like Unkoe, who’s great play on Zenyatta and Moira could bring a formidable pair with either Kariv or Verbo on the Valiant. For the Fuel it allows a good triple support rotation between HarryHook, Chipshajen, and Unkoe.

GrimReality Off the Roster

Los Angeles Valiant

GrimReality from Los Angeles Valiant

A player that never got to see any playing time on the Overwatch League stage. GrimReality, Christopher Schaefer, is no longer a roster player for the Los Angeles Valiant. He stays with the team, however, in a surprise move. He joins as the new assistant coach, and it’s a good way that the Valiant extend their relationship with a talented player that never got his time to shine. With a career being a professional gamer now behind him, GrimReality can continue to offer his insight to the team. If his retention is any sign to fans, it’s that his insight and talent have helped the team behind the scenes more than we know.

Bunny Joins in time for Easter

Los Angeles Valiant

Source from the Los Angeles Valiant

The day before Easter the Los Angeles Valiant had an important announcement for their fans. They had received DPS player Bunny from the Seoul Dynasty. A talented player that could be found when Munchkin was rested, Bunny showed off his ability with a deep hero pool, one that could work in tandem with Soon. With Agilities regaining his form in the last couple weeks of stage two, this allows for a player like Kariv to return his focus to support heroes. Having the ability to swap Agilities and Bunny in to pair with Soon, or even resting Soon and having Bunny play Tracer, allows the Valiant a wider range of options.

The Space age

Known primarily as a flex player, Space is joining the Los Angeles Valiant. Space had his 18th birthday at the end of March, making him fully eligible to play starting day of stage three. Joining the team with a focus on tank play, the sudden void left by Envy’s termination is Space’s to lose. He excels at D.va, which effectively swaps out Envy, and also has good history playing Roadhog and Zarya. With Fate locking down the main tank role in Winston, this hero pool will work to compliment the Valiant’s style of play.

4/3 Update: Rival Dealings

Los Angeles Valiant

Silkthread from Los Angeles Gladiators

Today, April 3rd, it was announced that the Los Angeles Gladiators have purchased the rights to DPS Silkthread from the Los Angeles Valiant. That means that the two DPS thought to be moved from the Valiant, GrimReality and Silkthread, have effectively been removed from their active roster. The signing of Bunny has more impact for the Valiant. It also allows for a more proven rotation between Bunny, Agilities, and Soon. Silkthread was known for his great ability to play projectile heroes like Pharah and will bring that to the Gladiators. For stage three fans will have to wait and see which DPS will begin to take on that role should the map call for it.

With stage three just days away, the Los Angeles Valiant starting roster is going to look a lot different than the previous two stages. Envy and Unkoe are gone. Space and Custa should slot in to those vacant spots, or Custa will watch from the sidelines as Kariv and Verbo start as a support duo. Soon and Agilities seem poised to start as the two DPS players, but there’s no sleeping on former Dynasty player Bunny and his ability to challenge either player for their spots. As a Valiant fan, you might not agree with all of these roster moves made during the stage break. However, there is no denying that new players, and a new assistant coach create excitement and hope for a brighter and more competitive team for this stage.

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Featured image courtesy of Los Angeles Valiant

Los Angeles Valiant trading away starting players would be a mistake

There are multiple reports that have the Los Angeles Valiant looking to move a lot of their current players. Moving just one would help free up a starting lineup spot for newly eligible Space, but at what cost could it come? With Envy and Fate being one of the strongest tank duos throughout the first two stages, moving even one of them could lead the team in the wrong direction.

Unkoe for Custa

The main trade that has been floating around for a few days has been swapping Unkoe for Dallas Fuel’s Custa. Credit to both players for their strong play, but disrupting the cohesion of your supports is the wrong move to make for the Valiant. Unkoe and Kariv were near unstoppable during the first stage. He has continued his strong play alongside Verbo during stage two. Moving him and changing the dynamic of the backbone of your team could lead to communication errors. Not only that, but Soon and Unkoe have been friends and teammates for a while. What message would it send to your star DPS player if you swapped similarly skilled players?

Los Angeles Valiant clearing the bench

Los Angeles Valiant

Source: Robert Paul

Silkthread hasn’t seen any playing time since stage one ended. GrimReality has never gotten in to play in Blizzard Arena. While Silkthread looked impressive in the minimal time he got to shine, moving both of these players makes sense to me. They’re not currently playing or on the starting roster, and they can’t be happy with where they’re at regarding playing time. It’s a move that could benefit both teams involved, as the Los Angeles Valiant either free up a roster space or add a new player. For Silkthread and GrimReality, they’d be given a chance to compete for a spot to play, even if it’s rotating in for a single map per match. Silkthread has said previously he believes his time to play for the Valiant is up.

Envy of the league

If there is a player that has meant more or carried the Valiant more than Soon, it’s definitely Envy. Envy’s performance on D.va has been absolutely brilliant, and he has turned games on their head to give his team a chance to win. What possible reason could they have for looking to move him out? There’s been reports from a few sources that site some of the players personalities are clashing. If they perform that well on stage as a team, however, is it worth getting rid of them? Thankfully, the Valiant and Envy have continued to deny this rumor of a possible move, but with Space looking to contend for a playing spot, somebody might be leaving.

Los Angeles Valiant

Source: Los Angeles Valiant

A hop in their step

With Kariv and Agilities splitting time playing DPS throughout stage two, and no faith in Silkthread or GrimReality, the Valiant wanted another reliable DPS. Seoul Dynasty has gifted them Bunny, Jun-hyeok Chae. Bunny not only has a fantastic name, but he’s a great player too. His play on Tracer certainly fits DPS billing, and he will help challenge Soon or give the Valiant an option to rest the player with no fear. Bunny may also add another dynamic to the team coming from one of the top teams in the league. His view of the Overwatch League may add additional insight to the Valiant and how they approach different maps.

With all these moves, and more possible, the Valiant a fan sees for stage three could look a lot different. Familiar and fan favorites could be on the way out, and a new core of players might be enough to carry them to a stronger record.

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Featured image courtesy of Los Angeles Valiant