High-Low: Overwatch League Week Four
The Overwatch League battles took place in Houston, Texas this past weekend for the Outlaws’ first homestand. Between the multiple five map series, the Atlanta Reign was hot and cold during the weekend, and the Outlaws got their first win of the season.
The Houston Outlaws got their first win of the 2020 season and at home nonetheless. It was a struggle for them at the beginning of the match, with Nepal looking like it was set to be a repeat of previous weeks. Blasé and Dante “Danteh” Cruz worked in tandem as Doomfist and Sombra respectively, shutting down the Toronto Defiant with ruthless ease. Their first match of the weekend didn’t go as planned, with the Glister coming out on top as McCree, but Linkzr was able to flex onto Widowmaker for the Junkertown and Blizzard World, clicking heads and causing panic for the Spitfire and Mayhem caught out from behind a shield. Tae-hong “MekO” Kim and Seung-soo “Jecse” Lee are a deadly duo to hunt down enemy Widowmakers and harass any backline heroes they can. These two are indefinitely the stronger members of the Outlaws roster, consistently performing their hardest to keep the Houston Outlaws in the series.
The Atlanta Reign had a hit or miss weekend but the Paris Eternal showed all-out aggression towards the other red bird team. Paris has been getting better over the past few weeks, and at Houston, they demonstrated the ability to execute an all-out offensive and dominate. Ki-hyo “Xzi” Jung was a shining star on Hanamura versus the Reign, teleporting them into the backline and wiping out the opposition on point one. In terms of the D.Va and Lucio combination that most teams run, the Paris Eternal has quite possibly the best players for these roles. Han-been “Hanbin” Choi and Brice “FDGod” Monsçavoir were ruthless, pushing the enemy frontline and backline whenever possible. Hanbin’s game sense was on point, swallowing ultimates left and right from the Atlanta Reign. In week one the Eternal lost to the Toronto Defiant, but since then they have been exhibiting dominance against the rest of the Atlantic Conference.
The Philadelphia Fusion continued their reign of terror this week, beating the Boston Uprising with a clean 3-0 sweep. The Fusion brought out Jun-ho “Fury” Kim and Josh “Eqo ” Corona during this match in what was meant to be their B-squad. What occurred was absolute domination, as Eqo performed up to par with Seung-hyun “Ivy” Lee on Mei, and Fury used D.Va’s new changes to wreak havoc and dismantle the backline. Tae-hee “Jerry” Min from the Boston Uprising failed to find good angles due to Fury’s antagonistic playstyle, forcing him to play behind shields versus getting pick-offs. The Philadelphia Fusion is now 5-0 in the Overwatch League proving themselves to be the dominant team right now. Despite not seeing half of the Overwatch League teams play yet, the Fusion look ready for a return to form this season.
The lows have to start with the Atlanta Reign showing inconsistency in the League right now. Day one in their match against the Toronto Defiant, the Reign played passively, waiting for the Defiant to jump on them, before collapsing to eliminate Julian “BEAST” Lauandos allowing them to make space and claim the point. The Toronto Defiant has already become an easy read in the League, and despite Andrej “babybay” Francisty confidence on Saturday, it did not carry over into Sunday’s match. The Paris Eternal ran over the Reign, and the pressure that Hanbin and FDGOD placed on their backline was too much to handle. Babybay got put in his place by Xzi, and a majority of the problems from the Reign stemmed from their inability to read the Paris Eternal and adapt accordingly. Instead, when immense pressure is applied to the Reign, they scatter and attempt to regroup, only allowing individual members to get picked off easier.
The Toronto Defiant is a team that has all the right pieces, but can’t seem to consistently produce results. In week one, the Defiant was able to take down the Paris Eternal and show off while doing it. This past weekend the Defiant lost both of their matches against the Atlanta Reign and the Houston Outlaws, looking worse than they have before. Andreas “Logix” Berghmans remained unable to find viable angles throughout the series on McCree, and Brady “Agilities” Girardi’s Mei provided little value to the team in crucial moments. The damage players on the side of the Toronto Defiant aren’t known for being consistent, but rather pop off in clutch moments to secure a point or payload. Beast is a capable main tank in this roster, but Andreas “Nevix” Karlsson was unable to provide proper peel and flank management for the Defiant on D.Va. His choice to play Zarya on Nepal with Agilites on the Doomfist provided them with no value as he was unable to stay alive long enough to gain charge and make an impact.
In neither high nor low of the weekend, the first Hero bans were chosen by the casting team following the matches. It may have been conducted in a less than ideal format, but at least fans are assured the picks were random. Going into week five Reinhardt, Widowmaker, McCree, and Moira have been banned, or as the Overwatch League likes to say, “out of rotation”. It will take some time to see how this new system works out, but many have complained that Hero Pools feel like a crutch versus actually balancing the heroes in Overwatch.
Next weekend, the Overwatch League will be heading back to Washington D.C. for the Washington Justice’s second homestand of the season. The New York excelsior versus the Washington Justice will be a phenomenal match, with two of the strongest teams in the league going head to head.
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