Overwatch League Season 2: Stage 1 | Week 2 Recap

The start of the Overwatch League’s second season rolls on. Already, we’re starting to see what separates the great from the poor. Alongside that, I’m continuing my weekly recap of every team and how they’ve performed. Unlike last year, however, the added number of teams is going to make these recaps two-parters, coming out at most one day apart. Here is the link for the first week of my recap, but I can already say a bunch of teams have surprised this week. Speaking of which…

Washington Justice

This team didn’t look great against the New York Excelsior last week, but that was only one match. Their only match of week two was much more interesting, but ended the same way. The Washington Justice faced off against the London Spitfire in their only game this week, losing in a reverse sweep 3-2. With London’s poor form, this match ended up being much closer than we would’ve guessed before the season started. The standout players for the Justice were Joon-hwa “Janus” Song on main tank, Hyang-ki “SanSam” Kim on off-tank and lastly Corey “Corey” Nigra on DPS, but they couldn’t hold their form all game. One big improvement for the Justice was their teamwork, but it looks like they still need to develop further.

Much like last week, the teams who only played one match are harder to judge. I’m giving them a 4/10.

London Spitfire

The Spitfire didn’t start off their season well. Their first two losses were winnable games, and they looked surprisingly poor in this meta. However, this week seemed to be a bounce-back time for them with two matches against winnable opposition. Starting off with the Washington Justice, they reverse swept them 3-2. Their second game was a massive improvement though, dominating the Hangzhou Spark 3-1. These two wins were as different as you could get in a week: one scrappy and close, the other dominant. Joon-yeong “Profit” Park was given the Zarya role and has thrived since, while Jae-hee “Gesture” Hong and Jun-ho “Fury” Kim are finally working together better in this meta. The only worry for them is their previous form; was this win against the Spark a mark of the future or a random burst of form? We’ll have to see next week.

Judging just off of this week, the Spitfire seem to have finally gotten their groove back. I’m giving them a 7.5/10.

Philadelphia Fusion

How much difference can one week make? Look at the Fusion to tell. Last week, they beat the Spitfire confidently and the Atlanta Reign well, but this week was the polar opposite. They first faced the low-rated Florida Mayhem and lost, 2-1. Then, after some trash talk on Twitter between Jae-hyeok “Carpe” Lee and assistant coach on the Dallas Fuel Justin “Jayne” Conroy, they lost to them 3-1. Their form dipped heavily, from being considered a top-tier team to losing to two underwhelming teams. Carpe was fine on Zarya and Gael “Poko” Gouzerch was good too, but they didn’t have the impact that they did last week. Isaac “Boombox” Charles’ sickness clearly affected them a lot, with substitute Elijah Elk” Gallagher having to play a role he wasn’t used to. I do think their loss against Florida wasn’t them playing poor, it was Florida playing great. But the Dallas loss was winnable, and they underperformed.

A very poor week from the Fusion in all aspects. I’m giving them a 2/10.

Florida Mayhem

Going from the Fusion to the Mayhem is a big change for reasons people didn’t expect. Florida made a statement with their first match, but cut it close on the second. Their first match was against the powerful Philadelphia Fusion, and they won it 2-1. But their second match was against the Chengdu Hunters, where they lost in a map five, 3-2. Sang-bum “BQB” Lee was their standout player, bouncing back from a poor performance against the Atlanta Reign to dominate on Sombra and Zarya. The rest of the team steadily improved as well, with Hyeon-woo “HaGoPeun” Jo and Jae-mo “xepheR” Koo being noticeably better. Like I said earlier, this match was more of Florida playing great than Fusion playing poor, as their teamwork and coordination were clearly better. It sucks that that teamwork faltered a little in the Chengdu game.

Again, tough to judge, but what an improvement from their first week. I’m giving them a 6/10.

Guangzhou Charge

The Charge continue to be one of the most entertaining teams in the league. As an expansion team, their diverse and interesting roster seemed risky. This week they got their first win of the season and took a powerhouse team to five maps. First facing the Dallas Fuel, they swept them 4-0, and then just lost a very close 3-2 game to the Vancouver Titans. The best players were the same ones from last week, with Jung-woo “Happy” Lee and Jin-seo “Shu” Kim being top-tier players in Widowmaker and Ana, respectively. Their sweep on Dallas was impressive, and with how good Vancouver is looking, taking them to a map five is nothing to laugh at.

A very impressive week from the Charge, even with a loss. I’m giving them a 7/10.

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Dallas Fuel

The Fuel, much like the Charge, are also entertaining but for a very different reason. The Fuel are a bipolar team. One match, they look bottom tier, the next, they seem like a playoff team. This also applied to this week. Their first match was against the Guangzhou Charge, where they got swept 4-0. But they bounced back against the Philadelphia Fusion, beating them convincingly in a 3-1 victory. Again, Dylan “aKm” Bignet was clearly their best DPS player on Zarya, with Min-seok “OGE” Son and Richard “rCk” Kanerva playing well when the whole team was. But, as shown in the Charge match, they still have plenty to learn to stay a playoff candidate.

Inconsistent, but for how much longer? I’m giving them a 6/10.

Seoul Dynasty

The Dynasty was hoping to recover from a poor loss to the Fuel last week, and they succeeded. They only had one game this week, against the surprising Chengdu Hunters. But the Dynasty knew how to counter the Hunters’ Wrecking Ball compositions, sweeping them 4-0. Chan-hyung “Fissure” Baek was great, Min-hyuk “Michelle” Choi continued his good form, and Seung-soo “Jecse” Lee looks to be fitting into the roster well. As the weeks go on, Seoul seems to be growing more consistent but we’ll have to wait and see what they do next week.

A very good, if short, week for Seoul. I’m giving them a 7.5/10.

Chengdu Hunters

This team is noticeable for one thing in particular: adherence to the three-tank three-support meta. It’s almost as if the Hunters want to be on the cusp of the next meta, playing around with a bunch of new interesting strategies. They had two matches this week, finishing the week with a win and a loss. First up was the Seoul Dynasty, who dominated their Wrecking Ball-focused compositions in a 4-0 sweep. But they recovered, winning against the Florida Mayhem in a close series, 3-2. Ding “Ameng” Menghan is the clear standout player for the Mayhem as the driving force on Wrecking Ball. Other noticeable players for Chengdu were Kong “Kyo” Chunting and Yi “JinMu” Hu, both playing well throughout the two series.

The Hunters are keeping their stride, proving that they aren’t as bad as critics originally thought. I’m giving them a 5/10.

Atlanta Reign

The Reign, with only one match this week, kept their good form from week one. They faced the Toronto Defiant, besting them in a close 3-1 win. Daniel “dafran” Francesca continued to play well on Zarya, but the standout players this week were Hyun-jun “Pokpo” Park and Ilya “NLaaeR” Koppalov. Pokpo played main tank the entire series, impressing on all heroes he was on. Nlaaer was the wild card, playing Mei and Junkrat very well on defense. Dafran took a little more of a backseat this week, but still played well enough to help his team win.

A clean week. I’m giving them a 7/10.

Toronto Defiant

The underdog team proceeded to win this week, but that wasn’t without their first loss this season. Their first match of this week was against the on fire Atlanta Reign, which they lost in a heated 3-1 series. But, they recovered and won against the Los Angeles Valiant in a good 2-1 series. Kang-jae “envy” Lee and Seung-hyun “Ivy” Lee continue to be the linchpins of this team, driving them towards these wins. Specifically against the Valiant, Ivy shredded people on Zarya, reaching a record. That record was having the second-most damage done in a map ever, where Young-seo “KariV” Park on the same map got the number-one spot. It’s nice to see this team’s synergy grow, and now that Se-hyeon “Neko” Park’s suspension is over, they should improve. New York is tough though, but the bigger they are, right?

An even week for the Defiant keeps them in a playoff race for the stage. I’m giving them a 6.5/10.

Want to hear the rest of the teams’ results from this week, along with my team of the week? How did the other six expansion teams fare in their starting games? Part 2 will be up shortly after this one.


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