Season 2 of OWL starts in just a few short weeks and with eight new teams there’s a lot to digest before the games actually begin. After previewing the Atlantic Division yesterday we take a look at the loaded Pacific Division. While they don’t hold an overwhelming title favorite, 7 of the 8 teams in the Pacific have a legitimate shot at making the playoffs.
Roster: Baconjack, YangXiaoLong, Jinmu, Ameng, Jiqiren, Lateyoung, Elsa, Kyo, Garry, Yveltal
Overview: On paper, Chengdu is one of the weakest squads heading into season two. Having missed out on a lot of the top tier Chinese talent, such as Guxue, Krsytal and Eileen to other teams, their all Chinese roster will be looking to prove a point after Shanghai’s disastrous first season. The likes of Yveltal and Lateyoung proved themselves capable at the world cup, but the X factor of this teams lies in the DPS pair of Baconjack and YangXiaoLong, the latter formerly of Miraculous Youngsters. Both have been out of the pro scene for over a year, so the Hunters will hope the rust will be shaken off by the time season two starts. The late edition of Jiqiren adds a decent Winston to the roster, and a much needed alternative to Ameng.
Prediction: Scrapping it out at the wrong end of the table
Roster: Taimou, EFFECT, aKm, ZachaREEE, Mickie, rCk, OGE, HarryHook, uNKOE, Closer
Overview: Fuel was one of the most surprising teams of Season 1 and that’s not a compliment. Dallas did manage to turn it around late in the year and make Stage Four playoffs though and are primed for a bounce-back season. The roster looks much more solid heading into S2 than it did at the midpoint of 2018 even if aKm is still here for some reason. OGE/rCk at tank combined with Closer/uNKOE on support is a solid core to build around and has plenty of OWL experience. EFFECT should be back to his old carry self and combined with Taimou or ZachaREEE the Fuel will be able to always run out a competitive starting six. This roster doesn’t have too many holes but also doesn’t have as high of a ceiling as some other teams in the Pacific. They’re going to have to fight for a playoff spot and will probably end up in the end of season tournament for the final two seeds.
Roster: Happy, Nero, Eileen, Kyb, Rio, Hotba, Chara, OnlyWish, Shu, Rise
Overview: Without a doubt, this is the weirdest roster heading into season two, but the international roster of the Charge is certainly intriguing. A mix of Chinese, Korean and English speaking players will certainly present some communication problems, but if they can make it work, Guangzhou has the talent to make a splash. Eileen is one of the top players in China, and Happy will be in the conversation of best Widowmaker in the league by the end of the season. One to keep an eye on.
Prediction: Potential Wildcard
Roster: Adora, Bazzi, GodsB, Krystal, Ria, guxue, NoSmite, BeBe, iDK, Revenge
Overview: Spark is probably the second best expansion team behind Vancouver and has the best color scheme in the entire league. They also have an insane ceiling if they can synergize the roster well over the course of the season. With Krystal and GodsB they have plenty of carry potential at DPS along with one of the most impressive players from the World Cup, guxue, on main tank. Revenge, iDK and BeBe on support are a fantastic group to have as well. Ria is probably the weak link in the starting six but that doesn’t mean he can’t get the job done, he’s just not as highly rated as his position as some of OWL’s other off tanks. Overall, the roster doesn’t really have many holes and the biggest concern for Hangzhou will be dealing with the Chinese/Korean language barrier among the players.
Prediction: Wildcard, maybe top 8
Los Angeles Gladiators
Roster: Surefour, Decay, Hydration, rOar, Panker, Bischu, Void, Shaz, Ripa, BigGoose
Overview: The Gladiators have had a busy offseason. The loss of a Fissure is obviously a blow, but winning the bidding war for two of the most sought after players in rOar and Decay is a big show of intent from the LA side. I don’t think rOar is on the level of the top tanks in the league, but mechanically he is very solid. Decay will fill the Tracer sized hole in the team left by Asher, while also having a scary Zarya, and will take some of the pressure off Surefour. I’m not sure they’ll be top three like other people are predicting, but they’ll definitely be involved in the postseason again.
Prediction: Playoffs, Potential Pacific Champion
Los Angeles Valiant
Roster: Agilities, Bunny, KSF, SPACE, Fate, Kuki, Custa, Izayaki, KariV
Overview: The reigning Pacific champions did virtually nothing to their roster this offseason except lose fan favorite Soon to Paris. They still have one of the best cores in all of OWL with Fate/SPACE being a Top 5 tank duo and Custa/KariV being one of the better support lines. That core alone gets them into Wildcard contention but it’ll be up to the shaky DPS if they want to be a Top 6 team. Agilities is good but not consistent and while Bunny has a great tracer overall there are better flex DPS in OWL. KSF is pretty much an unknown at this point and will also need to perform if Valiant wants to contend in Season 2. Another possible option is that they run KariV on DPS and Izayaki on support and given that Izayaki will probably play either way that might be a solution. Either way Valiant will still be good, but they won’t repeat as Pacific Champs.
San Francisco Shock
Roster: Architect, babybay, sinatraa, Rascal, Striker, ChoiHyoBin, Nevix, super, smurf, moth, sleepy, Viol2t
Overview: Shock absolutely reloaded during the offseason. Season 1 was rough for the Shock as both sinatraa and super were too young to play for the first half of the season and the absence showed. They came on in Stages 3 and 4 but still were a bottom five team. Now they enter Season 2 locked and loaded at every position. The Shock can run so many different looks at you it’s going to be awful trying to prepare for them heading into a match. Between Rascal, Striker, Architect and sinatraa they can run six different DPS combos that could be considered Top Tier and it’s ludicrous even thinking about the Rascal/Striker Genji/Tracer dive. Viol2t will be an improvement at support and smurf is a solid backup at worst. The only things that can bring this team down are the language barrier, with an even split of western and Korean players, or coaching. With an embarrassment of riches, it comes down to how you deploy them properly. If Shock can do that they’ll win the Pacific.
Prediction: Top 5 Team, Potential Pacific Champion
Roster: Munchkin, Fleta, Fits, Fissure, Marve1, Zunba, Michelle, Ryujehong, Tobi, Jecse
Overview: After a monumentally disappointing first season, the Dynasty have got rid of the deadwood, and fixed the weaknesses in their squad. While it’s sad to see a legend like Miro depart, Fissure is undoubtedly an upgrade and will provide some much-needed stability for Seoul. Jecse at support will be a strong shotcaller, but with Lucio meta again, expect to see him share play time with Tobi. Meanwhile, Zunba, Fleta and Ryujehong are still amongst the best at their positions, so I don’t think we’ll see a repeat of season one for the Dynasty.
Prediction: Break the curse and make playoffs
Roster: Diya, YOUNGJIN, diem, DDing, GuardiaN, Geguri, Fearless, CoMa, Luffy
Overview: Dragons completely overhauled their roster in the offseason and for good reason. Despite all the fans and excitement around the team, they still haven’t won an OWL match in 40 attempts. This Shanghai team is almost completely Korean and will certainly win at least one game this season, in fact, they’ll probably win quite a few. With Diya still on the roster to occasionally carry on hitscan, they also now sport YOUNGJIN, diem and DDing who are all fantastic DPS additions. Fearless is a solid main tank and the CoMa/Luffy support line is so much better than Shanghai’s S1 supports it’s hard to accurately describe. The weakest part of the roster is, unfortunately, the GuardiaN/Geguri off tank spot but some of Geguri’s struggles last season may have been due to poor supports so it might be alright. While this roster is a huge improvement over last season that doesn’t mean this team is guaranteed a playoff spot. However they should be able to repeat as the 12th place team in 2019.
Prediction: They Win a Game, Potential Wildcard
Roster: Stitch, Haksal, Seominsoo, Hooreg, Bumper, JJANU, Twilight, Rapel, Slime
Overview: As an unapologetic Runaway fan, this will come with some bias, but I do think they have one of the best squads heading into season two. Winners of Contenders two, and twice APEX runners up they’ve proved their quality, and there’s quality all over the team. ArK has said previously they would have been a playoff team in season one, and I think that will definitely be the case in season two. And we all know the saying, even season Runaway, right?
Prediction: Playoffs, Sleeper Pacific Champion