The opening week of the Overwatch League 2019 season saw plenty of nail-biting games, surprise results and interesting team compositions, and with it, a whole lot of information on what to expect from teams for the rest of stage one.
By: Ollie Powell
The opening week of the Overwatch League 2019 season saw plenty of nail-biting games, surprise results and interesting team compositions, and with it, a whole lot of information on what to expect from teams for the rest of stage one. But just what did we learn?
London Misfire in New Meta
Reigning champions Spitfire got off to a shaky start, losing both their games in the opening week, against last year’s runners up Philadelphia Fusion and new boys Paris Eternal. London looked good on triple or quad DPS compositions, but any time they ran GOATs into a mirror match up, they struggled. Birdring has a long way to go to improve on Zarya, as his bubble mismanagement was punished time and time again, and Gesture seemed unsure of his limits, either overextending or being too passive. NYXL player ArK did recently say in an interview that the Spitfire were rapidly improving, but will it be quick enough to have an impact on their stage one standing? Their one bright spot was Guard on Sombra, who impressed on Kings Row against Paris with his consistent damage and EMP timing.
New Teams Impress
Six of the eight new expansion teams recorded victories this week, with Vancouver, Hangzhou, Paris and Atlanta all being particularly impressive and showcasing themselves as some of the strongest 3-3 teams in the league. The Titans and Eternal face tough tests in week two, but both have shown to be experts in this meta and would run any team close, while the Spark could reasonably open 4-0 as they face the Outlaws and Spitfire.
The merry go round between the Shock, Gladiators, Dynasty and Fuel is a reminder of just how stacked the Pacific division is, and a sign of the bloodbath it could become. Many of these teams are of equal quality, and it wouldn’t be surprising if they all ended up with an even win-loss ratio. In the Atlantic Division, both Paris and Atlanta proved they’ll be able to hang with the best teams during stage one, with Kruise and Dafran standouts for their respective teams.
Houston Cause of their own demise
Two game fives, two winnable games that turned into narrow losses. One might think this is maybe down to bad luck, but across several maps Houston made vital mistakes that cost them what should have been comfortable victories. Questionable lineups, sticking by hero choices that weren’t working, ditching heroes that were working, watching players make the same mistakes as last season. Looking at the rest of their games this stage, their only likely win is against the Florida Mayhem, and an opening record of 1-6 is almost waving goodbye to any playoff chances they have.