Homestand weekend recap: Dallas, Seoul and Hangzhou go 2-0
With our first taste of Overwatch League action outside of the Blizzard Arena in Los Angeles for the very first time, its safe to say the experiment of home and away games is definitely one worth trying again, and in different markets, after the fireworks that occurred last weekend in Allen, Texas. Over the course of the weekend, fans all across the state of Texas were able to give their local team Dallas Fuel a home crowd push unlike any other, which spurred them onto two triumphant wins this weekend.
Hangzhou Spark returned to form in a big way with a massive 2-0 week that saw many of their fans regain hope. Finally, Seoul Dynasty once again showed why they are a force to be reckoned with inside the OWL as the stage is set for one last week of action before Stage Two playoffs.
Homestand? Yes, please
This week was unlike any other in the history of the Overwatch League. Up until last Saturday, every regular season event was played in the Blizzard Arena where all teams were localized in Los Angeles despite their geolocation based teams. As Dallas Fuel fans got their first taste of home crowd glory, the vibrancy of the crowd only pushed Dallas to further heights as both OGE and aKm gave their fanbase performances worthy of gushing over.
In their surprising nail biter against Houston Outlaws, the back and forth hero plays between Coolmatt and OGE were breathtaking in every sense of the word. Every time it seemed like Dallas Fuel had their moment of glory secured, Houston would claw their way back with the few ults they had on the table to extend the series into five games, and sending off the crowd with a series to remember. The hometown rivalry between these two Texan squads boiled over into the crowd and onto the screens, and the real winners of this whole charade were the fans of quality Overwatch.
While the format for getting more teams out to each week leave more to be desired, there is no doubt this weekend was a massive first step, and a positive leap forward into the revolutionary world of esports competition Overwatch is inserting themselves in. To truly make a league that’s global, having every elite player under the same roof is an ideal first step, but localizing all the talent into one area like that takes away from the allure a geolocational league represents. With the next two Homestand events set to take place in Atlanta and LA (other location) we’ll see just how the Overwatch League adapts to the criticism and how they learn from the tumultuous weekend that was Homestand Dallas.
Hangzhou bounce back, don’t sleep on Seoul
The Hangzhou Spark were under intense scrutiny these last few weeks as it seemed they were just one of those teams that ‘lost their mojo’ after looking so dominant in the early scrim blocks of preseason. Beating Chengdu Hunters in the manner they did, trouncing over their go to tactics in 3-1 fashion, did plenty to massage their egos and vindicate themselves in front of their fans.
Chengdu Hunters were one of those teams that found sneaky wins by going against the mold every time they were on stage, Hangzhou Spark stuck to playing meta and filling out key roles for their team without having that developed personnel just yet. The early struggles faced by Hangzhou seemed to have finally paid off as they overcame significant adversity to secure their two tough wins this week. Beating Paris and Chengdu in successive days is nothing to scoff at, but they have an even taller task at hand next week when they face off against a surging Seoul Dynasty.
Seoul Dynasty are so quick to be discounted after their losses after falling off last year, but the level of talent on this roster is palpable at every stage, and this weekend was another lesson on just how deep this team is as they relied on a variety of faces to pull together this massive Week Four for their team. Next week, two positive trending teams will face off in an effort to see who is the hottest commodity in the middle of the table right now. Seoul Dynasty have the result for now based on past results, but don’t be surprised if this one becomes another 3-2 barn burner as Stage Two gets set to commence next week.