Around the OWL: Birdring talks playoff matchup vs LA Gladiators, TiZi and WooHyaL sign with XL2
In the weeks leading up to the playoffs, Birdring had a few things to say about the state of the meta and just how pivotal Hanzo will be to their match against LA Gladiators. The streaky London Spitfire face a real challenge against the Gladiators who have found their stride since adding former London Spitfire main tank Fissure to their lineup.
New York Excelsior Academy have made two major acquisitions as they have picked up Seung Hyun ‘WooHyaL’ Seong and Jang Hyeon ‘TiZi’ Hwang after their abrupt departure from London in Stage Four.
Read also: is Overwatch League dying?
Marked by the dragon
In an interview conducted by Dustin Steiner, Birdring mused on the possibilities that could take place in their series against the LA Gladiators, and voiced specific interest in the use of Hanzo for the series. Birdring has been on a bit of a downturn since his wrist injury in Stage Three. Before the injury, he and Profit were in conversation for the most menacing DPS duo before New York Excelsior completely took over the league.
As the stage gets set for another playoff encounter against the Gladiators, London Spitfire will need to do all the scouting possible to take out a team that has a former player of London in the starting lineup. Since Fissure joined the LA Gladiators, the win ratio of LAG over the London side has been nothing short of miraculous. Fissure and co. will be looking to bring that same pressure to the playoff stage to potentially upset a London Spitfire that wants to reclaim some of their lost glory.
The problems for Birdring were more than evident in Stage Four. He finished the Stage ranked 60th for damage dealt per 10 minutes, ranking behind several healers. The unfortunate truth has been taken well in stride for the hungry DPS threat as he is now only looking towards the future and is utilizing the new Hanzo as a way to regain some steam.
Birdring will have stiff competition in his way as he faces a surging SureFour that has looked better and better with each stage. On the Oversight podcast, SureFour mentioned that his lack of humility in Stage One cost him dearly upon entering the Overwatch League. Now that the ego has settled, and the stakes couldn’t be higher, it is time for both teams to put their best cards on the table as they battle for legitimacy and glory in the opening stage of playoffs next month.
TiZi and HooWyal sign with XL2; HaGoPeun in talks with Mayhem Academy
Even with the playoffs just a few weeks away, the acquisition of talent never stops for the New York Excelsior organization as they have now signed two high priority free agents into their ranks. Since leaving London Spitfire late in Stage Four, TiZi and WooHyaL have been hot commodities on the free agent market. XL2 made an offer for the both of them as they continue to stack their A and B roster with supreme levels of talent at every role.
This strategy works two fold for NYXL as they add serious talent to the roster while also keeping the options available in case they end up losing players with the Overwatch expansion teams entering next season. No matter which way you slice it, NYXL have set themselves up to thrive for several seasons with a plethora of talent that can perform their roles with a few choice individuals who know how to lead a team.
Rounding out the news of the week, Hyeun Woo ‘HaGoPeun’ Jo has recently announced on his Twitter that he is traveling back to North America. This trip is more likely about contract negotiation than it is about sightseeing given the players free agency status since the end of Stage Four. HaGoPeun has been linked to the Mayhem Academy in the rumour mill since his return, and it seems like the Floridian Academy team might just be an ideal landing spot for a resurging Overwatch threat.