Overwatch League Week 2 Predictions and Week 1 Recap
The Overwatch League has returned for its 2021 season, sporting a brand new tournament format. Things are different this time around, with regular tournaments slotted in during the regular season which serves mostly as a qualifier.
Even in the few games that ran over the weekend, there were some big surprises. SF Shock was stopped dead in their tracks by Houston Outlaws, while Florida Mayhem uberstomped their first two matches. This is everything that happened in Week 1, and what you can expect to see in the OWL Week 2 as we gear up for May Melee.
Overwatch League Week 1 Takeaways
The Overwatch League’s 2021 Season has just kicked off, following a few weeks of contenders competitions. This Season is running as a number of smaller tournaments, with OWL still figuring out the adequate format.
The first week’s action was a qualifier round, whittling the competitor for OWL May Melee down to find the top 6 in the West and top 4 in the East. The May Melee took place in the 2020 Season too, but only as a mid-Season tournament. This time around, OWL Week 2 will be another round of qualifiers for May Melee, followed by a third before we move into the tournament itself.
Week 1’s matches have left the standings looking a little different to how many expected. Florida Mayhem is sat at the top, with Toronto Defiant and Houston Outlaws coming up just behind. It was Houston who really pulled off the OWL’s first dramatic moment of 2021 too.
Unfortunate loss I played like poo on the first map but @Outlaws popped off ggs run it back lads
— Matthew DeLisi (@super_OW) April 18, 2021
San Francisco Shock’s defeat came against the Houston Outlaws and it was a shocker to everyone. They were fairly evenly matched, but Shock seemed to have managed to stay ahead. That was until a last second equalizer pushed them into a tie breaker, and it all went south from there. Eventually, Houston came out ahead after a tense period for the two teams. This match was the first big upset of the event, and it has started Houston off on a good foot.
However, San Francisco Shock took their first game 3-1 against Gladiators, not too surprisingly. Yet, the game was particularly rough giving us a glimpse of how the balance of power is shifting in the league.
OWL Week 2 Preview
Going into the season, Shock were clearly the team to beat. While they don’t dominate every single match, they have a habit of constantly pulling it out when it matters. The team has taken home the top spot in the 2020 Season, along with its tournaments like the Countdown Cup and May Melee. However, last week came with a painful loss for them. They’re coming back into Week 2 with a lot to prove.
Florida Mayhem are currently sat on top of the rankings for May Melee, although not the Overwatch Power Rankings. They went 3-1 in both their games so far, but they’re yet to go up against a team on the level of Shock. Philadelphia pulled in some great results early on too. If you’re looking at Overwatch betting, these two and Shock seem like the safest choice.
The team with the roughest weekend so far has been Gladiators and Titans. Both are clear underdogs. However, Gladiators do have a bit more going for them. Despite being demolished by Shock, they put up a good fight elsewhere. While winning the event probably isn’t in the cards, this team might be a good choice to watch for the rest of the Season if you like a comeback.
There are 14 matches in total coming into Week 2, with 7 of the 20 yet to play a single game. Plenty of OWL needs to be played before we can use definitive metrics and talk predictions and esports odds. This first few weeks are just here so we can dip our toes back into the game.
With Overwatch in a bit of a waiting phase while the sequel is in development, the esports side of the game is in great shape. The new tournament format has injected some much needed excitement, and so far it feels like anybody’s game to get through to the finals.