Overwatch Contenders: Definitive guide to picking winners in the Overwatch League

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Published on: 01/03/2018

Stage Two of the Overwatch League season is in full swing. As certain teams bolster their squad for the new season, it’s time to take a look at the best matchups heading into Week Two.

Nerfed Mercy, New Meta

It’s tough to say how hard the new Mercy changes have affected her use in pro play through one week of play, but it’s easier to see which teams have been able to profit from the variety in Support now. Many pundits believe Philadelphia Fusion is one of the teams that are going to benefit highly from this return to normalcy, but don’t expect them to pull off any crazy results this weekend due to their tough schedule.

mercy overwatch nerfs

Facing Houston and New York in the same week is one of the hardest back to backs you can have in the OWL at the moment, but Philadelphia can take a lot of positives from sweeping Boston Uprising in dominant fashion last weekend. Moving forward, as the meta continues to adjust look for Philadelphia to jump ahead as one of the teams that can excel when the obnoxious safety of a Mercy rez isn’t there.

The resurgence on Dallas Fuel

The start of Stage Two for Dallas was essential to get their season back on track as they triumphed over Shanghai and LA Gladiators in a perfect week of play. Granted, these opponents aren’t necessarily the highest tier in the league, but the fact that Dallas was able to execute a consistent gameplan and look dominant doing it over the course of the week spoke volumes in comparison to their inconsistent performances in the last stage. While they weren’t able to take a series off Seoul Dynasty last night, their next match-up against Los Angeles Valiant seems winnable given their stellar play around aKm so far.

Will Shanghai break the streak this weekend?

It’s been a dismal season to say the least for Shanghai as the Chinese dominant team has yet to pick up a win in the Overwatch League. Naturally, that kind of stat jumps out as a big red flag when placing bets, but Saturday’s match-up against San Francisco Shock looks like a promising bet given the rest of the schedule for Shanghai. In the next three weeks, Shanghai will be playing all of the top 5 teams in the league, and there is even less chance of a team like Houston or New York dropping a series to Shanghai on their worst day.

Shanghai dragons enter the arena

There is no doubt the Dragons are aware of how tough their schedule will be to close out Stage Two, if there was ever a time to try their hardest to eek out a victory for the sake of the organization, the upset against San Francisco Shock makes the most sense at least for this stage. They might even use their newly signed additions of Fearless, Sky or Geguri as a way to surprise the opposition.

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Houston Outlaws looking like serious contenders

Since the last two weeks of Stage One, Houston Outlaws have been exceedingly outperforming their competition to maintain a top three spot in the standings. With a perfect sweep of Boston, and edging a close series over London once again last week, the Outlaws are in prime position to go on a run if they can withstand the threat of Philadelphia and New York this week. The Fusion match-up bodes well for Houston as long as they can keep their carries in a prime position to succeed.

Overwatch league houston outlaws esports

The head-to-head against New York will be much more difficult as Houston have to prepare for a variety of threats in New York’s multi-pronged attack. Regardless of victor, this match-up will answer a lot of questions of where both these teams are left given the new changes around some of the key Supports in the game. If you want to beat New York Excelsior in any kind of series, there needs to be a consistent answer to the power that Jjonak brings with his picks, and at the moment it doesn’t seem like Houston has all the answers, but things could change by the end of the Stage.

Seoul Dynasty ready to takeover?

Overwatch league team seoul dynasty

The biggest beneficiaries in this anti-Mercy meta is none other than Seoul Dynasty as they can return to their bread and butter strategies around their solid Lucio players. This shift in the meta for them will make them extremely versatile on control point maps where they can abuse the priority on their best heroes. Not to mention the addition of Gambler as Support gives them that much more depth in the role as they sit on a surplus of talent in that regard. If they can continue playing around the anchor of Miro and Fleta’s aggressive playmaking, Seoul could very well jump ahead of the pack as they attempt to regain their top spot.

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Author
Nicolas - "NGV02" | Esports Writer and Editor - Passionate about Overwatch and League of Legends

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