It was a wild and exciting day at the Blizzard Arena in Los Angeles. Fans from all over came down to the city of angels and watched in awe as the second season of the Overwatch League began. From main tanks reigning supreme to flex tanks playing Sombra, here is what happened during the first day of the Overwatch League.
London Spitfire vs. Philadelphia Fusion
A rematch of last year’s grand finals. Two top teams from last season. What more could fans ask for? Supporters of the Spitfire were hoping for a repeat of the finals, but it wasn’t to be. With the matchup between the Philadelphia Fusion and the London Spitfire ending in a 3-1 victory to the Fusion, fans were stunned. But for those who watched, it isn’t surprising that the Fusion took the win.
Star DPS player for the Philadelphia Fusion, Jae-hyeok “Carpe” Lee, showed fans that the offseason hadn’t slowed him down, as he took to Ilios Well with a mean Zarya play. Carpe pushed onto the Spitfire with his team and took out three of them by himself. After that, he left it to his teammates to clear up the rest. Alongside well-executed plays and good teamwork to go with effective communication, it’s clear to the fans why Philadelphia was able to take the win over the Spitfire.
Though they fell short, that isn’t to say London didn’t perform. With the most common composition of the evening being the well-known GOATS composition, the Spitfire proved themselves to be a strong team when it came to running it. DPS player, Ji-hyeok “Birdring” Kim, showed off his quality Zarya skills with a Graviton Surge. Landing the surge onto the payload during Hollywood, he was able to trap the Philadelphia Fusion inside of it. Once trapped, the Spitfire set about taking them down, with Birdring landing two of those crucial kills.
Boston Uprising vs. New York Excelsior
The titans of the Overwatch League, the New York Excelsior, asserted their dominance again as they took on the new roster for the Boston Uprising. Only three of the players on the Uprising are from last year’s roster, with players either being dropped or transferred. With the recent transfer of their former main tank, Young-jin “Gamsu” Noh, the Uprising promoted their academy team main tank, Cameron “Fusions” Bosworth, to play for the roster alongside the recently acquired main tank, Park “Axxiom” Min-seob.
Those who believed the Uprising could beat the Excelsior were let down, as the team from New York took down the Uprising in a 2-1 victory. New York proved themselves to be the best in the matchup, and it isn’t surprising to see either. What was surprising to see, was New York’s flex tank, Tae-hong “MekO” Kim, playing as Sombra during the first point of Nepal. MekO then proceeded to use his EMP ultimate, catching four of Boston’s players in its radius and allowing for his teammates to take down each member. It then cleared the way for the Excelsior to flip control of the point over to them to begin building percentage.
Boston proved that their new line-up has the potential to achieve greatness, especially with the signing of Fusions. To flip the point back into their control, Fusions landed a three-man Earthshatter as Reinhardt on Nepal Shrine after his teammate, flex tank Lucas “NotE” Meissner took down NYXL’s flex support, Sung-hyeon “JJoNak” Bang, with his Self-Destruct as D.va. Fusions proceeded to then eliminate the members he knocked down and helped to flip the point back into their control.
Los Angeles Gladiators vs. Seoul Dynasty
Many fans were looking forward to this match for a multitude of reasons. Some were excited to see the new roster additions from both the Dynasty and the Gladiators; others were ready to root for their favorites. But some were excited for the statement the match would make. If the Gladiators won, it showed Seoul’s main tank, Chang-hyung “Fissure” Baek that they could cope fine without him. If Seoul won, it proved to the Gladiators that Fissure didn’t need them either.
However, with such an intense match, it seems both statements came true.
While the score ended as a 3-1 victory to the Dynasty, it was much closer than some fans anticipated it to be. But in the end, Seoul took the win, and they took it proudly. New faces were in the line-up for the Dynasty, and the star of the show was Fissure. Once a member of the enemy team, Fissure was looking to show his former teammates that he was just as good, if not better, on his new team. And with such plays like a five-man Earthshatter on the first point of Kings Row to knock the Gladiators off their feet, followed by a pixel-perfect Graviton Surge from DPS player Byung-sun “Fleta” Kim, the Dynasty was able to show that their new main tank was doing just fine.
From one main tank to another, all eyes were on the newest additions to the LA Gladiators. During the offseason, the purple squad acquired themselves a new main tank after Fissure joined Seoul Dynasty. Chang-hoon “rOar” Gye is that main tank, and he was looking to prove himself during the match. While some plays were slightly rocky, as to be expected in a new line-up still finding its feet, rOar put on a show for the fans. With a fantastic four-man Primal Rage kill on Horizon Lunar Colony he knocked many members of the Dynasty off of the edge of the map by himself while they tried to fight through the outside door to get inside and onto the high ground.
Shanghai Dragons vs. Hangzhou Spark
While the previous matches were most definitely exciting, this match was the one fans were looking forward to the most. The newly formed Hangzhou Spark was to take on the revamped Shanghai Dragons, a team who didn’t win a single match during the last season of the league. With a record of 0-40, the Dragons were looking to make that zero disappear and finally land their first win. Unfortunately, fans will have to wait and see if that will happen in future matches.
The Hangzhou Spark was able to defeat the Dragons in a nail-biting 3-1 victory, and many fans were impressed by the show that the Spark put on for the viewers. Nobody was quite sure what to expect when the roster for the Spark was announced, but fans have been dazzled by the plays they were able to execute in their first match. DPS player, Kyeong-bo “GodsB” Kim, placed down a well-timed Graviton Surge as Zarya on Hollywood, catching the majority of the Shanghai Dragons inside of it. Once placed, flex tank Seong-Wook “Ria” Park came along and dropped a Self-Destruct onto the trapped members of Shanghai, taking out four of them with his ultimate and clearing them all off the payload.
The Dragons may have lost the match, but the performance they put on for their fans was better than anything we saw last season from them. They were able to take a map win off of the Spark, but they pulled off many impressive plays across the board. New DPS player for the Dragons, Jin-hyeok “DDing” Yang showcased an excellent Sombra on Busan Meka Base, catching four of the Hangzhou Spark in its radius and allowing for his teammates to roll onto the point and eliminate their opponents. This allowed Shanghai to keep control of the point and take the first round with a stunning 100% to 0% control percentage.
Overwatch League Day 1 Highlights
Day Two of the opening week for the Overwatch League is approaching, and here are the upcoming matches to look forward to:
February 15th 7 pm EST – Toronto Defiant vs. Houston Outlaws
February 15th 8:30 pm EST – Atlanta Reign vs. Florida Mayhem
February 15th 10 pm EST – Dallas Fuel vs. San Francisco Shock
February 15th 11:30 pm – Chengdu Hunters vs. Guangzhou Spark
Images via Overwatch League