In Part One of ESTNN's Atlanta Homestand coverage, Charlotte August walks fans through three out of the eight teams in attendance: the Atlanta Reign, the Washinton Justice and the Florida Mayhem.
Stage 3 of the Overwatch League is coming to a close. Before playoffs kick off, however, Overwatch League's second homestand will take place this weekend in Atlanta. Taking place at the Cobb Energy Centre in Atlanta, Georgia, eight teams will take to the stage to battle it out in front of the Reign’s home crowd. Much like the Dallas Fuel Ultimate Weekend Primer, ESTNN will cover each team that will take part in the event. We'll review their strengths and weaknesses, and break down the event as a whole. Welcome to Part One, where we'll cover the Atlanta Reign, the Washington Justice and the Florida Mayhem.
Atlanta Homestand Weekend Overview
There's no better place to start than with the host team -- the Atlanta Reign. And whilst they may have beaten the NYXL twice, they've only won five other games since they entered the League this season. The team is currently in 16th place in the Overwatch League, owning a rough 7-12 match record and a -6-map differential. In fact, their record has from the Stage 3 Playoffs race as well. It’s safe to say that things aren’t looking hot for the Reign.
That said, Atlanta has proven that they can run some unorthodox compositions on maps and have it work. But even after a strong start to a map, they have a tendency to lose momentum. This mental failure can and has cost them games in the past. The over-confidence that their strategy might throw their opponent off-guard can sometimes get the better of them, and their opponents have shown that they can capitalize on that.
However, if the Atlanta Reign truly put their minds to it, they can defeat teams like the NYXL. Sometimes, this is achieved through pure damage alone, and part of that is thanks to Babybay, who’s ranked 5th in the league for average damage per 10 minutes. If Atlanta can pull themselves together and reign in their over-confidence, they might be able to pull off some impressive wins this weekend.
The Washington Justice have had a very hard time in the Overwatch League so far. With a 2-17 match record and a -38-map differential, the Justice are stuck in 19th place for the season. They’re just one map above last place, and things haven't been improving for the team lately, either.
Coming into the league, fans and analysts had high hopes for the Washington Justice. The team signed former NYXL coach Wizardhyeong and main tank Janus, giving them what looked like a strong foundation to build on. The Justice also have Corey, who shone during his time on Gladiators Legion, and Ado, who proved to be a strong DPS when he played during his short stint with the Shanghai Dragons.
Nevertheless, the team is clearly lost. Every match, they struggle to coordinate and pull off any strategies they may have (and sometimes it doesn't look like they have any). Many of their results have been either clean sweeps or draws, but they have managed to take a map off of some of their opponents. If the Justice can identify where their problems lie and find a solution, they can secure a win or two in Atlanta. Just don't look for them to take the whole thing.
If there’s one team who’s been having a really rough time, it’s the Florida Mayhem. They’re in last place on the season table, with a 2-17 match record and a -39-map differential. Looking forward to their future matches, it doesn’t look like things will get much better for the team, frankly.
It’s been a wild ride with the Florida Mayhem so far. They started off the season with only six players, but between then and now, they’ve filled their entire roster. But despite all of the changes and new players, their play has failed in improve.
Honestly, Florida shares similar flaws with the Atlanta Reign. Both teams seem to have a habit of starting out strong before losing both the momentum and confidence that they need to secure match wins. If Florida want to take any wins this weekend, they’ll need to hold onto that momentum throughout the series. Maybe then they can tuck a few more wins under their belt.
Images VIA: Atlanta Reign, Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment