Overwatch League Overview – Stage 1 Week 1 Analysis
By Chris Ventra
Week 1 of the Overwatch League inaugural season is now in the books and there’s been a lot to digest after seeing each team play their first two matches. Whether you’re an experienced player, newer to the game, or simply just enjoy spectating, we’re here to break it all down for you. We’ve seen quite a few great contests, superb highlights, and creative strategies after the first week of matches, so let’s get an overview of everything you’ll need to know moving forward. For those who are brand new to Overwatch and don’t fully understand the basics, lookout for introductory content before going any further.
Team Strategies, Compositions, and the Meta
In the current meta, there’s one hero that sits above the rest, and that’s support character Mercy. If you’ve watched most of the matches in the Overwatch League thus far you’ll have noticed every team uses a Mercy. She’s simply too overpowered not to have in lineups. You’ll also notice that the best teams will use a dive lineup composition.
A standard dive composition is usually comprised of two Damage Per Second heroes, two tanks, and two supports, with one of those supports being Mercy. Most dive comps are a 2/2/2, but what makes up the core of a dive comp is the extremely mobile nature of the heroes being used.
In today’s meta you’ll see the top players use a Tracer and Genji DPS combo because of their outstanding quickness and abilities; they can easily maneuver in and out of areas while also dealing high damage. The idea of a dive strategy is to swiftly get within enemy territory without having to deal with the frontline tanks head on and breakdown the opposition’s positioning and distract them. This allows the rest of the group to break in more easily while targeting key backline heroes (DPS/Support Heroes) and hopefully picking off a couple in the process.
The key to this strategy is having skilled players in the DPS roles, especially with Tracer and Genji, since they’re the most evasive heroes. Not only can the top-flight dive heroes get into the point with ease, they’re also the very few capable of getting out without dying. It’s very important to utilize specific tank and support heroes to compliment the dive strategy as well.
As you’ll notice from watching the top teams in Overwatch League, like Seoul Dynasty and London Spitfire, they use Winston and D.Va as their main tanks, along with Mercy and Zenyatta in support. The most common meta Overwatch team composition used by the top teams in the world looks like this: Tracer, Genji, D.Va, Winston, Mercy, and Zenyatta. Other team comps and strategies are used in different ways, and a lot depends on the maps and objectives as well.
Week 1 Recap and Tiered Power Rankings
Seoul Dynasty (2-0) Pacific Division
Until they fall, the Dynasty are still top of the class. Although they struggled out of the gate in their first match against Dallas Fuel, Dynasty displayed their strength and adaptability by making quick adjustments to Fuel’s unorthodox style of play.
Match 1 – Defeated Fuel 2-1 Match 2 – Defeated Gladiators 4-0
Key players to watch: Jin-hyuk "Miro" Gong (Tank) and Dae-kuk "KuKi" Kim (Tank)
New York Excelsior (2-0) Atlantic Division
The Dynasty, Spitfire, and Excelsior are the only teams in Overwatch League whose rosters comprise of all South Korean players. New York hasn’t really been tested yet, but a premier matchup against the Dynasty will showcase what they’re truly made of.
Match 1 – Defeated Uprising 3-1 Match 2 – Defeated Outlaws 3-1
Key players to watch: Sung-hyeon "JJoNak" Bang (Support) and Do-hyeon "Pine" Kim (DPS Flex)
London Spitfire (2-0) Atlantic Division
The Spitfire came into Overwatch League with high expectations, but like Excelsior haven’t faced a top-tier opponent yet. Still, the Spitfire have two of the best DPS Overwatch players in the world, a star studded South Korean roster, and a perfect 2-0 record.
Match 1 – Defeated Mayhem 3-1 Match 2 – Defeated Fusion 4-0
Key players to watch: Joon-yeong "Profit" Park (DPS) and Ji-hyuk "birdring" Kim (DPS Duo)
Los Angeles Valiant (2-0) Pacific Division
This is an obvious spot for the Valiant on this list considering they’re the only other 2-0 team left in the league. Based on performance and strength of schedule, the Valiant could be in the elite class since they’re the only team to not lose on any map yet this season. Valiant are also the only 2-0 team that doesn’t have all South Korean players.
Match 1 – Defeated Shock 4-0 Match 2 – Defeated Fuel 3-0
Key players to watch: Benjamin "uNKOE" Chevasson (Support) and Terence "SoOn" Tarlier (DPS)
Middle of the Pack
Philadelphia Fusion (1-1) Atlantic Division
It’s way too early in the season to separate the mid-tier teams based on performance and strength of schedule, but the Fusion were victorious in a hard-fought battle against the Houston Outlaws for their first matchup of the season. The potential is there for the Fusion and eventually the cohesion will come as well since this team didn’t participate in any pre-season action.
Match 1 – Defeated Outlaws 3-2 Match 2 – Lost to Spitfire 4-0
Key players to watch: Jae-hyeok "Carpe" Lee (DPS) and Gael "Poko" Gouzerch (Flex)
Dallas Fuel (0-2) Pacific Division
Yes, the Fuel are 0-2, but it’s only two of 40 matches in the regular season so there’s plenty of time to turn things around. This ranking is based on Fuel’s talented mix of players and unique strategies that could give opposing teams fits all season long. The Fuel also played two of the toughest teams and almost defeated the invulnerable Seoul Dynasty.
Match 1 – Lost to Dynasty 2-1 Match 2 – Lost to Valiant 3-0
Players to watch: Hyeon "EFFECT" Hwang (DPS) and Brandon "Seagull" Larned (DPS)
Boston Uprising (1-1) Atlantic Division
The Uprising didn’t have it in their opening contest verse their regional rivals, but quickly turned it around against Florida with a solid 4-0 clean sweep. The Uprising could do just as their name implies, and rise up the leaderboard throughout the season as they adapt and gel more, otherwise there’s talent within this unit.
Match 1 – Lost to Excelsior 3-1 Match 2 – Defeated Mayhem 4-0
Players to watch for: Jonathan "DreamKazper" Sanchez (DPS)
Los Angeles Gladiators (1-1) Pacific Division
It’s difficult to assess what this Los Angeles Team’s made of after dominating in their first match against a very young and ineffective Shanghai Dragons team, then were completely demolished in their next match by the strongest team in the league. We’ll need to see a few more matches to make better judgement on the Gladiators.
Match 1 – Defeated Dragons 4-0 Match 2 – Lost to Dynasty 4-0
Players to watch: Benjamin "BigGoose" Isohanni (Support) and Lane "Surefour" Roberts (DPS)
San Francisco Shock (1-2) Pacific Division
This Shock team has the ability to succeed and potentially make a run for the playoffs, but right now they don’t seem to be on the same page as unit. San Francisco’s an example of talented players not able to create or adjust their strategy quick enough to make an impact. The current meta is unfortunately a detriment for the Shock, as they fell to the Fusion in disheartening fashion last night.
Match 1 – Lost to Valiant 4-0 Match 2 – Defeated Dragons 3-1
Players to watch: Andrej "babybay" Francisty (DPS) and Dante "Danteh" Cruz (DPS)
Florida Mayhem (0-3) Atlantic Division
The Mayhem, like the Shock, are still adjusting to today’s Overwatch meta. It’s a tall task for a 6-man roster to be dynamic and it shows, especially when the Mayhem aren’t a top-class team as is. Florida once again lose last night as they were out-matched and fall to a 0-3 start by the hands of the alpha dogs in Overwatch League, Seoul Dynasty.
Match 1 – Lost to Spitfire 3-1 Match 2 – Lost to Uprising 4-0
Players to watch: Andreas "Logix" Berghmans (DPS) and Johan "CWoosH" Klingestedt (Tank)
Shanghai Dragons (0-3) Pacific Division
The Dragons are a newer, younger team in Overwatch League and it’s clear their inexperience is a major issue. They’ve been pummeled in every matchup so far, including last night where the Dragons were swept 4-0 against a shaky 0-2 Houston Outlaws.
Match 1 – Lost to Gladiators 4-0 Match 2 – Lost to Shock 3-1
Players to watch: Weida "Diya" Lu (DPS) and Peixuan "Freefeel" Xu (Support)
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