2017 Overwatch League

06 December, 2017 - N/A Los Angeles, CA, United States

The Overwatch League (OWL) will be the premier professional esports league for Overwatch, organized by Blizzard Entertainment. The league will be the first truly global professional esports league, and will feature franchised teams based in cities from around the world. Possibly the most ambitious esports project ever announced, the league is a statement from Blizzard about their intentions to have Overwatch compete on the same level as traditional sports, with many influences taken from the North American franchised sports leagues.

All of season one will be based out of Los Angeles, California and Blizzard has additionally required a minimum player salary, a large team monetary investment, a minimum contract length of 1 year for players, as well as several other terms in order to secure the sustainability of the scene as well as player security.

Blizzard has announced that the Overwatch League preseason will be starting on the sixth of December 2017 and it will be featuring all of the 12 teams in exhibition matches ahead of the regular season. The regular season is set to start on the 10th of January 2018 and will conlude on the 16th of June and will be followed by the playoffs from the 11th to the 28th of July.

2017 Overwatch League Betting Tips

Boston UprisingvsDallas Fuel2017 Overwatch League
2018-05-23 23:00:00
Loss

Boston Uprising

1.28

Petar

London SpitfirevsSeoul Dynasty2017 Overwatch League
2018-05-05 03:00:00
Win

London Spitfire

1.59

Petar

Dallas FuelvsNew York Excelsior2017 Overwatch League
2018-05-04 03:00:00
Win

New York Excelsior

1.03

Petar

Boston UprisingvsLos Angeles Valiant2017 Overwatch League
2018-05-04 01:00:00
Win

Boston Uprising

1.44

Petar

San Francisco ShockvsFlorida Mayhem2017 Overwatch League
2018-05-03 23:00:00
Win

San Francisco Shock

1.45

Petar

Houston OutlawsvsSan Francisco Shock2017 Overwatch League
2018-05-03 03:00:00
Loss

Houston Outlaws

1.61

Petar

Florida MayhemvsLos Angeles Gladiators2017 Overwatch League
2018-05-03 01:00:00
Win

Los Angeles Gladiators

1.30

Petar

Philadelphia FusionvsDallas Fuel2017 Overwatch League
2018-05-02 23:00:00
Win

Philadelphia Fusion

1.11

Petar

Dallas FuelvsBoston Uprising2017 Overwatch League
2018-04-27 23:00:00
Win

Boston Uprising

1.07

Petar

Seoul DynastyvsPhiladelphia Fusion2017 Overwatch League
2018-04-27 03:00:00
Loss

Philadelphia Fusion

1.56

Petar

San Francisco ShockvsNew York Excelsior2017 Overwatch League
2018-04-27 01:00:00
Win

New York Excelsior

1.28

Petar

Los Angeles GladiatorsvsLondon Spitfire2017 Overwatch League
2018-04-26 23:00:00
Loss

London Spitfire

1.63

Petar

Dallas FuelvsFlorida Mayhem2017 Overwatch League
2018-04-26 03:00:00
Win

Florida Mayhem

1.36

Petar

Los Angeles ValiantvsHouston Outlaws2017 Overwatch League
2018-04-26 01:00:00
Loss

Los Angeles Valiant

1.65

Petar

Shanghai DragonsvsBoston Uprising2017 Overwatch League
2018-04-25 23:00:00
Win

Boston Uprising

1.08

Petar

Boston UprisingvsSeoul Dynasty2017 Overwatch League
2018-04-21 03:00:00
Win

Boston Uprising

1.56

Petar

Philadelphia FusionvsSan Francisco Shock2017 Overwatch League
2018-04-20 23:00:00
Loss

Philadelphia Fusion

1.23

Petar

Philadelphia FusionvsNew York Excelsior2017 Overwatch League
2018-04-20 03:10:00
Win

New York Excelsior

1.44

Petar

Boston UprisingvsLondon Spitfire2017 Overwatch League
2018-04-20 01:00:00
Win

Boston Uprising

2.20

Petar

Houston OutlawsvsFlorida Mayhem2017 Overwatch League
2018-04-19 23:15:00
Win

Houston Outlaws

1.34

Petar

Dallas FuelvsSan Francisco Shock2017 Overwatch League
2018-04-19 01:00:00
Win

San Francisco Shock

1.95

Petar

Los Angeles GladiatorsvsLos Angeles Valiant2017 Overwatch League
2018-04-18 23:00:00
Win

Los Angeles Valiant

1.50

Petar

Florida MayhemvsBoston Uprising2017 Overwatch League
2018-04-15 01:00:00
Win

Boston Uprising

1.18

Petar

London SpitfirevsPhiladelphia Fusion2017 Overwatch League
2018-04-14 20:00:00
Win

Philadelphia Fusion

2.39

Petar

Seoul DynastyvsLos Angeles Gladiators2017 Overwatch League
2018-04-14 03:00:00
Win

Los Angeles Gladiators

2.60

Petar

Los Angeles ValiantvsDallas Fuel2017 Overwatch League
2018-04-13 23:15:00
Win

Los Angeles Valiant

1.23

Petar

Philadelphia FusionvsHouston Outlaws2017 Overwatch League
2018-04-13 03:20:00
Win

Philadelphia Fusion

1.44

Petar

Boston UprisingvsNew York Excelsior2017 Overwatch League
2018-04-12 23:15:00
Loss

New York Excelsior

1.07

Petar

Dallas FuelvsSeoul Dynasty2017 Overwatch League
2018-04-12 03:10:00
Win

Seoul Dynasty

1.21

Petar

Shanghai DragonsvsLos Angeles Gladiators2017 Overwatch League
2018-04-11 23:00:00
Win

Los Angeles Gladiators

1.08

Petar

London SpitfirevsPhiladelphia Fusion2017 Overwatch League
2018-03-25 20:00:00
Loss

London Spitfire

1.17

Petar

Los Angeles ValiantvsNew York Excelsior2017 Overwatch League
2018-03-24 22:00:00
Win

New York Excelsior

1.20

Petar

Seoul DynastyvsFlorida Mayhem2017 Overwatch League
2018-03-23 23:10:00
Loss

Florida Mayhem

5.05

Petar

San Francisco ShockvsBoston Uprising2017 Overwatch League
2018-03-23 03:15:00
Win

Boston Uprising

1.40

Petar

New York ExcelsiorvsDallas Fuel2017 Overwatch League
2018-03-23 01:00:00
Win

New York Excelsior

1.04

Petar

Los Angeles GladiatorsvsPhiladelphia Fusion2017 Overwatch League
2018-03-21 23:00:00
Loss

Los Angeles Gladiators

1.71

Petar

Seoul DynastyvsLondon Spitfire2017 Overwatch League
2018-03-17 20:00:00
Loss

Seoul Dynasty

1.80

Petar

London SpitfirevsSan Francisco Shock2017 Overwatch League
2018-03-17 01:00:00
Win

London Spitfire

1.10

Petar

Los Angeles GladiatorsvsFlorida Mayhem2017 Overwatch League
2018-03-16 23:00:00
Win

Los Angeles Gladiators

1.20

Petar

Houston OutlawsvsLos Angeles Gladiators2017 Overwatch League
2018-03-16 03:00:00
Win

Los Angeles Gladiators

1.50

Petar

Florida MayhemvsLos Angeles Valiant2017 Overwatch League
2018-03-16 01:00:00
Loss

Los Angeles Valiant

1.30

Petar

Boston UprisingvsDallas Fuel2017 Overwatch League
2018-03-14 23:00:00
Win

Boston Uprising

1.27

Petar

Houston OutlawsvsLos Angeles Valiant2017 Overwatch League
2018-03-09 02:00:00
Loss

Houston Outlaws

1.45

Petar

Philadelphia FusionvsSeoul Dynasty2017 Overwatch League
2018-03-09 00:00:00
Win

Seoul Dynasty

1.42

Petar

Los Angeles ValiantvsLos Angeles Gladiators2017 Overwatch League
2018-03-08 04:00:00
Loss

Los Angeles Valiant

1.53

Petar

San Francisco ShockvsDallas Fuel2017 Overwatch League
2018-03-08 02:00:00
Loss

Dallas Fuel

1.45

Petar

Seoul DynastyvsShanghai Dragons2017 Overwatch League
2018-03-08 00:00:00
Win

Seoul Dynasty

1.03

Petar

Dallas FuelvsLos Angeles Valiant2017 Overwatch League
2018-03-03 04:00:00
Loss

Dallas Fuel

2.10

Petar

Houston OutlawsvsPhiladelphia Fusion2017 Overwatch League
2018-03-02 02:00:00
Loss

Houston Outlaws

1.38

Petar

Los Angeles GladiatorsvsShanghai Dragons2017 Overwatch League
2018-03-01 04:00:00
Win

Los Angeles Gladiators

1.20

Petar

Los Angeles ValiantvsSan Francisco Shock2017 Overwatch League
2018-03-01 02:00:00
Win

Los Angeles Valiant

1.25

Petar

Seoul DynastyvsDallas Fuel2017 Overwatch League
2018-03-01 00:00:00
Loss

Dallas Fuel

3.00

Petar

New York ExcelsiorvsFlorida Mayhem2017 Overwatch League
2018-02-23 02:00:00
Win

New York Excelsior

1.06

Petar

Houston OutlawsvsLondon Spitfire2017 Overwatch League
2018-02-23 00:00:00
Loss

London Spitfire

1.43

Petar

Los Angeles GladiatorsvsSan Francisco Shock2017 Overwatch League
2018-02-22 04:00:00
Win

Los Angeles Gladiators

1.59

Petar

Dallas FuelvsShanghai Dragons2017 Overwatch League
2018-02-22 01:00:00
Win

Dallas Fuel

1.25

Petar

London SpitfirevsNew York Excelsior2017 Overwatch League
2018-02-10 19:00:00
Win

New York Excelsior

1.62

Petar

Seoul DynastyvsSan Francisco Shock2017 Overwatch League
2018-02-10 02:00:00
Win

Seoul Dynasty

1.08

Petar

Los Angeles GladiatorsvsDallas Fuel2017 Overwatch League
2018-02-10 00:00:00
Win

Dallas Fuel

2.20

Petar

Boston UprisingvsPhiladelphia Fusion2017 Overwatch League
2018-02-08 22:00:00
Win

Boston Uprising

1.50

Petar

Seoul DynastyvsLos Angeles Valiant2017 Overwatch League
2018-02-08 04:00:00
Loss

Seoul Dynasty

1.33

Petar

Shanghai DragonsvsDallas Fuel2017 Overwatch League
2018-02-08 00:00:00
Loss

Shanghai Dragons

5.57

Petar

Boston UprisingvsLos Angeles Valiant2017 Overwatch League
2018-02-03 23:00:00
Loss

Los Angeles Valiant

1.62

Petar

Seoul DynastyvsHouston Outlaws2017 Overwatch League
2018-02-03 02:00:00
Win

Seoul Dynasty

1.39

Petar

Seoul DynastyvsLondon Spitfire2017 Overwatch League
2018-02-02 02:00:00
Loss

Seoul Dynasty

1.36

Petar

Philadelphia FusionvsDallas Fuel2017 Overwatch League
2018-02-01 22:00:00
Win

Philadelphia Fusion

1.60

Petar

Houston OutlawsvsSan Francisco Shock2017 Overwatch League
2018-02-01 04:00:00
Win

Houston Outlaws

1.10

Petar

Los Angeles GladiatorsvsFlorida Mayhem2017 Overwatch League
2018-02-01 02:00:00
Win

Los Angeles Gladiators

1.21

Petar

Los Angeles ValiantvsPhiladelphia Fusion2017 Overwatch League
2018-02-01 00:00:00
Loss

Philadelphia Fusion

2.49

Petar

Boston UprisingvsDallas Fuel2017 Overwatch League
2018-01-27 19:00:00
Win

Boston Uprising

1.90

Petar

San Francisco ShockvsDallas Fuel2017 Overwatch League
2018-01-27 04:00:00
Win

Dallas Fuel

1.44

Petar

Seoul DynastyvsNew York Excelsior2017 Overwatch League
2018-01-27 00:00:00
Loss

Seoul Dynasty

1.83

Petar

Houston OutlawsvsFlorida Mayhem2017 Overwatch League
2018-01-26 02:00:00
Win

Houston Outlaws

1.20

Petar

Boston UprisingvsLondon Spitfire2017 Overwatch League
2018-01-25 22:00:00
Loss

London Spitfire

1.05

Petar

Los Angeles ValiantvsLos Angeles Gladiators2017 Overwatch League
2018-01-25 04:00:00
Win

Los Angeles Valiant

1.24

Petar

Los Angeles GladiatorsvsNew York Excelsior2017 Overwatch League
2018-01-20 21:00:00
Win

New York Excelsior

1.12

Petar

London SpitfirevsDallas Fuel2017 Overwatch League
2018-01-20 04:00:00
Win

London Spitfire

1.21

Petar

Shanghai DragonsvsFlorida Mayhem2017 Overwatch League
2018-01-20 02:00:00
Win

Florida Mayhem

1.25

Petar

Los Angeles ValiantvsNew York Excelsior2017 Overwatch League
2018-01-19 00:00:00
Win

New York Excelsior

1.58

Petar

Houston OutlawsvsDallas Fuel2017 Overwatch League
2018-01-18 22:00:00
Loss

Dallas Fuel

1.50

Petar

Houston OutlawsvsShanghai Dragons2017 Overwatch League
2018-01-18 04:00:00
Win

Houston Outlaws

1.19

Petar

Philadelphia FusionvsSan Francisco Shock2017 Overwatch League
2018-01-18 00:00:00
Win

Philadelphia Fusion

1.33

Petar

Seoul DynastyvsLos Angeles Gladiators2017 Overwatch League
2018-01-13 23:00:00
Win

Seoul Dynasty

1.20

Petar

London SpitfirevsPhiladelphia Fusion2017 Overwatch League
2018-01-13 19:10:00
Loss

Philadelphia Fusion

3.65

Petar

Shanghai DragonsvsSan Francisco Shock2017 Overwatch League
2018-01-13 04:00:00
Win

San Francisco Shock

1.32

Petar

Los Angeles ValiantvsDallas Fuel2017 Overwatch League
2018-01-13 00:00:00
Loss

Dallas Fuel

1.49

Petar

Boston UprisingvsNew York Excelsior2017 Overwatch League
2018-01-12 02:00:00
Win

New York Excelsior

1.17

Petar

London SpitfirevsFlorida Mayhem2017 Overwatch League
2018-01-11 22:00:00
Win

London Spitfire

1.07

Petar

Seoul DynastyvsDallas Fuel2017 Overwatch League
2018-01-11 04:00:00
Win

Seoul Dynasty

1.20

Petar

Shanghai DragonsvsLos Angeles Gladiators2017 Overwatch League
2018-01-11 02:00:00
Win

Los Angeles Gladiators

1.28

Petar

Los Angeles ValiantvsSan Francisco Shock2017 Overwatch League
2018-01-11 00:00:00
Win

Los Angeles Valiant

1.45

Petar

Seoul DynastyvsNew York Excelsior2017 Overwatch League
2017-12-09 23:00:00
Win

Seoul Dynasty

1.50

Petar

Florida MayhemvsDallas Fuel2017 Overwatch League
2017-12-09 21:00:00
Win

Dallas Fuel

1.26

Petar

Los Angeles ValiantvsLos Angeles Gladiators2017 Overwatch League
2017-12-09 19:00:00
Loss

Los Angeles Gladiators

1.75

Petar

Shanghai DragonsvsBoston Uprising2017 Overwatch League
2017-12-09 04:00:00
Loss

Shanghai Dragons

2.25

Petar

Seoul DynastyvsHouston Outlaws2017 Overwatch League
2017-12-09 02:00:00
Win

Seoul Dynasty

1.17

Petar

San Francisco ShockvsLondon Spitfire2017 Overwatch League
2017-12-09 00:00:00
Win

London Spitfire

1.36

Petar

New York ExcelsiorvsBoston Uprising2017 Overwatch League
2017-12-08 02:00:00
Win

New York Excelsior

1.44

Petar

Dallas FuelvsHouston Outlaws2017 Overwatch League
2017-12-08 00:00:00
Win

Dallas Fuel

1.57

Petar

Los Angeles GladiatorsvsLondon Spitfire2017 Overwatch League
2017-12-07 22:00:00
Loss

London Spitfire

1.33

Petar

Seoul DynastyvsShanghai Dragons2017 Overwatch League
2017-12-07 04:00:00
Win

Seoul Dynasty

1.53

Petar

Los Angeles ValiantvsSan Francisco Shock2017 Overwatch League
2017-12-07 02:00:00
Win

Los Angeles Valiant

2.10

Petar

Florida MayhemvsPhiladelphia Fusion2017 Overwatch League
2017-12-07 00:00:00
Push

Florida Mayhem

3.25

Petar

Preview

Overwatch League - Stage 4 Preview

After five weeks of highly competitive Overwatch we've come to the fourth and final stage of the inaugural season. It's been one heck of a ride and the best is yet to come.

To summarize, Stage 3 was nothing short of epic. Teams have finally started utilizing their rosters to their fullest potential so we saw a lot of teams rise and fall throughout the first fifteen weeks of competitive play. Right now we have a pretty good grasp on just how strong each team is and how high they could rank in Stage 4.

After weeks of high octane action we're at the point where every single map and match win counts towards the season playoffs. This makes every match so engaging because when all is said and done a single map could make the difference between making the playoffs or waiting out on the sidelines.

To top it all off players are predicting a huge shift in the meta which means we're in for a couple of weeks filled with experimentation. Now all of a sudden there is a new - better and more optimal - way to play the game and every team is starting from step one. In other words, the teams that adapt the fastest will have quite the upper hand over the opposition.

Speaking of the meta, let's focus a bit on that aspect of Stage 4 first:

The changing meta

Perhaps the biggest change coming into Stage 4 is the introduction of a completely new support hero - Brigitte! She is unlike anything we've seen in the game so far and could best be explained as a frontline tanky support that echoes Reinhardt's key abilities. (minus the charge) Perhaps the biggest change she brings to the game is her movement (and ultimate) breaking shield bash. To be frank it's quite overpowered which is exactly the reason why the majority of the playerbase dislikes her ability kit.

The utility that she brings to the table far outmatches the majority of other supports - she can shield, stun, heal and even provide armor for the entire team. Because of the all-around protection and value that she brings to the team she could very well become the de-facto support to go for and that could become a problem.

Overall that's a negative for the viewers since it will translate into less originality, less experimentation and more boredom. We could witness the exact same team comp regardless of the map and opponent and in that scenario everyone loses.

That said there is a slim possibility of things going the opposite way as well. With a shaken up meta there will be a ton of experimentation which could in theory lead to more exciting games.

The possibility and probability of upsets

The Overwatch League really is no stranger to mind-boggling upsets and swings in the standings. Of course, there are a couple of constants - New York dominating and Dallas, Florida and Shanghai being bottom three but other than that everything is fair game and anything can happen. Stage 3 was perhaps the best example of that.

Favorites fell off, new contenders arose (the Gladiators, San Francisco Shock and last but not least - Boston), teams had ups and downs during one single stage - Houston and Philadelphia in particular, and in the end things kind of settled into the expected.

Another big problem (that is yet to fully materialize) is player burnout. Individual players are getting exhausted from the constant pressure and playtime. Dallas' EFFECT took multiple breaks during the first three stages and even though he's an extreme example the point still stands. Teams strive off of momentum and hype and when it dies down it's hard to get back on track. Philadelphia in particular had an incredible Stage 2 and yet they were broken by getting reverse swept by New York. They looked like a completely different - far weaker - team throughout Stage 3 and they never really managed to get back to their old form.

So what does this mean to anyone betting on the Overwatch League? You should always try and follow the scene as much as possible but also have in mind that extreme upsets happen on a somewhat frequent basis. Teams have off days and sometimes a lot of their individual strengths revolve around certain maps - like New York on Ilios or Houston on Junkertown - and stylistic matchups. Depending on the stage map pool (or even match map pool for that matter) and you could have two very different outcomes.

Stage 4 Preliminary Power Rankings

1. New York Excelsior - At a moment it really did look like we were going to get a new team crowned as the Stage 3 champions. Everything was leading to that moment - New York looked a bit burned out and almost lost a ton of five map brawls. In the end, it seemed like it was all a part of their master plan. Play as much as possible but go for proven solutions rather than prepare for each team individually, thus preserving energy for the playoffs. They also started integrating certain members of the team more - Janus saw a ton of playtime (with moderate success unfortunately), Pine was the deciding playmaking factor on more than one occasion and Anamo subbed in for ArK in a couple of key matches as well. In short, NYXL are entering Stage 4 as the favorites to win the whole tournament. They're incredibly dominant and have an uncanny ability to adapt. Immense mental fortitude and resilience are traits of a true champion and New York has that in spades. Not to mention the fact that their fourth DPS Flow3r turned eighteen recently so they might even start incorporating him into the line-up should the opportunity arise.

2. Boston Uprising - It's hard to fully appreciate just how far Boston went from the preseason to Stage 4. Their trajectory is astonishing and what they've been able to accomplish is worthy of the highest praise. They didn't have the best players in the League to begin with, people were doubting their synergy and skill ceiling as well as overall team communication but somehow they persevered. After weeks of highly competitive play they managed to cement themselves as a dangerous middle-of-the-pack team but then they lost their key DPS player. Fast forward just a single week in the future and they're still playing some of their best Overwatch with a completely new DPS player. - Mistakes. They became the first team to finish a stage with a perfect 10W-0L record and even though they failed to ride that momentum into the finals against New York it's still an incredible feat. Looking at Stage 4 specifically there is no reason as to why they shouldn't be able to continue competing at the highest possible level. They still have a roster that's capable of playing dive comps to perfection and if they manage to integrate Mistakes a bit more, perhaps get him to widen his hero pool a bit more and they're a shoe in for the playoffs. That said they did lose their head coach so they might have a slower start to the stage than most people expect.

3. Los Angeles Valiant - The Valiant are entering Stage 4 as a very strong contender, however their true strength and potential is still somewhat unknown. Will they be able to replicate their Stage 3 success and reach the Stage 4 playoffs as well? Perhaps. It really depends on the rest of the competition and whether or not they step up. The problem with the Valiant is the fact that they're fairly one-dimensional in their strengths, and depending on which players they start it's immediately obvious what strategy they're going for which is a huge problem against top tier opposition. They also cannot impose their own playstyle against the very best teams in the League which also hinders how far they can go. That said they're extremely solid in the things they do right so they're always a worthy adversary. Because of this we're ranking them in the Top 3 but it all depends on whether or not teams like Philadelphia, London and Houston step up. If that ends up being the case then the Valiant will probably fall down a spot or two.

4. Los Angeles Gladiators - The Gladiators are in a somewhat perplexing position right now. They're obviously incredibly talented but, much like in Stage 3, they simply can't get over the last hurdle. They have the right players that can play a plethora of team comps on every single map and individual members like Surefour stepped up to an incredible degree (was a Top 3 Widowmaker in Stage 3 when all was said and done) but they just couldn't get the "job done". While they did reach the playoffs in Stage 3 it was solely because of the League expanding the stage playoffs to the four top teams instead of three. They had the unfortunate luck of going up against a very game Boston and, well, it wasn't pretty. To be more exact it was a complete shellacking. They're obviously not prepared to challenge for Top 3 right now but they're incredibly dangerous depending on the map and matchup.

5. San Francisco Shock - The Shock has been on an upward trajectory for quite some time now. However the moment when they added Moth, Super and Architect to their roster they became an instant threat. Architect in particular has been playing out of his mind on almost every pick he takes up and to top it all off the Shock took Boston's former head coach. Now obviously we don't know the extent of his transgressions (there were supposedly some serious communication issues with him and the Uprising) but he did stay with Boston after those rumors and they did become the first team to end a stage with a spotless 10W-0L record so he must have been doing something right. (or a lot of things right for that matter) The amount of experience he brings to the table is invaluable and if he's able to recreate at least a fraction of the impact he had during his tenure with Boston, then the Shock have all the potential to become the "next big thing". The Shock absolutely have all the right tools and players to contest for a higher spot and they've been looking very hungry lately whereas other teams are starting to fall off a bit due to burnout and internal struggles.

6. London Spitfire - Make no mistake, even though we're placing London at sixth they have what it takes to come back into the Top 3. Even though they had a very slow start to Stage 3 they picked up the pace near the very end and they're hungry to prove their worth once again. To top it all off they're undefeated on two of the maps in Stage 4. We're ranking them sixth primarily off of their overall power level in Stage 3 but a team like London doesn't need a lot of time to turn things around. If their DPS duo starts performing a bit better and we've already seen a glimpse of that near the end of Stage 3 and they manage to adapt to the changing meta, then London could be poised to return to the very top. They also have some insanely talented and flexible players that can play a wide range of heroes - including picks like Junkrat and Zarya so they're essentially prepared for whatever Stage 4 has in store.

7. Seoul Dynasty - The Dynasty finished Stage 3 with a somewhat acceptable 5W-5L record, however it was a far cry from their dominant showing in Stage 1. They were too scared and out of sync for the majority of the stage however all that changed in week five after they decided to start Ryujehong as their main tank. It was a confusing decision - especially seeing how he was one of the best and most respected support players in the entire League - however the level of play that Jehong displayed on Winston was downright amazing. With just a week or two of preparation, Ryujehong single-handedly created ample space for Fleta and Munchkin to hardcarry and they were able to 4-0 the Houston Outlaws and almost take down a very game London. We essentially don't know anything regarding their starting lineup for Stage 4 but if they decide to start with Jehong on main tank they could incorporate Gambler and Gido as their supports which would add another layer of leadership and shotcalling. In short, Seoul seems to have found a winning formula where no one expected it to exist. They're far from perfec but they know what's on the line and they're surely coming into Stage 4 hungry for redemption. They also have to perform or they will get kicked out of the playoff picture seeing how certain other teams stepped up during Seoul's internal struggles.

8. Houston Outlaws - The Outlaws are in a state of limbo right now. They have an incredibly talented roster but they failed to adapt and perform up to expectations throughout Stage 3. They started off badly but they did manage to pick up steam as the weeks went on. Unfortunately it wasn't enough to warrant a spot in the Top 5. They lost too many close five map matches and in the end had a pretty unfavorable 4W-6L record. Coming into Stage 4 however things could change - a lot. Any meta changes will heavily favor the Outlaws and the introduction of Brigitte could in theory bring out a lot more of Junkrat, Reinhardt and Zarya - all heroes that Houston excels at. Jake's Junkrat in particular has been a deciding factor more often than not and if they get to play him more they could turn things around. They've also added coach KyKy (former Dallas Fuel head coach) to their staff which should in theory boost their chances as well. Even though KyKy didn't have the best result with Dallas he did coach a good portion of the Outlaws roster during the 2017 World Cup. In short, don't be surprised if the Outlaws end up contesting for the Top 4 this time around but until we see some improvement it's hard to give them the benefit of the doubt.

9. Philadelphia Fusion - The Philly boys really did suffer a fall from grace throughout the last six weeks or so. From almost taking down New York in the Stage 2 finals to finishing eight in Stage 3. They looked exhausted and unwilling to fight, so much so that they barely managed to take down Shanghai in a five map brawler. Philadelphia needs a fresh start and they're going to get one coming into Stage 4, however whether or not that'll be enough remains to be seen. If anything they will be able to start with their new main tank Sado as he was suspended throughout the first three stages. He's an absolute beast of a player and could in theory positively impact the team. Fragi's playstyle is very volatile - he can either make the winning play or lose his team the map which is a problem against the absolute best teams in the League. His overaggressive playstyle isn't always the answer and Sado could potentially bring another layer to Fusion's play. That said, Philadelphia are fighting to remain in playoff contention and they're currently ranked sixth but with the way things are panning out right now they might be out of the playoffs altogether if they don't manage to step up.

10. Florida Mayhem - The Mayhem are kind of lost right now. They're pretty solid on almost all fronts but they're not really excelling at any point. Other than a couple of insane mechanical outplays from Tviq and Sayaplayer they're not able to compete at the highest level. Coming into Stage 4 they don't really stand a chance for the playoffs but they do have the ability to upset two or three teams above them. That said they do have a pretty solid core and they're fairly good on certain maps so they might be able to perform a bit above expectations.

11. Dallas Fuel - You'd think that things couldn't get any worse for Dallas and yet they did. Not only did they lose their head coach KyKy but it seems like EFFECT won't be coming back to the United States throughout Stage 4. The only reason why we're placing them above the Shanghai Dragons is the sheer fact that this roster has a metric ton of potential and mechanical prowess. They might not have the absolute best players in the League but they're all insanely talented - they just don't mesh well as a team and they're not being led well enough by their lackluster coaching staff. No one really emerged within the team to take up the leadership role and without EFFECT - the one player that pulled them through in every single match - they really don't stand a chance.

12. Shanghai Dragons - Lastly we have the Dragons. The only team with an abysmal 0W-30L record. While they did improve throughout Stage 3 they're still far from a cohesive unit. That said they did take multiple teams to five maps, and the additions of Ado and Geguri really did improve their chances of getting that elusive first win. Coming into Stage 4 they're probably just looking to win at least once and then restructure and prepare for the second season of the Overwatch League.

As always, try to watch as many matches as you possibly can because these power rankings shift each week. We never really know which teams will be able to perform under immense pressure, especially right now when there's quite a lot of money on the line.


Overwatch League - Stage 3 Preview

After five weeks of competitive, high level Overwatch we've seen New York Excelsior crowned as the best Overwatch team in the world - for the second time in a row. They weren't perfect, they made mistakes but what they did was nothing short of astonishing. The fact that they were able to adapt and persevere during some serious meta changes (and other teams improving) is an incredible achievement and things cannot get any more exciting getting into Stage 3.

That said there are a couple of key thoughts and factors that you should have in mind when betting on the Overwatch League. Stage 2 was filled with some mind-boggling upsets and swings in the standings and there are some very concrete reasons to why that happened. You can always expect New York, London and Seoul to be near the very top of the standings, but when it comes to the rest of the teams, most notably Western ones - things are up in the air.

"The gap"

Stage 1 showed us that the gap between the best Korean and Western teams really isn't that big and that with enough work ethic and the right coaching staff anyone can take the win. We've seen the Los Angeles Valiant, Boston Uprising and above all the Houston Outlaws put up a big fight against the very best Korean teams and that is a trend that continued into Stage 2. While New York was always a step ahead over the opposition, Seoul and London were fairly vulnerable. Stage 2 however showed that the gap was closing even further, however this time between Western teams.

No longer could we underestimate the Florida Mayhem who only with a single change in the coaching staff improved tenfold. San Francisco Shock improved leaps and bounds as well, with Danteh solidifying himself as one of the best Tracer/Sombra players in the League. (with a nasty Junkrat on King's Row as well) The Gladiators went from a solid middle of the pack team with some potential to a frightening, overaggressive team that could tango with the very best with just a single change in the roster - Fissure. The Outlaws had a huge dip during the middle of the stage but managed to bounce back near the very end, even taking down Seoul Dynasty.

Behind the scenes turmoil

While esports as a concept isn't anything new, the Overwatch League is still in it's infancy and it's something that's fairly easy to forget seeing how well Blizzard's been running things over the last couple of months. The amount of high quality content that they release on a weekly basis, the constant improvements to the League and the great fan engagement from teams is a beautiful sight to behold, especially seeing how we're still in League's first year.

That said if you're following the twelve teams closely you could have seen some serious struggles and glimpses of internal turmoil behind the scenes. It's rarely obvious at first glance - players come in, high five the audience and do their job. However after a top tier team starts losing matches they should be winning, or they start to implode then it's something far more serious.

The thing is while there are many older players in the Overwatch League, it seems like a good portion of them aren't taking this too seriously. There are many reports of players not being professional - saying racist remarks or insulting other players on stream, not taking scrims too seriously, not wanting to play, etc. To top it all off there is a serious mismatch when it comes to culture - Korean players bring a serious mindset when playing whereas Western players have a more aloof approach to the game. This becomes problematic when you have multiple players with different mindsets and ideas on how to play the game, resulting in a weaker team synergy.

Certain teams are struggling more than others though, and two that instantly come to mind are Dallas Fuel and the Los Angeles Valiant. The former EnVyUs roster started off strong with two dominant wins in week one of the second stage however those were the only wins that they were able to attain throughout the stage. Even with an improved DPS lineup they failed to do much as their supports were underperforming and they only had a single tank player in Mickie. (xQc was released whereas OGE got a suspension for account boosting) In other words they had to accept the fact that they had to start with one of their biggest DPS stars - Taimou in the tank position. (which unsurprisingly never worked out that great) Pair that up with serious coaching and management problems and you get a struggling team that was one of the most feared and hyped up rosters before the Overwatch League began.

The Valiant on the other hand had a far better start to the season with a fantastic showing during the first stage when they almost managed to get to playoffs. Stage 2 began somewhat differently as they struggled to adapt to the meta but sure enough they bounced back fairly quickly. They swapped out both Agilities, GrimReality and SilkThread in favor of Kariv (flexing him from support to DPS) and while that did give them an upper hand in some cases it's an experiment that ultimately failed as they ended the stage with four wins and six losses. (the majority of those wins being against bottom tier teams) They were struggling with their own team culture and atmosphere and they needed change. It's highly admirable that they're striving towards a more nurturing and friendly environment that will benefit their growth as a team in the long run, but that means they have to take a hit in the short term.

Overall every team is evolving as time goes on. We're only two stages in and we've seen almost every team rise and fall. Sometimes even a single change in the roster can positively impact the team - something we've seen with the Los Angeles Gladiators, the San Francisco Shock and even the Florida Mayhem. At other times, even with changes to the starting lineup success is not a guarantee if there isn't a high quality system in place in order to enable player's success.

So what does that mean to you as someone who is betting on the Overwatch League? Simply put - there are no guarantees. Teams rise and fall, underdogs improve and adapt and titans crumble under the constant pressure of having to perform to certain expectations. In other words you might be following one team that is dominating the opposition only to lose in embarrassing fashion the very next week due to internal struggles.

Power rankings exist for a reason however right now they're just a guide to give you a better understanding of where teams are and as such should be taken lightly.

Power rankings

Before going into our Stage 3 power rankings have in mind that a good number of teams only improved at the very end of Stage 2, meaning we don't really have a good grasp on how each team stacks up against one another. That paired with the insanely high number of roster changes means that you should really keep an eye on how each team performs during the first week of the Overwatch League as there are sure to be more than just a couple of upsets.

  1. New York Excelsior - The boys in blue are still the kings of the Overwatch League and with good reason. They have some of the best players in the world and they've shown great proficiency on a plethora of picks and team comps. They also have an incredible ability to adapt mid-series and it was exactly that virtue that allowed them to reverse sweep Philadelphia Fusion in the Stage 2 finals after not even preparing for them. They didn't start with Pine throughout Stage 2 which allowed Libero to really flex his muscles and show the world what he's made off. Paired with Saebyeolbe who cemented himself as the best Tracer player in the League and you have a recipe for success. With a phenomenal 18W-2L record they're entering Stage 3 as the clear favorites.
  2. London Spitfire - The former Cloud9 organization is fielding one of the strongest rosters in the entire League however they're not as clutch as New York and they don't always perform up to expectations when it matters the most. That said, their strengths are many and they're automatically in contention for the Stage 3 finals seeing how well they performed throughout the first two stages. Much like Seoul, they've shown vulnerabilities and certain teams at certain moments were able to exploit them. With Western teams upping their game, it will be very interesting seeing this London squad face against the likes of Philadelphia, Houston and even Boston.
  3. Philadelphia Fusion - While they didn't start off Stage 2 that well, the Fusion didn't need a lot of time before getting into the playoff mix. They showed some incredible potential in Stage 1 but it was too early to cling on to a top tier spot however this time around they're much more in sync and with EQO flexing onto multiple heroes (even Roadhog on King's Row) they've become one of the more aggressive and flexible teams in the League. That said they're not always that consistent so expect a slower start however they should by all means be competing for the last two playoff spots next to New York and London.
  4. Houston Outlaws - While they did have a horrendous dip in performance during the middle of Stage 2 they managed to bounce back to their Stage 1 (playoff) form. We've seen what a difference a game LiNkzr makes for this squad and if he continues performing at such a high level (shutting down Fleta and Seoul almost singlehandedly) then they absolutely have the potential to be one of the best teams competing.
  5. Seoul Dynasty - Make no mistake, even at a predicted number five Seoul is still one of the best teams in the entire League. A very important thing to note is that they always failed to reach the playoffs at the very end of both stages. They just don't manage to clutch it out at the very end as they often drop maps at the most random of times. They also fail to win and adapt when it matters the most, which left them on the outskirts watching others fight for fame and money. While that could change this time around it's still too early to give them any benefit of the doubt. That said they're always in "beast mode" when there's nothing on the line so expect them to start off Stage 3 strong.
  6. Los Angeles Gladiators - The Gladiators cemented themselves as the better, more dangerous Los Angeles team in Stage 2 and it became immediately evident how big of a boost Fissure brought to the team. Unfortunately however they failed to ride that momentum to the playoffs but they still put in a valiant effort. With a couple of big changes to their roster they should be able to continue fighting for a top spot however it's still too early to rank them any higher.
  7. Boston Uprising - While many underestimated them even before the League began, they quickly cemented themselves as one of the best, most dangerous Western teams, albeit fairly inconsistent. They can run dive to perfection, they have one of the best Winstons in the League in Gamsu and a sensational DPS duo in DreamKazper and Striker so they're set to succeed in Stage 3. How high they can go is completely up in the air though as they show up one week and wreck house only to falter a couple of days afterwards. That said they're unbeated on Volskaya Industries and Anubis so they're a force to be reckoned with on assault maps going forward.
  8. Los Angeles Valiant - The Valiant didn't manage to translate over their success from Stage 1 into Stage 2 but they looked good enough. Their Soon + Kariv DPS duo experiment worked to a certain degree but it was obvious that the team had internal struggles or that at worst they hit their peak. Going into Stage 3 however they made multiple changes to their roster and it's too early to say anything with certainty. They release Envy into free agency which will surely hit their tank duo synergy (even though they're highly praising the newcomer Space), they exchanged Unkoe for Custa from Dallas Fuel, moved GrimReality into the coaching staff and sold Sillkthread's contract to the Los Angeles Gladiators. Overall they have a ton of potential but it's too early to rank them any higher. They're also fairly inconsistent but with time they could be able to fight with the likes of Boston and Philadelphia for playoffs. (if their roster changes go as planned)
  9. Florida Mayhem - Perhaps the biggest surprise of Stage 2. With just a single change in the head coach position this team prospered above expectations. They're far more focused, on the same page and their aggression - something they never lacked - is finally paying off. Logix and Tviq in particular have been playing out of their minds which allowed them to create total chaos in Stage 2. Going into Stage 3 though they're still an unknown quantity and it's best to wait out a bit and see just how high they will go. The potential is there
  10. San Francisco Shock - While tenth place isn't anything to be particularly proud of, San Francisco have a ton of potential and they've only tapped into it at the very end of Stage 2. It cannot be overstated how strong they currently are even though they're on paper a bottom tier team. They beat Dallas, took a map off of London, outclassed Houston in 3-1 fashion and then went to five maps with both Boston and Florida in week five. With Sinatraa in the line-up they're also bolstered with a proven, world-class Tracer player even though Danteh shined on more than one occasion. They also signed multiple top tier players like Super and Architect so we will have to wait out a bit and see just how high they will go with an improved roster. That said, don't be too surprised if you see the Shock contending for a spot much higher than they're at right now. 
  11. Dallas Fuel - It's hard to really explain what's going on with Dallas right now and as they said themselves - they're not sure either. One thing is for sure though and that is the lack of communication and synergy. They're mostly scattered around the map and the small number of wins that they do manage to accrue is through sheer mechanical prowess. They made a couple of changes to the roster however when compared to their opposition they pale in comparison. Don't expect Dallas to perform above expectations either as they failed to do anything worth mentioning over the last ten weeks of competitive play. 
  12. Shanghai Dragons - The only team entering Stage 3 without a single win on the board. Fortunately Shanghai made enough roster changes (for the better) that they might even stand a chance of winning a match this time around. That said they need time and the pressure to perform won't go away so it's pretty safe to say that they will continue being one of the worst teams in the Overwatch League for the time being. 

 


Overwatch League - Stage 2 Preview

After a week long break from the finals of Stage 1 of the Overwatch League, we are finally on the verge of Stage 2.

Only a couple of days have passed, however there are a ton of new information, roster changes and shifts in the overall power rankings to make this Stage a completely different experience. In other words - things are changing quite a bit, and Western teams could very well upset the Korean-set status quo. Teams like Houston, Boston and Philadelphia consistently showed that they have the tools to dominate at the highest possible level so it will be extremely interesting to see whether or not the Korean trifecta will continue to dominate or if there will perhaps be a new challenger on the horizon.

The meta

Perhaps the biggest change overall other than the fact that teams had the opportunity to change up their rosters is the fact that Stage 2 will commence with a completely new meta. Long gone are the universally abhorred Mercy days. She received huge nerfs and while she will still be somewhat viable, she probably won't be a starting default support pick regardless of the map.

This means two things:

1. More skill expression - One of the biggest gripes people had with the Mercy meta was the fact that she had multiple resurrections, and the fact that they were on a pretty low cooldown. Meaning an incredible display of skill - an insane Widow show from a far, sick Genji deflect or perhaps a well executed dive - would get instantly nullified. It is almost universally agreed upon that such a game-changing ability doesn't belong in an FPS game. With that out of the way, skillful DPS masters like Pine will have an even bigger impact on the way a match unfolds. A single kill could be the difference between map/match win and that makes things so much more engaging both for the players and the viewers as well.
2. Specialists will rise in the ranks -  With Mercy out of the way, the door is wide open for Ana and Lucio to return and as you maybe know, the Overwatch League is filled with Lucio mains. Seeing how the hero is highly impactful on a plethora of maps - especially certain Control Point maps - multiple players that couldn't really flex their muscles prior to the new patch will be able to fully shine going forwards. Players like Ryujehong from the Seoul Dynasty will one again be able to excel as he won't be relegated to Zenyatta or Mercy duty, and it goes all the way down to the bottom of the standings - even San Francisco Shock's Dhak is known for being a fantastic Lucio player and yet he could almost never play it in Stage 1.

Unfortunately this goes both ways. Incredible Mercy players like Ark from New York Excelsior won't be as impactful as they will either have to adapt or get swapped out entirely. This means teams
New maps

We will also have a completely new set of maps for Stage 2.

Payload - Watchpoint: Gibraltar, Route 66
Hybrid - King's Row; Hollywood
Assault - Volskaya Industries, Hanamura
Control - Nepal, Lijiang Tower

There are some incredibly exciting maps like King's Row, Hanamura and Nepal in the mix, however what this does - other than forcing teams to develop new strategies for a new set of maps and thus leveling the playing field a bit - is that it essentially enables different team compositions, different strategies and heroes to come out. 

Much like how the Mercy nerfs will allow for Lucio specialists to come out, it's highly likely that we will see a return of Reinhardt (among other picks) meaning players like Cocco (from Dallas Fuel) will have a far bigger impact on certain maps.

The teams

Now let's focus on the teams that will be competing, and how they fare in the second stage of the Overwatch League. The standings below is by no means a power ranking, it is just the 

1. New York Excelsior -  While they didn’t win the match that mattered the most - the finals against London - they won almost everything else. New York Exlcesior is predicted to remain the number one team throughout Stage 2 and with good reason. They have a couple of insane DPS players in Libero and Pine, arguably the best Tracer in the League in Saebyeolbe, Mano and Meko have some of the best synergy in the entire League and their support duo is quite frankly insane. (Ark + Jjonak) With such a deadly roster that even when playing standard 2-2-2 comps manage to output damage as if they had three DPS players, it’s hard not giving New York the benefit of the doubt. They showed the least amount of weaknesses during the first stage of competitive play and they’re entering Stage 2 with a chip on their shoulder after failing to fortify their dominance in the finals.

2. Houston Outlaws - The Outlaws performed incredibly well throughout the first stage. They are an insanely talented team, and a team without a single Korean import - which makes things even more impressive when you consider what they’ve managed to achieve in such a short amount of time. That said, it’s tough predicting how strong they will be going into Stage 2. Jake was without a doubt the best and most impactful Junkrat in the League, however with such big nerfs to his mines he might not be such a big factor going forward. They excelled as an anti-dive team, however without Bani’s Mercy backing them up and negating mistakes they will be a lot more vulnerable. That said they’re still a powerhouse but they might just drop in the standings by a spot or two. 

3. London Spitfire - The Stage 1 winners and with good reason. They have some of the best players in the world and it seems they finally focused on a starting six man lineup. While they did have a couple of hiccups during the first five weeks of competitive play - most notably on Control Point maps - they managed to win the games that mattered the most. After losing a close five map series to New York, they proceeded to 3-1 the Houston Outlaws the same day and almost immediately go to war with New York once again however this time they were able to get the better of the Excelsior. In short, this is the team

4. Los Angeles Valiant - For a team that was expected to be somewhere between fifth and seventh, the Valiant displayed quite a high skill ceiling from the very beginning. They have an incredibly capable roster however it is still unknown where they fall when compared to Houston Outlaws and Boston Uprising. Expect the Los Angeles Valiant to be a serious contender for the playoffs this time around.

5. Seoul Dynasty - After an incredibly strong start to the season Seoul started declining - slowly but surely. What exactly happened is tough to say. As the weeks went on their strength seemed to decline - especially as other teams developed synergy and an identity of their own. Fleta is one of the best - if not the best - DPS player in the entire League however it often seems like he’s on an island of his own. Munchkin, Bunny and Wekeed weren’t able to play up to his level and assist him, whereas they also made some questionable choices nearing the end of the first stage where they swapped out either Tobi or Ryujehong and thus dividing perhaps the best and most renown support duo in the League. They have the tools to climb back to Top 3 for sure, however after seeing the level at which other teams like Boston or Philadelphia played at - Seoul really doesn’t have that big of an edge. It will be interesting to see how high they can climb in Stage 2, but they’re a question mark at the moment. 

6. Boston Uprising - While they started off a bit slow Boston quickly rose through the standings thanks to some incredible play. For a team that was predicted to have the least amount of cohesion, Boston quickly displayed synergy that only the very best OWL teams could compete with. That, in addition to the fact that they have some incredibly talented players allowed them to be a constant dark horse during the first stage of competition. They’re an incredibly talented roster with a very high skill ceiling and they also have the potential to contest for a top 3 spot as well, so keep an eye on the boys in blue and yellow. 

7. Philadelphia Fusion - Philadelphia quickly made waves when they started playing in the Overwatch League after missing the preseason, and if there is one thing that has to be highlighted it is the fact that Shadowburn and Carpe are one of the most potent and deadly DPS duos in the entire League. Philly's incredible, overwhelming aggression will benefit them from now on as there will be no Mercy to counter it, and they've also displayed incredible growth and potential during the first stage of competition, so expect Philadelphia to be a really dangerous team going into Stage 2. 

8. Los Angeles Gladiators - The Gladiators are entering Stage 2 as a big question mark. During the first five weeks of competitive play they’ve played incredibly well and incredibly badly - sometimes in the same week. If anything, they’ve displayed that they’re surely better than the teams beneath them (with the exception of Dallas Fuel), and not close to the teams above. They have some fantastic players though, especially in the DPS and support departments however there is one huge upgrade coming their way - they’ve signed Fissure from the London Spitfire. With such a strong main tank in the lineup, you can expect this team to knock on the door for playoffs. They also have a fantastic Lucio in BigGoose and we've seen what Shaz can do on Zenyatta so they’re fully equipped for every change in the meta that will happen.

9. San Francisco Shock - The Shock are in a limbo of sorts as they're entering Stage 2 as a very solid team but also a team that doesn't seem fit to battle at the highest possible level. That said the shift in the meta will surely help them out, Dhak will be able to get off Mercy duty, Babybay has been their biggest catalyst and he proved time and time again that he has what it takes to carry his team to victory and the fact that Sinatraa will be able to play mid-March is a great boost in their DPS department as well. Overall, a lot of unknown potential, however it's going to be hard going up against the majority of the League. 

10. Dallas Fuel - You can expect this team to improve rapidly in the standings. They made several huge signings during the mid-stage period such as Rascal and AKM, and they will also be starting with xQc once again so they're essentially quite the stronger team right off the bat. They're fully equipped to compete at the highest level and they have the right players, they just need to figure out how they want to play the game going forward. They're playoff contenders for sure.

11. Florida Mayhem - Florida made a couple of good changes during the mid-season signings - Sayaplayer in particular who has the potential to be one of the better Tracers in the League, however they probably won't make it out of the very bottom of the standings. That said they're a team that doesn't back down from a challenge and they looked better as the weeks went on, even taking Philadelphia Fusion to five maps in the very last match of the first stage.

12. Shanghai Dragons - unfortunately for the Dragons, they have quite the hurdle to overcome in order to compete with the rest of the OWL teams. They did make a couple of good acquisitions however they will only come mid-stage and even then they will have to work on synergy and overall team cohesion. Don't expect Shanghai to be any more successful than they were in Stage 1, however they might be able to pull off a win this time around. 

With so many new changes, keep an eye out for possible upsets. Nothing is set in stone and in theory we could by all means have a completely different final than the one we had just recently! (however that is highly unlikely seeing just how good NYXL and London are)
 


Overwatch League - Stage 1 Preview

We witnessed a ton of fantastic Overwatch games during the short preseason period. We got the chance to see some of the best players in the world duke it out on a plethora of maps and game modes.

If there is one thing that became very apparent fairly quickly that is the fact that the gap between Western and Korean teams might not be as big as originally thought. While that is a big hypothesis that is yet to be truly tested there is reason for us to believe that it’s true.

Matches like the Houston Outlaws vs. Seoul Dynasty left a lot of people wondering how such a young, freshly assembled squad could hold their own against the legendary Seoul Dynasty. (ex Lunatic-Hai) DPS players like LiNkzr and Jake really shined and provided the Seoul giants a ton of problems that they couldn’t really overcome that easily - if at all. Jake’s sensational deffensive (and offensive) Junkrat play on Lunar Horizon Colony perhaps stands out as one key moment where a single player almost individually thwarted all of Seoul’s plans and efforts.

What does this mean for those who want to bet on the Overwatch League come January? Well, in short there will be a lot more upsets and matches will probably be somewhat harder to predict - especially in the early stages of the tournament. That said there are still teams that are favorites to lift the inaugural OWL trophy. 

Seoul Dynasty in general looked like an absolute beast once they had some time to amp up, with the New York Excelsior and London Spitifre also showing why they’re one of the favorites to contest for the title.

  1. Seoul Dynasty - many consider this roster as a Lunatic-Hai + upgraded DPS, which to be quite frank seems to be the truth. The way they’ve been playing in their preseason matches is frightening to say the least. Weeked and Fleta completely dominated their opposition with sensational performances against New York Excelsior. (Fleta’s Widowmaker and Soldier play especially stood out) With a veteran like Ryujehong supporting them, it’s hard not seeing this team lifting the inaugural Overwatch League trophy. They have a couple of blocks and challenges in their way but it’s nothing they can’t handle. They’re the favorites to win the whole thing and with good reason.
  2. London Spitfire - it’s hard realistically and fairly ranking the former Cloud9 organization. They played two matches in the preseason and their play could best be described as “polarizing”. They signed two roster - the GC Busan roster (considered by most as the best Overwatch team right now, recently won APEX Season 4 and APAC Premier 4) and the C9 KongDoo lineup as well. We saw both rosters play, however it was the KongDoo lineup that was more dominant and more in-sync when it mattered the most. Both rosters looked somewhat flustered when fighting against the Los Angeles Gladiators, however it was the KongDoo squad that completely and utterly demolished San Francisco Shock in their second match. (4-0) While their showing wasn’t all that impressive overall in terms of what was expected, they have an insane set of players signed and they have the tools to dominate the Overwatch League.
  3. Dallas Fuel - with the ex-EnVyUs squad things are a bit more complex. They didn’t look that good during the preseason, but they were experimenting in almost every single game and with good reason. Preseason matches don’t carry any concrete weight in regards to the regular season, they’re simply exhibition matches. Nothing was on the line, and Dallas used this to their advantage to test out their limits and their newest additions to the roster. (support Custa and tank xQc most notably) Dallas has proven multiple times that they’re a force to be reckoned with, and with these two newest additions they’ve basically rounded out their roster in the most perfect way - filling any holes in their game. They looked somewhat off in both of their match wins but fans shouldn’t take that as a worrying sign. Dallas is one of the premier Overwatch organizations in the world, and also one of the most capable, flexible and innovative so have no doubt that they will be one of the most dominant teams when the regular season comes.
  4. New York Excelsior - the NYXL squad in blue did solid in their first outings in the preseason. They defeated the undervalued Boston Uprising in 3-1 fashion but ultimately got stomped by Seoul. They have some very solid players and have the potential to aim for a Top 3 spot for sure, especially when Flow3r becomes a starter during the mid-season. (cannot compete right now due to OWL age restrictions) Pine made quick work of any ally until he met his match in Seoul’s Fleta, and they have one of the best Tracers in the world in Saebyeolbe along with a fairly solid tank and support lineup. While they did get outclassed thoroughly by Seoul Dynasty, with time they should be able to go blow-for-blow.
  5. Houston Outlaws - Perhaps one the bigger surprises of the preaseason. Jake continued his dominance and stellar play right from the World Cup where he represented the United States. Paired with ex-Gigantti DPS prodigy LiNkzr and a very solid tank and support lineup, this team is poised to compete for a top spot right after their Korean adversaries. The synergy and mechanical prowess that the Outlaws showcased in the preseason is a very promising sign. They’re a playoff team for sure, but only time will tell if they’ll be able to aim any higher.
  6. Los Angeles Valiant - The ex-Immortals squad had a pretty good showing during the preseason. Fans are very cautious regarding the Valiant as they utterly dominated the Contenders Season Zero, but failed to show anything worth mentioning in the very next season where they placed near the bottom. That said, they won both of their games in the preseason, against two teams that are predicted to be their main competition in terms of getting that incredibly important playoff spot. The fact that they signed Soon and Unkoe from Rogue is a fantastic move in terms of upgrading the roster and when Agilities is old enough to play, they will also have one of the best Genji players around as well.
  7. San Francisco Shock - arguably one of the biggest surprises of the preaseason. They made quick work of Florida Mayhem in the very first match of the preseason, with their main shotcaller babybay and iddqd carrying most of the weight with their phenomenal DPS play. They looked good, in-sync and hungry to win. They failed to mount such an offensive against the London Spitfire, but that was somewhat expected. They’re the perfect middle-of-the-pack team that has the potential to contend for the playoffs. Whether or not that happens remains to be seen as the competition is very stiff especially around their predicted ranking.
  8. Los Angeles Gladiators - the second LA team that will be competing in the Overwatch League are the Gladiators. After a sensational upset against the London Spitfire, they failed to repeat their performance against their LA adversaries. They were outclassed in almost every stage of the game and on almost every map both as a team and individually as well. Time will tell if this team only had a flash of briliance during their clash against the London Spitfire or if that was their true potential that is yet to be reached. 
  9. Boston Uprising - one of the more unpredictable teams at the moment. While they don’t have too much going for them they did have a fairly solid showing during the preseason. They’re a completely fresh team with zero synergy and it shows in their play as well. Their coms are chaotic and their shotcalling is all over the place however they are talented individually, with Kazper and Striker being the highlights in their 3-2 victory over the Shanghai Dragons. While they’re predicted to inhabit the bottom of the standings they might be able to further develop as time goes on and put up a good fight against top tier teams. 
  10. Shanghai Dragons - the Dragons are in a very confusing spot right now. They will field a roster filled with talented players but their realistic skill level is hard to assess right now. They were demolished by Seoul Dynasty and even managed to lose to the Boston Uprising. To their credit, they didn’t manage to scrim any Overwatch League team prior and were heavily underprepared for the exhibition matches. Looking ahead, they could very well pose a serious threat when the season starts and have the tools to aim for a playoff spot. However the skill gap between them and almost any other Western team is not as big as predicted, in fact far from it.
  11. Florida Mayhem - perhaps the biggest disappointment of the preseason. While Flora wasn’t favored to be earth-shattering by any means, they’re a highly respected and capable team. They had the smallest number of signed player at only six, and they’ve been able to dominate their region during the most recent Overwatch Contenders: Season 1 EU tournament where they succumbed to Team Gigantti in the finals. They looked lost, out of sync and actually played worse than a lot of other teams that were only finalized recently. They did have glimpses of brilliance however, but they were too few and far between. Tviq managed to make a couple of maps somewhat competitive with his DPS play, but overall they failed to put much of an offensive regardless of the opponent. Coming into the Overwatch League, Florida was considered a known quantity, but it is no longer so. After their lackluster play during the off-season they will probably occupy the lower part of the standings until they manage to (re)develop synergy as a six-man cohesive unit. 
  12. Philadelphia Fusion - the only team that didn’t compete in the preseason exhibiton matches due to player logistic issues. It’s hard ranking them realistically, however judging from their solid roster they have quite a big chance to upset. That said, without seeing them play we cannot fairly gauge their true potential. 

When the games begin be on the look-out as teams have highs and lows and with Overwatch being such a team-centric game, things can flip around incredibly quickly. While there are clear-cut favorites in almost every match things do often come down to a single in-game decision or a individual extraordinary performance. 

Luckily for anyone looking to bet on the Overwatch League there will be a plethora of games to bet on. 
 

Tournament Format

Preseason

Exhibition matches featuring the teams of the upcoming season in four match sets.

Regular Season

The regular season is a round robin format group stage split into four stages however all the points scored in the round robin combined throughout all of the stages will count towards the final standings of the season.

Each stage has a final where the top 3 teams will play for the lions share of $125,000.

All series in the regular season are 4 match sets.

6 teams move on to the playoffs.

Playoffs

Playoffs format is to be announced at a later date.