This Week in the Overwatch League: Stage Two, Week Three

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Week three of stage two of the Overwatch League  is in the books and things keep getting more and more interesting. Some big surprises, some records made, and some potential meta shifts. But, before we get into all that, let’s  start where we always do with the standings.

A note: We are  following just the stage standings in these articles. If you are interested in the full standings you should check out the Overwatch League site here.

Last week, there were six undefeated teams. Now, there are four. The pack continues to close in as fewer than half of the teams have more than two games left in the stage. With only five teams completely eliminated from the stage playoff things are only going to get more tense, and those that can handle the increasing pressure will rise above those who cannot.

The Atlanta Reign became the first team this season to defeat the New York Excelsior in a three to one win that has to boost the spirits of this team that is working to separate itself from the rest of the pack. From babybay’s increasing cohesion with the team, to the stellar play making of Erster and Dogman, the entire team came to play, and they needed it for the Goliath they managed to slay.

The only nagging question that hangs over their success is how much of it was their stellar success, and how much was Excelsior looking past them and not able to recover before the match could salvaged. I think that while Excelsior definitely wasn’t playing at their best, you can not deny that the Reign showed that they can dig deep when they choose to and really take the fight to the opponent.

Having garnered back to back wins, each in a commanding fashion, the Shanghai Dragons find themselves in the sixth place in the standings, and are currently headed for a playoff berth. Now, whether or not they can keep making their preferred DPS-heavy formations working is the question. But, with DDing ruling the skies with his outstanding Pharah play, and key surprise keeping their opponents off-center, the Dragons seem at least guaranteed to make their run for it an entertaining ride to watch.

The Boston Uprising dropped both of their matches this week, slipping down to a two and three record and in desperate need for a turn around to snap the slide. After making those back to back reverse sweeps happen, and then being pitted by tough opponents in the London Spitfire and Vancouver Titans this week, the Uprising look to be in desperate need of a break. With the constant roster changes and challenging schedule Boston just doesn’t look like they have anything left to give. Hopefully, they can get their wind back before their next game and close their stage out strong.

The rollercoaster ride of a season that has been the Dallas Fuel this seasoned continued as the Fuel followed up their two wins last week with two losses this week. And while the loss to the Vancouver Titans wasn’t surprising their loss to the Seoul Dynasty felt like a game they easily could’ve won if the Fuel from last week had showed up. The excellent cohesion and dynamic swaps to keep themselves one step ahead of their opponents were nowhere to be seen this week. But with three games remaining to their stage they still have time to bring it together and put together the wins they need to make the stage playoffs.

The San Francisco Shock  put together two more four and oh victories earning themselves the Overwatch League record for longest map winning streak with 20 consecutive maps won in regular season games. As the achievements and accolades continue to pile up for the Shock the discussion turns more and more to the question of who is the best team in the league: San Francisco or Vancouver?

Building around the amazing Zarya play by sinatraa the Shock seem to be capable of doing no wrong. With only two matches left to go it seems incredibly likely that the Shock will enter the stage playoffs undefeated. Although, it does seem that quite frequently it is when the victory seems most assured that it slips from a team’s fingers.

The Guangzhou Charge broke their losing streak against the Atlanta Reign in the highest scoring game of the Overwatch League season. With a total of 33 points captured over multiple overtime runs and hard-fought battles everywhere this was one of the most nerve-wracking matches I’ve ever seen in the league, and the stamina shown by both teams was an impressive display. The Charge will look to try to build on this victory and look to get a running start next stage.

Let’s Talk About the Meta

The biggest splash this week in the meta has to be the appearance of Doomfist. Seeing play in several matches by a handful of teams the league certainly saw how much of a factor Doomfist can prove to be when handled properly. The only problems that could really keep him from seeing a lot of play are: 1) he is a high skill character, and ergo not someone a player can just flex onto for a map and play competently, 2) the current prevalence of Sombra in the meta is a direct counter to Doomfist as getting hacked completely shuts down Doomfist worse than almost any other character.

While no other surprise character picks were as frequent as Doomfist we also saw appearances from Torbjorn repeatedly on Busan, Mei on a couple of defenses, and just enough trick Symmetra compositions to keep things interesting. It makes me happy to see that many teams are still searching for potential changes to break open the meta and find those map specific tricks to give them any edge they can find. Should keep things interesting as the season moves forward.

Player of the Week

For the first time in my PotW choices we have a repeat. In all the matches I watched this week I feel no one was as instrumental to his team’s accomplishments as DDing was for the Shanghai Dragons. Playing several dps, highlighting on the Pharah as always, DDing pulled out all the stops this week for the Dragons and, if they hope to continue their streak they are going to need this guy to keep popping off.

That’s it for now. I hope you have enjoyed and that I will see you back here later this week when I take a look at this week’s matches.

‘Til then, keep playing the point!