The third season of Overwatch League kicked off last weekend with matches in New York City and Arlington, Texas, part of the league’s new roaming format. Here’s some of what those first few matches tell us about the new season.
Still on top
Despite the change in meta since September 2019, the teams that dominated last season also made strong starts this year. New York Excelsior, Vancouver Titans, and San Francisco Shock won all of their matches this weekend. Fans of New York must have been happy to see Jong-ryeol “Saebyeolbe” Park’s return to his signature hero Tracer. Chan-hyung “Fissure” Baek’s debut for his fourth Overwatch League team showed why the controversial player keeps getting picked up.
A new look for London
The opening weekend was our first chance to see the revamped London Spitfire team in action. Despite losing twice, the rookie squad performed well. For a wholly new roster with no Overwatch League experience to be competitive against a veteran NYXL squad is impressive. Spitfire lost to the Paris Eternal 0-3, which could be a bad sign, but given the major changes to the Eternal’s lineup for 2020, they are an unknown quantity and could turn out to be one of the better teams this year.
One player that stood out was Gil-seong “Glister” Lim, acquired from Gen.G Esports and one of the most anticipated new players. With the importance of McCree in the current meta having a strong hitscan DPS player is essential, and Glister certainly showed himself to be a master in that role.
A home-field advantage
It has been hotly debated whether the host teams will perform better in front of a supportive home crowd. This weekend, one host team, New York Excelsior, won both their games, whereas hosts Dallas Fuel lost both of theirs. Despite losing, Dallas performed well, a close-fought loss to LA Valiant and a predictable loss to the Shock. Perhaps the home advantage helped them despite the disappointing result.
We are still only at the beginning of this year’s league, with many changes to come. Teams with new and updated rosters will continue to improve as they play together more. The meta will also continue to evolve, especially with the introduction of hero pools in week 5.
One thing is certain, there is going to be a lot of exciting Overwatch to come this year!