In just a few short days the first round of games in the Overwatch League will commence.
Fans of the game have been waiting for this since November 2016 when Blizzard first announced an idea never before proposed in esports. Since that moment the twelve competing teams have been announced, each of those teams has announced a roster and we have had a preseason event to get everyone excited.
Now come January 10th the first round of season one games will commence. So as part of the buildup, we are be giving you our predictions for day one of the Overwatch League.
On the first day of play, we will be treated to three exciting matchups. These matches will set the precedent for what should be an excellent set of matches over the course of the first weekend.
Overwatch Leauge Day 1 Game 1
San Francisco Shock v Los Angeles Valiant
The first game of stage one is an exciting clash between the San Francisco Shock and Los Angeles Valiant. This is a high stakes match-up as both teams will be looking to start their season off strong.
As part of the preseason games we were already treated to this clash, and it was amazing. In a back and forth best of five, Valiant managed to clutch up and take the series 3-2. On paper, this series should follow a pretty similar pattern.
San Francisco shocked a lot of people during preseason (pun intended). The Shock came out and dominated Florida Mayhem, a team many had high hopes for. They also looked strong against the powerhouse London Spitfires. A lot of this can be put down to the outstanding play of Andrej “Babybay” Francisty. If Babybay can pop off like he did during the preseason, Shock has the ability to take games off some of the more favoured teams.
Valiant head into the series as obvious favourites. They shocked a few people as they amassed an impressive 2-0 record through their preseason games. Valiant will come into this match full of confidence and have already taken a victory for this match during the preseason, there is no reason history should not repeat itself.
For this reason, we are picking Los Angeles Valiant to take this series over San Francisco Shock.
Overwatch League Day 1 Game 2
Shanghai Dragons v Los Angeles Gladiators
Up next is the match-up between Shanghai Dragons and Los Angeles Gladiators. In this Overwatch League Pacific Division clash, both teams will be fighting to right the wrongs of the preseason.
Hopes were high for both Shanghai and LA, however, they both came unstuck during their preseason campaign. Shanghai fell to a disappointing 0-2 record managing to win only 2 maps. LA faired slightly better as the finished 1-1 but after slipping up against local rivals the LA Valiant, Gladiators fans will be hoping that they can start stage one off with a bang.
Shanghai is somewhat of an unknown quantity heading into this match. The team was cobbled together and barely had any time to practice prior to the preseason. The team has had a full month of practice to build synergy so we may well be shocked by the new and improved Shanghai Dragons.
The Gladiators struggled during the preseason, something which shocked my fans. They managed to take a surprising victory over one of the strongest teams in the league, London Spitfires. Some of this may have been down to some communication issues in the Spitfires roster, but the victory is impressive nonetheless. If the DPS trio can perform at the standard they did during the preseason they may just carry the Gladiators to a top half finish.
Overall it’s safe to assume that the Gladiators should take this match-up with somewhat ease. The Gladiators just have more quality on the roster. Shanghai is still trying to iron out the kinks in the roster and this game has come too soon for them.
For this reason, we are picking the Los Angeles Gladiators to take the series against the Shanghai Dragons.
Overwatch League Day 1 Game 3
Dallas Fuel v Seoul Dynasty
The final match of day one is probably the most hyped. It sees probably the two best teams face off as Korean powerhouse Seoul Dynasty go up against the hope of NA, Dallas Fuel.
Both Seoul and Dallas set the preseason on fire. Seoul amassed an impressive 3-0 record, taking wins from Shanghai, New York and Houston. Dallas also finished with a perfect record, taking wins from Houston and Florida. Heading into the preseason both these teams were considered favourites and they did not disappoint during these games.
Dallas carries the hopes of North America as they look to dominate the Overwatch League in the same way the dominated Overwatch Contenders season one. On paper, Dallas carries one of the best, if not the best, DPS trios in the game. Dallas still has a few question marks outside of the game as Félix “xQc” Lengyel awaits the consequences of his misconduct.
Seoul, on the other hand, has no such issues. The Dynasty made the unsurprising decision to pick up the former Lunatic-Hai roster, a standout team in the Korean scene. Dynasty showed that they had a pre-existing synergy during the preseason as they swept away most sides with relative ease.
We could be watching a fight between the first and second place teams come the end of the season. Both squads have high levels of synergy and expectations are high for this face off. The only edge that Seoul have is some of the out of game xQc is currently experiencing could disrupt the roster.
For this reason we are picking Seoul Dynasty to take a close series win over Dallas Fuel.
So that does it for our picks on day one of the Overwatch League. Expectations are high for the inagural season of the Overwatch League and all three games on Wednesday should not disappoint.