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Stage 2 of the Overwatch League - A Battle of Equals - Esportsranks
Stage 2 of the Overwatch League – A Battle of Equals

The Overwatch League has been massively dominated by the Atlantic division. Let’s see which team-combinations are likely to get us good odds this week in the first matches of stage 2. We’ll start with teams that are more or less equal in skill – if combinations between these teams occur, it will mean high-odds matches that also involve considerable risk. However, one does come upon the odd combination that gives high odds with an acceptable level of predictability. We’ll keep you updated about matches like thsse in the week to come. And now let’s look at which teams are playing more or less on par in the Overwatch League.

London Spitfire (LDN)

London Spitfire may have ended stage 1 third on the leaderboard, but they were the undisputed victors in the grand finale. While they may have lost to Houston Outlaws and New York Excelsior in earlier matches, they put those very teams down hard in the semifinals and the finals. Of course, the matches were quite intense and not at all easy to win. The match against NYE, for example, went into overtime. This further proves that these teams are quite evenly matched, and that the Overwatch League is not dominated by any one team. LDN’s weakest mode is Control with a win rate of a mere forty four percent. Their best modes are Hybrid and Assault, with a win rate of seventy nine percent, and Escort, with seventy three.

Image Credit: London Spitfire

New York Excelsior (NYE)

NYE performed really well in the weekly matches, losing just one match out of the ten that they played. But they failed to defeat LDN in the finals. This doesn’t mean that they are a weak team, because that last battle was closely fought, and the match dragged into overtime. Their loss doesn’t change the fact NYE have the best chance qualify for the grand finals of stage 2.

Their weaknesses are all pretty much out in the open, and opposing teams might use the same set of players against them that worked before. They are especially vulnerable to teams like HOU and LDN, that have eleven to twelve players on their rosters. Nevertheless, NYE could use this to their advantage as well, because now they know which players they are likely to face when they encounter LDN again.

NYE are very good in Control mode, with a win rate of seventy five percent, and almost as good in Hybrid, with a win rate of seventy three percent. They are just about average in Escort with a sixty four percent win rate, and in Assault, with fifty eight percent.

Stage 2 Overwatch League - New York Excelsior

Image Credit: New York Excelsior

Houston Outlaws (HOU)

This team does not have a single South Korean player on their roster, which is intriguing in a top Overwatch team these days, though their coaches are Korean. Each esport seems to be dominated by players from certain regions, and South Korea certainly dominates Overwatch. However, the Houston Outlaws have forged a team that can face off against just about any South Korean team in Overwatch. They have eleven players in their lineup. Seven of them are from the USA, with one player each from Canada, Belgium, Sweden and Finland. They recently added Russell ‘FCTFCTN’ Campbell to their roster. He was part of FaZe Clan, who were the best team in the North American region. Now, however, their players have all been hired by other teams. HOU’s SPREE and Rawkus were also originally from FaZe Clan.

HOU are strongest in Hybrid, with an eighty one percent win rate and excellent in Escort with seventy seven percent. They have a win rate of sixty two percent in Assault, and they are weak in Control, with a win rate of just thirty five percent.

Los Angeles Valiant (VAL)

This team are fourth on the league ladder, and first in the Pacific division. Just maintaining this position would give them a chance at the playoffs, since priority is given to the top team in each division. Like HOU and LDN, Valiant have lost just three matches out of ten played. But two of those losses were against NYE and LDN, which means VAL will need to rework their strategies if they are to beat them. Both NYE and LDN had to fight hard for their win.

VAL are a well balanced team, if you look at each game mode. They are very good in Hybrid with nine wins, two draws and one loss. They have never lost a map in Control and Escort, with ten wins and five draws in Control, and eight wins and four draws in Escort. Assault is their weak spot with just five wins, five draws and two losses. Watch this team, because if they push just a little harder, they could turn things around going up against the other teams in stage 2.

Seoul Dynasty (SEO)

Seoul Dynasty have taken a bad fall at this event, entering it, supposedly, as the most dominant team there, and then failing their fans. While they haven’t done too well, they haven’t really done badly either. They have a seventy percent win rate like the other top teams, and rank fifth on the league ladder. SEO could certainly stage a comeback in stage 2, and if they do, will be getting excellent odds.

SEO have won nine out of thirteen maps in Assault, with three draws and just one loss. They have played sixteen maps in Control and won eleven of them, with five draws and no losses. They are quite good in Hybrid as well, with seven wins, four draws and two losses. Escort may seem to be SEO’s weakest mode, but it’s an illusion, because they actually have not lost a single map there, and have seven wins and six draws. SEO cannot be taken lightly, and are definitely a team to watch for good odds in stage 2.

Teams with major roster changes in stage 2

Shanghai Dragons (SHD)

This is perhaps the weakest team in the league, and has not won a single match. Yet this may change in stage 2, with them having taken on He ‘Sky’ Junjian, Kim ‘Geguri’ Se-yeon, Eui-Seok ‘Fearless’ Lee and Gi-hyeon ‘Ado’ Chon. These are four very well known names in Overwatch, and are definite game changers. With the addition of Geguri, Shanghai Dragons becomes the first Overwatch League team ever to hire a female player. Geguri is a star player in her own right, so if this major roster makeover works out, we may see more female players in the league as well. The old players are still the part of the active lineup, and with the addition of these new players, Shanghai Dragons now have twelve players in in all.

He ‘Sky’ Junjian, Kim ‘Geguri’ Se-yeon, Eui-Seok ‘Fearless’ Lee and Gi-hyeon ‘Ado’ Chon Shanghai Dragons

Image Credit: Shanghai Dragons

Florida Mayhem (FLA)

Florida Mayhem can hardly be said to have done well in stage 1, with a single win against Shanghai Dragons. They will now be playing with three new players and one new coach. Zappis will see action on their roster in stage 2, along with with Sayaplayer and aWesomeGuy. The new assistant coach is Hyun-jin ‘r2der’ Choi. With FLA taking on these new South Korean members, the Overwatch League becomes even more heavily dominated by Korea.

Dallas Fuel (DAL)

Dylan ‘aKm’ Bignet of France has finally joined Dallas Fuel. DAL have been trying to hire aKm for ages, but for a while negotiations seemed to have stalled. It seems their deal is finally done, and aKm is on the team – but will this alter the balance of power in stage 2? Dallas Fuel only lost three maps in stage 1, while most of their maps were drawn. They obviously hope that adding aKm to the roster may convert some potential draws to wins, but it’s a strategy that could backfire on them.

San Francisco Shock (SFS)

San Francisco Shock have been doing poorly, and the fact that they’ve added Junkbuck to the team as coach is hardly likely to turn things around. This is because what this team really needs is players, what with two of their players unable to take part in this league because they are underage.

Those are the teams likely to offer good odds in stage 2 of the Overwatch League, as well as those whose roster changes are likely to have the most impact. Stay tuned for detailed day-by-day analyses of major Overwatch events, and ace reporting. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest on your favorite Esports titles.