Ask Overwatch League followers a month in the past who they thought would make it to the Could Melee remaining 4 and also you’d possible hear the identical few names. San Francisco Shock, Philadelphia Fusion, Los Angeles Gladiators, Shanghai Dragons or Washington Justice.
It’s not too shocking that Shanghai made the lower. However Chengdu Hunters? Dallas Gasoline?
There have been loads of upsets throughout the Could Melee knockout rounds. The Gasoline sweeping Shock and a robust Houston Outlaws crew back-to-back has to rank as the most effective and most gorgeous single-day Overwatch League performances in reminiscence. However these surprises converse to how the enjoying area has levelled considerably this 12 months, which makes the league rather more thrilling.
Up to now two seasons, there have been a couple of clear protagonists. The raid bosses of Overwatch League if you’ll. In 2019, these had been the Shock and Vancouver Titans. Final 12 months, Shanghai and Philly joined San Francisco on the head of the desk.
However this season, it’s grow to be a lot more durable to foretell most matches.
Certain, there are a couple of groups which can be actually struggling. The Titans, Los Angeles Valiant and London Spitfire every misplaced all 4 of their Could Melee qualifiers. Nonetheless, there’s a rising sense that any crew within the higher 12 spots or so can beat any opponent on a given day.
Save for Shanghai beating Seoul Dynasty and Florida Mayhem taking out Toronto Defiant, the lower-seeded crew in all the 4 different knockout matches on Sunday beat the favorites. That’s thrilling, and it bodes effectively for a season of upsets.
Past the cut-and-dry outcomes, there have been some sensational matches to date this 12 months. Shock vs. Houston and this weekend’s match between Chengdu and Philly had been off-the charts nice. There have been a lot different stupendous collection in 2021, and having extra groups which can be genuinely aggressive has been an enormous increase for the general high quality of OWL. Even a few of the 3-0 matches have been wonderful.
Don’t get me fallacious, I beloved the 2019 and 2020 seasons, however there simply appears to be some magic within the air this time round. OWL hasn’t felt fairly this good for the reason that first season. Even on the printed aspect issues are higher, with an additional layer of polish to what was already an ideal esports manufacturing.
I want to present a particular shout out to the Dallas Gasoline. What they achieved on Sunday (together with setting two map information) could be laudable beneath one of the best of circumstances.
The crew suffered a large setback simply two days earlier than the beginning of the season, when hitscan specialist Ki-hyo “Xzi” Jung retired. That sadly left an enormous hole in Dallas’ hero pool, however they tailored astonishingly effectively. Working DPS duos like Doomfist and Mei labored fantastically, as did the Symmetra of Yeong-han “SP9RK1E” Kim. Having Eui-Seok “Fearless” Lee, probably one of the best participant within the league proper now, in the primary tank function actually helps. The long-standing synergy lots of the crew members have from their time collectively on the famed Ingredient Mystic roster in South Korea has clearly been an enormous profit too.
Many OWL observers had been anticipating large issues from this Gasoline crew, however maybe not this shortly, and definitely not after dropping Xzi. I can’t wait to see what this crew seem like in the event that they discover a hitscan participant who gels with the roster shortly. Within the meantime, we’ve acquired a killer match to look ahead to, with the Could Melee beginning on Thursday.