As someone involved in Los Angeles Valiant event coverage since their initial team announcement, writer Austin Hanlin delves into what has changed from their first local event to their last, the California Cup.
The first significant difference I detected when I was heading to the Esports Arena for a second LA Valiant event was the energy. As I was driving by, I spotted the team walking inside and saw that they had already begun setting up on the street; I could tell I was in for a fun time. As I made my way to the door and inside, Valiant fans had already packed the entire arena full a good hour before my arrival. The energy at this point was quite lively as the University teams were playing on the stage, fans from the schools cheering them on as they played. I watched for a few minutes, observing the packed crowd before I made my way up to the VIP section on the overlook, which was also packed full. All of it was not so surprising once I learned that they had sold out of VIP tickets the first week they were available; they’d also sold out of all general admission tickets just the night before.
I had a hell of a few weeks, so much so that I write this with literally no voice and sheer willpower. My time at California Cup was interesting, to say the least, and one of the highlights of my experience there was being able to talk to Jun-Hyeok “Bunny” Chae from the Los Angeles Valiant. Once known for being a Tracer one-trick, Bunny has been spending his offseason practicing other hitscan heroes and hoping to truly make his mark once again in Overwatch League. And from what I’ve seen from his streams, I’ve no doubt this will be the case. I was joined by Bunny and translator Andrew Kim for this interview.
Season 3 of Contenders Australia is right around the corner! The new season kicks off Monday, November 19th and the off-season has been chaotic to say the least. Rebrands, collapses, sneaky roster moves and the sad demise of the Bin Chickens. Rookies fresh off the ladder will be squaring up with old school veterans, and we’ll no doubt see some intense matchups this season.
This year’s Overwatch World Cup featured teams from all across the world, stacked with talented players and coaches. Before Blizzcon, a math equation developed in the minds of many viewers: more Overwatch League players + World Cup = an easy win. But by the time Team USA, Team France, and Team Finland were unceremoniously knocked out of competition on Day 1, it became obvious that wasn’t true. If three of the most OWL-player-heavy teams couldn’t do it, who could?
The underdogs, that’s who. I’ve decided to highlight a few players who showed their mettle, helped their teams, and gave game-winning performances at the World Cup…and who aren’t in the Overwatch League.* Yet.
The Quarterfinals of yesterday’s World Cup matches were, to say the least, truly shocking. With two major upsets and three 3-0 finishes, it wasn’t the competition many people were expected. Today the fun continues with the Semifinals, Bronze Medal Match, and Gold Medal Match. We have you covered with continuing predictions that are hopefully more accurate than literally everyone’s predictions yesterday.
Blizzcon is upon us once again, and on November 2-3, the eight teams who have passed regional Qualifiers will fight it out for the Overwatch World Cup title. The question on everyone’s mind: can reigning champions South Korea continue their winning streak? Or will they be dethroned by a scrappy competitor? Before we hold our breath for finals, we go to quarterfinal matches. All quarterfinal matches are a best-of-five and will be held on Friday, November 2.
Not sure which teams to pick for your bracket or what to argue with your friends about? I’ve got you covered. Each match below includes a numerical prediction, justification and background, as well as a “Spiciness Rating” of one to five stars. One star means it’s better to catch the VOD later; five stars means you’d better sit down and watch this match, because it’s all anyone will be talking about. May the odds be ever in your team’s favor.