Overwatch League has added three new Chinese teams during the expansion. Each has their own unique storyline going into this season. The Chinese region has an increased global attraction after the success of their 2018 World Cup team as well as the powerful rosters within their Contenders region. Here are two things each team should look for this upcoming season.
In the weeks leading up to the start of Overwatch League’s second season, we’ll be introducing you to each team and updating you on their rosters, staff, and history.
The Shanghai Dragons have had it rough. A grand total of zero wins to forty losses in the inaugural season of Overwatch League solidified them as the worst team in the league. The off season was marked by a major restructure of the team: new coaches, new management, almost an entirely new roster from some of Contenders’ finest. And with nothing to lose, the Dragons are ready to take their crown.
“Overwatch League is not an anime.”
Those words echoed across the OWL Twitterverse two days ago, a pebble thrown into a still offseason hiatus lake. It was another hot take from Christopher “MonteCristo” Mykles, a lead analyst and caster of the Overwatch League, a criticism of the emotionality and unreasonable hope some fans have towards their teams. It’s true: The Overwatch League isn’t an anime. But traditional sports have benefitted from the storylines, plot twists, and redemption arcs inadvertently built by their teams for centuries. Why shouldn’t we?
The off-season is drawing to a close. The season approaches. That light blue and orange on the horizon? That’s the London Spitfire leading the charge. Champions of the Inaugural season. There is no reason to think the Spitfire won’t come back with the same fire and adaptability that they possessed last year; and yet, do they have new contenders for the title?
Will the season start with the familiar names out on top: Valiant, NYXL, Fusion, even Seoul? Or will the second season see the rise of new names? The Vancouver RunAway…er I mean Canucks…er, sorry the colours, I mean Titans, perhaps. Could the blue and orange be replaced by a wave of green and…a different blue?
These are OverwatchScore’s “Way Too Early” power rankings (with some adjustment by me, RogueBludger).
In the last few months, six of the eight new expansion teams participating in Overwatch League’s second season have revealed their branding and team colors. Fans eagerly await branding reveals, whether to see how new teams fit in the League or to find out how ugly the jersey they’re buying for their favorite player will be. In any case, I found that many media outlets have posted brand updates, but haven’t really passed judgement on them. That’s what I’m here for.
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.
Forgive my absence, folks.
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.
The fourth new contender in Overwatch League’s 2019 season was revealed on Thursday night as the Guangzhou Charge unveiled their team name and branding on Twitter.
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.
Fans have now seen the branding, colors, and in-game skins for the Overwatch League’s second EU team. Welcome the Paris Eternal.