With the Overwatch League’s Stage 1 done and dusted, it’s time to bring on Stage 2. The prospect of a fresh round of action is exciting for a couple of reasons, the first being the brand new map pool. During the first week of the Overwatch League, fans were already feeling rather fatigued from the tedium of watching Junkertown and Horizon Lunar Colony played over and over. Thankfully, we can wave goodbye to those maps now and welcome a new rotation. Notably, King’s Row is back in the mix, which is arguably the best map in the game at the moment because of how many strategies and compositions able to be executed. Volskaya Industries, too, which means we get more Sombra play… and that’s always a good thing.
The meta has also changed, with the Mercy and Junkrat nerfs finally getting implemented in the League. This opens the door for other healers to shine, and we’re already seeing the return of Ana and Lucio, along with the rise of Moira.
The Tank Meta Makes a Comeback
We saw a bit of the triple tank meta in Stage 1, but it was mostly limited to Control Center on Lijiang Tower because of the Zarya play. We also got an occasional glimpse at a quad tank meta on Horizon Lunar Colony, where teams would run Rein, D.Va, Zarya, and Roadhog, along with Moira and Lucio. But these were very specific strategies reserved for very specific situations. Now that Mercy’s utility has dropped quite a bit, we’re seeing teams employ more Lucio and Moira, and the quad tank meta has become more viable on Assault and Hybrid maps.
The triple tank meta continues to reign supreme on Control Center. It was seen in almost every round played on King’s Row this week for any teams that weren’t already running quad tank. Either way, it’s nice to see the tanks get a bit more love in the Overwatch League. We’re still in the early days of Stage 2, and if the Junkertown strats in Stage 1 were any indication, we might even see an evolution of the tank compositions as the Stage goes on.
Trades and Player Shakeups Are Making an Impact
The mid-season signing window is over, team trades have happened, and we’re already seeing the effects of these shakeups in the first week of Stage 2. The trade rumors turned out to be true: the Gladiators managed to obtain Fissure, while Rascal joins the Dallas Fuel. Notably, both were former London Spitfire players.
In particular, Fissure proved a superb addition to his new team in the opening games of Stage 2. The Los Angeles Gladiators poor tank line cost the team dearly in Stage 1, but Fissure demonstrated just how much of a difference he could make with his sublime Winston play. The Gladiators still have a lot to work on in terms of team synergy and communication with their new teammate, but things are looking up so far.
Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Fusion has unveiled the secret weapon in the form of EQO. Fans were surprised to see him in the starting lineup instead of ShaDowBurn, but he’s proven to be more than capable of making big plays with his DPS hero pool. The Fusion has been looking much more solid than they did in the first stage as well. We expect to see the team swap out EQO and SDB depending on their played maps throughout the stage, much like what the Valiant did with Silkthread and Agilities.
Shanghai’s Still Waiting on Their New Players, Though
The Shanghai Dragons are one of the teams we’re most excited to see mount an epic comeback. But it looks like that’s not going to happen for a while, as their new players are still waiting for their visa processes to get cleared before they can come in to join the team.
The Dragons continued to struggle in their matches against the Fuel and the Valiant, especially against the former as Dallas has buffed up their tank line and DPS players quite significantly. They’ve yet to secure their first win in the Overwatch League, and those new player signings can’t come soon enough.
The Boston Uprising had a pretty rough first week in Stage 2 as well. They were considered a dark horse team in Stage 1 as no one really expected much from them, but they continued to rise through the ranks and were even the first to upset an all-Korean roster.
However, they were swept 4-0 in both their matches against the Houston Outlaws and the Philadelphia Fusion last week. Boston is still rather reliant on the dive composition, and with the other teams quickly improving and increasing their composition versatility, Boston might need to come up with some new strategies soon.
Play of the Week
We saw tons of fantastic plays in the Overwatch League this week, but we have to give it up to xQc and aKm for their coordination as Reinhardt and Pharah on King’s Row.
As the Gladiators pushed the payload to the second point, xQc lands a huge Earthshatter on four players and aKm immediately follows it up with a Barrage to take out BigGoose, Hydration, Surefour, and Shaz. Both players had been on-point that entire match, and the teamwork on the Fuel was absolutely unreal.
Stage 2 Week 2 of the Overwatch League will be kicking off this Wednesday evening, so keep it locked to Twinfinite for more updates and roundups of what’s going on this season.