In this week’s edition of the G4C OWL Weekly Wrap-Up, we will do an overview of all the events that went down in week 5 of the Overwatch League and discuss the “Winners” and “Losers” of the week. For the second time in the history of the Overwatch League, regular season games have taken place outside of the Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California. Last stage 8 teams packed up and moved to Dallas, Texas for two days of professional Overwatch play from the Allen Event Center. So what exactly happened during OWL Week 5?
The first OWL homestand was a rousing success. Fans attended in droves, cheering on their home team, the Dallas Fuel, and booing the competition. This created an air of friendly competition between the Dallas Fuel and the other Texas-based team, the Houston Outlaws. It pushed on their rivalry as they finally took the stage in the final match of that homestand weekend.
This time around, 8 teams traveled to Atlanta, Georgia, the home of the Atlanta Reign. There, a weekend of games took place from the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center. Along with 8 games of professional Overwatch, fans of Overwatch were also treated to a few “mini-events”. That helped liven the already exuberant mood from the Event Center.
Most of you will remember that there was a special event during the Overwatch All-Star Series. It followed Brennon (Bren) Hook’s spectacular Widowmaker performance during the Talent Takedown portion of the event. To prove himself as the Diamond Widowmaker God that he is, Bren bit off more than he could chew. It was a Widowmaker 1v1 with London Spitfire main tank player, Gesture. The pro player ultimately demolished him.
Despite that, Bren took the stage again this week to face off against Atlanta Reign’s own hitscan specialist, Babybay, in another Widowmaker 1v1. Bren made a blazing fast start by taking a quick 2-0 lead (which Babybay blatantly allowed to happen). However, he was shut down by a professional player once again. He went 2-9 for the remaining rounds, losing with a final score of Babybay: 9 and Bren: 4.
Plans were a bit different prior to the announcement that Bren would be facing Babybay in the Widowmaker 1v1. He was originally supposed to go up against former Atlanta Reign player and beloved Overwatch personality, Daniel “Dafran” Francesca. However, due to popular demand, the event was changed. Dafran instead took his Torbjorn 1v1 skills to the stage against Toronto Defiant DPS player, Mangachu, in a hammer-only battle. Mangachu has long been known as the most deadly Torbjorn in the world when it comes to hammer kills.
He keeps a literal list of professional players that he has scored a final blow against with Torbjorn’s hammer. On the other hand, Dafran made an even bigger name for himself in stage 1 of the Overwatch League, when he helped the Reign dominate the Well portion of Ilios with his own Torbjorn play. Nevertheless, the original Torb player, Mangachu, came out on top, winning the event with a score of 7-5.
The hometown heroes for this homestand weekend completed both of their series with victories; they beat the Toronto Defiant 3-1 and the Florida Mayhem 3-0. While they may not be appearing in the Stage 3 Playoffs, with these 2 wins and their respectable map differential, the Atlanta Reign still have a legitimate shot at making the season playoffs.
The Charge, just like the Reign, also won both of their series in Atlanta. They took down the Shanghai Dragons 3-1 in a series that many would consider an upset; then they followed that up with a win against the Washington Justice 4-0. This week, the story for the Guangzhou Charge is their DPS player, Happy.
He showed the world that he can compete with and even outperform the top Widowmaker players in the League. He gave an exceptionally strong performance in the series against Shanghai, outperforming Diem, OWL’s Widowmaker Champion, in the Widowmaker matchup.
While the Dragons may have only gone 1-1 this week, they won when it mattered. They secured a victory against the Philadelphia Fusion, in a series where the winner would lock up their place in the stage playoffs. They lost 3-1 to the Guangzhou Charge in their first match of the week. However, they did beat the Philadelphia Fusion the following day, also 3-1.
The Excelsior finished the week 2-0 and became the only undefeated team on the stage. They triumphed over the Florida Mayhem 3-0 and the Toronto Defiant 4-0. Not only are they the single undefeated team in the stage, they also claimed the best map differential, putting New York back in the conversation as a potential top 2 team. Should they win the stage playoffs, New York may claim the title of best team in the League.
Justice lost both of their matches this week, falling to the Philadelphia Fusion 3-1 and the Guangzhou Charge 4-0. However, it was not all doom and gloom for the team representing the U.S. capital. Both Corey and Stratus had strong performances on their DPS roles.
If Washington can find a way to better enable the performance of their DPS players, then they could have upset potential going into stage 4.
The Florida Mayhem fell in both of their matches, losing 3-0 to both the New York Excelsior and the Atlanta Reign. What is interesting about these matches is that we did not see significant playtime from their new acquisitions. The only somewhat new face we saw was Byrem, who got occasional playtime over Hagopeun.
With a slew of new players being added to the Florida roster, one would think that the struggling team would be eager to field their new players, but that was not the case.
The Toronto Defiant faltered in both of their matches during the Atlanta Homestand. They fell to the event favorite Atlanta Reign 3-1 and the New York Excelsior 4-0, joining the Washington Justice as the only two teams to go winless in stage 3. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what’s wrong with Toronto.
They seemed to be one of the strongest teams in stage 1, making it to the stage playoffs with a record of 5-2. Since then, however, they have won 2 games in stages 2 and 3 combined. On the bright side, not only did Mangachu win the Torbjorn hammer 1v1 against Dafran, but he also added Nenne to the list of professional players he has scored a final blow against with Torbjorn’s hammer.
The Fusion went 1-1 this week, defeating the Washington Justice 3-1 but falling to the Shanghai Dragons, also 3-1. While their loss to the Dragons eliminated the Fusion from Stage 3 Playoff contention, they still have a solid win-loss record and map differential and are still contenders for season playoffs. That’s about it for this OWL Week 5 Overview!