OWL Week 1 Recap: Seoul, London and NY go undefeated; Houston and Dallas underwhelm
An eventful first week of Overwatch League is in the books as Korean teams go 6-0 on the weekend while Dallas and Houston seem to have trouble in paradise.
Always a safe bet
Turns out the change in scenery for the new look Korean rosters haven’t changed much of their success as all three rosters went 2-0 to start the league. Seoul Dynasty capped off an action-packed day, one with a great display of strength against Dallas Fuel. Although they lost the first game due to Fuel’s blistering pace at the payload map, their resurgence to take two games in a row and match the third showed their prowess backed by a monster DPS performance from Fleta.
If it wasn’t Fleta catching headshots at ease, Munchkin was there to provide the damage with his textbook Tracer play. Overall it was a dominant performance from the two-time Apex champions as they cruised to a dominant finish in their first game.
The second game against the LA Gladiators was much of the same for Fleta and co. In the words of Montecristo, Seoul Dynasty really were ‘betta with Fleta’ as his headshots were seemingly the only thing the Dynasty needed to continue their 4-0 rampage over serious opponents in LA. The depth at DPS and flex tank for Seoul seems to be their anchor as the threats they can use to stop enemy supports is at a seemingly endless supply.
That same narrative is apparent for New York Excelsior and London Spitfire. When it comes to DPS in the Overwatch League, Korea is king with marquee names like Pine, Saebyeolbe, Rascal and Profit all a few tiers above the rest of their western counterparts. Although the first week of play does not tell the full story for what’s to come in the league, you can guarantee these top players not be losing their competitive edge with team cohesion only improving as the weeks progress.
Trouble in Texas?
On the other side of the Atlantic, Texas teams Dallas Fuel and Houston Outlaws started out poorer than expected with both teams suffering 0-2 starts in the league. Again, it is still way too early to jump the gun on these seemingly elite teams. Both teams are still ironing out team coordination with the heavy amount of diversity on the roster. Fuel have legitimate championship potential with EFFECT, Taimou and cocco all providing valuable resolve and experience to the team. In a few weeks time, their record against the rest of the West will take care of itself, but they are still a step behind the top Korean squads in terms of team synergy.
Houston Outlaws record at the end of week 1 is a little less defensible. After dropping what should have been a decisive match against Philadephia Fusion. The 3-1 loss the NY Excelsior will leave a sour taste in their mouth till next week given the shades of brilliance they were able to show in their wins. With time, this roster lead by Jake and coolmatt will start to take shape, but for now, they will have to wallow with their winless record until they can prove themselves against Shanghai next week. The Day 2 action against Dallas Fuel will be an interesting mile marker for Houston’s success against state rivals.
At the very top of the table, not dropping a single game since opening the League action this weekend is Los Angeles Valiant. They topped San Francisco Shock and Dallas Fuel in what was a triumphant week of play for the lesser known LA contingent. What they lack in name brand players they more than make up for in team cohesion. Seemingly every game there’s a new player that gets vaulted into the player of the game role as Fate, envy, silkthread and Kariv all made lasting impressions over the week.
It’s going to be a battle in LA as the Valiant and Gladiators will be jostling for position as a mid to high tier team in the OWL. Going forward, it will be imperative for this multicultural roster to sharpen up the communication in clutch situations against elite competition. Simply outplaying your opponent will not be enough when the level of play is even or possibly at a deficiency for the Valiant.