Following a brief hiatus, the Overwatch League is back and ready for the league’s first venture into online play. It should be a great weekend, though as the remaining teams who haven’t played make their 2020 debut and a whopping 16 matches are set to take place over Saturday and Sunday. With almost every team playing this weekend (sorry Philadelphia and Houston), here are some teams to watch heading into week eight.
The Shanghai Dragons make their highly anticipated 2020 debut this weekend against the Guangzhou Charge and Chengdu Hunters. The Dragons are built to overcome the hero pools with arguably the best group of DPS players in the league with Min-seong “diem” Bae, Jin-hyeok “DDing” Yang and Byung-sun “Fleta” Kim, a tremendous player coming over from the Dynasty. They shocked everyone last season when they won the Stage Three finals and look to be even better this year.
Los Angeles Gladiators
The Gladiators have only played one match so far this season and the five-map brawl with the Vancouver Titans resulted in a loss for LA. They looked strong throughout the match, though, and pushed the Grand Finals runner-ups to the very end. This might be the best team the Gladiators have put together yet and they have the chance to step into the upper-echelon with the top teams in the league moving forward. They play the Shock and Dynasty this weekend which should be a good litmus test to see where they stack up.
The Atlanta Reign were thought to be one of the best teams in the league heading into 2020 but have somewhat of an inconsistent start to their season. They thrashed the teams they should thrash (Boston, Toronto) but got bodied by the Paris Eternal when they tried to play the meta. They have some of the best talent in the league, though and if they can clean up some of their mistakes, they should find a place with the best in the league. They play the New York Excelsior weekend and both teams are looking for that statement win early in their seasons.
The Seoul Dynasty made possibly the biggest splash when they added Joon-yeong “Profit” Park (and other Spitfire players) to their roster during the offseason and this might finally be the year where Seoul competes with the best teams in the league. They had an extremely disappointing season in 2018 after failing to live up to massive expectations but showed a lot of growth in 2019. They play the Shock for their first match of 2020 and could make a statement for the rest of their season early if they compete toe-to-toe and possibly beat San Francisco.
If anyone would feel the most comfortable with hero pools, it might just be the Chengdu Hunters. The Hunters gained a passionate fan base over the course of their inaugural 2019 season largely due to their willingness to rarely play the dominant meta (especially during the 3-3 time frame). Instead, the Hunters flexed to heroes their players seemed comfortable on. They didn’t have the best season last year, but played upset to some of the top teams throughout. It will be awesome to see what kind of comps the Hunters pull for their 2020 campaign.
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