We’ve already reached the halfway point in Overwatch League, and stage three kicked off with many teams fielding brand new players. Most notable was the league’s first female player, Seyeon “Geguri” Kim, playing her first game for the Shanghai Dragons (0-22). Other big names that made their Overwatch League debut included San Francisco Shock (7-15) tank Matthew “Super” DeLisi, Los Angeles Valiant (13-9) offtank Indy “Space” Halpern, and Florida Mayhem (4-18) DPS star Jeong-Woo “Sayaplayer” Ha. Individually, the new players mostly had very good outings in week one, but the overall team results were more of the same.
Shanghai remains winless, dropping their match against the Dallas Fuel (6-16) which was their best shot at their first win on the season. The New York Excelsior (20-2) beat their rivals from across the pond, The London Spitfire (15-7), four maps to zero. The only minor upset was San Francisco beating the Los Angeles Gladiators (11-11) three maps to one, but it was very close until after the half.
Let’s take a look at what some of the new OWL players are doing for their teams and what we can expect going forward.
As mentioned previously, Geguri finally found her way onto an Overwatch League roster. The woman known as the “God Zarya” has been very vocal about wanting to be judged by her skills like every other player, and Shanghai was the team to take her up on that. Not surprisingly, Geguri played a lot of D.Va in her first outing – a hero that she’s been training a lot with to give her hero pool more depth. She performed adequately, but there wasn’t a lot to write home about. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, given the massive stage she suddenly found herself on. Expect to see a lot more of her in tank-heavy compositions where her skills will shine. Until she’s comfortable, she will probably be alternating games and maps with Dongjian “MG” Wu.
Geguri has added depth to Shanghai’s tanking options, but they were also in desperate need of a decent Genji player. That’s where Gihyeon “Ado” Chon comes in. Another new acquisition from South Korea, Ado had the crowd in the palm of his hand more often than not with flashy Dragonblades and expert harassment. It was such a treat seeing Ado fill such a crucial role with downright filthy play. I would be incredibly surprised if he hasn’t already locked down a permanent DPS spot for Shanghai. They’ve needed a player like this for months, and he will be crucial to any success this team might find going forward.
Florida still has quite a journey ahead of them, but they’ve looked much better lately. In an attempt to add another top killer to their DPS ranks, they also went to South Korea for answers – and they came back with a massive pickup in Meta Athena’s Sayaplayer. No stranger to the spotlight, Sayaplayer’s value to Florida’s roster was felt immediately. This guy is just unfair on Widowmaker, as we saw from his performance on Route 66 against the Philadelphia Fusion (14-8).
Even though he’s quite good, Florida’s existing DPS stars Kevin “TviQ” Lindström and Andreas “Logix” Berghmans aren’t exactly pushovers. My initial thought is that Sayaplayer will see the bulk of his time on Widowmaker, allowing Logix and TviQ to stay on their specialty heroes. If there is an odd man out, it’s probably TviQ, who is prone to inconsistency. But even then, his Sombra will be needed in this new meta, so it’s going to be interesting seeing how Florida juggles their DPS options this stage.
San Francisco Shock
San Francisco has always been very up and down despite their talent. If there was an area they were suffering through more than others, it was tanking. Luckily for them, Super just met age eligibility. A long-awaited roster addition, Super provides something that San Francisco has been desperately needing – an aggressive tank that gives their DPS the time and space they need to be effective.
Looking at their game against Los Angeles last week, San Francisco might need a little time to get used to Super’s pacing. Simply put, he’s nuts – and that goes back to his days with Luminosity Gaming. But he is one part of a pair that will undoubtedly make San Francisco a team to beat from here on out – the other being Jay “Sinatraa” Won, flex DPS madman and former star of the US World Cup team. This is an entirely different team now, and their future is very bright.