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The Overwatch league is a push into establishing a structured esports league for Overwatch. Blizzard first announced the Overwatch League at Blizzcon 2016 and followed it up with almost a year of planning. The gap left in Overwatch esports during this time left a lot of dismayed fans. But the community’s response to the Opening day of Overwatch League has been nothing short of impressive. With over 400,000 fans tuning into Twitch for the first day, one can definitely call the League a success.
The Overwatch League consists of twelve teams in its first season. Slated for expansion in subsequent seasons, the League bears a strong tilt towards North American teams. There are nine teams from North America, One from Europe, One from South Korea and finally a Chinese team from Shanghai to finish the lineup. Each team is allowed a maximum of twelve players, with teams being allowed to substitute players after each map. The Overwatch League has seen investments from several non-endemic to esports investors such as the Kroenke family, Robert Kraft, Hersh Interactive amongst others. At the same time, we have some well-known esports organizations involved in the regular handling of the teams. EnVyUs, Misfits, Immortals, and Cloud9 are some of the most well-known esports organizations with rosters in multiple titles.
The Overwatch League started on January 10th, 2018 and will continue through August 2018. The league comprises four stages, each stage having five weeks of matches. The top three of each stage will receive prize money, along with show matches on the last Saturday of each stage. These so-called ‘title matches’ will be held on the last Saturday of each stage and feature the best players fighting for a prize money.
The Overwatch League will also have a Player Transfer Window which commences from the day following the last day of Stage 1 (February 11, 2018) and will close one day before the start of Stage 3 ( April 3, 2018).
You can check out more information on the official website at Overwatchleague.com.
Credit to Liquipedia
Regular Season – January 10th – June 16th, 2018
- Matches in the Atlantic and Pacific Divisions will play out live from the Blizzard Arena each Wednesday through Saturday. Though the season is divided into four stages, wins and losses will count towards teams’ full-season records and all-important seeding for the postseason. On the last Saturday of each stage, the top teams will compete for hefty bonuses and the title of stage winner.
- Stage 1 – January 10th – February 10th, 2018 
- Stage 2 – February 21st – March 24th, 2018
- Stage 3 – April 4th – May 5th, 2018
- Stage 4 – May 16th – June 16th, 2018
- All matches in the Regular Season will consist of four-map sets
- Each Stage of the Regular Season will have its own 8 map pool.
- The top team in each Division, and the next top 4 finishers from the entire league, advance to the Championship Playoffs in July
Player Roster :
London Spitfire are one of the strongest teams in the Overwatch League. Their roster is made up of two of the strongest Korean rosters. After Lunatic Hai was picked up by Seoul Dynasty, Cloud9 ( London Spitfire ) were quick to pick up the second and the third best team in the Overwatch League. Performance matters a lot during Season 1 and the possibility of winning the league stands high amongst their priorities for season 1.
London Spitfire consist of the Kongdoo Panthera as well the GC Busan roster. During preseason, their intention was always to field the two teams separately since they did not have enough time together to probably mix the players together. But after the disastrous performance by G C Busan during the first matches, they were quick to mix up the rosters in a way which would be advantageous to the team.
London Spitfire’s first week has looked extremely strong with the team being able to make strong inroads on their attack. The DPS duo of Birdring and Profit have been extremely effective together and have looked unstoppable. However it is their DPS on the bench which evokes a lot of interest and excitement about the team. They Rascal on the bench, who has not played a single map so far in the Overwatch League regular season. The DPS player who plays at a very high skill level and is extremely flexible has been known to pull out different heroes such as Mei, Sombra etc.
Bdosin and Nus have been exceptional on their support performance. It is rare to see Supports being called out for their performance, but Bdosin has been really strong with his showing on Zenyatta.Overall London Spitfire is a very well rounded team with a strong bench. They have not used their bench to the full capacity and that presents a threat to their opponents regularly. If they can practice and prepare for one type of roster from London, it is the other roster that might be subbed in and that just changes the entire gameplay.
Los Angeles Valiant
Los Angeles Valiant came out as one of the strongest teams during Week 1 of the Overwatch League. They were extremely dominant in their matches and despite the strong pushback from the Dallas Fuels in the initial games of the series, LA Valiant were able to win the series with relative ease in the end.
Los Angeles Valiant is owned by Immortals and Noah Whinston, who are one of the earliest investors into the Overwatch League. Believing in the Overwatch League format, Noah Whinston has regularly been a strong proponent for the League and it’s business model to be a success.
The Los Angeles Valiant roster has a lot of DPS Players. The roster consists of two specialist players in Soon and Agilities. While they can play other heroes as well, these two players have been most well known for their Tracer and Genji respectively. Their efficiency on these two heroes is what sets them apart from the remaining players in the Overwatch League. Soon has also had some cheeky plays to his name during Week 1, Stage 1 of the Overwatch League. His capture of Point 2 on Numbani against Dallas Fuel definitely was the highlight of Week 1.
Their other two DPS players are Grimreality and Silkthread. These two players mostly play the remaining of the DPS heroes in the game. They have been played in the Overwatch league minimally, often being substituted in and out of the team depending on the map.
But the biggest change for the team has been the improvement in their tank lineup. We have seen huge improvements from Envy from the pre-season. He has put in the long hours and has definitely been impressive with his performance so far in the regular season. They also have Fate and Numlocked as the other tanks, who have been really patient and have done a good job of alternating between being aggressive as well as peeling for their own backlines.
Los Angeles Valiant are probably amongst the top four teams so far in the Overwatch League. Their performance in week one puts them well above Dallas Fuels as the only western player roster team which can provide a decent competition to the Korean teams in the Overwatch League. Subsequent weeks will provide us with more data to work with for this roster, but for now they do look extremely strong, well coordinated and dominant as a team.
This is their second match for this week and they already up against a tough task in London Spitfire.The biggest problem for Los Angeles Valiant will be deciding which lineup London will be fielding during week 2.
London Spitfire vs Los Angeles Valiant is probably going to be the most exciting match in the first Stage of Overwatch league. WIth both teams firmly contesting for the No. 2 spot in the Overwatch league, we will have some insane matchups amongst the players on the teams.
The two teams are very close in terms of their skill level. But London Spitfire pull out ahead with their flexibility and the threat of the big hero pool that Rascal brings out. They have had nothing but a dominant performance in Week 1 of the Overwatch League so far.
Birdring vs Soon
This is the matchup that we will be most excited to see in London Spitfire vs Los Angeles Valiant. The two teams have exceptional Tracer players, and with Tracer being as strong as it is in the current meta it is not surprising to see these players shine. Soon is a very good DPS hitscan player, but is most well known for his Tracer plays. He has been known to be extremely aggressive with his Tracer and also present a strong threat to the backlines of the enemy. However he also receives a lot of support from his tanks and support lineup.
Birding on the other hand is a player who has a relatively solo performance to a large extent. His independence from his teammates is what makes the rest of the team extremely strong in their overall performance. Birdring also receives a lot more help from his other DPS in Profit and this enables them to finish off kills with efficiency and a speed which is relatively unmatched in the Overwatch league right now.
Unkoe vs Bdosin
The Support matchup between the two Zenyatta players will be interesting for the two teams. Unkoe has been a consistent player for Los Angeles Valiant team, providing a steady callout of healing and damage to the team. However he is not known for his aggressive plays on the team either, but the fact that he remains alive for enough time is more than important for the LA Valiant to win the team fight.
Bdosin has seen a much more aggressive performance as Zenyatta. This maximises the potential of the Zenyatta and how much of an impact the Zen player has on the match. Dealing lots of damage as a Zen player, while also healing your teammates with the Harmony Orb on a consistent basis is what sets apart the Good Zen players from the average ones. Bdosin might not be a Jjonak, but he definitely has been putting up strong performances as a player. It’s difficult to compare the two Zenyatta’s 1v1 especially since a lot of their survivability depends on their team movement to protect them. A Zenyatta players performance in a match is generally directly related to their teams performance as a single unit.
Rascal has to be given a special shoutout as the player is one of the Trump cards on the London Spitfire team. The highly energetic and flexible DPS player for London Spitfire has not been seen in a single game in the first week of OWL. While we do not know the exact reason why they have not used him so far in OWL, the fans are definitely excited to hopefully see him in the next week. His hero pool is very deep with the Meis and the Sombras regularly put on display. It is very unusual to see a player play these heroes at the highest level on a consistent basis. However Rascal makes it work and it shows that the team has also put in efforts along with Rascal to ensure the success of these abnormal strategies.
Overall Los Angeles Valiant are a decent team and can definitely contest with London till the end, but it is difficult for them to practice against the entire London Spitfire lineup. With many players on London still not being played in the OWL so far, it will be difficult for them to assess their strengths, weaknesses and strategies. London Spitfire has a slight advantage over LA Valiant and it might go to the final and fifth map to decide the ultimate winner amongst the two teams. We think London Spitfire will come out ahead in this matchup between the two teams.