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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.
We are into Week 4 of Stage 1 with teams closing the gap between them and the top of the table.The last week saw all three Korean teams take a hit and lose a series each. It was a week where the gap between the western and the Korean teams has closed. Languishing at the bottom of the table is Shanghai Dragons. Dallas barely won their first series but are still a long way from the top of the league.
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.
Boston Uprising vs Philadelphia fusion
Boston Uprising Roster
Boston Uprising is owned by Robert Kraft, Chairman and CEO of the Kraft Group. They own the American Football team the New England Patriots and various other sports teams. Robert Kraft and his proximity to Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick meant that he was onboard the idea to be a part of the OWL from its inception.
The Boston Uprising, which is the team owned by the Kraft family has an adopted a very simple mantra. Their roster has been carefully picked and chosen by their President of Gaming ‘Huks’. He searched for players that can be coached and moulded according to the needs of the team. When the team was first announced, there were hardly any recognizable players on their roster. The Power rankings by various analysts put Boston Uprising near the bottom of their rankings. Some of them even had Boston below Shanghai Dragons. However, they have finished Stage 1 with a respectable rank of being sixth. Considering the fact that they have not played against Shanghai Dragons in Stage 1, their ranking is very impressive.
Dreamkazper has been the big revelation on the roster. He was not well known prior to his selection for the Overwatch League. But once on the team, he has gained a lot of recognition for his performance. Dreamkazper has a unique style of playing his Genji. He waits for the support ultimates on the enemy team to be used before using his ultimate. While that is not something unique to Dreamkazper, his efficiency in pressurizing the enemy supports to use their ult is very high. While he is most well known for his Genji plays, we have also seen him play Junkrat and Pharah effectively. Dreamkazper is not a selfish player, but he is a smart player with his ultimate usage. This is why we regularly see him getting multiple kills with his ultimates. Often times they are very important kills on the supports which ends up winning them the fight.
Striker, on the other hand, has been a good supplement to Dreamkazper. He has been able to finish off kills on players that Dreamkazper and Gamsu get low in HP. Striker’s consistent damage is significant. This is despite him not having any flashy plays that would earn him MVP rewards. But the consistent damage means that the enemy is always on the lookout for the Tracer on their backline.
Truly speaking, however, it is the tank lineup of the team that has been the star for the roster. Gamsu has been instrumental in obtaining and securing crucial kills. It is rare to see a Winston on the kill feed as much as we see Gamsu. His ultimate usage is exemplary with the zoning out of the supports. Even if the supports use their ultimate, it is still a wasted ultimate for the opponent. He is constantly pressuring the backlines and it goes well with the Dive gameplay that Boston Uprising is well known for.
The other tank role is mostly played by either Note or Kalios. Kalios was the player in the initial part of Stage 1, but later Note has been making more appearances on the team. The most important part for Boston is the coordination amongst all parts of the team. Since they have learnt and sort of perfected the Dive meta, coordination amongst all sectors of the team becomes extremely crucial.
Boston Uprising has a very consistent performance in Stage 1. The fact that they achieved so much without playing Shanghai Dragons just speaks volumes about their performance. Boston is a threat to the playoffs and with some decent performances, it would not be surprising to see Boston make it to the playoffs in August.
Philadelphia Fusion roster :
Philadelphia Fusion is managed by Comcast Spectacor, a sports and entertainment company well known in North America.
The team has a ten man roster and we saw the first glimpse of the team only during the Stage 1. They had been unable to attend the preseason due to logistic issues. At first glance, Philadelphia roster looks like a very strong roster. However, there have been problems on the team when we look past their incredibly talented DPS players.
Philadelphia has two exceptionally talented players in Shadowburn and Carpe. The Genji and the Tracer players have had insane individual performances which can turn the tide of the fight single-handedly. Shadowburn’s Genji is quite similar and effective to Dreamkazper. His hero pool is actually the same as Dreamkazper, he plays a lot of Pharah, Genji and Junkrat at times. However, there is a big difference in their play style.Shadowburn relies on individual skill to enable the kills. This also means that the team sometimes might use an excessive number of ultimates in order to enable Shadowburn. While this might win them the particular fight, it often results in an ultimate management problem in the subsequent fights.
Carpe has already shown us some flashy plays. His Tracer ultimate usage has been a terror for enemy Mercy players. With the new meta coming into effect, it will be interesting to see how much of a role Tracer plays in the new meta. With Mercy not being able to have multiple resurrections, we will see more of the other support heroes. Carpe is always applying pressure on the supports and can often go on his own. This is a very different but effective style of play. The supports attention is almost always diverted by Carpe. Philadelphia Fusion does not play ‘dive’ a lot, so spread-out team fights are what the Philadelphia Fusion is looking to achieve.
The tank lineup is the biggest problem for Philadelphia. While the tanks are individually very skilled, they retain their old style of play. This often results in the tanks dying way too early and putting an end to the team fight. Fragi is known to go way too deep in order to be of any help to the backlines or the DPS. He looks for individual kills all the time. While this playstyle was very strong in the Ana play-days, in the current meta it might not be as strong. If and when Ana does
make a comeback into professional Overwatch we will see Fragi becoming much more relevant. That being said he still remains a top tank player in the Overwatch League. His mistakes being pointed out are not really a reflection on him, but the team’s performance as a whole.
Poko obviously has been extensively talked about in his previous matches The Dva player who has trained himself in making the maximum use of his Ultimate is leading the OWL in terms of kills per ultimate. He is a good Dva player and peels for the backlines as much as possible.
Overall the Philadelphia Fusion in stage 1 looked like a team which has high skill ceiling on their individual performances. But the team synergy was lacking as a whole. Given the break, this would have provided them time to get better as a team. However, we don’t see them being a contender for the ultimate playoffs later in the season.
The biggest factor that will affect the outcome of this match is the meta. With Stage 2 adopting the Mercy changes, we will see certain teams being affected differently than others. The Mercy meta basically allowed teams to undo their mistakes. Certain western teams have used the mercy meta to their advantage.
They try to charge up their Mercy Ultimate faster in Stage 1 and use it to their advantage going in the next team fight. However, that being said the Mercy meta was generally disliked. With the new meta, we will see several teams now focus on making fewer mistakes.
Boston Uprising has perfected their dive playstyle. A Dive play style requires a high level of coordination amongst the various parts of the team. If there is no coordination amongst the DPS and the tanks, the tanks would take unnecessary damage and probably end up losing the fight. Boston Uprising does have the insane clutches of their DPS players, but the team coordination is easily visible in the way they choose their targets.
On the other hand, we see Philadelphia Fusion be more DPS centric. They do have really talented individuals on their team but the focus of the team relies mostly on enabling the DPS players rather than having a more coordinated push. The synergy is easily visible on the offence where we see Boston regularly able to choose and achieve their target; while Philadelphia often ends up in messy uncoordinated team fights.
We think Boston Uprising has the upper hand coming into this match mainly due to their coordination and synergy as a team.