Surprises Abound in First Week of OWL Season 2

Surprises Abound in First Week of OWL Season 2

It’s been a suspenseful and exciting first week of Stage 1 of Overwatch League season two. Four jam-packed days of play have begun to establish a pecking order of maybe-champs and maybe-underdogs.

Perhaps most surprising is the sudden fall of last season’s champions, the London Spitfire, who lost to rivals Philadelphia Fusion and the newcomer team Paris Eternal by comfortably large margins. While we’re still far too early into the season to be making dire predictions, the former champs can’t be happy about heading into week two with a map differential of -4, putting them at second-to-last in the standings, ahead of only the Shanghai Dragons.

Six young men are pictured against a white background. The left three are members of the Philadelphia Fusion, and the right three are members of the London Spitfire. All are wearing their respective team jerseys.

Spitfire fell to the Fusion on day one of OWL season 2. Image credit: overwatchleague.com

The hype over the League’s new expansion teams turns out to be well-deserved. Hangzhou Spark and the Vancouver Titans made a particularly strong showing this week. Spark took down Shanghai and the much more intimidating Los Angeles Valiant, while the Titans swept Shanghai 4-0. We’ve only seen them play once, but Paris Eternal raised eyebrows when they beat the London Spitfire 3-1. If they keep it up, these powerful expansion teams should keep OWL season 2 very interesting indeed.

Related: Big Changes for OWL Season Two

Out of the inaugural season’s returning teams, the strong have largely stayed strong. Philadelphia Fusion and New York Excelsior are both coming out of week one with two wins and high map differentials that position them comfortably at the top of the standings. Meanwhile, teams such as the San Francisco Shock, Seoul Dynasty, and Boston Uprising continue to jockey in the middle of the pack.

The Shanghai Dragons, on the other hand, are not free of their curse, and are heading into week two with a crushing map differential of -6. Ouch. The Houston Outlaws have also eaten two losses, losing to both Toronto Defiant and Boston Uprising by narrow margins.

The camera is positioned behind and slightly above the heads of a cheering crowd, who are holding up red signs displaying the Shanghai Dragons logo and the slogan "Fire On!!"

Fans aren’t ready to give up on the Shanghai Dragons. (Image credit: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment)

Another pleasant surprise in this first week has been the Atlanta Reign, a new team who got little attention compared to some of the other expansion teams. After sweeping Florida Mayhem 4-0, the Reign lost to Philadelphia Fusion on Sunday. But it was a near loss; the Reign matched Fusion point for point and even pushed them into a tie-breaker fifth map. It was a much closer fight than Fusion’s series against Spitfire on day one, and Atlanta have certainly established themselves as a strong competitor heading into week two. Atlanta owes a large chunk of its relative success to their powerful support line, especially to Overwatch Contenders veteran Dogman, their diligent Zenyatta who deals as much hurt as he does healing.

OWL season two has already brought a slew of surprises, and it’s only the beginning. How many of your predictions did this week flip on their heads? Be sure to tune in here as we barrel into week two!

Written by:Kaidan McNamee

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