Season two of the Overwatch League is well underway and there have been changes aplenty for Blizzard’s flagship eSports league. As well as the introduction of eight new teams, this season has seen major changes in the playing and coaching staff for every one of the founding franchises.
Cloud9’s London Spitfire came out on top during season 1 of the league after beating the Comcast-owned Philadelphia Fusion in the grand finals in New York. However, neither side has been at their best in the opening weeks of the season with some newer teams grabbing the headlines. Let’s take a look at five of the favourites to come out on top in season 2.
Last season’s champion team hasn’t quite impressed so far this term. London Spitfire has looked a little shaky with three wins and two losses from their opening five matches. However, they are starting to find their feet. Three wins in a row have helped propel them up the league standings and it’s very hard to bet against this roster. They were inconsistent in the regular season last year but came out on top when they needed to.
Last season’s runners-up in the league have had a tough start this time around. The fixtures have been unkind to the Philadelphia Fusion who had to play two of their matches without some key players. Star support player Boombox was absent for week 2 of the season where his side lost to Florida Mayhem and the Dallas Fuel.
The Brit returned for the match against Washington Justice in week 3 and normal service was resumed as Fusion picked up the 3-1 win. Fusion fans will be hoping for more of the same in their next match when they take on the disappointing Los Angeles Valiant. Fusion is the major favourites for the clash at 11/50 on Betway as of 5 March with their opponents out at 14/5. Whatever happens, Philadelphia Fusion will remain one of the strongest sides in the league.
San Francisco Shock
San Francisco Shock is perhaps the most improved side in the whole league. The Shock is now competing with the very best sides in the league after adding some world class players but most importantly, one the best head coaches in the game in Crusty.
An already stacked roster was improved in the offseason with the additions of Violet and Striker from the Boston Uprising. Now, the Shock is considered amongst the best sides in the league after wins over Washington Justice, Hangzhou Spark, and the Dallas Fuel as well as two incredibly close defeats to Los Angeles Gladiators and the Vancouver Titans.
The Vancouver Titans themselves are also in the mix. After over a year of speculation, the hugely popular Korean side, Runaway made the move to the United States and the Overwatch League. The players were determined to stay together and found a home in Vancouver.
It was always going to be interesting to see how this team fit in alongside the more established Overwatch League sides and it’s fair to say that they have thrived. Vancouver Titans have powered past their opponents so far with four wins from four matches.
New York Excelsior
Unsurprisingly, the New York Excelsior is still amongst the best sides in the Overwatch League. That has been the case for a long time after NYXL went 34-6 in the regular season before that surprising defeat to Philadelphia Fusion in the playoffs.
Now, things are different. NYXL have continued to improve on its roster with the acquisitions of Nenne and Flower. The team has looked effortlessly good so far this season with six wins out of six. Their toughest contest so far was undoubtedly that match against fellow Korean side, Seoul Dynasty in Week 3 but the NYXL still came out on top.
Los Angeles Gladiators
They reached the postseason last year and will be looking to do the same again. On their day, the Los Angeles Gladiators can beat any team.
Charge is one of the new franchises but has impressed so far this season. We’ll see how good they really are in their next two matches against Gladiators and the Vancouver Titans.
An all-star roster which is still finding its feet. Let’s see what happens next with Hangzhou Spark.
Atlanta Reign has been one of the surprises of the season. This team has impressed but has a lot more left to give.
Who knows how this new roster will get on? A second season championship would be a pretty good redemption after going 0-40 in the inaugural year.