Photo: CARLTON-BEENER for Activision Blizzard Entertainment
The 2020 season for the Overwatch League officially kicked off this weekend. New York and Dallas played host for the inaugural 2020 home stands. The match-ups were intense and full of action throughout the entire weekend. The first day showcased Toronto v Paris, New York v London, Vancouver v Los Angeles Gladiators and Dallas v Los Angeles Valiant.
Toronto Defiant v Paris Eternal
The Paris Eternal opened with a commanding first round on Lijiang against the Toronto Defiant with a 100 to 0 round and some superb Mei play. The Defiant came alive in round two but Paris still had their number and took the round. Toronto subbed in Surefour for Eichenwalde and that proved to be the difference maker as he got picks on the flank and helped his team roll to a map completion. Paris also completed the attack just a few seconds shy of Toronto’s run, sending the game into extra rounds. Toronto put a full stop to Paris’ attack then took the win in overtime on their own attack.
Moving into Horizon Lunar Colony the Defiant take the round with ease. Paris in response takes Point just as quickly but struggle on Point B, finally taking it in OT. Toronto ends up finishing the match with a very close defense by Paris. Going to Havana the Toronto Defiant finished out the series strong by completing the map and holding Paris to point A. Logix coming on the Widow was a bit factor on this map.
New York Excelsior v London Spitfire
In the second match-up of the night the New York Excelsior faced off against the revamped London Spitfire. No one expected London to put as much of a fight as they did against the juggernauts that are NYXL. The Excelsior were in control of the flow of battle for most of the matches but London still made a big statement with their 2-o victory on Lijiang. London’s attack on King’s Row pushes all the way to point C, by the Excelsior managed to hold them off by meters. NYXL do complete the map on their attack but London’s defense is able to nearly hold them only giving up the point after overtime starts to burn.
NYXL brings out the dive composition on Horizon Lunar Colony and take point A with ease, after a brief stall by London on point B New York is able to secure the round. London have a solid attack and are held into over time trying to take point B, but Anamo and Jjonak on the supports end up being their undoing as they clear the point for NYXL’s win. Going into Junkertown London has a very hardy defense holding NYXL to overtime on both point A and B, but New York comes through in the end finishing the map. NYXL on the defense is able to hold London at point B and finish the series.
Vancouver Titans v Los Angeles Gladiators
In the match with the Vancouvers versus the Los Angeles Gladiators, the Titans came out swinging. First round of Nepal went to the Titans 100% to 0. The Gladiators quickly turned that around by taking round two and three, ending the map with a 100% to 0 finish of their own. King’s Row is more evenly matched despite both teams rolling through point A. Titans keep the Gladiators from finishing the map and Los Angeles nearly do the same to the Titans. Haksal’s switch to Doomfist near the end helps them roll through, finish the map and take the win.
Hanamura starts out with a solid defense by LA but a huge play by Haksal secures it. The Gladiators are able to hold the Titans at point B. In the end Vancouver takes win with a solid defense, keeping LA from even taking point B. Dorado plays out very similar to King’s Row with quick point A takes by both teams. The LA Gladiators are able to keep the Titans from taking point B and they almost do the same but a huge brawl in over time goes in the favor of the Gladiators and they force a game 5.
On Lijiang the first round is very evenly matched with a lot of back and forth but the Titans ultimately take it. In the second round the Titans secure the point first and manage to hold it throughout the entire round for a dominant finish.
Dallas Fuel v Los Angeles Valiant
The final match of the first day featured the Dallas Fuel and the Los Angeles Valiant. The Valiant are another team rebuilt from the group up, but despite that gave the Fuel a run for their money. Lijiang Tower was a map that flip flopped back forth several times with the Valiant taking the first round. Dallas took the next two rounds to secure their first win in the series. Dallas’ attack on Blizzard World was hard fought as they struggled for every inch but were ultimately stopped just shy of point B. The Valiant had a commanding attack and nearly finished the round with plenty of time in the clock. Dallas’ mounted a huge defense nearly holding them on the cusp of victory, but the Valiant ended up taking the round.
Horizon Lunar Colony is a bit closer as the Valiant take point A off a Widow 2k and roll through point B on the back of the Mei play. Dallas finishes the map as well but with a much smaller time bank. In the second set of rounds Dallas takes point A but can’t finish the map. The Valiant on the other hand have a dominant take on point A and roll into a strong defense by Dallas but in the end the Fuel give up the loss on Horizon. On Junkertown the Los Angeles Valiant push all the way into the final stretch with excellent cover by KSP’s Widowmaker who goes nearly uncontested. Dallas does manage to hold them shy of point C. The Fuel have a tough time trying to match LA’s progress as they push through point A and point B in overtime, but fall short losing the series on their home turf.