Photo by Ben Pursell for Blizzard Entertainment
Week 2 of the Overwatch League was packed with just as much excitement and heartbreak as opening week. It was a truncated weekend with the Chinese matches being canceled and rescheduled due to the coronavirus concerns. During the opening Watchpoint pre-show Soe informed viewers that the Chinese matches have been rescheduled for weeks 6 and 7 and played in a studio in Seoul. As for the matches that did take place this weekend, we saw the Houston Outlaws play the Florida Mayhem and the Philadelphia Fusion play the Washington Justice on day one. For day two the Outlaws took on the Justice and the Fusion went up against the Mayhem.
Florida Mayhem v Houston Outlaws
Going into this match both fans of the Outlaws and the Mayhem were on the edge of the seat with anticipation. The Outlaws picked up four new players and got a revamped coaching team through the off-season. The Mayhem,, who came in last place last season, have a fully integrated Korean roster. General Manager Albert Yeh has said it’s the best roster the team has had in three years.
The majority of the compositions from both teams were nearly a mirror match-up with the main difference being in support. The Outlaws opt’d to run Lucio paired with a Bridgette and the limited healing output may have been a big factor in their performance. The Mayhem took Busan two to zero with relative ease. The Outlaws played disjointed in comparison to the Mayhem who had an almost surgical cohesion. Kim “Yaki” Jun’ki,on the Mei, was able to use ice wall in multiple key moments to throw the Outlaws off.
In Havana the Outlaws woke up and turned their luck around as they held the Mayhem at point A. On the attack, Florida’s Jeongwoo “Sayaplayer” Ha on Widowmaker was able to utilize the long sight lines of point A. Taehong “Meko” Kim’s D.va was able to harass him long enough for the Outlaws to move out of the spawn. Between Sayaplayer’s Widow and Yaki’s Mei the Mayhem were able to hold the Outlaws and take the map.
On Eichenwalde the Outlaws had small moments where it seemed like they had come together. The Mayhem still managed to finished the map but with zero time on the clock. The Outlaws finally switched up their support line opting for Ana and Bridgette. It seemed to be the change they needed, but the Mayhem were still a step ahead. Florida held the Outlaws from a map completion and took the series in a clean sweep.
Philadelphia Fusion v Washington Justice
The Justice went into this match as the underdog given their overall 2019 season performance. In stage 4 of 2019 they had risen to a new height under the 2-2-2 composition and surprised everyone. Being that they were the away team in front of the Philadelphia crowd, most people still expected the 2018 runner-ups to make quick work of them. That couldn’t have been further from the truth as this game may have been the most competitive of the weekend.
Nepal was an absolute blood-bath on both sides as the two teams continuously wrested control from one another and ran each clock up to 100-99. In the final round on Shrine the Justice managed to flip it back at the last moment and a sustained OT fight broke out. Jaehyeok “Carpe” Lee made a last second swap to Widowmaker which seemed like a last ditch effort. In a miraculous display of sniper prowess he was able to eliminate the Justice from the point and take the map. The Justice came back with vengeance on Havana, stopping the Fusion from even taking point A. On their attack the Justice easily roll the cart up to the point and tie up the series one to one.
On King’s Row the Fusion mount a strong defense against the Justice, but they do break through near the end of the time bank. The Fusion continued to hold at each point with solid defense but the Justice break through, pushing to the end with minimal time in the bank. Philadelphia does hold them from completing the map. For the Fusion’s attack they get a solid take on both point A and B. The Justice mount a decent defense, but once Carpe takes high ground after the second dog leg, the Fusion are able to complete the map.
On Anubis the Fusion finally seem to soar ahead in play and control the flow of battle. They take point A with ease and eventually through a hard fought defense by the Justice, take point B as well. The Justice have a rough time finishing the map and nearly lost it after a devastating defense by the Fusion. This includes a huge stagger on Elliot “Ellivote” Vaneryd’s D.va. The Fusion push up to stop the Justice from even contesting the point. In doing so Yeonjoon “Ark” Hong is able to sneak by on the Lucio and back-cap the point. In the second round the Justice are able to take point A, but the Fusion keep them from another point B take. The Fusion on their attempt, take point A and point B to win the series three to one.
Houston Outlaws v Washington Justice
The Houston Outlaws were looking to change their luck on day two against the Washington Justice. The Outlaws did show a bit more life, but compared to the teamwork of the Justice, it wasn’t quite enough. The Justice took the first map on Lijiang two to zero. Junkertown was solidly in control of the Justice as they moved through the entire map virtually uncontested. Corey “Corey” Nigra on the Widowmaker was a huge playmaker for the Justice as the Outlaws had no way to deal with him. The Outlaws got held just before point B and the Justice took the win.
King’s Row was the closest map of the series as the Outlaws managed to force the Justice into OT despite them finishing the map. The Outlaws attack was hard earned they managed to capture point A with little time on the clock. They made it through point B in over time but with a small time bank the Justice were able to hold them back from map completion nad take a three and zero map series victory.
Philadelphia Fusion v Florida Mayhem
The first map of this match-up looked very competitive. The Fusion took the first round in Lijiang putting them up 1 to 0 on the map. In round two the Mayhem take the first hold and keep it for a 100 to 0 win. There’s some back and forth on the final round but the Fusion take it in the end. On Junkertown Sayaplayer and Carpe go head to head on the Widowmakers, but Carpe seems to have the edge. The Fusion are able to roll through point A and point B as they’re in solid control of the flow of battle. The Fusion complete the map with over a minute in the time bank. The Mayhem don’t fare as well on their attack though they do make it past point B. Carpe’s proves his Widowmaker is superior to Sayaplayer’s and the Fusion take the second map in the series.
The Fusion mount a strong attack on Blizzard World, capturing point A and pushing through the map at a steady rate. The Justice are able to mount a solid defense before point C, but the Fusion refused to be denied. They complete the map in OT. The Justice go on the attack but the Fusion refuse to give them a single point. Justice do manage to secure two ticks on the point, but Carpe and his team come back strong and clear the point, ending the match with a full hold and taking the series three to zero.