Overwatch League 2020 Season 2020-02-09 / Photo: TYLER-DEMOGENES for Activision Blizzard Entertainment

The final tournament for the Overwatch League regular season has begun, the Countdown Cup. With the Countdown Cup teams will get one final chance to pad out their records before the post-season commences. Every team will have a chance, no matter how slim, to make it to the Grand Finals. But though with a superior record get the advantage of byes and being able to select their opponents. Despite Orisa and Ana both being banned in the hero pools, Genji finds himself still at the forefront of the current meta. Here’s how the teams fared in week 1 of the OWL Countdown Cup.

OWL Countdown Cup Week 1 Results

Friday July 17th

Vancouver Titans 0 v 3 Paris Eternal
Houston Outlaws 2 v 3 Dallas Fuel

Saturday July 18th

Hangzhou Spark 3 v 0 Seoul Dynasty
Guangzhou Charge 3 v 1 London Spitfire
Chengdu Hunters 3 v 2 New York Excelsior
Vancouver Titans 0 v 3 Los Angeles Gladiators
Washington Justice 0 v 3 Toronto Defiant
San Francisco Shock 3 v 0 Boston Uprising
Los Angeles Valiant 0 v 3 Atlanta Reign

Sunday July 19th

Paris Eternal 3 v 0 Toronto Defiant
Atlanta Reign 1 v 3 Florida Mayhem
Boston Uprising 0 v 3 Los Angeles Valiant

OWL Countdown Cup Week 1 Highlight Matches

Houston Outlaws 2 v 3 Dallas Fuel

No rivalry in the Overwatch League is as cutthroat and entertaining as that of the Battle for Texas. Both teams have seen incredible improvement over the season. Houston remained in shaky control of the first half of these series, with each match coming down to the wire. Houston DPS player Dante “Danteh” Cruz was the big playmaker on both Sombra and Tracer. His players were enabled by his support duo in Jung-keun “Rapel” Kim and Seung-soo “Jecse” Lee.

The Dallas Fuel was able to swing back the reverse sweep and the biggest factor ended up being in the tank game. João Pedro “Hydration” Goes Telles, main tank for the Outlaws, has been a welcome addition to the line-up. However, with his main tank Orisa, banned from play, he played more Reinhardt and Winston. Veteran tank Young-jin “Gamsu” Noh on the Dallas Fuel had the edge on these heroes. You could see in certain moments the difference between someone who been playing main tank since the inaugural season and someone recently picking it up for their team.

Chengdu Hunters 3 v 2 New York Excelsior

The match between the Chengdu Hunters and the New York Excelsior was one of the one weirdest matches of the weekend. The parity in the APAC region has always been very close. Any team could beat any other on any given payload, but Chengdu is still 17th overall, last in APAC region and New York is 8th overall and 3rd in APAC. Coming out the gate, it went the way you’d think it would with New York pulling ahead in a dominant 2-0 lead.

Chengdu has always been one to go for off-meta compositions, but as caster Wolf mentioned during the stream “This is too Chengdu even for Chengdu.” But, something odd happened on map three on Havana where they started to make it work. They hold New York midway through point B and on their attack New York starts to run the Wrecking Ball that Chengdu tank Ding “Ameng” Menghan is best known for. Chengdu takes the win and then go on to complete the reverse sweep in a very convincing fashion.

San Francisco 3 v 0 Boston Uprising

The big headline from this match-up is the unlikely return of Matthew “Super” Delisi. Super has always been the go-to main tank for the San Francisco Shock. Although we haven’t seen a lot of him lately as his best tank hero is Reinhardt, whose been out of the meta since the Orisa and Sigma double shields meta took over. Super has been seen once on the Wrecking Ball and once on the Sigma. But, the Shock has been relying on Hyo-bin “ChoiHyoBin” Choi and Myeong-hwan “smurf” Yoo in their tank roles.

With Orisa out the next two weeks, you’d expect Reinhardt and thus Super to come back into play. Instead, the San Francisco Shock has been going for more of a dive oriented composition. With main tanks on Wrecking Ball, Winston, or Sigma. Super has still found his way into the starting line-up on Genji of all heroes. Granted, the Shock is defending Champions and a top league in the team going against the Boston Uprising, a bottom-tier team. Regardless, seeing Super play Genji so well speaks volumes to his ability as a player to adapt.

For more Overwatch League recaps and analysis by Robbie Landis and Jake Lyon, make sure you check out the OWLs Nest!

Follow Checkpoint XP on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram!

Feature Image by Tyler Demogenes for Activision Blizzard Entertainment