2019-04-06 - Overwatch League 2019 / Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

After the final week of the Overwatch League Countdown Cup hero pools, the unexpected has happened, Chengdu is in everyone’s team. Since the online matches have begun and the league was divided into the North American and APAC region slight variations in the meta composition started to arise. With the current hero bans on Widowmaker, Mei, Orisa and Ana, the meta has started to slide back toward dive. Some NA teams are still running double shields, but in the APAC region, the dive meta has solidified on Wrecking Ball. A style that the Chengdu Hunters have been running for a while now.

Countdown Cup Week 2 Results

Friday July 24th

Atlanta Reign 3 v 1 Boston Uprising
Florida Mayhem 1 v 3 San Francisco Shock

Saturday July 25th

Seoul Dynasty 2 v 3 Chengdu Hunters
Shanghai Dragons 3 v 2 London Spitfire
New York Excelsior 3 v 0 Guangzhou Charge
San Francisco Shock 3 v 0 Vancouver Titans
Florida Mayhem 3 v 0 Washington Justice
Boston Uprising 1 v 3 Dallas Fuel
Philadelphia Fusion 3 v 2 Los Angeles Gladiators

Sunday July 26th

Chengdu Hunters 3 v 0 Hangzhou Spark
Shanghai Dragons 3 v 0 Seoul Dynasty
Los Angeles Gladiators 0 v 3 Paris Eternal
Toronto Defiant 0 v 3 Philadelphia Fusion
Washington Justice 3 v 1 Houston Outlaws

It’s Chengdu Style in APAC

The APAC region for the Overwatch League has all gone Chengdu for the Countdown Cup. The Chengdu Hunters have always been a meta-resistant team, not to the best results, but it’s earned them the title of being a fan favorite team. Ding “Ameng” Menghan, Hunter’s main tank, is hands-down the best Wrecking Ball player in the league. Last week they managed to swing a reverse sweep against the New York Excelsior. This week they earned two wins against the Seoul Dynasty and the Hangzhou Spark. But they’re not the only ones playing the Wrecking BallZarya Combo. The London Spitfire took the Shanghai Dragons to the brink with the same comp, but Shanghai was able to hold them off. In part, thanks to great Sombra play from Jae-won “LIP” Lee.

The bigger surprise came from the New York Excelsior and Guangzhou Charge map when both teams brought out the Wrecking Ball composition. Guangzhou, who had found significant success in last months tournament, the Summer Showdown, didn’t have solid of a grasp on this composition as the New York team. The New York Excelsior completed a clean 3 and 0 sweep on the Charge. It’s unlikely the Chengdu meta will continue league-wide, or even within the APAC region next week. Genji was still present in this meta and with Orisa and Ana coming back into play next week, teams would be crazy not to run double shields. With Orisa being able to Halt and Super Charge for Genji, we’ll back to the Genji slicing and dicing meta.

What’s Happening in North America?

The North American region of the Countdown Cup wasn’t privy to as much excitement as the APAC. Many of the games were very one-sided with top teams trouncing the lower-ranked teams. The San Francisco Shock even set a new record for the fastest 3 and 0 series in league history. They defeated the Vancouver Titans in under 23:00 minutes. As for the meta, the North American teams fell into one of two camps. The majority went with a dive composition that centered on Winston and Zarya, usually running some composition of Tracer, Genji, or Ashe, depending on the map. Some ran double shield with Reinhardt and Sigma. Overall we should expect to see a return to the Genji supported meta once the hero bans are suspended for the final two weeks.

There were a few games that were worth checking out. The Los Angeles Gladiators showed some spirit in their match against the Philadelphia Fusion taking them all the way to a game five before the Philadelphia Fusion was able to bring it back for the win. The Boston Uprising, while unable to secure any wins, was able to take two maps this weekend. One against the Atlanta Reign and one from the Dallas Fuel. All in all, we continue to see an odd level of parity in the APAC region despite team places within the ranks. While the North American region has a clear-cut upper echelon of teams, a middle and the bottom.

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

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Feature Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment