Of all Stage 1 Week 2s in OWL history, that was certainly in the top two. Lets get to it.
20. Washington Justice (-5)
Look, say what you want about the Justice, but you can’t take away the fact that they certainly played Overwatch on Thursday.
There’s nothing really good to say about Washington right now. Even when they won maps it kinda looked like they were losing.
19. Shanghai Dragons (+1)
The Streak is over. After 42 consecutive losses the Dragons have stumbled into a win. Diya, Geguri, and Fearless spent the week celebrating their first win on the OWL stage. With the season now cut down to 28 games, Shanghai’s loss streak is unlikely to be matched. Maybe ever. The dark cloud of a winless season will hang over this franchise for as long as it exists, and you can believe that coming from a Detroit Lions fan. There’s still a lot of room for improvement, but “not last” is one step closer to first.
18. Los Angeles Valiant (-4)
The Valiant have lost every series they’ve played by a single map. Like Glenn Close, they’ve been on the cusp of victory so many times. Also like Glenn Close, maybe this year isn’t theirs.
17. Florida Mayhem (+2)
Florida don’t seem to be the pushovers they once were. They have two winnable games this week, one against the middling Charge and one verse the floundering Outlaws. Florida, you don’t have to be the meme team anymore. Now is your chance to get taken seriously.
16. Dallas Fuel (-6)
Wow, the Fuel losing to the Charge was lodged in my brain so hard that I totally forgot they beat the Fusion. So, uh, next time don’t lose 4-0 to the Charge.
15. Houston Outlaws (-2)
Week 2 was a mixed bag. The bad: looking pathetic against New York. The good: Houston played two series and lost zero game fives. Even better, they’re guaranteed to not lose a game five this week as well!
14. Boston Uprising (-3)
What else is there to say? Boston got rubbed down by Shanghai. They need something to tug them out of this slump. Maybe someone can give them a hand in free agency. Just a few changes and they could have a happy ending this season.
Also their owner was arrested last week for getting jacked off in a Florida massage parlor.
13. Guangzhou Charge (+5)
With games against the Mayhem and Valiant coming up, the Charge have a good shot at having a winning record this time next week. Not to jinx it, but I’d feel pretty good if I were them.
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12. Los Angeles Gladiators (-3)
It’s gotta be nice to be the good team from your city. Even if it’s only by the slightest of margins.
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11. San Francisco Shock (-4)
Am I moving San Francisco down just because they fucked up my day four parley? How dare you. I don’t know where you come up with this stuff.
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10. Chengdu Hunters (+7)
The Hunters have pizzazz. They’ve got flare. They’re competitive. They don’t play the same goddamn six heroes every map. They are the only hope to escape the 3-3 meta. Save us. SAVE US.
9. London Spitfire (+3)
Ahhhhh, I knew keeping them at twelve felt right last week. Remember when I almost moved them further down? Boy, that was a close one. It’s nice being right sometimes. Well, kind of right. Week two I said I’d be watching to see if London is still good. I did and they are.
8. Hangzhou Spark (-5)
Hangzhou was the tune up series for not one, but two stumbling teams last week. Houston and London appreciate the ego boost.
7. Philadelphia Fusion (-5)
Very predictable Philly. When you’re rated low, you win. When you’re rated high, you lose. We get it, you’re all underdogs, Adriaaaan, go birds, go phillies, rumham, whatever. Get a new bit.
6. Seoul Dynasty (+2)
The Hunters threw everything they had at the Dynasty, and still couldn’t win a map. Clear your schedule Sunday night: when the NYXL play the Dynasty we may be getting a playoff preview
5. Vancouver Titans (+11)
Wow, how aboot that eh, Vancouver is rising in everyone’s power rankings faster than rent prices in their rapidly gentrifying city. Did you know some people are ranking these guys in first? The cylcing-to-work-in-the-rain lobby strikes again.
4. Toronto Defiant (+2)
Toronto’s biggest test in franchise history is this weekend against New York. I think they’ve got a pretty good shot to shock the world (read: win two maps)
3. Atlanta Reign (+2)
Another week, another regular season success for the Reign. If there’s anything I know about red and black teams from Atlanta with a bird logo, its that they never, ever disappoint and the success will go on forever.
2. Paris Eternal (+2)
The Los Angeles Valiant must be watching Soon and Finnsi play behind an unending cascade of tears. Look, it isn’t fun seeing Europeans dominate Americans in yet another Esport,but here we are. League of Legends, World of Warcraft, CS GO, Hearthstone, and even Starcraft. Just add Overwatch to the list.
1. New York Excelsior (+0)
The gears of the Excel machine grind forward. Pencil them in for the stage one playoffs, unless some earth shattering event happens. I believe that Seoul might have a shot at taking them down Sunday, but even that’s kind of far fetched.
After a complete meltdown by the Fusion against the Mayhem, I am 1-1 on my locks. So there you have it, 50% of my picks are guaranteed, just make sure you pick the right ones
Seoul Dynasty (-1.5, +120) over Boston Uprising
Uh, Boston did not look good last week to say the least, while the Dynasty seem to be putting it together. I’d take this line at -2.5.
Florida Mayhem (+1.5, -125) over Guangzhou Charge
Florida has been playing up to their competition lately, even though they’ve been losing. Guangzhou has been playing down to their competition lately. Even if the Mayhem don’t win outright, forcing a tie or a game five as they’ve been wont to do makes this an easy cover.
Hangzhou Spark (+135) over San Francisco Shock
This is a pretty even match-up. If a coin flip bet gave you +135 on heads you should take it.
Things I’m Watching
Paris vs Atlanta
Two of the best expansion teams face off early on Saturday. I expect Paris to take it, cementing their status as one of the best teams in the league, but Atlanta has been performing very strongly.
Does Washington have anything?
Speaking of expansion teams: the Justice look completely outclassed. I don’t know if they weren’t prepared or if they just suck, but last week was bad. It’s really hard to say a team that got reverse swept is “lucky”, but what do you call them actually winning the first two maps? After London woke up it was a complete stomp. The Fusion and Shock are up next, so the path to 0-5 seems pretty clear.
Seoul vs New York
This is it. Mark your calendars for 7:30 on Sunday. This has the potential to be game of the stage, so don’t miss it.