Overwatch League – The story after Week 1
The Overwatch League 2020 season kicked off last weekend with sub-par viewership and team troubles. The first week matches went roughly as predicted and without too many hiccups. The renewed caster crew was still finding their footing in the OWL surroundings and the Russian stream got canceled.
Now that we are all caught up, let’s dive right into the story.
New York and Dallas hosted amazing events to kick off the 2020 Season. Sadly, about 30,000 people on average were watching the show on Youtube and less than a million re-watches followed suit.
The NYXL homestand crowd was absolutely bonkers in their cheers and attitude throughout both games the home team played. They also made it a special task to “boo” the living heck out of Uprising in the final match of the day. The Hammerstein Ballroom dimly lit and fully XL branded was a solid pointer for the direction OWL is pushing the new system, and we like it.
— Overwatch League (@overwatchleague) February 12, 2020
The Dallas event was on par with their 2019 homestand at the Allen Event Center. The Arlington Esports Stadium packed full with fans hours before the event was just the sight Fuel wanted coming into the weekend. However, they absolutely failed to deliver in both games as fans became quieter and quieter throughout the evening. The whole vent, however, was an upgrade to previous year events with many side activities and even a high school tournament to boot.
All in all, the new homestand event format gives a much needed local flair to the league, as teams can fully express their own vision and style at the events.
The Coronavirus situation
It absolutely sucks that we have to write about it, but the Novel Coronavirus situation in China is forcing the League to make tough decisions already. As it currently stands, all four Chinese teams are on a “break” until at least Week 5 and all Homestand events in China have been canceled.
The decision wasn’t publicized by Blizzard, as fans witnessed the Shanghai Homestand and follow-up events removed from the schedule shortly after Week 1 concluded. This means we won’t see and enjoy the Chinese teams play until Week 5 in Seoul.
There is currently no update on when and how the Chinese Homestead events will be held.
Week 2 Predictions
The second week will only feature four matches at The Met in Philadelphia. Fusion, Mayhem, Justice and Outlaws are kicking off their season this weekend in the “Battle of Brotherly Love”.
The host has a good chance of kicking off their year with a double win as they face Justice and Mayhem in their opening matches. Both teams are at the bottom of our Overwatch League 2020 Power Rankings and should be no match for the empowered Fusion squad.
In the other two matches, Mayhem and Outlaws are seeking to get one of the few wins they can this season, while Justice meets Outlaws in a bid to have an even 1W1L weekend.
Sat, Feb 15 Florida Mayhem vs Houston Outlaws
Sat, Feb 15 Washington Justice vs Philadelphia Fusion
Sun, Feb 16 Washington Justice vs Houston Outlaws
Sun, Feb 16 Florida Mayhem vs Philadelphia Fusion
Do not forget to catch this week’s Overwatch League at youtube.com/overwatchleague. Do keep in mind that streams are only available in English, Chinese, Korean and French after the Russian and German streams were discontinued.