Despite his penchant for crashing into the thick of things and leaving craters in his wake, Wrecking Ball has yet to make a huge impact on Overwatch's meta. Then again, he only just got added to the game. Last night, though, the hamster hero showed squeaky inklings of his potential in two Overwatch Contenders playoff matches.
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Today, beloved Overwatch League star Brandon “Seagull” Larned announced his retirement from professional Overwatch after just one season.
Larned, who played off-tank and DPS for the Dallas Fuel, will return to streaming on Twitch, where he built a streaming empire of 760,000 followers.
The first-ever winner of the Overwatch League season playoffs is the London Spitfire. After a rocky season spent wobbling between commanding victories and unexpected defeats, the Spitfire earned a $US1,000,000 ($1,351,542) prize, as well as a silver gauntlet in the style of publisher Blizzard's sword-and-sorcery roots. Their underdog opponents, the crowd-favourite Philadelphia Fusion, retreated with the number two title and what looked like a whole lot of heartache.
This weekend, Overwatch League's first season — at times thrilling and at others absolutely gruelling — reaches its conclusion. The final showdown pits two inconsistent underdog teams, Philadelphia Fusion and London Spitfire, against each other in a match that just so happens to sum up the vibe of the whole season.
Yesterday morning, something went terribly wrong with Overwatch’s best team. It became apparent early on in a match, when Do-hyeon “Pine” Kim, New York Excelsior’s unstoppable, sawed-off shotgun, switched off the sniper hero who made him famous and onto Doomfist, a character notorious for being high-risk but high-reward. This time, there was no reward.
NYXL support player Sung-hyeon “JJonak” Bang is a monster. He came out of nowhere during Overwatch League’s inaugural season and single-handedly redefined the way people perceive peace-loving robo-monk Zenyatta, transforming him into a lightning-handed murder machine.
The league has just awarded him as its first-ever “MVP,” but what’s weird is, we haven’t seen him play as much as many other players.
Every day is Christmas at the Philadelphia Fusion esports mansion. The team's marketing and content director Hung Tran gestured to the towering decorated pine tree to the right of the front door by way of explaining the joke: The pro gamers who live here get whatever they want and do whatever they want. But Christmas wouldn't seem as exciting if it happened every day.
It didn't make any sense. "What are they doing, dude?" asked Houston Outlaws tank Austin "Muma" Wilmot as the other team, made up of top-ranked players including LA Gladiators tank Chan-hyung "Fissure" Baek, repeatedly crashed against the holo-shield walls of a relatively lackadaisical defence. Then it hit him: Where'd the payload go?
The first 12 team slots in the Overwatch League cost, reportedly, $US20 ($27) million each. This was mostly because at least a dozen rich people were willing to give that much money to Blizzard, but was also at least in part to avoid situations like the ongoing disgrace that is the Miami Marlins, where a cash-poor owner leveraged his way into control of a franchise and then refused to properly invest in it.
After last night, the Shanghai Dragons are 0-37 in the Overwatch League. That's longer than any losing streak in the history of the big four North American pro sports - worse than the 1976-77 Bucs and Process Sixers losing 26 and 28 games over two seasons. Worse than the Louisville Colonels losing 26 straight in 1889. They barely belong in the League, and they're one of the best things in it.
The New York Excelsior is the best Overwatch team in the world. Despite an always-shifting metagame and one of its best players sitting out nearly a third of the season so far, they have won two Overwatch League stages and made the playoffs for the third. They rarely drop games and have swept every team in the league at least once.
The Dallas Fuel cannot, mathematically, make the playoffs of the Overwatch League's inaugural season. After three stages of disappointing placements, it just isn't in the cards. Despite that, a new coach and a newfound team confidence are putting them over top competitors. The Fuel can't make the playoffs, but they're kicking arse anyways.
The start of stage four in the Overwatch League meant the debut of the newest hero in the game, Brigitte. The anti-dive support was a big question mark, as pros would be playing her on a patch where she was still incredibly dominant. But it turns out, at least in the first week, things were kind of OK.