New format, new crew. Is it better tho?
The third season of the Overwatch League kicked off last weekend with Dallas Fuel and New York Excel respectively playing hosts in their home arenas. In New York, the Excelsior welcomed Toronto Defiant, Paris Eternal, London Spitfire and Boston Uprising while in Dallas, the Fuel saw all three California-based teams – LA Valiant, LA Gladiators and reigning OWL Champions San Francisco Shock participate alongside the new and improved Vancouver Titans.
A remote analysts desk, new shout-casting crew and a host of changes gave this season’s OWL a new look which would take a lot of getting used to. With the likes of Chris Puckett, Christopher “MonteCristo” Mykles and Erik “DoA” Lonnquist all absent from the broadcast team this year, the production value of the OWL seemed to have dipped considerably yet the same can’t be said for the fan support garnered in both venues which hosted four matches each.
The matches are much more fun to watch as well, as DPS heroes make their comeback and teams have moved on from the tactically sound but non-viewer-friendly meta (a.k.a GOATs). Genji’s back. So is Widowmaker. If this carries on, OWL S3 may be the much-needed turnaround that Blizzard so desperately needs leading up to the release of Overwatch 2.
As expected, the powerhouses in the Atlantic (NYXL) and Pacific (SF Shock and Vancouver Titans) won all of their matches while the revamped Season 1 winners, London Spitfire were pale reflections of who they used to be, even losing 0-3 to Paris Eternal. Despite putting up a valiant effort in front of their boisterous home crowd, the Fuel lost 1-3 in both of their matches and a serious shakeup is required if they intend to bring back the glory days of the legendary EnVy team.
The OWL Season 3 continues next week as Philadelphia Fusion welcome the Houston Outlaws, Florida Mayhem and Washington Justice to The Met arena. The second set of matches which was supposed to take place in Shanghai has been cancelled due to the 2019 nCoV outbreak in China.
Stay tuned to thekkp.com for more Overwatch League news and updates.