Stage 2 of the Overwatch League is upon us and it’s going to be a good one that’s for sure! Mercy changes. Junkrat changes. New Signings. New Map Rotation. MVP’s. I’m going to run through all the details you’ll need to know for the start of stage 2, so let’s get in to it!
HOW IT WORKS
If you’re not familiar with the format of the Overwatch League (OWL) then I’ll give you a very quick run through of how it works
- Each Stage – 4 in total, is played across 5 weeks
- Each week has three days of matches where everyone will play twice
- Every match will consist of 4 games played across different maps/game types in this, new order – Assault, Control, Hybrid and Escort
- If it’s a tie after 4 rounds, then a 5th will be played on a control map to settle the contest
- At the end of the Stage the tops teams will compete in a Stage Championship match to determine the winner of that Stage.
- Once all the stages are complete the top team from each Division advance to playoffs
- The remaining top 4 teams between both Divisions will also advance to the playoffs
We will be seeing an almost completely new roster of maps for stage 2, the only returning map will be Lijang Tower that is moving from the tiebreaker map to one of the two controls maps along with Nepal. In the Assault game type we will see Hanamura and Volskaya Industries. The Hybrid maps will be Hollywood and King’s Row with the Escort maps being Route 66 and Watchpoint: Gibraltar. Stage 2’s tiebreaker map is yet to be decided.
Personally I enjoy watching the Assault maps the most, I think they usually have the best fights and I’m really interested to see the approaches teams take to the first choke points on both Hanamura and Volskaya.
After Stage 1 we have NYXL sitting at the top of the table overall and the Atlantic Division with LA Valiant topping the Pacific Division. Poor old Shanghai sit at the bottom of the table with zero wins… let’s hope their fortunes change for Stage 2. At the moment it looks like the Atlantic Division is the more competitive of the two divisions.
Check out the schedule for the matches for Stage 2 here.
Shanghai Dragons played Stage 1 with a fairly small roster of 8 players, although they weren’t the only ones. It’s therefore no surprise to see them bringing in a few new recruits – four in total, to bolster the lines – especially seeing as they didn’t pick up a single win during the stage.
The most notable of the signings is the first female player to feature in the OWL- Kim “Geguri” Seyeon who mains Zarya, D.Va and Roadhog. They’ve also added Lee “Fearless“ Eui-seok, Gi-hyeon “Ado“ Chon and He “Sky“ Junjian.
Florida Mayhem are another team who’ve decided to add to their line up after just one win from stage one. Joonas ‘Zappis‘ Alakurtii is the first additiom, he fills the flex role and can play a mean Tracer, Zarya or support as Ana. They’ve also added Ha ‘Sayaplayer‘ Jung Woo and Kim ‘aWesomeGuy‘ Sung Hoon.
Dallas Fuel have also added to their ranks making just one addition with Dylan ‘aKm‘ Bignet although as mainly a DPS player I’m not sure where he will fit in as they now have Effect, Taimou, Seagull and Mickie who will also fill those DPS/Flex roles. Time will tell I guess.
Then we have Houston Outlaws adding Russell ‘FCTFCTN‘ Campbell who would normally play the tank role as Winston or Reinhardt.
Finally is the news that Fissure is leaving London Spitfire to join LA Gladiators to add a little more depth in the Tank role.
There are some other rumours floating around for other signings, but I don’t think there have been anymore confirmations.
Whilst the Mercy changes went live during Stage 1 they didn’t go live in OWL. But for Stage 2 they are very much in place.
The new Mercy now doesn’t get a reset on her Resurrect ability when she uses Valkyrie, meaning she gets just one resurrect every 30 seconds, previously the Resurrect would reset when using Valkyrie meaning you could Resurrect someone, use Valkyrie, then Resurrect another – a very powerful tool!
The cast time for Resurrect has also changed, it used to be instant whilst using Valkyrie, so there was little danger in flying in for revive, but now it works as it does when not using Valkyrie. Valkyrie duration has also been decreased from 20 seconds to 15.
Going for the res is now much more risky and players going down in the back line are a lot more likely to stay dead now. It’s a pretty big change and could potentially change the meta of games. Mercy is still a very powerful hero to have in your ranks, but it could mean that we will see more use of some other supports like Moira.
Junkrat has also had some changes to his concussion mine, it now features a damage drop off the further you are from the blast. It’s not a huge change but it does make it a little harder for Junkrat to delete those flankers by throwing out a couple of mines. As long as you’re accurate though, you shouldn’t really see much of a difference.
Personally I don’t see the Meta changing much for Stage 2, I still think Mercy will be in almost every game simply because the ability to bring a hero back to life is the difference between winning and losing a fight. But I do hope I’m wrong, I’d like to see more Lucio and Moira as they’re both heroes that I love playing.
Some other changes have been made to Doomfist, Sombra and Mei but it doesn’t look like they’re going to be ready in time for Stage 2.
Will we finally see Symmetra get some play time? I doubt it…
Stage 1 featured some incredible plays both from individuals and from teams but it seems that NYXL’s Jjonak has taken the limelight for his amazing Zenyatta play he ranked in the top 5 across many catergories and most of them he was number 1.
- Rate of Hero damage – 1st
- Rate of Orb Volley damage -1st
- Rate of critical hit kills – 1st
- Rate of final blows – 2nd
- Rate of eliminations – 3rd
- Rate of offensive assists – 5th
His damage output was 24% higher than the leagues average of Zenyatta players with over 1 hour played on that hero.
Statistics taken from here.
Can anyone keep him in check in Stage 2?
This is the best round up of the Stage 1 highlights I could find, it showcases the best plays that are quite frankly disgusting!
To be honest, I don’t see the table looking much different to how it is now. Stage 2 will probably still see the same teams competing for the top spots. I’d like to see Shanghai be a little more competitive this stage seeing as they only managed 6 map wins, and with the signings they’ve made you’d like to hope that they would improve somewhat.
I’m interested to see how the teams around the middle of the table will do, Fusion have some very good players and when they’re on form, they’ve probably the most entertaining team to watch with both Shadowburn and Carpe usually leading the highlight reels, but they rely quite heavily on the dive comp, so they maybe need to work on a few other tactics.
Dallas will really want to improve on their standing, a lot of people were tipping them to be towards the top of the table but they seemed to struggle quite a bit at times. With Effect back in the roster after being away for the last few matches and xQc back from his ban it will give them a much needed boost.
Seoul Dynasty started stage 1 very strongly, but dropped a little bit and actually lost a lot more than most people were thinking, so I’m sure they will want to push on and take the top spot for the Pacific Division. They will get the chance to kick that off with the very first game for stage 2 being between the top two teams from the Pacific Division.
I shall make my predictions for the winners of both divisions and overall though!
Overall & Atlantic Winners – London Spitfire
Pacific Winners – Seoul Dynasty