Overwatch League Stage 3 Contest

contest

#1

We’re going again?!

Of course we’re doing this again! We had a lot of fun last Stage trying to figure out who would win each match-up, and we love giving stuff away to you lot, so it’s a win-win for us. Similarly to how we ran the Stage 2 contest, throughout Stage 3 we’ll be posting polls for each match; the winner at the end of Stage 3 will get a :moneybag: $20 Blizzard gift card :moneybag: to buy some team skins in game or do whatever else they want with it!

I am hype!

We know you are. We’ve made a couple small tweaks to the contest, so take a gander at how things will work this Stage:

  • Everyone who is at least a Basic user is eligible to participate.
  • Each Monday we’ll post all the polls for the week in this thread (links will be below in the OP). Polls will close in the afternoon the day the matches take place.
    • i.e., Wednesday the Wednesday match polls close, Thursday the Thursday match polls close, etc.
  • The top 4 Strategists at the end of Stage 3 will then compete for the final prize by picking the outcomes of the Stage 3 playoff matches
    • This adjustment was to bring the contest more in line with how Overwatch League is structured and to allow people who catch a bad break the opportunity to prove themselves in the playoff format. We’ll give out more details on this closer to the end of the Stage.

As with the Stage 2 contest, @Vocino and I are ineligible to win the prize, but we’re competing for bragging rights against one another (and maybe this Stage Machine will vote every week :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:). Flex your brain, cast your votes, and may the best Strategist win!

Final Standings

1: @bonus, @NVS_1 - 46
3: @dontcallmejames - 40
4: @Droul - 36

@Diacuss - 33
@DasRenegade - 30
@lyteforce - 26
@Freshie44 - 24
@skidoLLaZ - 18
@Derangedtaco - 16
@infinknight - 13
@DrAculaMD - 8
@Bradum - 6


@Auth - 41
@Vocino - 0

List of Polls


#2

Wednesday, 4 April Matches

  • Shanghai Dragons
  • Dallas Fuel

0 voters

  • Los Angeles Valiant
  • Seoul Dynasty

0 voters

  • San Fransisco Shock
  • Los Angeles Gladiators

0 voters


#3

Thursday, 5 April Matches

  • Florida Mayhem
  • New York Excelsior

0 voters

  • Philadelphia Fusion
  • Boston Uprising

0 voters

  • London Spitfire
  • Houston Outlaws

0 voters


#4

Friday, 6 April Matches

  • Los Angeles Gladiators
  • Dallas Fuel

0 voters

  • Los Angeles Valiant
  • Shanghai Dragons

0 voters

  • Seoul Dynasty
  • San Fransisco Shock

0 voters


#5

Saturday, 7 April Matches

  • Florida Mayhem
  • Philadelphia Fusion

0 voters

  • Houston Outlaws
  • Boston Uprising

0 voters

  • New York Excelsior
  • London Spitfire

0 voters


#6

UPDATED to include player trade/sign/release news. Boston and Philly were inactive during the signing period. I didn’t cover any of the coaching/staff changes, because I only allowed myself so much time to work on this.

A cool cat on Reddit put together this list for at-a-glance reference.

LAV has had major shakeups.

  • Traded Unkoe to DAL in exchange for Custa (support for support), sold the contract for Silkthread (DPS, leaning hitscan) to LAG, had one of their bench-riders move to assistant coach, acquired a DPS (Bunny) from Seoul, and released their off-tank Envy (rumor is he’s one of the sources of the discord within the team).

  • I expect the first half of the new stage to be rill, rill ruff for the Valiant, just because they have to gel with the new lineup. However, LAV’s trying to effect a culture change, as the team has not been handling its difficult stage 2 well. If things don’t get better backstage immediately, it will take much longer than the first half of the stage to right the ship.

HOU picked up Arhan, their first Korean member and their fifth DPS.

  • This is a curious pickup because he doesn’t really fill the one DPS role Houston is lacking: an OWL-level Tracer. He’s primarily known as a Genji player, though he’s inconsistent. This is especially true with his Dragonblades: ARHAN LUL is a meme of the same flavor, origin, and enthusiasm as J LUL K E. Both are inspired by the not-insignificant number of primary-character ults that completely whiff. I’ll be curious to see how much playtime Arhan gets, and whether his Tracer is markedly better than Jake’s, Linkzr’s, or Clock’s.

LAG picked up Void, a well-regarded Korean tank main; and Silkthread, a versatile DPS from LAV.

  • Speculation is that he’ll replace the inconsistent (though improving of late) Bischu, so he’ll be running alongside fellow Korean tank-beast Fissure. However, there’s something other than pure performance to consider. One of Bischu’s functions once Fissure came on board was to translate for Fissure, as Fissure’s English wasn’t good. If Bischu is off-stage, he can’t provide that support (people off-stage are not on comms during matches), meaning that the pair of Koreans and their English-speaking teammates would have to coordinate across a language barrier.

  • It is possible that the barrier has effectively been surmounted, which would jive with what the team was saying near the end of last stage. This also coincides with Bischu’s marked improvement in performance, as he was able to focus more on the game than on translating. It’s also possible that Asher (DPS, also Korean) can provide that function, but Asher’s not playing every map-- LAG rotates their lineup more than any other team, DPS included.

  • Silkthread is a versatile DPS who didn’t see a ton of playtime with LAV during stage 2. They preferred to run Soon, Agilities, and even support/DPS hybrid monster Kariv instead. I expect to see more of him with LAG due to their aforementioned fondness of rotating lineups and ALSO because he and Hydration used to be teammates. This is an interesting trade that might see further gains by LAG, who only missed stage 2 playoffs by map differential.

NYXL picked up Anamo, another Korean and NYXL’s third support.

  • I won’t bother to dig into his history because we can safely assume one thing: he’s a better support than Mano, meaning that if Ark’s hand ever gets injured again, NYXL won’t be crippled. There was a noticeable drop in NYXL’s effectiveness when Ark was out during stage 1. Having a dedicated support sub will mitigate that risk.

LDN signed Tizi, a Korean tank main.

  • Tizi will be the second pure tank-main on the Spitfire roster. The team’s main tank (Gesture, who plays such a fantastic Winston I had to buy the skin), played beside flex-players Fury and Woohyal (who has the most fun-to-say name in OWL). Tizi is known as an aggressive tank, which I expect will synergize well with Gesture, who creates space so effectively an in-game vacuum is established.

Seoul, as mentioned above, sold the contract of Bunny to LAV. Bunny didn’t see much, if any, playtime, so this is a low-loss trade for Seoul, but a huge get for LAV.

SHD will finally have the rest of their February signings in the US (Geguri and Sky), but also lost their hands-down best player in Undead. They’ve been substantially weakened by losing Undead, and there’s no telling how much (or whether) the arrival of Geguri and Sky will improve things elsewhere.

  • First, the dirty business. Undead has wife drama back in China, and is a known philanderer. Quite the set of accomplishments for a man of merely 22. Whether he was released for disciplinary reasons, public relations concerns, other things, or a combination of factors, those problems were enough to warrant the 0-20 SHD dropping the man recognized as easily their best player. So the reasons must have been significant. It’s possible that the leadership also didn’t want him near Geguri, since he treats women like garbage.

  • The in-game effect is that SHD is reduced to Diya, Xushu, and Ado for pure DPS players, with MG and the incoming Geguri as flexes. None of the first three have impressed much, and I don’t have any highlight-reel memories of MG. Geguri is an unknown, but will likely be primarily a tank, since that’s what she was brought on board for.

  • Speaking of, Geguri is a well-respected Korean tank (I don’t know how many times I’ve typed that while writing this), and OWL’s first female player. Her ladder play, especially on D. Va is really tight. Frankly, just having another Tank to rotate with Roshan and Fearless will be a boon for SHD. The largest concern is how well she’ll gel with the team, especially considering the fact that she’s one of only three Korean-speaking members (the other eight speak Mandarin, I believe).

  • Sky is a support main, and part of the Chinese majority on the roster. He’s the team’s fourth support main. I don’t know whether he was brought on to start immediately, and I kind of don’t care. Frankly, SHD needs to run every experiment they can to find something that even comes close to working, latch onto it, and iterate on it if they hope to finally win a game. Put Sky in with every viable roster.

SFS signed two new players last stage: Architect (DPS) and Moth (Support). Moth played stage and did well in SFS terms. SFS will also see the debut of Super, who turned 18 between stages 2 and 3, and so will be available to play during the team’s first match of the stage.

  • Architect, however, was in Korea, so was unable to play during stage 3. I can’t find anything about whether he’s made it to the US yet-- even his Twitter feed doesn’t say anything… nothing I can read anyway.

  • Super is a tank main, making him only the second on the roster. He’ll likely see a ton of playtime next to his counterpart Nomy.

  • Also of note was the debut of Sinatraa in stage 2. He turned 18 during the stage, and as soon as he did he hit the stage… with a BANG. Sinatraa is real. Keep an eye on SFS, because if they keep improving, they’ll hit at least mid-tier of the rankings. And @Vocino might actually get some points when he remembers to vote.

Florida made two signings last stage: Awesomeguy (Tank) and Sayaplayer (DPS). This team was resurgent during the late part of last stage, and I’m excited to see whether they can keep that trajectory going. The additions of three new players from their original game minimum of six are three steps in the right direction.

  • Awesomeguy is tank main, and the only tank main on the FL roster. Cwoosh and Manneten, who have filled the role so far, are flex players. That explains a lot, frankly. The addition of a solid tank main should bring a noticeable improvement to the team.

  • Sayaplayer plays, I think, primarily hitscan DPS (Tracer, Soldier, McCree). I’ll be interested to see how he gels with fellow DPS players Tviq and Logix. Logix went off during the last part of stage 2, while Tviq was pretty consistent throughout. I expect to see Sayaplayer next to Tviq most of the time, since Tviq has a very deep character pool, and Saya’s overlaps with Logix’s.

DAL, as mentioned above, traded Custa to LAV in exchange for Unkoe (making it a straight support-for-support trade). They also picked up tank main OGE, who will fill the hole left by the now-dropped xQc. He’s even upholding his predecessor’s practice of getting suspended early!

  • Custa wasn’t an amazing support player (in OWL terms), and neither was Unkoe, so the trade is a wash with respect to pure performance. However, Custa was regarded as one of the best presences in the locker room at DAL. Given the reported disarray in Dallas, this will further shake things up, and not in a good way. LAV gets the better end of the deal, since they’re trying to effect a culture change anyway.

  • OGE was brought in three days before xQc was released. Two weeks later, he was suspended for paid account boosting. He will be eligible to play in week 2 of stage 3. Looks like Taimou will have to flex-tank just a little while longer.


#7

Latest patch notes for OW make a few major/balance changes. Previous stage was two patches behind.

  1. Brigitte has been added to the game, but she’s not available in Comp until season 10. I think there are approx 3 weeks left in s9. I can’t find anything official on this, but what I can find says Brigitte will not be in OWL until stage 4. Given the state of her Charge hitbox (approximately the size of a semi-truck), I’m comfortable with this.

This means that only the next changes will take effect for this stage. These are not exhaustive, just the highlights.

  1. Sombra has received a huge overall buff. Whereas before she was primarily an EMP bot, gaining tons of charge off of injured allies using her hacked health packs, Blizz has nudged her toward a more rounded use of her skillset. Basically, she has surpassed Mei as the “fun police” of the game: you want to play the video game, but Sombra laughs in your face and turns you into a normie. I expect to see a lot more Sombra this stage, though not necessarily on the points we’re used to seeing her (e.g., Volsk A defense).
  • Hack is faster (Cast time reduced from 0.8 seconds to 0.65 seconds).
  • Hack disables more abilities (notably: Mercy’s slow-fall, Genji’s double-jump and wall climb, and Pharah’s jump jets).
  • Primary weapon spread reduced from 3.0 to 2.7 (she might actually consistently hit something).
  • She can see enemy health bars if they’re below 100% hp (used to be 50%)
  • Translocator duration increased from 15 to 20 sec, allowing her more time to get into position and/or wait for an opening.
  1. Mei has received buffs to her weapon.
  • The slow effect of her primary fire lasts 1.5 seconds, instead of 1. This is annoying. More importantly, it can combo straight into her ultimate-- people won’t get un-slowed until after the cast and initial freeze have already taken effect (whereas before they would regain speed and simply walk out of the circle if they were near the edge).
  • Secondary fire consumes less ammo, meaning she can jam more icicles into eye sockets. Always fun.
  1. Doomfist has upgraded his gun-hand (handgun?) to refill its ammo more quickly (from 0.8s per shell to 0.65). He’ll have more reliable damage. So we might see him played in more situations than Overtime wick-burning, emergency last-point Defenses, or whenever Hydration just feels like jamming out. However, his issue in OWL is that he’s made of goddamned paper and people in OWL can reliably shoot targets that are right in their face. So, he gets shredded before he can get his shields up. I don’t see him getting a TON more playtime unless people find a way to reliably generate his shields more quickly (Zarya?).

With these changes, we could see a further degradation of dive defense comps (Boston is weeping, Philly might actually be bawling). If these changes stay the same, Brigitte is added in stage 4, and no further changes are made, dive will be severely crippled across the board. Brigitte is that oppressive against Tracer/Genji.


#8

Honestly, we really need to settle on who our Tracer is; we have 3 different people who play her in various settings that are all barely-passable on a good day. Clockwork is the only constant on Tracer, and he’s still generally sub-par against Tracer mains.


#9

The Houston Outlaws now account for 50% of the London Spitfire’s losses, being the only team to beat them in all 3 Stages to date, and the map pool wasn’t even stacked in our favor; when will you lot learn?

This goes out to you, @bonus :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

#UpTheAnte


#10

I mean, even with the way London looked at the end of stage 2, they still looked better than Houston during any part of stage 2. Plus the match went to a tiebreaker map, it’s not like it wasn’t close.

I totally own up to being completely wrong with my LAV predictions. I thought they’d be competing at Dallas’ level; instead they spanked Seoul (who went on to beat SFS). I was expecting them to be the 2018 Lakers, but they might turn out to be the 2018 Cavs. I’ve no idea what to make of it, but I’m happy to see a team recover after a lousy performance-- especially one as extended as an entire OWL stage.


#11

Shuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuun :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


#12

So, Boston Uprising player DreamKazper has been released following allegations of a very serious sort. I won’t go into them here, but a web search will turn up everything you may want to know.

DK was a very big part of what made Boston so effective. Mistakes is likely to take his spot. Respectable-- yes. As good as DK? Probably not.

Also questions about how Boston’s team mentality is, given the abrupt breaking of the news and very fast release of DK, on very serious grounds.


#13

Wednesday, 11 April Matches

  • Shanghai Dragons
  • Los Angeles Gladiators

0 voters

  • San Francisco Shock
  • Los Angeles Valiant

0 voters

  • Dallas Fuel
  • Seoul Dynasty

0 voters


#14

Thursday, 12 April Matches

  • Boston Uprising
  • New York Excelsior

0 voters

  • London Spitfire
  • Florida Mayhem

0 voters

  • Philadelphia Fusion
  • Houston Outlaws

0 voters


#15

Friday, 13 April Matches

  • Los Angeles Valiant
  • Dallas Fuel

0 voters

  • San Francisco Shock
  • Shanghai Dragons

0 voters

  • Seoul Dynasty
  • Los Angeles Gladiators

0 voters


#16

Saturday, 14 April Matches

  • London Spitfire
  • Philadelphia Fusion

0 voters

  • New York Excelsior
  • Houston Outlaws

0 voters

  • Florida Mayhem
  • Boston Uprising

0 voters


#17

Following Week 1, it’s honestly too close to call. Technically @Droul is leading the pack with 9 points as the most accurate picker, but very-nearly everyone is well within striking distance (it’s a 5-way tie for 2nd place with 8 points, FFS). It’ll be interesting to see how things settle/develop this week; I expect we’ll see some separations start forming.

In the battle of Man vs Machine, Machine hasn’t even turned up, despite being reminded by Man about the contest during the STR4TS Monthly live stream. Maybe he’s just giving Man a head start? Time will tell.


#18

London can’t catch a break against us, we can’t catch a break against Philly.

#feelsidon’tknowman


#19

He’s iterating on his algorithm.


#20

Slight delay in this weeks tabulations/poll-postings; they’ll be up tonight before I go to bed, so check back first thing tomorrow morning, everyone :wink: