Stage 2 – Week 2 is in the books for Season 2 of the Overwatch League.
A new patch brought some interesting changes for Stage 2, and it was a good test to see which teams would embrace the new meta.
A new support hero, Baptiste, was introduced and immediately made an impact on the gameplay.
Baptiste comes equipped with a Biotic Launcher primary weapon that rewards careful aim and has an alternate fire that provides healing at a distance.
The new hero’s ultimate ability, Amplification Matrix, doubles the damage and healing of any projectiles fired through it.
Baptiste also comes equipped with Immortality field, a powerful ability that prevents his teammates from dying but comes at the cost of a long cooldown.
We saw Baptiste most commonly utilized in bunker compositions on defense and paired with heroes like Orisa, Bastion, and Ana.
Baptiste’s main role in the bunker composition is to keep his team healed-up, use Immortality Field to save his team from Dragonstrike or Self-Destruct, and lay down Amplification Matrix for Bastion’s Sentry mode to create a fearsome damage-dealing combination.
The team that had the most success using the new support hero was the San Francisco Shock, but the Hangzhou Spark also utilized Baptiste well on a couple of maps. Rascal looked the most comfortable on Baptiste, and the SF Shock even used him in some attacking compositions.
The downside to compositions involving Baptiste was that heroes like Zenyatta or Lúcio were often left out of the lineup.
This meant fewer support ultimates that could help to negate the devastating effects of a Graviton Surge combo.
Paris was also introduced into the map pool, and we got our first look at how teams are approaching the new Assault map. Defense proved to be difficult on the new map, and many games on Paris went into overtime with the advantage going to the fastest attacking team.
Teams are still figuring out the best way to approach Paris, and it was fun to see the different strategies being used on the new map.
Many teams opted for bunker compositions on defense, and we also got to see heroes like Genji, Pharah, Junkrat, Wrecking Ball, and Sombra being played.
I’m expecting further shifts in the meta and more usage of the new support hero as we set our sights onto Week 3 of Stage 2 of Overwatch League.
Teams will be able to watch film on those who had the most success with damage dealing compositions, and I expect a replication of those strategies in Week 3.
Latest OWL Stage 2 Winner Odds
These odds for the Stage 2 winner were taken from Betway.
The Vancouver Titans currently have the best odds to win Stage 2 due in large part to their Stage 1 Finals victory.
The Titans like to play the classic triple support/triple tank composition, but I’m not sure if that’s going to favor them the way it did in Stage 1 because of the renewed emphasis on DPS compositions.
The San Francisco Shock have the third-best odds to win Stage 2, but I thought that they looked like the top team through the first two weeks. The Shock crushed their first three Stage 2 opponents without dropping a single map. They seem to have an excellent understanding of the meta, and their recent play has the team oozing with confidence.
The Dallas Fuel took advantage of their extra time off and took care of business against Paris Eternal and Toronto Defiant. It’s difficult to say if the Fuel are a top team or beneficiaries of a favorable schedule, but their recent wins are a promising sign.
The Guangzhou Charge slipped even further in the rankings this week after an abysmal start to Stage 2. Their map-losing streak is starting to weigh heavily on the team, and things could fall apart quickly if they can’t find a good result against one of their Week 3 opponents.
Overwatch League Stage 2 – Week 3 Matchups
Week 3 should be a very telling four days of Overwatch as teams begin their push for playoffs.
Top teams like Vancouver have tough tests ahead of them, and Week 3 is a chance for middling teams to separate themselves from the rest of the pack.
The odds for the following following Stage 2 – Week 3 OWL 2019 matchups are provided by SportsBetting.ag. Feel free to give their site a try. They offer great odds on Overwatch and a variety of other esports.
San Francisco Shock (7-3) vs. Toronto Defiant (6-5)
The San Francisco Shock are currently sitting at the top of the Stage 2 standings due to their 3-0 match record in the stage and a perfect 12-0 map record.
The Shock are clearly one of the best teams in the league, an honor they share with the Vancouver Titans and the New York Excelsior.
San Francisco has really picked up their play in Stage 2, and the new meta is favoring the team’s ability to flex onto new hero compositions.
Rascal is always exceptional at picking up new heroes and learning quickly how to maximize their value. He is one of the few players that have been able to utilize Baptiste on both defense and attack.
The Toronto Defiant looked like one of the top teams in Stage 1, but their play has been less impressive lately, and they are currently sitting with a 1-3 record in Stage 2.
The Defiant recently debuted their new DPS player im37, and he looked strong in his first OWL match against the Washington Justice.
The results should start to get better for the Defiant as they continue to get im37 comfortable with his new team.
Prediction and Pick
The Zarya matchup always proves to be crucial when teams go with a standard triple tank/triple support composition, and sintraa’s experience on Zarya gives San Francisco the edge here.
I’m expecting to see more Baptiste from Rascal on Hanamura in the form of a bunker composition with Bastion, but hopefully we get to see the new support hero on the payload maps Eichenwalde and Gibraltar as well.
Overall, San Francisco has displayed much more teamwork than Toronto over these past couple weeks.
Prediction: The Shock seem ultra-confident, and I expect them to snowball through this match with no mercy. The San Francisco Shock win easily, 4-0.
Hangzhou Spark (4-5) vs. Guangzhou Charge (3-8)
The Hangzhou Spark lost to the Vancouver Titans 4-0, but the match was a lot closer than the map score suggests.
Their last match against the Boston Uprising was a crazy back-and-forth affair that the Spark squeaked out by a score of 3-2.
The Spark started to show flashes of cohesiveness in their last match against the Boston Uprising. If their teamwork continues to improve, they could prove to be a very difficult draw come playoffs.
The Guangzhou Charge have been having a rough time lately in the Overwatch League.
They are currently sitting at 23 map losses in a row and are closing in on the all-time record. They are being called the “best worst team” in the league, although they might not be as bad as their last few performances suggest.
The Charge also lean heavily on the individual play of HOTBA to help them win maps. HOTBA’s Pharah looked solid when he flexed the hero on Anubis in the Charge’s last match. I hope that Guangzhou continues to flex HOTBA on to DPS more going forward in this DPS-kind meta.
Prediction and Pick
I’m expecting the Hangzhou Spark to come out with some flashy lineups, and it will be interesting to see if Krystal gets another shot at Bastion on the first map, Busan.
The Charge’s best shot at taking a map and breaking their losing streak will be Map 2, Paris.
The Charge looked anemic on their last few payload maps, and I expect the Spark to take advantage of their timid play.
Prediction: The Hangzhou Spark win King’s Row and Gibraltar and win the match 3-1.
Shanghai Dragons (4-6) vs. Florida Mayhem (1-10)
The Shanghai Dragons’ Stage 2 losses have come at the hands of the Los Angeles Gladiators and the New York Excelsior, two teams at the very top of the pack.
It’s hard to judge the Dragons for their tough losses, but we got a good look at what Shanghai is capable of in their last match against the Chengdu Hunters. The Dragons defeated the cagey Hunters by a score of 3-1, even though Chengdu was coming off a 4-0 victory over the Paris Eternal.
The Florida Mayhem are coming off of a 4-0 loss to the New York Excelsior where they displayed a decent amount of fight against one of the league’s best teams.
The Mayhem are clearly in a rebuilding phase, and they recently made the decision to go with an all-Korean lineup and coaching staff. This decision has hurt their short-term continuity, but it should pay dividends in the long run now that the team is able to communicate properly with each other.
Prediction and Pick
The Shanghai Dragons are just starting to round into form in Stage 2, and I believe their best Overwatch is still ahead of them.
The Florida Mayhem seem to be trending in the opposite direction, and I predict that this is not the final Florida roster we will see at the end of the season.
The difference in this matchup will be the DPS play.
I expect the combo of DDing and diem to prove too much for Florida to handle; the support players from the Mayhem, HaGoPeun and Kris, will have to play out of their minds to keep their squad alive throughout the course of the match.
Shanghai struggled against Chengdu on the new Assault map, while Florida was able to put together a decent showing on Paris against the Excelsior.
Prediction: Florida wins Paris, but Shanghai wins the match 3-1.
Vancouver Titans (10-0) vs. Boston Uprising (6-4)
The Vancouver Titans are arguably the best team in Overwatch and are still riding high from their Stage 1 Finals victory over the San Francisco Shock.
Vancouver is a god-tier triple tank/triple support team, but the new meta is starting to favor a more DPS-heavy playstyle. The Titans have answered those questions by showing that they can play DPS at a high level while still being strong in a 3/3 composition when needed.
The Titan’s star of Stage 1, SeoMinSoo, has been relatively quiet in Stage 2 despite his team winning. This shows the depth of Vancouver’s roster, which has been relying on a number of players to help them win matches.
JJANU on D.Va, Bumper on Reinhardt, and Twilight on Zenyatta are all near the top of the Overwatch League for their respective heroes.
Each of these players has been consistently stepping up to help the Titans win games, and the three of them together are a huge reason why Vancouver is so good at playing triple tank/triple support lineups.
Boston achieved three reverse sweeps in a row before losing their last match to the Hangzhou Spark 2-3.
The close matches for Boston will only help them going forward, and they are gaining more experience than any other team with the number of five-game matches they have played.
Prediction and Pick
Vancouver is a top-tier team, but Boston has proven to be a tough matchup for every opponent they have faced in Stage 2. Boston has shown great resolve in being able to navigate Stage 2 with a 2-1 record so far.
I predict this matchup of Vancouver vs. Boston to be the closest of any of the four matches I highlighted for Week 3.
I’m giving the Support/Tank edge to the Titans and the DPS edge to the Uprising.
Prediction: In the end, the Support/Tank advantage that Vancouver has with JJANU, Bumper, and Twilight makes it tough for Boston to win the triple support/triple tank battle, and the Titans escape with a 3-2 victory.
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Overwatch League Stage 2 – Week 3 Betting Preview With Odds and PicksApril 17, 2019