Welcome to Match Notes, a weekly column by staff writer Bonnie Qu that looks back on each week of the Overwatch League.
This week’s entry is about the games that took place from June 25-27. For official match results, check out the Overwatch League website. For everything else, look here.
THIS WEEK’S PATCH NOTES
The good folks over at the Overwatch League are constantly figuring out ways to make things as balanced as possible. This means tweaking the relative strength of various teams and players from week to week, with varying results. This year, they’ve generously agreed to send us some of their official patch notes every week so that we know exactly what changes have been made.
- Böstön Up
Developer’s comment: It can be hard to make Torbjörn work, but whenever a team manages it, it’s typically a huge crowd-pleaser. In an attempt to retain more viewership, we spun a wheel and picked the Boston Uprising to receive the special Torbjörn buff this week.
- Power level buffed to compensate for ping difference
Developer’s comment: For two tournament cycles, our two European teams – the London Spitfire and Paris Eternal – have struggled to overcome the high ping that they and their opponents must always play on. Now, at the halfway point of the season, we’ve decided to give both teams a significant performance boost to make up for it.
- Park “Profit” Jun-young gets to play Tracer again
Developer’s comment: With the removal of hero pools, Profit gets to play his signature hero again, which is an indirect buff to the Dynasty overall. I mean, you’ve all seen him play Tracer before. What more is there to explain?
Winners and losers are a natural part of competition — though not always in the way one would think. In this section, we go over who experienced the triumphs, defeats, epic highs and epic lows of professional Overwatch this week.
Weeks ago, I wrote that Europe was the definitive loser of the week. The Paris Eternal and London Spitfire both debuted this season with unimpressive showings, and it seemed that we were in for another year of European talent struggling to make it big. Granted, part of this wasn’t their fault – the distance and high ping has certainly played a role – but they both seemed to have trouble meshing as well.
Now however, both teams’ fortunes seem to be changing. The two met in the first match of the week, with the Eternal taking it 3-1, but this wasn’t an unexpected outcome. The surprise came with the pair’s second matches, with the Spitfire facing the San Francisco Shock and the Eternal taking on the Los Angeles Gladiators.
Both matches ended up with 3-2 scorelines, which means different things for all the teams involved. The Eternal defeated the Gladiators, an outcome that forces us to completely reassess the relative strength of every team in the West Division. And the Spitfire managed to take two maps off the defending champions, which I’m quite certain literally nobody expected. All in all, things seem to be looking up for the European teams. One of them progressing to the final four is looking more likely by the day, though it still remains to be seen how a trip to Hawaii will work out logistically.
DEFEAT: EAST DIVISION PREDICTIONS
What’s going on in the East Division? Once again, nobody knows. I’m beginning to suspect that it is, in fact, impossible to understand this division. The one constant in the East Division is that the Valiant will lose their games, which is a comfort, at least.
The Shanghai Dragons had the week off, which meant complete and utter chaos with no dominant force to keep it in check. The Guangzhou Charge went 3-2 against the New York Excelsior, then got swept by the Chengdu Hunters. The Hangzhou Spark, who went 4-0 in the previous tournament, didn’t pick up a single map against the Seoul Dynasty. Oh, and the Dynasty are good now? Or are their opponents just bad?
Right now, it’s hard to figure out how the East Division teams stack up against each other. Things will likely become clearer next week, once we see the Dragons and the Philadelphia Fusion play, but this middle-of-the-table struggle has been extremely perplexing. At least it makes for unpredictable games.
WHO GAMED THE HARDEST?
Every player in the Overwatch League is, by definition, a gamer. But, sometimes, one rises to the top as the most gamer of them all. Whenever this happens, it’s worth celebrating. Each week, we’ll be picking the one player we think gamed harder than anyone else.
PROFIT (SEOUL DYNASTY)
Profit may only be the second most famous Tracer on his team, but he’s definitely their go-to guy when it comes to her, and with good reason. I’ve been watching Profit play Tracer for nearly four years now and he’s still so good that it makes me want to tear my hair out sometimes. It’s not because I have a personal vendetta against him or anything. It’s just that Profit’s Tracer is as close to perfect as it gets, which causes me to bypass admiration entirely and instead plunge straight into blinding rage.
After a tournament of Tracer being banned, it’s been very refreshing to see pro players really get to flex their muscles with her again. Profit especially has a way of dominating the lobby as her. His mechanics are still incredible and the way he moves around the map is pretty much seamless. It’s always incredible to watch a player demonstrate their skill on a hero they know inside out, to the point where the character almost seems to be part of them. Death, taxes and Profit carrying on Tracer.
- Seo “Myunb0ng” Sang-min (Boston Uprising)
- Daniël “Daan” Scheltema (Paris Eternal)
- Jeong “Heesu” Hee-su (Toronto Defiant)