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Category: Overwatch League (page 23 of 38)

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Episode 22 – Purple Monkey Dishwasher

Joining Chris to talk about the Vancouver Titans are co-hosts Omni & Sam. The Vancouver Titans got the week off, yet produced a few videos to tide the Force of Nature by. We also saw the first of three Overwatch League Homestand series, and also witness the power getting knocked out in Dallas.

Stage 2 Week 5 Preview: Defiant and Dynasty

While the OWL viewers had fun taking in the first-ever Homestand weekend, the Vancouver Titans were… well, I don’t know what. Not playing in official games, that’s for sure.

So having sat idle, they now get to finish out the Stage with a 2-game week, which pits them first against the Toronto Defiant and then the third-time-rematch against the Seoul Dynasty. And while the Titans have already locked in a spot in the playoffs, the results here will determine their final seed, which is very much not locked in.

If the match against Toronto had taken place during Stage 1, it would have been a marquee game. But since starting out 5-2 and tying for 3rd seed, the Defiant have fallen off a proverbial cliff. Their record this stage is a miserable 1-4, which it’s hard to argue isn’t deserved. Their falloff in form was obscured by a week 1 in which they beat the Washington Justice and lost a close 3-2 against the Boston Uprising–but since then they’ve lost three more matches in a row and looked poor doing it.

I must admit, I’m surprised by the Defiant. On seeing the roster, I thought they would do well in a dive meta and poorly in a 3/3. Instead, they managed to do well during the first stage, when 3/3 was the only comp you could run, and their falloff in form has corresponded to a meta shift which has allowed DPS compositions to exist again.

That in mind, I can’t help but think about the one change in personnel the team has made since Stage 1. Everyone’s favorite OWL speedrunner IM37, who went from unsigned to starting roster in something like two weeks, replaced Stellar as the team’s hitscan DPS. But because 3/3 is still often necessary, he has spent much of his time on Brigitte, where he has been less than impressive. The other change has involved Yakpung spending more time on Winston, but considering that was his preferred hero during his time in Korea, I’m skeptical that this change would be responsible for a negative trend in performance.

The other members of the team have stayed the same: Ivy is the projectile DPS and Zarya player who is capable but not exceptional on either role; Envy is a high-tier Dva; Neko is a solid Ana but nothing to write home about on Zenyatta; Roky is a very solid main healer whatever form that takes. That is to say, this isn’t a roster that can beat you with its star power. Instead, it needs to win with superior coordination. That’s been lacking both in the specific Brigitte/Main Tank relationship, and between the team as a whole. The shotcalling has looked timid, and the team’s ability to stay grouped has been a consistent issue. Strong opponents like the Shock and Excelsior have torn them apart due to this tendency, but even relatively weaker opponents like Philadelphia have been able to execute a winning strategy in the same manner.

If there’s one thing the Titans excel at, it’s coordination. Whether it’s moving in lockstep during a standard 3/3 engage, or somehow working together in a chaotic fight where everyone is split, Vancouver is somehow always on the same page.

This is going to be a near-repeat of the Defiant vs. Shock match, with the Titans playing the part of the 4-0 victors.

Later in the week, it’ll be time to once again take down the Seoul Dynasty. After a 4-0 win in the Stage 1 Semifinals, the Dynasty made noises about getting revenge during Week 2. Instead, Vancouver utterly dominated them for three maps, then checked out early on Rialto, which accounts for the final 3-1 scoreline.

There’s two ways to interpret what’s happened since then, the right one and the wrong one. The wrong one is to point out that Seoul have won 3 in a row, setting themselves up for another playoff berth. The right way is to note that the Dynasty have lost two matches this stage, suffering a 3-2 defeat at the hands of the Gladiators and the aforementioned 3-1 pummeling from the Titans. Their 3 victories, meanwhile, include one impressive 4-0 against the Fuel, one “do you want a cookie?” victory over the Outlaws, and a nailbiting 3-2 victory over… the Los Angeles Valiant.

In other words, Seoul is 3-2 with one actually impressive victory, and would you look at that, do you know who else beat the Fuel 4-0? That’s right, it’s the Titans. Trying to argue in favor of Seoul based on results comes down to pointing out that the Titans lost a map against the Outlaws, which is a long way from convincing.

The Dynasty aren’t a bad team–far from it. But they’re just not on the same level as Vancouver. This is Seoul’s third bite at the apple, and I expect it to go much like the first two.

The Titans will dominate 3 maps, then get bored, and Bumper will set a record for most time spent emoting in a match en route to a 3-1 victory.

Way Too Early Predictions: South Korea and the World Cup

This morning, Blizzard announced via twitter their announcement of the 2019 Overwatch world cup. The roster speculation started immediately, so why let Reddit users have all the fun, let’s go through the Titans roster and see who could make the cut for team South Korea.

We’ll only be talking about the Titans starting 6 man roster, since the World Cup will likely be happening in a GOATS meta, it follows that those players will be the most likely to be asked, so let’s put our rose colored glasses on and make a Titans heavy South Korea roster.

Bumper:

Bumper is one of the best main tanks in the world. He can also be a massive feeder. Part of the reason he’s so good is because of his incredible supporting cast, and while the South Korean team is going to be full of insanely skilled players, they won’t have the same chemistry as the Titans. If the South Korean team is worried about that, he could be benched in favor of another, more disciplined main tank.

There are lots of great Korean main tanks, OGE and Gesture in particular are both having great seasons, while Fissure and Fate have been top tier historically. The most likely choice however, has got to be Mano. Mano is the main tank of the New York Excelsior, and he’s a very, very good one. He is top tier at every main tank hero and his play style would fit what every team in the Overwatch League wants to do, to a tee. Bumper is an insane tank player and he gets a lot of love because of his fun, fearless, and flashy style of play, but at the end of the day, Mano is probably better all around for what South Korea’s national team will want to do.

Jjanu:

Jjanu is insane, he’s likely the best D.va in the Overwatch League, not just among Koreans, but among all players. The other likely candidates include Choihyobin, Meko, and Pokpo. All these players are great, but Jjanu is not only the flashiest, but one of the most consistent off-tanks in the league. He’s more than good enough, I’d expect them to take a serious look at Jjanu for the roster.

Seominsoo:

Seominsoo is statistically, the best Zarya player in the league. That being said, there are many great Zarya players from Korea including Profit, Nenne and Decay. These players are all great options but Seominsoo has just been so good. One hiccup in team planning may be that they want Profit, Decay or Carpe on the roster, all of these players are more traditional DPS players, but they are better at flexing onto the DPS role if necessary, if South Korea is definitely going to play traditional 3/3, Seominsoo might make the cut in terms of pure Zarya play.

Haksal:

Haksal is the best Brigitte player in the league. Libero and Rascal are both elite players, but they aren’t as good as Haksal, if I’m picking the roster, Haksal is on the team. NEXT!

Twilight:

Twilight and Jjonak are very close in the argument for best support in the league, but Jjonak is much more popular, I can’t see them passing on Jjonak.

Sideshow went on to agree with Wolf’s take, so clearly the professional analysts know how good he is. Twilight has an outside shot here, but the Jjonak name recognition is huge. I’ll be glad if he makes it this year, but more likely good luck next year Twilight.

Slime:

Slime will make the team. He’s the best Lucio player in the league and his main competition is Anamo, who just stunk up the place in New York Excelsior’s match against the Atlanta Reign. Unless Jjonak specifically needs Anamo for some reason, expect Slime to be on the roster.

Our Final Roster:

Reinhardt: Mano
D.va: Jjanu
Zarya: Seominsoo
Brigitte: Haksal
Zenyatta: Jjonak
Lucio: Slime

That’s a pretty great roster. South Korea will likely take the championship again, and hopefully they take a lot of Titans with them. We did miss one possibility though… since the World Cup happens in November, if the Titans continue their league-wide rampage, they could just ask the entire Titans roster and coaching staff to represent their country. South Korea is full of insane players, they could make five full rosters of players who could win the whole tournament, so they might opt to use the Titans secret weapon, their insane chemistry, to lead them to the championship once again.

Midnight in Paris

On April 21st, the Vancouver Titans tied the league record for 15 consecutive wins. The previous record was held by the Boston Uprising, so it’s fitting that the Uprising were the team standing in the way. It wasn’t close, the Titans swept the Uprising for the second time this season. In terms of quality of play, Boston played pretty well, but they were still no match for the dangerous Vancouver squad.

In a match full of impressive events, including a 5 minute spawn camp, the best moment was watching the Titans figure out how to attack the Uprising on Paris. It took their entire time allotment, but it was fascinating to see how a Symmetra assault turned into an aggressive Sombra and Wrecking Ball composition.

In the opening fight, we saw Haksal on his patented Symmetra. We saw the same composition work successfully against the Houston Outlaws, but the Uprising came prepared, they opted to add a Junkrat to the team to stop the snowball with his massive burst damage. The Titans were forced to make a change.

This time, the Titans come with a big shield and an Ana to try and out-heal the Uprising. It did not work.

Okay, how did Winston do? SeoMinSoo used his Graviton Surge, but Colourhex doesn’t care and the Titans get melted, go again.

The Titans have under 30 seconds left, so they do the only logical thing, go Sombra and Wrecking Ball and take the point. Bumper and Jjanu’s peel to protect Twilight here was huge, this team supports each other better than any other team in the league. This story could have gone a whole other way if Colourhex didn’t have to go through an ultimate animation.

With all the momentum behind the Titans, it was an easy snowball onto the second point, there was nothing the Uprising could do. They were completely outmatched and it was obvious.

Part of the reason this match on Paris was so interesting was because it heavily foreshadowed what would lead the Titans to success again on the final map of the series, Watchpoint: Gibraltar. When the Uprising bunkered up on the first point defense, the Titans switched back to their Sombra composition but added a Genji to complete their dive team, also affectionately called Hack & Slash.

Their attack here was so strong that it forced the Uprising off of bunker and back onto Winston, and later, Reinhardt 3/3. The Titans also opted for the speedrun strat, ending with over 3 minutes in the time bank.

On the Titans second attack, they also correctly decided to use their Hack & Slash combo against Boston’s bunker and it was incredibly effective. For fans who think the Titans will have a lot of trouble when not playing 3/3, here’s proof that they have A-tier Dive ability as well. Bumper’s timely usage of Primal Rage gives them another 2 points. The Titans proceed to spawn camp Boston for almost 4 full minutes on their attack. Boston is forced to switch to Sombra GOATS but by the time they swap off of attack Bastion, they are at a severe ultimate disadvantage. RCK does eventually get his EMP, but it’s too late for the Uprising to take advantage and they take the L, another 4-0, another victory for the Titans who appear to be on the way to another league record, and another impressive showing in the stage playoffs.

Episode 21 – Easter Bumper

Joining Chris to talk about the Vancouver Titans are co-hosts Omni & Sam. With the Vancouver Titans streak still intact after a weekend of 4-0 wins over the Dallas Fuel & Boston Uprising, the guys wonder what it will take to stop the Titans. They also give their thoughts on a week where NYXL lost a match, and predict what we’ll see from the Dallas Homestand this weekend.

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