The preseason for Overwatch League has come to an end- it was a great opportunity for each team to see how their skills would work out in the League, while providing a great chance for Overwatch fans to see their favorite teams play.
Players from 11 teams had the chance to show off their skills on the stage in the LA Arena - barring the Philadelphia Fusion, which didn’t participate in the preseason. Among them were players whose performance continued to live up to their fame, but there were also players that grasped the chance to walk into the spotlight of the league stage.
This article will be covering the rising stars of the preseason stage; the 5 players who were selected were ones that delivered great performance and have very promising potential.
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▶ San Francisco Shock’s babybay - The fuel for San Francisco Shock’s high performance
The San Francisco Shock had to play in two consecutive matchups due to Philadelphia Fusion’s withdrawal from the preseason, but their unexpectedly outstanding plays made fans run wild with excitement.
The Shock does have popular DPS players like iddqd and sinatraa, but if we were to select only one player that deserves the limelight in this preseason, it would be babybay. The skill that babybay has shown with his Widowmaker against the Florida Mayhem and Los Angeles Valiant is extremely remarkable.
The current meta in Overwatch tends to favor Widowmaker in the maps where she is playable, which can lead to Widowmaker on both teams in certain maps. This naturally led to rivalry between Widowmakers; in the case of babybay, his Widowmaker outplayed the enemy Widowmakers at almost every turn, contributing immensely to his team’s victory.
Notably, his hit accuracy was 67% while his critical hit accuracy was 22% in the matchup against LA Valiant on the first day, which was as good as any other Widowmaker mains. At the same time, he still managed to manage as a sub tank by playing Zarya, just like a true flex player. Fans should definitely be looking forward to what babybay will surprise us with in the regular season.
▶ Los Angeles Gladiators’ Shaz - The terrifying healer killing off DPS
Many Overwatch fans predicted London Spitfire’s victory over LA Gladiators during the matchup on the 2nd day. However, a unexpected surprise took place: the Gladiators defeated London Spitfire by 3-2.
The Gladiators overwhelmed the Spitfire players with outstanding strategies and impressive teamwork; their support players naturally caught the eyes of the fans with their remarkable performance that allowed their DPS to run wild. Notably, Shaz was as aggressive as their main DPS on his Zenyatta, killing off enemy the DPS by jumping upon him along with enemy healers.
Shaz also played a big role in pushing the payload in their Bastian & Orisa comp strategy by using his Orb of Harmony and Transcendence at just the right time, such as when Surefour’s Bastion was close to death. His Zenyatta showed no openings for the enemy during both the defending and attacking rounds.
Many extraordinary Zenyatta players made their appearance during this preseason, and Shaz is surely a prime example. It will be exciting to see how Shaz will outplay other Zenyatta players this season.
▶ Shanghai Dragons’ Diya - Headshotmaker, not Widowmaker
The Shanghai Dragons are the only team comprised entirely of Chinese players in the Overwatch League. Many Overwatch fans were curious about how well they would play in the League, but were a bit disappointed that they ended up with 2 wins and 2 losses in the preseason. Despite that, there were many moments where they displayed great prowess during the matchups.
The player on this team that caught the attention of the Overwatch fans was Diya, who played as main DPS along with Undead, the well-known ace of the Dragons. Diya has effectively played a variety of DPS heroes, including Tracer, Genji, Widowmaker, and Junkrat.
The most noteworthy moment was when he played as Widowmaker on attack in the Temple of Anubis map, during the 2nd set against Seoul Dynasty. While the rest of his team was in the midst of a brawl against their opponents at point B, Diya took out the enemy Mercy, Winston, and Genji one by one with headshots. His headshot kills didn’t stop here; he continued to take his enemies down at point A during their tie breaker match. Even though they may have lost in that set, Diya nonetheless earned himself the POTG.
Diya’s outstanding performance continued even in the matchup against the Boston Uprising on the 3rd day. Diya played Widowmaker in Junkertown and Ilios, and Junkrat in the Lunar Horizon Colony. Even though the Dragons may have lost by 2-3 after a tiebreaker set, how well Diya will continue to play is something Overwatch fans have to look forward to.
▶ Houston Outlaws’ JAKE - Houston’s DPS made manifest
The Houston Outlaws had 2 losses against the Dallas Fuel and Seoul Dynasty in this preseason. However, just because they didn’t get any victories doesn’t mean that the Outlaws are a team that can be underestimated. Houston fought well against the Dallas Fuel and Seoul Dynasty, teams judged to be powerful by many fans, and managed to hold out well in intense games.
They have many great players like Coolmatt, Linkzr, Rawkus, etc, but no one would deny that JAKE stood at the center of Houston’s DPS. JAKE was one of the players who started to gain popularity by playing in the Overwatch World Cup, rather than in the OWL preseason. JAKE continues to remain the biggest threat to opponent teams.
JAKE has delivered overwhelming performance against others with his Soldier: 76, Junkrat, and Tracer; he killed more players with his RIP-Tires than Taimou did in Eichenwalde during the matchup against the Dallas Fuel. He also did an incredible job of destroying enemies with his frags and Concussion Mines.
Even though Houston may have ended up with 2 losses in the preseason, the Houston Outlaws’ fierce attacks did leave great impressions upon many fans. It would be unwise to regard them as weak with just 2 losses. Fans should look forward to what the Houston Outlaws and JAKE have to show the world in the future.
▶ Seoul Dynasty’s Fleta - ‘I still crave more wins’
The Seoul Dynasty had to play thrice due to the Philadelphia Fusion’s withdrawal from the preseason. As a result, they ended up with 3 satisfying victories, putting themselves at the very top of the preseason rankings. It was only Seoul Dynasty and the San Francisco Shock that got to play three times; despite having to face more opponents, it ended well for Seoul Dynasty.
Just as their name implies, Seoul Dynasty has overwhelmed their opponents, with each player displaying amazing skills. Amongst them, Fleta has managed to receive the most attention with his especially astounding plays.
Fleta played a huge role in leading his team to victory with his exceptional plays in all of the games he played. He managed to oneshot JAKE’s Soldier: 76 standing on a pillar as Tracer, while killing Pine’s Widowmaker with headshots three times as Widowmaker. He even managed to defend a point by getting triple kills by himself in the Horizon Lunar Colony map as Soldier: 76.
His fans say, ‘Fleta is finally setting free his frustration,’ referencing his string of disheartening losses before joining the League team. He was starved for victory, and his plays seemed reflect this great craving. The world is eager to see how this craving will influence Seoul Dynasty in the regular season.
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