Overwatch League- The Games and the Drama

This is going to be a very brief recap of the games, with a closer look at some of the drama that unfolded over the weekend of matches for this league. All in all, there was nothing that was really shocking in the matches. Well, except I expected the Spitfire to destroy the Gladiators and that went a completely different way. They played hard though, as did my Uprising who won 1 and lost 1 this week.

The real talk of the league right now is the suspensions and drama that unfolded over the week. The Overwatch League handed down punishments for 3 players and a coach. The coach, Houston Outlaw’s TaiRong, was issued a warning because of a “racially insensitive” meme that he tweeted out. There was no fine as he owned up to his mistake pretty quickly on his own and donated $1000 to the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation. Dallas Fuel’s Taimou was fined $1000 for using “anti-gay” slurs on his personal Twitch stream. Silkthread also received a $1000 fine, for the less scandalous but just as against the Blizzard’s end user agreement account sharing.

Then there is xQc, who faced his second round of fines and suspensions. His fine was $4,000 and he was suspended for 4 games for a variety of different issues, including “repeated use of disparaging language” and using a “racially insensitive emote”. This was his second suspension, which takes him out of play for the remainder of Stage 2. You will remember he was also out for most of Stage 1 for his conduct. He was later released by the Dallas Fuel, which makes sense because why have a guy taking up a roster slot when he spends more time suspended than he does playing for them.

His fans are outraged, complaining that he seems excessively punished and that people are out to get him. How about you tone down a persona that can be a bit extreme so that the league wouldn’t need to punish you? Accountability can go a long way, if you let it. It doesn’t matter if he’s “really a pretty cool dude”. It matters how he presents himself, especially as he chooses to be in the public eye. With age comes wisdom, I suppose, and he’s still young enough to get away with it.

This has been a theme for Blizzard especially since Overwatch came out. They want everyone to be able to enjoy their games. As someone who has been bullied a lot in games, to a point where I refuse to chat with strangers and avoid voice chat as much as possible, I welcome this attempt to develop a kinder community. Especially with the entire world seemingly going down in toxic flames around us. I like the fact that they are suspending the very people that are supposed to be upholding these principles that Kaplan and his team hold dear. As a person who doesn’t really come across this negativity as much anymore and who knows that I can count on a system put in place to protect players, I thank the Blizzard team for sticking to their ideals. This makes me feel better about my choice for being a huge fan of this company, their convention, and their games.


Overwatch League- Stage 2, Week 2 and other Overwatch Happenings

This was a big week for Overwatch. First it was the 2nd week of Stage 2, which brought some big rivalries to the stage. Secondly, a new character was announced. Let’s get started in talking about both.

The new week of stage 2 kicked off with the big rivalry between the Dallas Fuel and Seoul Dynasty. This rivalry began in the Overwatch APEX tournaments and as these entire teams moved to the Overwatch League, so did their fierce rivalry. As expected, the Dallas Fuel put up quite a fight but Seoul overcame them to take the match 3-1. The second day saw the ages long rivalry between New York and Boston on the big stage. New York XL did end up taking the match 4-0, but the scrappy Uprising did try their best to overcome them.

Uprising seemed to be struggling with their place in the new meta. By the time they lost to the New York XL, the team had yet to find a win during Stage 2. They did manage to find that win in their match against the Florida Mayhem. The Mayhem keeps putting up some good plays but ultimately still seem to be struggling in the league. I’m pulling for them to find their stride. They seem like an honestly good group of guys and they play hard. I also hope that this latest win with the Uprising helps them find their groove again. I was pretty excited to see Mistakes in the lineup and while I was first questioning the move benching DreamKazper, Mistakes’ Sombra was really great to see.

The next order of business is the new character Brigitte. There wasn’t any real surprise when they announced this character as the clues made it obvious that she was going to be the next hero. Still, the announcement was quite exciting and I quickly got onto the PTR to try her out. I was pretty impressed with the play style, especially as someone who loves to play support. Her flail is pretty awesome and the shield was a nice addition. She seemed like a pretty solid character, but I can’t see me choosing her over my preferred supports Moira and Mercy. (I know, but I still love to play her. In fact, I love playing all the supports, except Symmetra.) It’s still early in the PTR phase and she has already seen a couple of tweaks. I’ll save my judgement on her when she goes live.

Overwatch League-Stage 2, Week 1

There have been some interesting activity in the Overwatch League while it was on break. Two members of the London Spitfire, Rascal and Fissure, found themselves on new teams. Rascal ended up with the Dallas Fuel while the L.A. Gladiators acquired Fissure. There have been numerous additions to the Shanghai Dragons, including the first female player Geguri, who has joined the team. Unfortunately, due to visa issues none of them have been able to come over and play for the team yet. Here is a close look at the notable moments of Week 1 in the second stage of competition.

First of all, the class demonstrated by the Florida Mayhem this week was amazing. A team, that has been more known for its entrances onto the show floor than their actual play, came out in a somber fashion, wearing the patches from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School to honor the victims in their “home” state. Considering that none of them even come from Florida, and no player even from this country, this showed such a high level of respect from them. They represented their state, where the tragic school shooting happened, and they did so proudly in their moment of silence.

If you are a fan of the Overwatch League, you may have noticed that when discussing the moves teams made with their roster that I left out Eqo. I didn’t forget about him, nor did I ignore his presence after what he did to my Uprising. He was a beast. Going from a person I didn’t know a week ago to someone that I’m certain will make a huge difference for the Philadelphia Fusion. I just watched in awe as he seemed to build up his ult at a super fast speed and had unreal plays. It was both painful and beautiful to watch. He is a player that you are going to hear a lot about all season long.

Also, Pine is still amazing. If you doubt it, just watch this:

It is just so perfect I really just need to watch it over and over again.


Overwatch- Stage 1, Week 5 and Finals

Normally this is posted on Mondays, but this week I fell behind. Next week, the gaming post will be on time and focused on the Allied Races of the new World of Warcraft Expansion. Now, read on to learn more about the exciting conclusion to the first stage of the Overwatch League.

That was a thrilling week of the Overwatch League. If you are not already paying attention to this new eSports league, you really need to. It’s a lot more thrilling than baseball or basketball, with such a high level of intensity and sportsmanship that is so great to watch. The night started off with the top 2 teams in the league playing. New York Excelsior took on the London Spitfire. Whenever Boston Uprising isn’t on, I’m an avid supporter of London. (As a D.Va main, Fury is a person I admire and try my hardest to emulate). Plus they were going against a New York team and as much as I love watching Jjonak and Pine play, they needed to go down. They didn’t go down in this first match-up, eventually winning in the tiebreaker map. This secured New York’s spot in the finals that night.

The next match-up, the Houston Outlaws and the Boston Uprising, was not just critical to both of these teams but to the Los Angeles Valiant. Outlaws needed to win 2 games to make it in the Stage 1 playoffs. Boston Uprising needed to win the match 3-1 to upset everyone and earn a spot in the playoffs. (Not bad for a team that practically everyone had in 12th in the power rankings before the season started. So Boston of them.) Outlaws took the first map, Boston took the next 2. It seemed like Uprising was going to make it, until the 4th map where they just couldn’t make that last point. The game was tied up, but Boston had lost its shot at the playoffs. Still, the tiebreaker in this game was crucial. If they were to take the tiebreaker map, Valiant would get the spot over Houston. Despite a hard-fought battle, Boston Uprising ultimately lost the match and Houston was in the playoffs.

That meant the first game of the playoffs would be London Spitfire facing off against the Houston Outlaws. Both were strong teams, with Houston coming away with the first map of the match. However, London swept the last 3 maps and knocked Houston out of the playoffs. That led to a rematch between New York Excelsior and London Spitfire. Would the outcome be the same as it was earlier in the night?

As the first match of the night went, it was an intense and tough battle for both teams that ended up back in the tiebreaker round. New York was the favorite going into the match, but walked away in second place. London Spitfire won the first stage and the $100,000 prize. New York still walked away with $25,000, so don’t feel too bad for them.

This final match sets up for an exciting Stage 2 of the Overwatch League, which will start back up on February 21st. If you are interested in catching up, you can check out the Overwatch League Twitch channel for all the matches. If you are addicted to the league like I am, you can spend your time checking out the Twitch channels of some of the stars. Here are some choices that I personally enjoy:

  • DreamKazper
  • JAKE
  • Muma
  • LiNkzr
  • tf2PINE

These are just a few of the Overwatch League pros that stream, but they are my go-to Twitch streams. Here’s to an even more intense Stage 2.

Overwatch League- Stage 1 Week 4

First of all, can I say “holy cow, the Uprising is in a Wildcard Position”? From a scrappy team that no one expected much of, they are doing far better than people predicted. This adds an extra level of excitement for me as a fan of the team.

Before the recap, I would like to mention that if all goes well, I will be posting to the gaming part of this blog twice a week starting this week. On Friday, I will be pre-ordering the new WoW expansion and I can’t wait to start talking about that as well (and any other game worth mentioning.) Here’s to hoping things go as planned.

Unlike last week, there weren’t too many surprises that fans witnessed as the games were played. For the most part, things went as I had expected. London Spitfire took down Seoul Dynasty, but it was still a really exciting match to watch especially since I was rooting for the Spitfire to win. It was odd to not have Ryujehong in the game, which some could argue is what made the difference in the game. Spitfire is a strong team, so I’m sure it may have been closer with Ryu in the game, but I just think that Spitfire may arguably be the stronger team. There’s still time for me to be wrong on that, but I stand by that statement. Fleta was still unstoppable this week and it was awesome to watch him and Jake face off in the next night of matches. Outlaws put up a strong fight against Dynasty, but ended up losing in the tiebreaker map.

Uprising is proving themselves to be quite the team to go against. They took down both of the “home teams”, the Los Angeles Gladiators and the Los Angeles Valiant. While they expected the Gladiators to go down to Boston, the casters seemed to think that Boston didn’t stand a chance. In true Boston fashion, they went on to sweep the Valiant to the shock of the commentators. They went 4-0 in both matches, something they really needed to find themselves in the wildcard. From underdogs to real contenders, next week is the last chance for them to climb up or stay strong in their spot for the playoffs.

The final week of Stage 1 is going to be an exciting one. I say this also as a Patriots fan, who would love to see the Uprising avenge the Pats by beating Philadelphia Fusion next week. Their games this week are going to be hard as Outlaws are a strong team and Fusion seems to have some power to them when they click. Crossing my fingers for you, Uprising.

Overwatch League, Stage 1- Week 3

This was an incredible week for the Overwatch League. There were still undefeated teams this week that never seemed to have any issues with opponents. It seemed a bit boring to have these teams not have any challengers. That was until this week. Here is a look at what happened this week in the Overwatch League.

The first upset on an undefeated team was During the Boston Uprising and London Spitfire game. Both of these teams are my top to watch in the league, but Boston being the home team I was rooting for them this time around. I went in with little expectation except that my scrappy Boston team would put up a fight but ultimately fall flat in the last seconds as they had in the past. That was exactly how the game started out on the first map in Numbani. Control points, as I discussed last week, was a weakness that they needed to really work on. I wrote them off on the control maps for this game. Except, they won. They conquered their weakness. They forced a tie out, going into the tiebreaker map. They unexpectedly came out on top and dethroned an undefeated team.

The next match on this same day would see New York Excelsior fall to the Philadelphia Fusion, which also went into the tiebreaker map. Seoul Dynasty became the only undefeated team at this point. That was until Friday’s match-up against New York Excelsior. Much like every other upset and fall of the undefeated team, this also led to the tiebreaker map.

This week made for a really exciting one. Some stars this week? Striker, especially for that pulse bomb attack on the Temple of Anubis map. Dreamkazper, for always being an amazing player. Carpe is still a strong player and Fury is one of the best D.Vas out there. Jake is also just fascinating to watch. As the first stage winds down, there seems to be no guarantees anymore. It is going to be even more exiting to see which teams ultimately make the cut and win the prize pot.


Overwatch- Stage 1, Week 2

The Overwatch League has closed out its second week, with a great deal of excitement. There were certainly some very strong performances, some heartbreak, and a very notable suspension. With a strong showing of fans, this new eSports venture is only getting better every week. So let’s dive into the takeaways from Week 2 of the Overwatch League.

The first thing that needs to be discussed is the suspension of xQc. Felix “xQc” Lengyel was suspended and fined by the Overwatch League for homophobic insults towards Austin “Muma” Wilmont, who plays for the Houston Outlaws, after the Dallas Fuel/Houston Outlaws match-up. Lengyel is no stranger to controversy. The Twitch streamer/pro-gamer had previously been banned from the Overwatch for 7 days for throwing matches. This time, xQc was fined $2,000 and forced to sit out for 4 matches for violating the Code of Conduct. Jeff Kaplan has consistently expressed his desire to do whatever he could to create a less toxic environment for players so that they can have more fun while enjoying Overwatch. His push for kindness has definitely had a more positive effect on the game, including the way they turn phrases like “ez” into something more positive (or in some case, a mocking commentary to the person trying to be a jerk). This made it no surprise that when xQc said what he said about Muma, he was going to get punished by the Overwatch team. However, the fact that Dallas Fuel took it a step further to suspend him for the remainder of Stage 1 shows the true spirit of what Kaplan aspires Overwatch to be. It’s a bit depressing that this news has overtaken the conversation on the Overwatch League this week but it shows the high level of character that they hold their players to. (For more on this story, this is a great place to read the details.)

Boston Uprising continues to struggle this week. They were utterly demolished by Seoul Dynasty on Friday, which is to be expected considering the fact they are the best in the league, losing all 4 matches. On Saturday, they played against the San Fransisco Shock. This was a closer back and forth battle that was awesome to watch. The problem with this team still seems to be their inability to conquer these control points. They do not have a strong showing here and this is something that they should be focusing their efforts on. Their next match on Thursday, January 25 is against the London Spitfire (my second favorite team). Spitfire is a very strong team that is going to be incredibly difficult for Boston to overcome. Stage 1 just started, so there is plenty of time for them to turn this around.

It was an exciting week for Overwatch League fans and I hope this momentum keeps up. It should also be mentioned that Pine is more than just a McCree, as his Widow was also very deadly. He is one of the most dangerous players on New York. Jake had another strong showing, especially on his Junkrat, which he seemed unstoppable on this week. Birdring was another amazing player to watch this week. There are so many amazing players in this league that they all really have something to offer viewers at this point. It is going to be an incredible rush to the finish and I can’t wait to see how it ends up.