A Guide To How The Favourites Are Not Winning 2022 OWL Finals

A Guide To How The Favourites Are Not Winning 2022 OWL Finals
Images via Blizzard Entertainment

Written by 

Joseph "Volamel" Franco


31st Oct 2022 13:00

The bell has rung and class is in session, if you're not here for "Upsets 101" you've made a grave mistake. The Overwatch League playoffs have descended upon us and with it a new hierarchy to learn. With roughly five days of practice on the new patch, a new hero, and subsequently a new meta to explore, the 2022 Overwatch League playoffs have been rife with upsets after a single day. This is a guide to how the odds on favourites could easily not end up winning the 2022 OWL finals.

San Francisco Shock


Quite literally there is one thing that is sublime about this roster, and he needs no introduction. Kim "Proper" Dong-hyun is an animal, but the two-time champions have most certainly seen better days as their lack of a second DPS threat has plagued them for most of the season. 

Carousel comity has scarcely worked within the Overwatch League as many point towards the recent acquisition of Kwon "Striker" Nam-joo, but with how fresh the move has been, we're not convinced. 

It's not that they don't have a Winston player, but by far is it Colin "Coluge" Arai's forte. The former flex tank has shown a few surprising performances but is it enough to handle some of the best in the world? That's up for debate. Our biggest concern comes in with how hesitant we've seen Coluge be when it comes to engages. Good Overwatch is aggressive Overwatch, so if the Shock want to earn a seat at the table, they can't flounder about with their dives.

San Francisco, for whatever reason, has a difficult time piecing together consistency during LANs. During the Kickoff Clash they trounce their competition and go 6-0 and 18-5 in maps, but once in Dallas for the tournament, the Shock have to battle back from an 0-2 start against the Washington Justice and then promptly lose to the Atlanta Reign. While the Midseason Madness brought them their best look all year, it wasn't without its blemishes either and the same goes for the Summer Showdown as well. Simply too many untidy games against competition that should be lightwork. 

Their Upper Bracket opponents should not be slept on either. The Houston Outlaws looked in rare form against the Toronto Defiant. Equipped with some tricks and gimmicks they featured on Control, the Shock are going to have their work cut out for this one. 

Gone are the days of San Francisco just running circles around everyone, do they have the depth they need to compete?

Seoul Dynasty



While many fans may point toward Kim "FITS" Dong-eun as the shoo-in for the Sojourn, rookie prodigy Jeong "Stalk3r" Hak-yong has some questions to ask. According to the Overwatch League's Stats Lab, out of 28 Sojourns who have played around two hours or more, Stalk3r has ranked quite competitively with his contemporary. 

While FITS has seen the lion's share of the workload, the question is not easily answered. Do you lean on the promising rookie or opt for the veteran who meets the average? 

Speaking of Sojourn, their Upper Bracket opponents in the Florida Mayhem look to play spoiler with lead hitscan ace Isaiah "Hydron" Rodriguez exploding out of the gate. If the Mayhem continues with this form, there is a real possibility that Seoul is forced to take an early exit to the losers' bracket. 

Recall back to the Midseason Madness, which APAC team was it that every analyst couldn't quit glowing about? Sadly the Seoul Dynasty did not show up and were quickly dispatched by a surging Hangzhou Spark and the lower bracket variant of the Atlanta Reign. 

Seoul has left us bruised when it comes to international play and with how much has shifted on top of their travel from Asia, one has to wonder; could this spell out more of the same?

Seoul has all the pieces to make this meta work, but how does this puzzle fit together? 

Los Angeles Gladiators



Let's make no bones about this; Kevin "kevster" Persson's individual skill will be slightly hindered by having to play Reaper if day one is anything to go by. Ideally, you'd want the 2022 Overwatch League MVP hopeful on a high-impact DPS like Tracer or Genji, but early meta looks seem to project him to be the lead Reaper. 

While the Gladiators have looked to kevster as their North Star this season, during the playoffs the offence will be run through Lee "Happy" Jung-woo's Sojourn. And while we've praised it in the past, does he thrive in the clutch with all the resources at his disposal? 

As for their main tank, Corey "Reiner" Scoda has looked stellar on the Winston during their repeat wins at the Kickoff Clash and the Midseason Madness, however, the rookie has yet to play on this type of stage. Will he hold up to the biggest test of them all? Summer Showdown has us questioning things. 

To top it off, their quarterfinals match against the London Spitfire has us mildly concerned. We've seen some off-meta looks from round one, does London have anything they've withheld? Any Reinhardt pop quizzes? A possible stray Gael "Poko" Gouzerch on Orisa?

The Los Angeles Gladiators have looked promising, but can they persist through to a title?

Dallas Fuel



Quite like many of the other teams in attendants for the 2022 Overwatch League playoffs, the Dallas Fuel would love to clone Kim "Edison" Tae-hoon. With Reaper and Sojourn on the syllabus, Edison would be the obvious choice for either given the chance. However, someone else has to cover the other option, which leaves a toss-up on the table. 

Does Yun "RUSH" Hee-won give his project player in Kang "guriyo" Min-seo one last go during the playoffs or fan favourite Kim "SP9RK1E" Yeong-han going to man the Reaper?

After playing alongside Choi "Hanbin" Han-been for the majority of the year, Lee "Fearless" Eui-Seok has a slight uphill battle to find his legs with the team. No one questions his Winston skill, but the community has pointed a finger toward how successful the team has been with the 2022 Overwatch League MVP nominee this year. And that's not only the roster rumbling from the rumour mill.

Many people are convinced that flex DPS Kim "Doha" Dong-Ha will actually be the team's starting Kiriko player over longtime support Kwon "Fielder" Joon. While either would be more than enough, the former echoes many of the same fears that Fearless' re-introduction does. Is the team the same with Doha at support?

Speaking of Kirko, the Fuel's day two opponents seem to have her style all figured out. The Hangzhou Spark's Kim "Teru" Min-gi looks impressive on Kiriko with his ability to consistently find high-value flanks and force opponents into the open while remaining quite safe. With both teams looking to play high-tempo Overwatch, an upset could be brewing in the chaos. 

As the biggest favourite of them all, can the Dallas Fuel finally bring a title to Texas? 



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