The predictions are in, but where do the panelists disagree?

21:00, 07 Feb 2020

The wait is over. Tomorrow the 2020 season of Overwatch League is set to finally begin. We’ve all survived the chaos of roster mania and the litany of colorful power rankings, but now it’s time to put it all on the line. Each week GGRecon is here to fulfill your predictive needs. Both Sascha "Yiska" Heinisch and Joseph “Volamel” Franco will be dropping their personal predictions week by week. And with that in mind, Week 1 of 2020 begins fairly cut and dry but the match of the week has the panel split. 

February 8th

Match of the Week: Vancouver Titans - Los Angeles Gladiators @ Dallas

(17:00 EST/ 14:00 PST/ 23:00 CET)

Yiska: Titans (3-2) The arguably only meeting of two upper half teams in the first week happens to be between two teams with a lot to prove. The meta has been flip-flopping and it remains to be seen in whose favor it fell, with the Titans arguably having a higher standard level of talent on their roster which should put the odds in their favor. Rumors have it that the Titans are mostly running a Rein-D.Va comp while other teams also incorporate Orisa. How these stylistic choices match up is one of the guiding questions for the meeting of those two teams.

Volamel: Gladiators (3-2) The Vancouver Titans have always been a loose team and one that adapts slowly. If last season was anything to go off of, they were not the best team at quickly shifting gears. We all remember their apprehension about the encroaching Sombra metagame in 2019 which caused them to drop their first game to the Los Angeles Valiant. I worry that they’ll be coming into the event cold and slightly unprepared due to the most recent patch whereas the Gladiators boast a fantastic coaching staff that can synthesize and break down the metagame very quickly. If there is going to be a time to punch up and beat the Titans it’s early. The old RunAway narrative is dead and while I have been critical of the Gladiators in my preseason power rankings, this team is going to come in well equipped and well prepared to narrowly take an early upset against the Titans’ brute force. 

Paris Eternal vs Toronto Defiant @ New York

(13:00 EST/ 10:00 PST/ 19:00 CET)

Y: Toronto (3-1) If the Toronto Defiant wants to establish themselves as a clear mid-table team they should look to beat a pre-Hanbin, pre-Spr9k1e Paris Eternal and while losing here wouldn’t be the end of the world, it would certainly set the pace for the upcoming weeks.

V: Toronto (3-0) Coming into this season, the Defiant had a ton of questions. If we assume Beast, Nevix, and their DPS line to be, at the very least, average in this meta, I struggle to see a world where the Defiant lose to the Eternal. It should be a fun showcase of how diverse the metagame actually is in its current state. 

New York Excelsior vs London Spitfire @ New York

(15:00 EST/ 12:00 PST/ 21:00 CET)

Y: New York (3-0) Judging both by scrim bucks as well as on-paper talent, the NYXL should have an easy time with London. The Spitfire shouldn’t be at their strongest at the start of the season, as the coaching staff impact should only come into effect as the season goes on. That said, the Spitfire have surprised in scrims so far. 

V: New York (3-0) London is not slated to be a team that starts the league on a high note and a loss to New York here should be expected. The Spitfire is going for a rebuild this year and they’re going to need time to ramp up. Sadly, this isn’t the game to litmus test their structure or rebuild just yet. 

Dallas Fuel vs Los Angeles Valiant @ Dallas

(19:00 EST/ 16:00 PST/ 01:00 CET)

Y: Valiant (3-1) The Valiant have surprised the scrims and according to rumors are performing admirably. The Fuel have also surprised in being one of the most underwhelming teams once again despite their heavy investment in the roster. The Fuel are under a real threat of going 0-2 at home.

V: Valiant (3-0) While the Fuel play from home and are going to have all of the practice in the world, I expect KSP’s Widowmaker and Lastro should be the difference-maker here. Packing10’s system should be in full form and the Fuel, while they get the amenities of playing from home, have a fair bit of pressure in their debut week. The Valiant are not to be slept on. 

February 9th

Paris Eternal vs London Spitfire @ New York

(13:00 EST/ 10:00 PST/ 19:00 CET)

Y: London (3-2) The European derby could prove to be a close one with the Spitfire being the slight favorite. Unfortunately, it won’t be a meeting of the two prodigies in Glister and Sp9rk1e as the latter is still ineligible. This should give London a slight edge to eek it past Paris, despite not having received the master’s polish that we know Agape and Pavane are capable of from their Luxury Watch days.

V: London (3-2) Doctor London, Mr. Spitfire. We’ve got two different Spitfire rosters that could show up on Sunday. Barring Paris breaking out early against the Defiant, I think, as long as the Spitfire don’t get in their own way, BERNAR and Glister should have a great opening week.

New York Excelsior vs Boston Uprising @ New York

(15:00 EST/ 12:00 PST/ 21:00 CET)

Y: New York (3-0) This will either be the first or second stomp of the season. NYXL will show up prepared at their homestand and will leave no doubt that they deserve to be mentioned among early title contenders.

V: New York (3-0) It’ll be interesting to see what kind of looks Boston is able to show. Boston does have a weirdly deep roster, but due to this being their season debut, I’ve got to judge what’s on paper and NYXL are just head and shoulders better.

Vancouver Titans vs Los Angeles Valiant @ Dallas

(17:00 EST/ 14:00 PST/ 23:00 CET)

Y: Vancouver (3-1) There is little reason to assume that the Titans shouldn’t be the favorite here. While the fuze on the Titans’ roster might be burning it’s unlikely to explode on this particular matchday. 

V: Vancouver (3-1) There is room for Valiant to sneak a win early on Control or Assault but even with a slow start for Vancouver, I don’t see Valiant with enough firepower to take home a win. 

Dallas Fuel vs San Francisco Shock @ Dallas

(19:00 EST/ 16:00 PST/ 01:00 CET)

Y: Shock (3-0) There are no circumstances - be it travel schedule, homestand advantage, meta volatility, or even food poisoning - that would cause the Shock to lose here. The Fuel will be humbled in front of their home crowd. 

V: Shock (3-0) There is a reason why everyone has Shock as the strongest team going into the 2020 season debut. I’d be interested to see if we see rookie player ANS is featured at all, but what we know for sure is that there is a 100% chance for the Shock to rain on the Fuel’s parade.

 

Images via Blizzard Entertainment

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