With the new hero pool in place, which teams benefit the most?
With the Overwatch League announcing its plan to move online, Week 6 of Overwatch League’s 2020 season is set to return this weekend. With a new week comes new Hero Pools, this week the league has disabled Winston, Soldier: 76, Sombra, and Lucio. With Dive featured prominently in Week 5, there was a contingent of slower, Orisa based compositions. Ideally, that should be a similar theme this week. We should still see teams attempt a Wrecking ball based Dive composition, while other teams attempt to counter with slower compositions, more than likely featuring either Orisa, Reinhardt, or both. That said, let’s see who leads Overwatch League Week 6 power rankings.
San Francisco Shock
Starting us off is the defending Overwatch League champions the San Francisco Shock. This team can easily play in a number of metagames and while we’ve only seen them play one game against the Dallas Fuel, it’s difficult to not put them at number. What will be interesting is actually seeing them tested against the Seoul Dynasty. That’s not to say that the Los Angeles teams are bad, but with Seoul strongly projected to be a caliber above, that match should give us a better idea of just where the Shock sits within Hero Pools.
Now, with that said, this top spot doesn’t come without some worries. Historically speaking, the Shock has not been ironclad in their opening weekends in the past and I worry that Hero Pools might supplement that same kind of downswing. It’s difficult to tell but by the end of the weekend, we should have a more clear picture. That said, they do have an incredibly talented roster that can pilot any compositions Hero Pools throw at them.
Seoul has put together a very exciting squad this year and should do well for themselves this weekend. With a built-out tank lineup, two very flexible DPS, and a solid backline, the only criticisms I have for the roster alone is their seeming lack of a dedicated hitscan specialist. But outside of that, this is another team that should be able to fit whatever composition Hero Pools throw at them. With rumors coming out of the east that they’re actually quite good, I’ve got very high hopes for Park "Profit" Joon-yeong, Hong "Gesture" Jae-hee, and the Dynasty. More importantly, I’d keep your eyes locked onto Kim "FITS" Dong-eon, you got a taste of what he could do last year, but this should be the year he cements himself as another “colorless” DPS player that can find success almost anywhere.
If I had to guess where Seoul falls in the metagame question, I think they might be more subject to Dive compositions. With Profit and Gesture able to return to major comfort picks and veteran support and longtime teammate, Choi "Bdosin" Seung-tae, backing them up possibly on Zenyatta, this team is made for this week of Hero Pools. Now, I agree, I’m not too sure how capable Gesture’s Wrecking Ball is and while I’d give him the benefit of the doubt, let’s say that it isn’t great. That’s fine. We can always rely on Hwang "Marve1" Min-seo and I’d be willing to bet, one of them has a serviceable Wrecking Ball.
Los Angeles Gladiators
It’s difficult to get a solid read on the Gladiators, while Kim "birdring" Ji-hyeok looked good in their debut, where exactly are their heads at with their style? It seemed to be very flexible seeing how both Roni "LhCloudy" Tiihonen and Son "OGE" Min-seok both subbed in and out depending on the map. The former for more Reinhardt centric maps and the later on maps where the Gladiators wanted to play more Winston. They seem like a team that could fall on either side of the meta coin, but I still question how potent this team can be.
I do think Chris "MirroR" Trá»nh should be a mainstay in the roster. After seeing Jason "Jaru" White on Mei, I’m just skeptical that he brings the same firepower. My first instinct is to see them split the maps into “slow” and “Dive” maps and their style will depend on the map and obviously, the players. But I’ve always held the idea that having a very “mobile” roster like that is very difficult to pull off, see Seoul Dynasty last year. Rambling aside, the Gladiators have potential, there is no denying, that but how consistent can they be in the face of Hero Pools and competition that is among the hardest in the league?
Los Angeles Valiant
It’s not that the Valiant are bad, on the contrary, I think this team will continue to surprise people, but someone has to be last this weekend and on paper, it’s the Valiant. They seem likely to return to the Week 1 metagame and pilot the slow Reinhardt based compositions and allow Kai "KSP" Collins all the space in the world. This is also a team that, to me, showed a lot of their cards in week one.
They feel like a team that wants to be very proactive, even if it isn’t the most optimal play. It’s that aggressive identity that will act as a guiding hand and make this team very coordinated in a time of disorder. This could also benefit them if they were to attempt to go for Dive compositions, but I think it’s unlikely due to having much more time to prepare and the former seems to be more comfortable for them.
Images via Blizzard Entertainment