Thoughts on week 9 of Overwatch League 2020

This week we get to see what Queen Nori has wrought upon us. What meta does the lack of Mei create? Let’s find out, shall we?

Talent and Production

This week was much better from a production perspective. It seems that OWL’s IT and production teams have sorted out most of the the teething issues that they had last week with audio and video.

However there was one particular production related issue that caused an extremely funny series of events to happen. I would say this is one of the funniest things to have happened to OWL in a moment. Turns out, the game admins forgot to hide text chat in the lobby and it was visible for spectators and therefore the YouTube stream. Lastro of the Los Angeles Valiant decided that it was the perfect time to roleplay a 12 year old.

Rascal didn’t want to feel left out of the tomfoolery either. They were both fined $1,000 each for this by the league the next day. Honestly, this kind of shit is fine by me. Leaving text chat visible provides a unique insight into players minds and the camaraderie between players even amongst different teams.

The Meta

So this week’s hero bans:

  • Wrecking Ball
  • McCree
  • Mei
  • Brigitte

All of us celebrated last week when Queen Nori blessed us with the Mei ban. What none of us saw coming was a /Torbjorn/ meta. Yep, folks, this week was dominated by teams play Torbjorn based composition (to varying degrees of success). The Chinese teams opted for a Sombra based composition with the Rein/Zarya tank line.

Teams like the Dallas Fuel decided to play a Tracer instead and with her counters call gone, Decay was able to really pop off.

Let me repeat again, Torbjorn was played enough for him to be considered for next week’s hero bans. He wasn’t a joke pick anymore. Let that sink in for a moment.

The Games

Like last week there were a bunch of games and I’m going to pick two that I thought were the most interesting viewing.

Dallas Fuel vs Los Angeles Valiant

The Dallas Fuel has had a pretty damn rough season so far to say the least. No wins before this. Even this weekend was looking like it was going to be a bust for them after the 3-0 loss to the LA Gladiators on Saturday.

On Sunday however, it looked like a whole new Fuel with Decay popping off on the Tracer and Gamsu coming alive on the main tank role. This was a nail-biter of a series as they headed to map 5. Glad to see Dallas having success and looking forward to see them win more series this year.

Guangzhou Charge vs Hangzhou Spark

This one seems to have been a series between two fairly evenly matched teams running the Sombra/Reaper DPS lineup with the Rein/Zarya tank lineup. Interesting to see how both teams utilized the Sombra ultimate, both Bazzi and Eileen were doing pretty damn well for the most part. Nero and Adora on the Reaper put up impressive performances as well. In a way it felt like one of those matches from the heights of the GOATs meta. Poor man’s GOATs as it were.

Hangzhou won in the end but honestly it could have gone either way.

Miscellaneous tidbits from the other games

Toronto Defiant get another win, this time against the Washington Justice who failed to execute the Torbjorn based composition and were eventually just countered by Toronto. I think this time Toronto is actually improving and its not /just/ the other team fucking up. The adaptation throughout the series was good to see.

Houston Outlaws are still trash, this team just can’t seem to put the pieces together. Truly unfortunate, it doesn’t make for pleasant viewing either.

Chengdu Hunters without Ameng able to play the Wrecking Ball was interesting. Not quite cohesive and they seem to switch out their support lineup. I guess they are just trying things to see what works best? Its fun to watch them even when they lose.

Concluding thoughts and next week’s hero bans

I would say that this week was entertaining to watch because of the rise of Torbjorn in the meta. I also enjoyed watching Mei-less gameplay but not so much the increase of Sombra usage.

Next week’s hero bans were done by Wolf & Achilios, not as fun as Soe’s cats doing it but still fun to watch.

So next week’s hero bans are:

  • Reaper
  • Sombra
  • D.Va
  • Ana

The D.Va ban is huge, I wonder what the meta will look like without her and banning Reaper/Sombra also just killed one of popular DPS combos from this week. I wonder if we will see a rise in Ashe gameplay. More McCree? Bastion based bunker comps?

See y’all next week!