It is tournament week folks and whoo boy it was a damn good one! So much good Overwatch happened this week and I’m very happy to be talking about it! So without much further ado, let’s get started!
There is one word for the meta in this tournament: Genji. Yes, our robotic ninja friends returns as a powerhouse in this tournament due to some quality-of-life buffs. You know what this means? That’s right folks, the meta of Genji blades being useful again.
Almost every team that had a good Genji player on their roster brought them out along side a Ashe with double shield with Baptiste and Brigitte as the support duo. Teams that couldn’t field a good Genji opted for the Ashe/Tracer combo instead without much success.
Success in this meta was defined by the correct use of Genji’s blade combined with ultimates like Brigitte’s Rally or Orisa’s Supercharger. Brigitte would give the Genji armour packs to make them tougher to kill and the Orisa would use their halt ability to bring enemies together for maximum blade time efficiency and the Supercharger to damage boost Genji’s blade. Baptiste’s immortality field and Sigma’s Accretion were key mitigation abilities against this Genji blade strategy. Immortality field to buy time for the team to apply stuns like the Accretion to the enemy Genji to make their blade ineffective.
I cannot say enough how important the immortality field ability is. In this meta, if a team manages to bait out a immortality field ability, they are essentially given a significant period of time in which the enemy team is significantly vulnerable to ultimates like Sigma’s Gravitic Flux and Genji’s blade. This is because the immortality field ability is on a high cooldown timer.
No Nerfs Needed Yet
I have seen some Discourse ™ about how Genji is overpowered right now and needs nerfs again. This is patently not true. Genji is just now viable at the highest levels of play. Overwatch League teams are combining multiple abilities and ultimates to make Genji and his ultimate viable. This is not something that 99% of the player base can achieve and your average Overwatch ranked player need not worry about Genji completely overpowering their games because guess what? Most Genji’s are nowhere nearly as good as Overwatch League Genjis.
In fact, I would say that Genji is now more viable at lower levels of skill now which makes him more viable in general which is a good thing and applying nerfs would be the wrong thing to do at this point.
Looking at the brackets after the tournament is over really puts into perspective just how much of it was an upset that nobody was predicting. Teams that were supposed to succeed got eliminated early. Teams that weren’t favoured turned out to be the unexpected upset. I should mention that most of the upsets happened in the NA region, the APAC side of things was mostly as expected, except for the finals.
The upsets in the NA region began with the first day of tournament play. Three out of four series in the day 1 knockouts were upsets.
- Toronto Defiant vs Los Angeles Valiant – 3-1 victory for Toronto, I certainly wasn’t expecting this one and had predicted that the Valiant would take this series.
- Washington Justice vs Los Angeles Gladiators – 3-1 victory for Washington, I predicted a Gladiators victory
- Florida Mayhem vs Houston Outlaws – 3-1 victory for Houston, I predicted a Florida victory
- Paris Eternal vs Dallas Fuel – 3-1 victory for Paris, this is the only one I got right
So as you can see on day 1 my bracket was already in shambles but I was not sad about it. Toronto Defiant succeeded in this tournament further than I suspect even the most hardcore fans predicted. They were able to beat the Atlanta Reign in the quarterfinals 3-2 before being eliminated by the Philadelphia Fusion 3-0 in the semifinals. The Genji meta favoured the Defiant significantly as Agilities was able to show off just how good he was on the hero.
On the APAC side, the finals upset saw the Shanghai Dragons dethroned and the Guangzhou Charge now taking the crown of the best team in that region. I’m sure a lot of Shanghai fans were very disappointed in the Dragons’ performance in the series and as a Shanghai fan myself I echo that disappointment. But on the other hand, kudos to the Charge for their excellent performance on all fronts.
There are two series this week that I think are worth talking about. These two series show off some of the finest professional Overwatch I have seen in a while and exemplify all the best aspects of this esport.
San Francisco Shock vs Paris Eternal [NA Semi-Final B]
This back-and-forth series showed off the peaks of the young Paris DPS player SP9RK1E on his signature Genji. This man’s blades are such a treat to watch. He was building his ultimate so damn fast it felt like he had a blade every other fight and his team was there to support him all the way. Immortality fields, armour packs, Supercharger. Every resource that could be given to him was given and watching him play demonstrates why.
The match ended in the most fitting way possible, a blade from SP9RK1E that absolutely wrecks the Shock.
When the tournament first started I didn’t think the Paris Eternal would be the team that were going to take down the dominant San Francisco Shock but what a pleasant surprise.
Special shoutouts to Paris Eternal support Fielder who is still playing on 200ms ping from South Korea.
Paris Eternal vs Philadelphia Fusion [NA Finals]
This was the battle of the blades. SP9RK1E vs EQO, two Genji’s battling it out. Both with extraordinary performances supported by their team. This one went the distance to seven maps and by the end of it I was emotionally exhausted but also happy at the fact that I got to see this absolutely stellar series.
So close yet so far for Philadelphia Fusion and their fans. They came extremely close to getting that championship title and yet again they were denied. That has got to hurt. Oof.
I don’t want to take away from the talent on the Philadelphia Fusion like is showcased above. EQO single-handedly clutched out a fight that looked lost of the Fusion.
What a fantastic week for Overwatch League. This tournament was incredible, it was just as good as the May Melee. We got to see teams that nobody expected to succeed have great success and we got to see top tier Genji gameplay which is always a treat to watch.
See y’all in a couple weeks!