Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Blackwatch Watch List - Stage Two

Stage one ended with a thrilling playoff final in which the London Spitfire came back from 0-2 down to reverse sweep the New York Excelsior in one of the best series we've seen so far. The off season has seen plenty of trades and free agent signings that have shaken up the OWL landscape, from the win-less Shanghai Dragons to the stage victors London Spitfire. Today I’m going to pick out the seven players I feel that are going to be influential for their team for better or worse.

The process is the same as my watch list for stage one, as I’ll be picking three DPS, one main tanks, one off tank and finally two supports that I have my eye on for this stage. This will be a mixture of new signings, trades and players who played for the same team in stage two.

Kevyn “TviQ” Lindstrom - DPS - Florida Mayhem 
Lets be honest here, apart from nailing their entrances the Florida Mayhem were a hot mess in stage one. Whether it be the fact that the organisation behind the scenes has been bad or the teams support system not being there. TviQ and the rest of the Mayhem struggled. This stage is going to be a make or break one for TviQ as hiss play hasn’t been up to the level of someone who’s previously been known as one of Europe’s best hitscan players. I would expect to see the change in meta suit TviQ better but there’s now potential bragging rights up for grabs with the arrival of Dylan “aKm” Bignet into the league. That could spur him on further.

Dylan “aKm” Bignet - DPS - Dallas Fuel
The biggest name DPS free agent, went to the team that needed the help most. Dylan "aKm" Bignet is a huge signing and I've mentioned previously that aKm was a much needed upgrade for the Fuel at the DPS spot. Timo "Taimou" Kettenan seems to have lost a step as a DPS and a switch to off-tank may be a better fit for him, Brandon "Seagull" Lenard was brought in for his Genji and Pharah. However, but we've not seen it at all in stage one and it's possible that it's currently not up to par and Hwang "Effect" Hyeon has been struggling with the load on his back despite putting up great numbers.
AKm provides a huge amount of flexibility from the DPS spot be it his hitscan heroes of Solider 76 & McCree, to playing projectile DPS heroes Pharah and a newly found Genji that he's recently started to develop. AKm should pair up well with Effect and Dong-Jun "Rascal" Kim who's recently come over from the London Spitfire

Jacob “Jake” Lyon – DPS - Houston Outlaws
Stage one is gone, the Mercy meta is hopefully dead but there’s one thing that still lives from the recent changes, that one thing is Jakerat! Junkrat’s nerf’s weren’t as bad as expected and this will mean that Jake is still going to be in his element on the over powered hero. While we will see Jake play this hero a lot, I want to see more of his other hero’s such as Tracer, Solider 76 and Genji as they seem to have dropped below expected performance levels at the end of the last stage and I feel that this has meant his impact and leadership on the Outlaws has been missing on maps that he should have the hero pool for.

Chan Hyung “Fissure” Baek – Main Tank - Los Angeles Gladiators*
Fissure came into OWL as one a top three main tank in the world and had a lot of hype going around him. He actually had a non-existent stage one as he played a total of three maps and was kept out of the starting line up by Jae-Hee “Gesture” Hong who was playing to MVP levels and forced himself into the conversation of being one of the league’s and worlds best main tanks. This left Fissure on the outside looking in and resulted in him being traded to the Gladiators, where he will be able to be a full time starter, awaiting league confirmation. I personally felt that while iRemix was good,  Fissure is a step above that and should allow Hyung-Seok “Bischu” Aaron at off tank and Lane “Surefour” Roberts at DPS more freedom to make an impact, whilst being able to protect his support line.

Tae-Hong “MeKo” Kim – Off Tank – New York Excelsior 
Meko had a very strong stage one for the New York Excelsior and dominated his opposition on D’Va all the way up until game three of the playoff finals, where he stumbled a bit during the London Spitfire’s 3-2 reverse sweep. D’Va is still in a very strong position so I expect MeKo to continue to play at a high level and continue to be one of the better off tank’s in the league. With the change in meta looming, I want to see if MeKo has more to offer than just his D’Va because if he struggles it will be interesting to see what he can do on his back up hero of Roadhog.

Benjamin “Unkoe” Chevasson – Support – Los Angeles Valiant
Unkoe came over to the Valiant from the defunct Rogue alongside Terrance "SoOn" Tarlier and was expect to be one of the better supports in the league. Stage one proved to be more difficult for Unkoe was for the majority of the time he was force to play Mercy outside of his comfort zone. Now the moth has been swatted Unkoe is able to show how good is Zenyatta is, but also his famed Anna play. I'd expect Unkoe to be a bigger play maker for the Valiant in stage two than he was previously. 

Wok-Sik "Closer" Jung – Support – London Spitfire
Grab a bowl of Lucio oh oh's and charge your ultimate's ladies and gentlemen because stage two will see a lot more of both Lucio and Closer from the support position. Closer like most of the GC Busan side of the Spitfire, didn't play for the first half of stage one but then blew the stage wide open with a 4-0 destruction of Seoul. Closer will likely come in and take over the shot calling from NUS and there are rumours that Closer can time enemy ultimate's to within 3%. I expect Closer to be more direct and clear with his calling and for this to show in the Spitfire's play early on in the stage.

With stage two starting tomorrow, I'm going to be intrigued to see how much the landscape has changed and if there are any players who surprise us with good, bad or ugly performances.

*Transfer of Fissure still awaiting to be confirmed*
**Pictures are from Blizzard

No comments

Post a Comment