The Overwatch League is gearing up for the Countdown Cup, but not before the Shock set more season records. Expectations were broken, morale was shattered, and the Chengdu Hunters demonstrated their final form. The Hero Pool for Week 24 and 25 removed Mei, Widowmaker, Orisa, and Ana from professional play. This brought Zarya, Wrecking Ball, and Winston back into play.
Wrecking Ball Makes a Comeback
The most exciting feature of the weekend was watching the Chengdu Hunters run back to back victories. Last weekend, the Hunters completed a beautiful reverse sweep with Ding “Ameng” Menghan on Wrecking Ball, and Li “Yveltal” Xianyao supporting him on Mercy. This weekend, they continued their reign of terror and secured a win against the Seoul Dynasty and Hangzhou Spark. These wins are monumental for the Chinese team, securing them a higher seed going into the Countdown Cup.
The Shanghai Dragons remained strong throughout the weekend securing two more wins to pad their stats. A tight match against the London Spitfire was won in part to an aggressive Tracer + Sombra duo from Byung-sun “Fleta” Kim and Jae-won “LIP” Lee. London may be lower in the rankings, but their match against the Dragons just goes to show how powerful Hero Pools can be. If London can keep that fire against the Hangzhou Spark, they will have a fighting chance in the Countdown Cup.
The Shock Smash Overwatch League Records
The San Francisco Shock’s supremacy continued over the weekend, setting the Overwatch League record for the fastest match. It only took the Shock 19 minutes and 23 seconds to deliver the Vancouver Titans a devastating 3-0. Just last weekend the L.A. Valiant broke the record against the Boston Uprising defeating them in 22 minutes and 33 seconds. Surprisingly the Shock did not dismantle any of the individual map records, but as a whole performed like a well-oiled machine. Acquiring young DPS superstar Sean Taiyo “ta1yo” Henderson gave new life to the Shock.
In the struggle for first place in North America, the Philadelphia Fusion consistently put on a show. Jae-Hyeok “Carpe” Lee is an absolute beast, putting up 37 eliminations and only dying five times over three maps. The Philadelphia Fusion’s star damage player has carried them through more than a few close team fights. The L.A. Gladiators faltered at vital moments against the Fusion, unable to match their aggression and falling short in extended team fights. The opening weekend of the Countdown will be fairly easy for the Fusion, taking on the Dallas Fuel on Friday, and the L.A. Valiant on Sunday.
The Countdown Cup begins this weekend as is the last chance for many teams to secure a tournament win. For others like the Seoul Dynasty and L.A. Gladiators, a few wins could be the decider of whether or not they will move on to the Playoffs. Although the end of the Overwatch League season approaches, there is plenty of exhilarating Overwatch to come during the Countdown Cup.