Why Overwatch League 2020 will be esports’ biggest marathon - Dexerto
Overwatch

Why Overwatch League 2020 will be esports’ biggest marathon

Published: 6/Feb/2020 23:59

by Michael Gwilliam

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It’s that time again. The time of year when we return to the hero select screen for the start of a new Overwatch League season. Season 3, however, is the true test. The time for the OWL, Blizzard, and competing teams to show what they’re really made of with the start of real home and away games.

In a way, this feels more like the start of a brand new league as opposed to the third season. Indeed, the challenges that teams will face with travel, fatigue and burnout have already been well-documented. But they also present a unique obstacle – a faceless antagonist of this supposedly “make-or-break” season.

With 27 weeks of games scheduled from February 8 to August 8, teams will have their hands full with travel, learning new metas (of which there promises to be many) and maintaining mental sanity.

Ben Pursell For Blizzard Entertainment
Every game this season will be home and away.

Truthfully, I expect this season to be both feast and famine. The teams that succeed will soar higher than ever while the teams that burn will scorch the earth with little chance of redemption.

One of my major criticisms with this season’s format has been the removal of stage playoffs. While past seasons had a mini playoff every seven games featuring the league’s top 8 teams competing and forming rivalries, stage playoffs are absent this year.

For me, this will greatly lower the enjoyment of matches past a certain point in the season. In seasons one and two, the worst teams in the league would get a bit of a standings reset every seven games. Yes, the overall standings would still matter, as they should, but for the Mayhems and Valiants of the league, a new stage meant a chance to undo their failures.

Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment
No stage playoffs mean no moments like the Dragons winning a thriller against the Shock.

Had it not been for stage playoffs, we would never have seen the rivalry between Vancouver Titans and San Francisco Shock grow into the game’s biggest feud. In fact, without stage playoffs, there wouldn’t have been rivalry to begin with.

Had it not been for stage playoffs, we would never have seen the Shanghai Dragons pull off the ultimate redemption arc after their abysmal 0-40 first season. It was even in the Dragons’ own stage playoff win that the Shock nearly pulled off a 3-0 reverse sweep – a feat only done a handful of times in any sport.

Yes, there is still a “midseason tournament” featuring the four best teams in the league halfway through the season, and while it will undoubtedly be a major moment, the fact there is only one such event removes the “go agane” attitude that the stages provided.

Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment
The Dallas Fuel kick off Season 3 at home.

Would you really care to watch a match between two teams with 3-15 records on Week 18? Probably not. But what if I told you they were 3-1 in stage 3 and whoever won was looking likely to qualify for stage playoffs? Oh how the tables would turn.

Perhaps it would have been too much trouble to have stage playoffs on top of all the travel teams will already have to do, but not having them and opting for a more traditional sports model just seems like an antiquated concept. Without the instant gratification of stage playoffs, this season could be as much of a drain on fans as it is players.

Despite my complaints, however, I am looking forward to league’s true season opener and I firmly believe that Dallas and New York were two of the best cities to open with. Not only was the Dallas homestand the best out of the three that were tested in Season 2, but the New York crowd has been eager to see their team in action – something they missed out on after an early playoff exit in Season 1.

Plus, with the meta in a state of flux, this could prove to be one of the wildest weekends of Overwatch in history.

Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment
The Shock are the favorites heading into Season 3.

This weekend will also give us our first look at last year’s two finalists: the San Fransisco Shock and the Vancouver Titans – two teams that I wouldn’t be surprised to see come the midseason tournament and postseason time in a re-re-re-rematch for the ages.

Speaking of which, like many, I too believe that this season is the Shock’s to lose once again. Many of my counterparts do as well, although probably for different reasons. The Shock are fresh off a championship win and as such, they may be able to play looser once teams have settled into a groove and Hero Pools kick in.

While some teams will be struggling to sleep in their economy seats dreaming of retirement, I expect the Shock to dominate nonstop. Overcoming them may prove to be equally as challenging as this season. Hold onto your hats, it’s going to be a wild ride.

Call of Duty

CDL Super Week Day 3: OpTic back to winning ways, Empire & Thieves escape upsets

Published: 25/Feb/2021 1:35 Updated: 25/Feb/2021 1:40

by Albert Petrosyan

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The Call of Duty League has combined Weeks 2 and 3 of Stage 1 into one massive Super Week of matches, and everything you need to watch and follow the event live can be found below.


  • OpTic 100-point club Ultra in confident victory.
  • TJHaLy puts up rare numbers as LA Thieves improve to perfect 3-0.
  • Empire clutch up in five-map thriller to avoid upset vs Royal Ravens.
  • Day 4 preview: ROKKR vs NYSL, OpTic vs LAG, FaZe vs Mutineers

Due to the inclement weather in Texas and other parts of the United States causing power outages for a lot of pro players, the CDL opted to combine the Week 2 and 3 matches into Super Week.

Seven straight days of matches will see all 12 teams in action at least three times, and with the Stage 1 Major looming around the corner, this will be the final opportunity for teams to improve their seeding for the $500,000 tournament.

CDL Super Week: Stream

The CDL streams all of its matches exclusively on YouTube, which is where you can also find replays of matches that have already been completed.

CDL Super Week: Schedule

Day 3: Wednesday, February 24

  Match Hardpoint S&D Control Hardpoint S&D
Match Replay Royal Ravens 2-3 Empire LON 250-160 (Moscow) DAL 6-3 (Moscow) DAL 3-2 (Garrison) LON 235-228 (Garrison) DAL 6-4 (Miami)
Match Replay Thieves 3-2 Surge LAT 250-231 (Checkmate) SEA 6-4 (Raid) LAT 3-2 (Raid) SEA 250-222 (Moscow) LAT 6-0 (Moscow)
Match Replay OpTic 3-1 Ultra CHI 250-68 (Checkmate) TOR 6-4 (Raid) CHI 3-1 (Raid) CHI 3-1 (Raid) N/A

Empire & LA Thieves escape upsets, OpTic back to winning ways

Having already suffered an upset loss at Opening Weekend, Dallas Empire barely avoided back-to-back such defeats in their match vs London Royal Ravens. Despite getting completely dominated by the Subliners the day before, London pushed the defending champs to a fifth map before ultimately coming up just short of their first win of the season.

LA Thieves found themselves in a similar situation against the Seattle Subliners, who, just like London, were swept the day before. A back-and-forth affair saw the match pushed to a game five, but that was the most resistance that Surge could offer as LAT dominated the final S&D 6-0, thanks to some historic numbers put up by TJHaLy.

The third and final match of the day saw OpTic Chicago back in action for the first time since their Opening Weekend loss to FaZe. Faced with a stiff test in Toronto Ultra, the Green Wall started off with one of the most dominant Hardpoint wins in CDL history, putting Ultra in the dreaded ‘100-point club.’

The series settled down and got a bit closer after that but OpTic ultimately edged out the victory in four maps, improving to 2-1 on the season while Toronto dropped to 1-2.

Day 4: Thursday, February 25

Match PST EST GMT AEDT (Feb 26)
Game 1 ROKKR vs Subliners 12:00 PM 3:00 PM 8:00 PM 7:00 AM
Game 2 OpTic vs Guerrillas 1:30 PM 4:30 PM 9:30 PM 8:30 AM
Game 3 FaZe vs Mutineers 3:00 PM 6:00 PM 11:00 PM 10:00 AM

Day 5: Friday, February 26

Match PST EST GMT AEDT (Feb 27)
Game 1 Thieves vs Royal Ravens 12:00 PM 3:00 PM 8:00 PM 7:00 AM
Game 2 Ultra vs Legion 1:30 PM 4:30 PM 9:30 PM 8:30 AM
Game 3 Empire vs Subliners 3:00 PM 6:00 PM 11:00 PM 10:00 AM

Day 6: Saturday, February 27

Match PST EST GMT AEDT (Feb 28)
Game 1 FaZe vs Legion 12:00 PM 3:00 PM 8:00 PM 7:00 AM
Game 2 ROKKR vs Royal Ravens 1:30 PM 4:30 PM 9:30 PM 8:30 AM
Game 3 Ultra vs Guerrillas 3:00 PM 6:00 PM 11:00 PM 10:00 AM

Day 7: Sunday, February 28

Match PST EST GMT AEDT (Mar 1)
Game 1 Subliners vs Surge 12:00 PM 3:00 PM 8:00 PM 7:00 AM
Game 2 OpTic vs Mutineers 1:30 PM 4:30 PM 9:30 PM 8:30 AM
Game 3 Empire vs Thieves 3:00 PM 6:00 PM 11:00 PM 10:00 AM

Past scores & daily recaps

Day 1: Monday, February 22

  Match Hardpoint S&D Control Hardpoint S&D
Match Replay Guerrillas 1-3 Mutineers LAG 250-133 (Crossroads) FLA 6-3 (Miami) FLA 3-2 (Garrison) FLA 250-172 (Garrison) N/A
Match Replay Ultra 1-3 FaZe ATL 250-247 (Raid) TOR 6-3 (Raid) ATL 3-0 (Raid) ATL 250-128 (Garrison) N/A

Mutineers get first win of 2021, FaZe stay unbeaten

After losing their season-opener at CDL Opening Weekend, Florida Mutineers’ new-look lineup got their first win of 2021 with a 3-1 victory over LA Guerrillas, who now sit at 1-2. LAG won the first map in dominant fashion before the Mutineers ripped off three straight maps to secure the series.

The second match of the day was a battle of the unbeatens as Atlanta FaZe took on Toronto Ultra. The series started back-and-forth, and if it wasn’t for a clutch break at the end of the Raid Hardpoint, Atlanta may have found themselves down 0-2 early.

But things settled down after the second map as FaZe took games three and four quite comfortably to secure the 3-1 victory. The win now gives the boys in red a league-leading three wins, against just zero losses, while Ultra drop to 1-1.

Day 2: Tuesday, February 23

  Match Hardpoint S&D Control Hardpoint S&D
Match Replay Mutineers 0-3 Legion PAR 222-220 (Garrison) PAR 6-4 (Checkmate) PAR 3-1 (Raid) N/A N/A
Match Replay Subliners 3-0 Royal Ravens NY 250-151 (Garrison) NY 6-1 (Checkmate) NY 3-0 (Checkmate) N/A N/A
Match Replay Surge 0-3 ROKKR MIN 250-163 (Checkmate) MIN 6-5 (Raid) MIN 3-2 (Raid) N/A N/A

Legion & Subliners sweep their way to first wins, ROKKR stay hot vs Surge

After going 0-2 in the Opening Weekend, Paris Legion finally got their first win of 2021 at Super Week, and what a win it was. Despite being underdogs to the Mutineers, Legion pulled off a shocking sweep that featured a rare Hardpoint ending on time.

Following Paris’ script, the New York Subliners also notched their first one in the win column after sweeping London Royal Ravens in perhaps the most dominant performance we’ve seen so far in 2021.

None of the three maps were close, especially the Control, which saw NYSL shred their opponents from start to finish and not give them even a chance at making any sort of comeback. With the loss, Royal Ravens now sit at 0-2 early on in the season.

Rounding off a trio of Day 2 sweeps was Minnesota ROKKR grabbing their second win in a row after taking apart Seattle Surge 3-0. The series was closer than the final scoreline would suggest as Surge did make solid comebacks in both the S&D and Control, only to fall just short in both.

The win is ROKKR’s second in a row after their upset victory over Dallas Empire at Opening Weekend. Meanwhile, Seattle falls to 1-2, suffering already their second sweep this season.

CDL Super Week essentials

CDL Super Week: Format & CDL Points

  • Location: Online
  • Prize Pool: N/A
  • CDL Points: 10 per win
  • Maps & Modes:
    • Hardpoint: Checkmate, Crossroads, Garrison, Moscow, Raid
    • Search & Destroy: Checkmate, Garrison, Miami, Moscow, Raid
    • Control: Checkmate, Garrison, Raid
  • Matches are best-of-five (HP, S&D, Control, HP, S&D)

CDL Super Week: Teams & Rosters

ROKKR
CDL roster spotlight: Minnesota ROKKR’s new-look lineup delivered an upset victory over Dallas Empire at Opening Weekend.

All 12 teams are participating in the Week 2 event, split into the two groups that were drawn at the start of Stage 1. All teams within the same group play each other once during the Stage, for a total of five matches.

Group A

Team Roster
Dallas Empire Crimsix, Shotzzy, Huke, iLLeY
London Royal Ravens Alexx, Dylan, Seany, Zer0
Los Angeles Thieves Kenny, SlasheR, TJHaLy, Temp
Minnesota ROKKR Accuracy, Attach, Priestahh, MajorManiak
New York Subliners Clayster, Asim, Diamondcon, Mack
Seattle Surge Octane, Gunless, Prestinni, Loony

Group B

Team Roster
Atlanta FaZe Simp, Cellium, aBeZy, Arcitys
Florida Mutineers Skyz, Owakening, Slacked, Neptune
Los Angeles Guerrillas SiLLY, Assault, Apathy, Vivid
OpTic Chicago Scump, FormaL, Envoy, Dashy
Paris Legion AquA, Classic, Fire, Skrapz
Toronto Ultra Methodz, Bance, Cammy, CleanX

Make sure to check out our CDL 2021 Season hub for the latest standings, full schedule of all events, a breakdown of the season format, and more.