OWL 2020 Previews: Pacific Conference West Division

OWL 2020 Previews: Pacific Conference West Division

This is the third of our four previews of the upcoming season of the upcoming Overwatch League season, where we will look at the teams of the Pacific Conference West Division. This features the two best teams in the league from last year, the San Francisco Shock and the Vancouver Titans, along with the two Los Angeles teams and the Dallas Fuel. Long story short, the Shock still looks to be the best team in the league while the rest of these teams look like they are falling behind, some at a faster pace than others.

Other interesting reads:

Dallas Fuel

OWL 2020 Pacific Conference West Division - Dallas Fuel
Dallas Fuel OWL 2020 Squad:
Mickie, HarryHook, aKm, uNKOE, Closer, ZachaREE, NotE, Trill, Decay, Gamsu, Doha

Dallas, the team of perpetual underachievement, is trying once and for all to have a season that does not end in a trainwreck. The additions of Gamsu, Doha, and Decay are a nice core to build around and should get most of the playtime, but the rest of their team has a lot of baggage. AKM and Unkoe appear to be tracking downward, Zachareee didn’t get to properly show off his DPS prowess last year, and Trill did not look ready to take the stage at all. The Fuel did a lot of roster juggling last season that cost them a number of matches, so if they can settle on a proper starting lineup, probably based on their Koreans, they will be better in the long run. Even with all the shakeup happening in the Pacific Conference West Division, Dallas can not be certain to be any better when compared to the past two years.

Los Angeles Gladiators

Pacific Conference West Division - Los Angeles Gladiators
Los Angeles Gladiators OWL 2020 Squad:
Shaz, BigGoose, SPACE, OGE, birdring, MirroR, Paintbrush, Bischu, LhCloudy, Jaru

Aside from the Finnish support duo of Biggoose and Shaz and Bischu, the Gladiators are debuting a whole new lineup in 2020. The players they’ve got, ranging from tanks Space, OGE, and LhCloudy to DPS birdring come from other teams, while others like Jaru, Mirror, and Painbrush are better known on the Contenders level. It will be interesting to see how these makeshift parts come together over the course of a season. They won’t be as good as when Surfour and Hydration were leading the way, but they look to be a steady mid-table team in the Pacific Conference West Division.

Los Angeles Valiant

OWL 2020 - Los Angeles Valiant
Los Angeles Valiant OWL 2020 Squad:
KSF, Shax, McGravy, Dreamer, Apply, Lastro, GiG, RaiN, KSP

The Valiant have been dogged by rumors they are going for more of a budget team and their roster seems to prove it. Aside from returnees KSF, Shax, and McGravy, this roster is made up of castoffs and unknowns. Only Apply has prior Overwatch League experience while KSP has been part of the British Overwatch League team the past two years. The rest are little-known contenders players that have this team looking for the future. Then again, Boston tried this same approach the past few years and settled near the bottom of the league, so the Valiant seems bound to that same fate.

San Francisco Shock

OWL 2020 Pacific Conference West Division - San Francisco Shock
San Francisco Shock OWL 2020 Squad:
super, sinatraa, Architect, moth, ChoiHyoBin, smurf, Rascal, Viol2t, Striker, ANS

San Francisco only made two changes to their roster, letting Nevix go to Toronto and adding the one-time retired DPS player ANS to their ranks. Other than that, their entire starting lineup who effectively dominated the Overwatch League in 2019 will be returning, presumably to continue their reign. The Shock were able to be the best at nearly every meta last season with precision teamwork, so that should continue this year. The only concern people should have about the Shock, along with every team, is how their travel schedule affects how they play. If it does not affect the team that much, there’s no reason to think San Francisco cannot win it all again this year. Probably one of the safest Overwatch bets for the season.

Vancouver Titans

OWL 2020 - Vancouver Titans
Vancouver Titans OWL 2020 Squad:
Haksal, SeoMinSoo, Stitch, JJANU, SLIME, Twilight, Fissure, ryujehong

After a season where Vancouver effectively stomped everyone they came across for a few months, they must have some internal drama going on, because why else would they get rid of their main tanks Bumper and Tizi?  In their stead, the only additions the Titians have made are veterans Fissure and Ryujehong. Fissure has been incredibly volatile the first two seasons, retiring partway through 2019, and Ryujehong looks to be on the downward side of his career. The Titans have a league minimum eight players, and although the remaining players were all pivotal roles in 2019, if these veteran players do not work out, Vancouver could fall down the Pacific Conference West Division standings quickly.

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