The return of the Overwatch League is only weeks away, and teams have been gearing up to face the competition. This season, the League has implemented a host of new logistical changes, making scheduling and matches different from previous seasons. Now, various international stadiums will host League matches, and there will be two new break periods. In addition, the Overwatch development team pushed out a series of new balance updates and patches during the offseason period. As a result, the initial meta will likely be wildly different than what was seen at last season’s conclusion. With that being said, here’s a look at the Top 5 OWL Teams to watch at the start of the 2020 season.
With all this hype heading into the OWL 2020, we are covering the new OWL divisions. You can find all the info here:
- OWL 2020 Previews: Atlantic Conference North Division
- OWL 2020 Previews: Atlantic Conference South Division
- OWL 2020 Previews: Pacific Conference West Division
But without further ado, let’s get in the Top 5 OWL Teams to watch out for this season!
5. Los Angeles Valiant
Like many other teams on this list, the Los Angeles Valiant went into the offseason period looking to rebound from a sub-par finish to their 2019 season. Unlike other teams on this list, the Valiant chose to go about this by almost exclusively recruiting up-and-coming players from the Contenders Series rather than seeking out more seasoned players. The Valiant added the likes of former Contenders players KSP, Gig, Dreamer, Apply, and Lastro.
The Valiant likely hope this surge of new talent can replace some of the veteran names departing their roster. This strategy shows a huge amount of faith placed in the ability of the Valiant’s coaching staff and senior players. They are responsible for honing the skills of their promising rookies in the midst of a competitive environment. Although risky, expect to see a strong showing from the Valiant if they manage to pull it off.
4. Toronto Defiant
The Toronto Defiant are another interesting team to watch as they begin their second season of Overwatch League participation. Following a disappointing end to Stage 4 of the 2019 season, the Defiant similarly adopted significant roster changes in hopes of revamping their team composition and performance. In addition to an almost entirely new coaching staff, the Defiant added on an impressive array of accomplished League players. Surefore, Agilities, Kellex, Nevix, and rookie player Beast will all join the Defiant for the upcoming season. With so many new faces added to the Defiant lineup, it may take them a few weeks to fully adapt their teamwork and synergy. But once they do, the Defiant look to pose as serious contenders for a top 8 ranking.
3. Seoul Dynasty
After a lackluster performance in 2019, the Seoul Dynasty entered into the offseason period needing to make significant changes. And significant changes they made. After releasing a significant portion of their players, the Dynasty signed league veterans Gesture, Profit, and Bdosin. All standout players individually, they also all notably played together under the London Spitfire. The Dynasty may hope that the experience and synergy of these three players will bring new stability and focus to a team with previously unsteady performances. Either way, the performance of these core players will be critical in determining the early success of this Dynasty team. Depending on their ability to pull this off, the Seoul Dynasty look to be an Overwatch wildcard bet for the initial phases of the season.
2. Vancouver Titans
The Vancouver Titans were arguably one of the most dominant regular-season teams of the 2019 season. Despite this, the Titans were left stunned after being swept by the San Francisco Shock in the championship match. Following this crushing defeat, the Titans will definitely be looking make a strong statement in their opening games. To help them with this, the Titans enlisted heavyweights Fissure and Ryujehong during the offseason period. Both of these players have had significant experience and success in past seasons with a variety of different teams. With the addition of these two players of such high caliber to an already proficient core of players, the Titans stand to be one of the most threatening teams to contend with at the beginning of the 2020 season.
1. San Francisco Shock
As the reigning champions of the Overwatch League 2019 season, all eyes are on the San Francisco Shock to see if they will be able to continue their dominance coming into the 2020 season. As expected of the returning champs, little has changed in the way of their roster lineup.
So far, the Shock’s sole addition is DPS main Seon-chang “Ans” Lee, a former Overwatch Contenders Series player. Ans joins an already stacked roster that boasts the likes of superstars Sinatraa, Super, Architect, and Choihyobin. With such a competent roster on top of a dominant performance in last season’s playoffs, they will no doubt be one of the top Overwatch League teams to watch entering the 2020 season. Expect them to try and reassert their skills at the season’s premier, as they are heading our Top 5 OWL Teams of the season.