There’s a lot of fanfare surrounding the start of the Overwatch League. Rather than leave it up to the community at large, Blizzard has taken a very hands-on approach in turning Overwatch into an eSport. The Overwatch League adopted a franchising model and drew enough support to get backing from a number of sources. About half the teams will be owned by names and organizations well-known to the eSports community, while the other half will be owned by traditional sports entities. Matches start this week and will be broadcast on Twitch and MLG.
Overwatch League Betting Odds
London Spitfire +200
Los Angeles Valiant +2000
Seoul Dynasty +200
Florida Mayhem +2500
New York Excelsior +550
Shanghai Dragons +2500
Dallas Fuel +600
Los Angeles Gladiators +4000
Houston Outlaws +1400
San Francisco Shock +4000
Philadelphia Fusion +1800
Boston Uprising +5000
There was little doubt who the best team was in the preseason. The Seoul Dynasty dominated its competition over the span of three matches. They dismantled Shanghai 4-0, crushed New York 3-1, and held on for a 2-1 victory over Houston.
Seoul has a lot to live up to. As Korea’s only team, the entire country is expecting them to win it all. They signed what was generally seen as the best club team in the world before the start of the Overwatch League, Lunatic-Hai, and have three Overwatch World Cup champions on their roster.
Seeing the Dynasty at only +200 is a little curious. This team should be closer to +125 or so.
London decided to go the Korean route too when constructing its team. The Spitfire filled all 12 roster spots with Korean players, with Jack Etienne proving he is serious about winning a title in Overwatch.
Etienne signed the rosters of two different teams, GC Busan and Kongdoo. In the preseason, London played one of its matches with GC Busan’s roster and one of its matches with Kongdoo’s roster. The team previously known as GC Busan was upset by the LA Gladiators, while Kongdoo’s old squad wiped the floor with the San Francisco Shock.
It will be interesting to see whether the Spitfire just play Kongdoo’s lineup, or if they integrate some of GC Busan’s former members into the lineup.
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Interestingly enough, one team did not take part in the preseason. Due to visa issues for their international players, the Philadelphia Fusion had to pull out of the preseason right before it started.
That puts them at a disadvantage compared to everyone else in the league, especially when you consider that Philly’s first two matches will be against Houston and London, two of the better teams in the league. Also, this is a multi-national squad, so there will be some language barrier issues for a while.
Additionally, the Fusion will be without their backup tank for most of the season. Sado was recently given a 30-match suspension for boosting and will not be available until late in the year.
The Dallas Fuel are going to be an interesting team to watch this season. Dallas is owned by Team EnVyUS, and its roster was the best in North America prior to the foundation of the Overwatch League. They made it to the semifinals of APEX Season 3 and won the last North American Major back in October.
Although this is a multi-national roster, most of this team has been together since last April. That means the communication barrier has been overcome, which is paramount in a team game like this.
The roster is filled with talent too. EFFECT is one of the better DPS players you will find, and HarryHook is a great shotcaller.
The San Francisco Shock should not be 40-1 to win it all. San Francisco has a talented squad that was competitive in preseason despite going 1-2. The team had to let go of Horatruz back in November, but LegitRc was an upgrade at manager.
This team will get a lot better come March too. San Francisco signed two star players who are ineligible right now because they are 17, but when they can be added to the roster this team should take off. Sinatraa and super are both very talented, and the former might be one of the best DPS players in Overwatch at the moment.
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