Yesterday the doors of Blizzard Arena Los Angeles opened onto the maiden matches of the Overwatch League preseason. Five teams debuted, and several players left lasting impressions. Let’s take a look.
The match that launched us all into the preseason was the veteran roster of the Florida Mayhem up against the San Francisco Shock. It was a known quantity versus an unknown quantity: how would the roster that impressed in Overwatch Contenders Season One fare against a brand-new mix of players?
I believe it was Shakespeare who said, “Some players just pop off on stage,” and Andrej “Babybay” Francisty of the Shock proved this correct. It’s been a long time since Babybay called a LAN stage home—his last offline event was the Overwatch Winter Premiere back in January—and he clearly relished it.
From the moment he walked onstage, when he won rounds, and ultimately when he was interviewed following his team’s victory, Babybay kept raising his hands to the roof, soaking up the adoration of the crowd. He certainly made a statement in his first professional appearance in the Overwatch League.
Thanks for the love today guys, you guys will see a lot more of that over the season. Also, I couldn’t be more happy with my teammates I’m super proud with how we performed just have to focus on little mistakes!— BABYBAY (@KING_BABYBAY) December 7, 2017
(Silk)threading the Needle
When the LA Valiant team was built, a lot of attention was given to the major DPS signings—young gun Brady “Agilities” Girardi and French powerhouse Terence “Soon” Tarlier. Not much mind was given to Ted “Silkthread” Wang, the 18-year-old Texan whose only previous experience was on the short-lived Counter Logic Gaming roster.
However, with Agilities waiting in the wings until the regular season due to age requirements, the spotlight fell on Silkthread for the Valiant’s debut match against the Shock. And boy, did he deliver.
It was mentioned on the analyst desk that Silkthread was doing his best Sinatraa impression, and watching this series, it’s easy to make that comparison.
Also, it was Silkthread’s first LAN.
ggs @SFShock! definitely the closest series i’ve ever played in and you guys all played out of your minds, it was truly an honor— silkthread (@silkthread_ow) December 7, 2017
Seoul Dynasty has been cited by many to be the final boss of the Overwatch League. Full of superstars from the esports heartland, they are the team that all others dream to beat—or, at the least, honorably lose to.
First up to the plate to test their might against Seoul during the preseason was the Shanghai Dragons, a significant portion of which only just arrived in the United States. There were rumblings about lack of sleep and of practice time.
Enter Seok-Woo “Wekeed” Choi of the Seoul Dynasty on Pharah.
Travelling to Dorado.
Wekeed was yawning—yawning!—between games. He was tired. Imagine Wekeed with sleep.
Although Seoul took out Shanghai 4-0, the Dragons showed a lot of promise, particularly in Weida “Diya” Lu, who—alongside his consistently high performance—managed to work up to Reaper’s Death Blossom in 55 seconds. Who does that?
To relive the action of the opening day of the Overwatch League Preseason, check out the VODs here. Tune in today starting at 2 p.m. PST as the Overwatch League preseason continues, for the debut of the Los Angeles Gladiators, the London Spitfire, the Dallas Fuel, the Houston Outlaws, the New York Excelsior, and the Boston Uprising.