Every Wednesday, we’re here to help get you ready for the coming week in the Overwatch League with picks, polls, and our best videos and photos.

THE PICKOFF

We asked our team of Overwatch League analysts and experts to pick every game of
Week 2:

Thursday, April 11

Picks by Malik Forté

Eternal vs. Mayhem 4 p.m. PDT

Though the Mayhem seem to be on the road to a more stable core by going with an all-Korean lineup, the Eternal seem to have found comfort within this new meta. It allows Paris to be more versatile and utilize its firepower, such as Georgii “Shadowburn” Gushcha. I have Paris taking the first match of Week 2 over Florida. 

PAR
Excelsior vs. Justice 5:45 p.m. PDT

I expect the NYXL to continue their winning streak of regular-season matches with ease, taking this match over the Justice. Washington does have some interesting variables to consider going in—like former NYXL support player Yeon-Jun “Ark” Hong facing off against his former squad for the first time—but ultimately, I don't think it'll be anywhere near enough to take down the mighty Excelsior. 

NYE
Titans vs. Dynasty 7:30 p.m. PDT

I'm in my spicy upset bag for this one! It's no secret that the Titans have been unbeatable so far, and we saw them put in work against the Dynasty during the Stage 1 Playoffs. But in this new meta, it evens the playing field between these two squads ever so slightly, and the Titans are playing on the opening day of the week for the first time this season. It may seem like a moot point, but ultimately my gut feeling tells me that the Dynasty will catch the Titans on an off-day and hand them their first “L” of 2019. Don't @me on this though...

SEO
Defiant vs. Fusion 9:15 p.m. PDT

The Defiant ended last week on a crushing reverse sweep at the hands of the Uprising. We've seen though, especially last stage, how well Coach Bishop is at rallying his troops and I see the Defiant taking the Fusion to task for every mistake they make in this match. It'll be a close one, but I see Toronto edging out the Philly for the victory. 

TOR

Friday, April 12

Picks by Josh “Sideshow” Wilkinson

Valiant vs. Reign 4 p.m. PDT

I'm coming in with an early hot take! The Valiant have been shockingly poor this season, running with a main tank on Lúcio during the hero's most impactful meta, looking passive and uncoordinated, and most recently releasing their head coach with more potential changes on the horizon. But (and it's a big but) they still have a very competent group of players who have a lot of experience playing together and they have suffered from an extremely tough strength of schedule so far in 2019. Atlanta looks like a team on the edge of a collapse. The loss of Daniel “Dafran” Francesca and the disappearance of Dong-Hyung “Daco” Seo has left this team without a real semblance of what its core should be. The new players look disjointed and emotional and if the Valiant come out swinging they could take this match and get themselves on the board.

VAL
Uprising vs. Spark 5:45 p.m. PDT

Although much has been made of the Spark's notoriety in scrims, they have yet to show anything on the main stage. Their understanding of the meta was something that Benjamin “BigGoose” Isohanni recently said he respected on Watchpoint, but the Spark ran extremely questionable compositions on Hanamura in their only match this stage against the Titans. The Uprising are starting to gel with Richard “Rck” Kanerva now in the lineup, and as Hexagrams says, you should never bet against them. The reverse-sweep kings are here to mop up Hangzhou.

BOS
Charge vs. Shock 7:30 p.m. PDT

The Shock are one of holy trinity we currently have in the Overwatch League. Alongside the Excelsior and Titans, they are leaps and bounds above the other teams in the league. They will crush the poor mortals on the Charge, who are genuinely a mid-table team but have had a horrific strength of schedule this year.

SFS
Hunters vs. Dragons 9:15 p.m. PDT

Menghan “Ameng” Ding is the greatest Wrecking Ball we've ever seen in Overwatch, and the Hunters play around him very effectively. Although they looked a little sloppy against the Justice, if they tighten up their hybrid and assault first point offenses, I think it should be enough to carry them through. For the Dragons, they need to rely on Min-Sung “Diem” Bae and Jin-Hyeok “Dding” Yang clutching on DPS when things get crazy.

CDH

Saturday, April 13

Picks by Brennon “Bren” Hook

Spitfire vs. Fusion 12 p.m. PDT

A rematch of the 2018 Grand Finals featuring two veteran teams that made minimal changes moving into the 2019 season makes this a revenge match for Philadelphia. Both of these teams have one commonality: inconsistency. They seem to underperform on a regular basis; Philly and London have both struggled against a weakened Florida team, just barely squeaking out wins against them. Realistically, these teams both have the coaching staff and skill on roster to bounce back and we've seen them do it before (last year), making this a hard match to predict. I'm putting this down to a coin flip, but I'll have to give a slight edge to London because of their recent dominant performance over Atlanta.

LDN
Titans vs. Outlaws 1:45 p.m. PDT

The Titans once again have come barreling into Stage 2 looking like a freak of nature. They seem unphased by the meta shifts and have taken to it like a duck in water. On the other hand, we have not seen the Outlaws in this meta yet—they are an unknown quantity. It’s likely they've made improvements between their last official match and now, but I'm confident it will not be enough to take down Vancouver. Titans win 4-0.

VAN
Fuel vs. Defiant 3:30 p.m. PDT

A difficult match to predict as we haven't seen the Fuel play this stage, but they've also recently gone through turbulence. They've swapped out their D.Va player Richard “Rck” Kanerva for Lucas “Note” Meissner, which pigeonholes them into playing mainly D.Va compositions; and their star DPS Hyeon “Effect” Hwang has retired from Overwatch for personal reasons. With that being said, they are still a solid middle-of-the-pack team. The Defiant are coming off the back of a nasty reverse-sweep loss to the Uprising and have looked average across the board. Toronto’s recent addition of unknown Jin “Im37” Hong has been fantastic for them, allowing them to swap in and out of GOATs and DPS compositions with little trouble. Based off recent information, I have to give this win to the Defiant, however there is a possibility the Fuel come out of the hyperbolic scrim chamber and absolutely slap.

TOR
Gladiators vs. Charge 5:15 p.m. PDT

The Charge have not looked good recently but this, I think, is largely due to their incredibly tough opponents. At this point in the week they will have played the Shock twice in a row and depending on whether they can bounce back from the first crushing loss will affect how likely it is they take a win against the Gladiators. The Gladiators, on the other hand, are looking better and better as time goes on—Gui-Un “Decay” Jang has warmed up and is absolutely farming players on his signature Zarya, Genji, and Tracer. The team is meshing well together and it seems as though they have a great grasp of the metagame. Scraping a five-map win last week against a vastly improved Dynasty gives me a lot of hope that this LA squad will go on to a Stage 2 Playoffs win. In this matchup the choice is easy, the Gladiators should take it, however keep your eye on the Charge—if they have a close series against the Shock then they're likely to give the Gladiators a run for their money as well.

GLA

Sunday, April 14

Picks by Soe Gschwind

Fuel vs. Eternal 12 p.m. PDT

Paris kicked things off this stage by defeating the Charge in dominant fashion, and the Charge are considered a playoff-caliber team by many. However, in their second game, they ended up losing against the Hunters, crumbling under their strong offensive strategies. On the other side, this week is our first look at the Fuel in Stage 2, so we have yet to get an idea of how they have adapted to the latest patch. I think Paris looked solid, they were quick to adapt in game and despite not having found an answer to Wenjie “Elsa” Luo's Symmetra in time, I am sure they used the last few days wisely, covering the cracks in their armor. Until we know more about what the Fuel can bring to the table, I will put my faith into Paris, who, without a doubt, are thriving in the current meta. 

PAR
Reign vs. Justice 1:45 p.m. PDT

Atlanta would be my pick for this match... shocker, I know! I loved what we saw from the Reign in their match against the Uprising. Despite some initial doubt regarding Andrej “Babybay” Francisty's ability to play Zarya, he showed that he is more than capable of doing so, outpacing his opposition in average energy uptime and many other crucial metrics for the entirety of the first half. On top of standout individual performances from the likes of Jun “Erster” Jeong and Babybay on Oasis and Anubis, it generally looked like they have adapted well to patch and roster changes alike. Yes, they ended up getting reverse swept by Boston, but I do think there were a lot of things to take away from their first match. I would be disappointed to see the same, very fixable mistakes again in their match against the Justice. Washington also showed a lot of improvements. It may be wishful thinking, but they did look more cohesive and coordinated than prior to Ark joining their lineup. They definitely can take a few maps, but I would be surprised if they went on to win the series. 

ATL
Excelsior vs. Mayhem 3:30 p.m. PDT

New York is the clear favorite in this match (actually, in every match they'll play for the remainder of Stage 2). Florida sported their all-Korean "temp" lineup in Week 1, and yes, they did look better than before, partially because their opponent—London—did not play up to their potential and seemingly was not prepared for this patch. The NYXL have a very light schedule ahead of them, so I expect them to be very well prepared and utterly dominant. 

NYE
Valiant vs. Gladiators 5:15 p.m. PDT

As much as I would love to keep the hype around the infamous "Battle of LA" alive, I unfortunately think this might be one of the least exciting renditions of said battle. With the Gladiators currently looking like a strong contender for the Stage 2 Playoffs and the Valiant still chasing their elusive first victory this season, I somehow doubt that this is going to be a close bout. It was evident during the Valiant’s match against the Shock, that they are making changes—clearly trying to adapt and re-invent themselves in this new meta. With the sample size of just one match, it has yet to be seen if any of their changes will bear fruit, so for now, I will go with a clean victory for the Gladiators.

GLA

POLL OF THE WEEK

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: BEAST MODE HYPE

The Shock pulled out all the stops for their walkout against the Valiant on Friday. It started with a slick video and then NFL running back Marshawn Lynch led the team out of the tunnel. Lynch, who is part of the Shock’s ownership group, emerged hoisting the California Cup trophy—which is contested between the Shock and Valiant.

The Shock also had a D.Va cosplayer on hand to help hype the team.

GAME/SET: HYDRATION

The Gladiators’ João Pedro “Hydration” Goes Telles offers up his ideal settings for playing as Brigitte and provides a few tips on positioning, the best swipe technique, and how to land a quick boop.

CHENGDU COOKING CHALLENGE

Hu “JinMu” Yi and Menghan “Ameng” Ding put down their mice and picked up some spatulas to go head-to-head in a cooking competition. Find out which of their dishes was voted most tasty by a panel of their teammates.

KNOW YOUR ROLE: TANK

Get some advice on how to tank like you mean it from Overwatch League pros Chan-Hyoeng “Fissure” Baek, Austin “Muma” Wilmot, Indy “Space” Halpern, and Gael “Poko” Gouzerch.

Week 2 of the Overwatch League begins Thursday, April 11, at 4 p.m. PDT, when the Paris Eternal (4-5) take on the Florida Mayhem (1-8). Watch all 2019 season matches live and on demand on overwatchleague.com, the Overwatch League app, our Twitch channel, MLG.com, and the MLG app.