It was another incredibly busy week in the world of esports. The Overwatch League kicked off it’s second official season. The best CSGO players in the world have been battling it out in Katowice for Intel Extreme Masters. CWL action also continued with Division B getting in their first week of action in the 2019 season. There is a lot to discuss here so let’s get straight to it!
Last week we noted that the very first games of Season 2 were now in the books for the Overwatch League. With the first full week now being complete as well as the first day of action in week two there is a lot more to discuss.
The Toronto Defiant, Atlanta Reign, Chengdu Hunters, Paris Eternal and Vancouver Titans joined the Hangzhou Sparks in winning their first ever Overwatch League matches as expansion entrants to the league this year.
Hangzhou actually went on to win a second game last week as well, defeating the LA valiant, to give them an excellent 2-0 start to the season. The Atlanta Reign were the only other expansion team to play two games in the opening week but things didn’t go quite as well for them in their second match being narrowly defeated 3-2 by the Philadelphia Fusion.
Neither the Washington Justice or Guangzhou Charge were able to get off to that storybook start in their Overwatch League debuts. Washington fell 3-1 to the New York Excelsior and again 3-2 last night in a close 5 game series against the London Spitfire. Considering both London and New York were two of the best teams throughout the entirety of last season there is no reason to panic for the new Washington squad.
Guangzhou meanwhile was bested 3-2 by Chengdu in an all expansion opener. Chengdu was bested 4-0 by Seoul last night which does suggest Guangzhou may have some significant work to do over the course of the season but with only one match under their belt it is hard to know exactly how they stack up against the competition.
Action resumes tonight at 7PM EST with the Atlanta Reign and Toronto Defiant squaring off meaning one of these expansion teams will be taking their first ever loss tonight. You can catch it all live on Twitch and for more information on the standings, match results and full schedule check out the official Overwatch League website.
With $1,000,000 on the line twenty four of the world’s top CS:GO teams have converged on Katowice for their chance to win the first major of 2019 and the first event of the latest Intel Grand Slam season.
The first portion of the event, the New Challengers stage has already concluded knocking the first 8 teams out of the competition. NRG and Renegades emerged from the Challengers component of the event as the two best teams in that round, winning all three of the series they played and racking up an impressive +22 round differential in the process. They weren’t just winning their matches they were destroying them.
On the opposite end of the spectrum were Team Spirit and Grayhound Gaming neither of which were able to win a series, going home with 0-3 records. Both squads struggled to find their footing and will need to qualify for future majors once again as they will not be automatically invited to the Berlin StarLadder Major taking place at the end of August and in early September.
Despite their phenomenal success in the earliest stage of the tournament, NRG was immediately sent eliminated in the second portion, the New Legends Stage. They were narrowly defeated by NiP and Avangar before being swept 2-0 by Complexity in the elimination series meaning they too will not receive an automatic invite to Berlin thus will have to make it through the qualifying events.
The story couldn’t be more different for Renegades, who went 3-1 in the Legends Stage demonstrating their success so far was no fluke. They now sit in the Champions Stage elimination playoff bracket awaiting the end of the Legends Stage. Waiting with them are Natus Vincere who also went 3-1 as well as both Astralis and Team Liquid, both of whom went 3-0 to advance through the Legends Stage with ease including victories over Renegades and NaVi respectively handing them their only losses of the event thus far.
For the full schedule head on over to the official website and make sure to catch all the action this weekend and next live on Twitch.
Division B finally got to play their first games of the 2019 CWL season giving fans their first look at those teams this year. Although Call of Duty esports have traditionally been all about North America, this past week Europeans put the spotlight directly on themselves.
Starting at the very top of the standings the all Spanish Team Heretics got off to an incredible start winning all four of their opening week matches. They were able to best Enigma6, EUnited, Excelerate Gaming and Denial Esports EU en route to the best record in Division B.
Nipping at their heels are Eunited who went 3-1 on the week only losing to the Spanish goliaths, and Splyce who got off to a perfect 3-0 start. Their matches against Heretics and EUnited this coming week will be ones you won’t want to miss.
Apart from these three teams no other team was able to earn more than one over the course of the week making the rest of the picture very murky still. One team wasn’t able to even get one victory however and that was the all French Denial Esports roster. Going 0-4 in week 1 they certainly will want to turn things around fast so that they can benefit from the fact most teams are still only one win ahead of them.
Make sure you catch the second week of Division B exclusive action next week live on Twitch! Matches are played Monday through Thursday beginning at 6PM EST on Mondays and 3PM EST every other night.
That does it for us this week! We hope you enjoy another action packed esports weekend over the next few days and we’ll see you next week to catch you up on anything you might have missed!