Overwatch League – Stage 2: Fierce Rivalries and More
Stage 2 of the Overwatch League kicked up the intensity several notches, as old rivalries reached new heights, stars—both established and rising—put up huge performances, and several teams were invigorated by new arrivals. From the first match of the stage to the 60th, we’ve collected the most outstanding highlights, video content, stats, and more. Here are the best moments from Stage 2!
CLASH OF THE TITANS
This is the match you show people if they want to see the pinnacle of Overwatch League competition—the best players, the biggest rivalry, and the most electrifying, tension-filled back-and-forth battle (in the regular season, anyway). The NYXL and Seoul already put on one five-map thriller back in Stage 1, and they somehow managed to top their previous effort this time around, in Week 4 of Stage 2.
The first two maps went the distance, with the NYXL winning Hanamura 6-4 after three rounds each before Seoul came back with a 2-1 result on Nepal. Seoul seemed to settle down after halftime, pulling ahead with a strong defensive effort on Hollywood, but the NYXL made crucial in-game adjustments to win Gibraltar and tiebreaker map Ilios.
What elevates this game from spectacle to strategic masterpiece is the way the two teams constantly adapted on the fly to counter their opponents’ game plan. Nothing between Seoul and New York is a mystery at this point, given the history between these two squads and the number of times they’ve faced each other onstage, but this match was a reminder of why some rivalries never get old. —Emerald Gao
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE STAGE
Ana returned to the Overwatch League in a big way in Stage 2, accounting for two of the top five highlights on social media, plus a powerful Genji Deflect, two Orisas falling to their deaths, and a bold Reinhardt Charge.
THE 100 AND 2 CLUB
All Overwatch League Tracers are impressive, but some stood out in ways I was not expecting in Stage 2. To tell their story, I will invoke an age-old statistical technique that is common in traditional sports: the arbitrary cutoff. For our Tracers, I am opening an exclusive “100 and 2 Club.” The price of membership? 100 final blows and a kill-death ratio (K:D) exceeding 2.0 in a single stage. Now that Stage 2 has ended, I would like to present our three inductees to the 100 and 2 Club.
Don’t let London’s semifinal exit cloud your view: Profit continues to be one of the league’s best Tracers. He was the only player who punched his ticket to the 100 and 2 Club in Stage 1, recording 192 final blows with a 2.46 K:D—and he did it again in Stage 2, tallying 361 final blows and a 2.30 K:D. Profit’s overall consistency also made him the top K:D player across all heroes, spanning both stages. His 2.07 “all heroes” K:D marks him as one of just two players with over 2.0 across multiple stages. As for the other…
Jong-Ryeol “Saebyeolbe” Park: Mr. 500
Death, taxes, and Saebyeolbe on Tracer. The NYXL DPS finally added a stage title to his name, and he did so in a way that spoke to his endurance as a player. Saebyeolbe gained the additional title of “Mr. 500” because he recorded exactly 500 final blows while maintaining a K:D ratio of 2.75 through Stage 2. His massive kill total is the result of New York’s ability to win tough five-map matches—they’ve played in six of them this season and won four. Saebyeolbe may be as reliable as Old Faithful, but the final inductee to the 100 and 2 club came out of nowhere, a kid we call…
Simon “Snillo” Ekstrom: The Anomaly
The more Snillo plays for Philadelphia, the more we have to take him seriously. He holds the incredible claim of having never lost a map—he’s even undefeated in the Stage Finals, having defeated Mr. 500 himself on Route 66. Snillo’s club entry fee clocked in at 142 final blows and only 47 deaths, for a K:D ratio of 3.02. It’s Snillo’s deaths that make him “The Anomaly,” as the next-lowest death total on the season is Houston DPS Jake “Jake” Lyon, with 121. Additionally, looking at deaths/10 minutes, only one player died at a lower rate than Snillo’s 3.78 in Stage 2: Saebyeolbe, with 3.41.
Hmm… maybe it’s Saebyeolbe who’s the real anomaly. —Ben “CaptainPlanet” Trautman
RAWKUS ON POINT
One of Watchpoint’s new segments introduced in Stage 2 was “On Point w/ Malik Forté,” a series of illuminating one-on-one chats with the stars of the Overwatch League. Malik’s conversation with Houston support Shane “Rawkus” Flaherty gave fans a candid look at Rawkus’s relationship with his Outlaws teammates and the personal trials he went through when his father passed away.
WHO’S BETTER THAN FISSURE? NOBODY.
There were several teams that took a step forward in Stage 2, none more so than the Los Angeles Gladiators, who went on a six-game winning streak to put themselves back in a spot to challenge for an overall playoff berth. A lot of the team’s success can be tied to the arrival of main tank Chan-Hyung “Fissure” Baek from the London Spitfire, as the veteran’s proactive, effective Winston play has given the Gladiators a strong dive initiator as well as another in-game leader.
Here’s how Fissure ranked among 18 Winston players in Stage 2 with more than 40 minutes of play time on the hero (all stats averaged per 10 minutes):
- 5,947.64 hero damage done (4th in the league)
- 6.55 final blows (3rd)
- 17.33 eliminations (7th)
- 3.01 Primal Rage kills (2nd)
- 6.25 Jump Pack kills (1st)
- 5.24 deaths (6th)
The fact that Fissure could return to action (he didn’t play for most of Stage 1) and put up top-five numbers for the Gladiators while working around a language barrier is a testament to the adjustments made by the team as a whole. While they target further improvements in Stage 3, other teams can look to LA (purple edition) as evidence that the right roster addition can sometimes make all the difference. —Emerald Gao and Ben “CaptainPlanet” Trautman