The Overwatch League is finally back and fans are excited to watch OWL games for the first time since October.
There are a ton of matches taking place this weekend for both the East and West regions. Below are a few that have potential to be the most interesting matches of the weekend.
Houston Outlaws vs. Dallas Fuel
Friday -- 3 p.m. ET
The battle of the Texans is always going to be a good storyline, and the teams are more evenly matched this year than they have been in the past. The Fuel have a mostly new roster, with Kim “Doha” Dong-Ha as the only returning player.
Dubbed “The Lone Star Showdown,” this is the first match of the season, and it’s bound to be a good one. The Outlaws and the Fuel are natural rivals, which makes the game interesting to fans even without the roster changes that were made in the offseason, but there are some exciting new players on both teams for fans to cheer for.
Read more: Overwatch League Preseason Power Rankings
Probably the most exciting was the re-signing of Jake “Jake” Lyon to the Outlaws. When first announced, fans thought he would return to the DPS lineup, but Jake is with the Outlaws as a player-coach. The only sighting of Jake fans might get in matches is if he subs in as a tank or a support. Because the Outlaws have such a stacked DPS lineup, it’s unlikely that he will sub in for a match in a DPS role.
Photo credit: Overwatch League
Los Angeles Gladiators vs. San Francisco Shock
Friday -- 4:30 p.m. ET
It’s time to see if the Shock can defend their two-time grand finals title when they kick off their season against the Gladiators.
While the Shock have brought on a few new DPS players this season, the Gladiators’ DPS lineup remains unchanged.
Ji-hyeok “birdring” Kim is a menace to deal with, and he has tank Indy “Space” Halpern backing him up. Their DPS synergy might award them an advantage early in the season compared to teams who have new additions to the team.
The Gladiators had some really great support drafts this year, too. Grant “moth” Espe is looking to defeat his old team and prove that the Gladiators are the better California team.
Although the Shock have a few new additions to the team, under head coach Dae-hee “Crusty” Park, it may not matter who is on the starting six. Crusty is arguably the best coach in the league and an invaluable asset to the Shock. The Shock did have a roster change in between their grand finals titles, but they never wavered in their dominance.
This match should be a very interesting one, and fans will hopefully get to witness a close game between two evenly matched teams.
Photo credit: Nerd Street Gamers
Philadelphia Fusion vs. Seoul Dynasty
Saturday: 8 a.m. ET
The Fusion and the Los Angeles Valiant both moved to the East region and will be competing in Asia this year. Fans in Philadelphia are likely anxious to see what the Fusion will do against the Dynasty.
Seoul often have a lot of hype surrounding them, but they fail to deliver on big promises each season. That said, they are getting closer and closer every year. In the 2020 season, they made it to the grand finals, but ultimately lost 4-2 to the Shock.
The Dynasty still have a great roster this season, especially with stellar DPS players Joon-yeong “Profit” Park and Jong-ryeol “Saebyeolbe” Park, who bring with them a lot of experience and a ton of clutch potential.
The Fusion might have a shaky start to the season, considering some of their players are having visa issues. They picked up Jin-mo “tobi” Yang and brought back fan-favorite Hong-joon “HOTBA” Choi to help fill the gaps, but both of these deals were done at the last minute, and fans are concerned about synergy within the team.
The match will be an early start for fans watching on the East Coast, but the match will be re-broadcast as an Encore match at 12:30 p.m. ET.
There are 11 matches this weekend, so fans have a lot of action to look forward to.
Lead image credit: Overwatch League