Vancouver Titan's Look to Repeat as OWL Stage 2 Begins

Wyatt Fossett,

April 4, 2019 11:15 AM

On the day of its launch, we take a look at some of the major stories heading into Stage 2 of the 2019 Overwatch League season.

It has been almost two weeks since the Vancouver Titans won the first stage of the Overwatch League’s second season, and today we finally get back into the action as Stage 2 kicks-off this afternoon live from the Blizzard Arena. 

With players like Dafran leaving the league, and the Boston Uprising making some big roster changes despite a pretty good showing in Stage 1, the off-week has been filled with headlines. But, we’re only hours away from the start of the 2019 Overwatch League Stage 2.

(courtesy Robert Paul, Blizzard Ent.)
(courtesy Robert Paul, Blizzard Ent.)

Unsinkable Ship?

The Vancouver Titans won OWL's Stage 1 Playoffs in a three-hour match marathon against the San Francisco Shock. With a display of pure dominance in almost every single one of their match-ups, the Titans did what any other team in the league wishes they could; take a 7-game winning streak into the playoffs, and not lose a single series on their way to claiming the championship. 

It’s pretty crazy when you think of it. Especially when you consider that they are playing in their first ever OWL season. But the boys from the Titans have been playing together (essentially) for a few years now, and proved to the world that they are top-tier in Stage 1. But can they keep that up going into Stage 2? 

(courtesy Robert Paul, Blizzard Ent.)
(courtesy Robert Paul, Blizzard Ent.)

Our best right now is that they can. The main reason for this is because the GOATs meta has yet to be dissolved, and we expect the Titans’ Reinhardt GOATs composition to continue to rule the Overwatch League. 

Whether they can maintain their dominance post-GOATs is another question. The Titans line-up have some very prolific DPS players, so they should be fine. Whether or not their DPS comp is a higher level than the rest of OWL like their GOATs comp is has yet to be seen. 

Baptiste Joins the Fray

Some prophesied that the addition of the Haitian combat medic might shake up the current state of the meta a little bit, and as time goes on and players’ get used to his tool kit, it might shift slightly. But Baptiste isn’t the salvation the anit-GOATs fans are looking for.

(courtesy Blizzard Ent.)
(courtesy Blizzard Ent.)

If anything, Baptiste may slip into the picks in place of Brigitte, but that won’t cause to the rest of the essential hero choices to topple. 

Baptiste has a wide-ranging kit, with an area-of-effect heal, splash damage healing, a “you can’t die yet” area-of-effect, and some of the most extreme mobility the game has ever seen. While it’s going to be super fun to see pro players adapting to the new hero, don’t expect Baptiste to be a must-pick right away. 

Patch 1.34

There are a lot of things that have changes in Overwatch patch and most of them revolve around armor. It may mean the end of the super oppressive Zarya in GOATs. Almost every single beam-type damage has seen a 20% nerf of damage when hitting shields. This means that things like Zarya’s primary fire, no matter her charge, will be less capable of bursting down Rein shields, or Orisia sails. 

In worse news for armor, the damage received by damage-over-time abilities like Ashe’s dynamite burn, or Hanzo’s ultimate, will no longer be mitigated by armor. 

(courtesy Blizzard Ent)
(courtesy Blizzard Ent)

Other changes to heroes that could affect their common use on the Blizzard stage is the Speed Boost reduction speed of Lucio’s Amp It Up ability, which may cool off the use of the “taxi maneuver” in pro play. Also, Hanzo’s sonic arrow detection radius goes from 7 meters to 9 meters permanently, which could spell a whole lot more spawned Honzo play for the quick scout, before switching off to a standard GOAT champ. 

The previous Overwatch patch also introduced the world of pro to the new map Paris, which will begin regular rotation in OWL play starting in Stage 2.

Stage 2 Starts Now!~

The first match of Stage 2 in the Overwatch League’s second season is today. Starting at 4:00 PM Pacific Time, we return to a Thursday to Sunday schedule, with four head-to-heads in their respective best-of-four series. 

We kick things off with a heavyweight battle from the Eastern Conference, as the New York Excelsior look to immediately prove that getting knocked out of the playoffs in the first round after going undefeated in the regular stage play, meant nothing. They are playing up against the Philadelphia Fusion who looked dominant in the postseason, before losing to San Francisco in the Semi-Finals. 

(courtesy Stewart Volland, Blizzard Entertainment)
(courtesy Stewart Volland, Blizzard Entertainment)

For a full schedule of this week’s matches, check out the Overwatch League Schedule page. 

Teams will once again play 7 head-to-head matches over the course of Stage 2’s 5-week schedule. Week 4 is one to highly in its entirety, as it will be the first ever full road-trip for the league. Heading to Dallas, where the Fuel will be playing on their home turf, Week 4 of Stage 2 will be played live at the Allen Event Center in North Texas.

Do you think the Titans can repeat as Stage Champions? Do you think any of the roster changes during the off-week will have an impact on the standings?


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