It's odd to say that we're closer to the end of Stage 2 as we are the beginning. It seems as if the time has simply crumbled away in front of us, and in the face of such high octane matches it's not hard to guess as to why that is. Unfortunately this week was also littered with controversies; it's been a particularly tough week for Dallas Fuel as two of their main roster, xQc and Taimou, are facing disciplinary actions for their questionable behaviour. Despite such controversy however it's important to focus on the good, so let's take a look at the scores and see who shined this week.
NOTE: All match dates are synced to GMT
Players of the Week
Hydration - Los Angeles Gladiators
Finally I can come clean; I'm a Gladiators supporter, some might even say an avid fan. I haven't had all that much of a chance to talk about my team so far in this series as they've been quite average, and of course by average I mean mostly overshadowed by inhuman Korean players. This then is the Gladiator's, particularly Hydration's, chance to stand out, as they had a stellar week across both games, even taking one from the Stage 1 champions London Spitfire. Hydration himself might be one of the only cases that comes to mind of a "hard carry" in Overwatch. For those of you who don't know, hard carry is a term used mostly in MOBA's that is used to reference the extremely powerful player that, as the name implies, carries their team to victory, as they tend to do most of the heavy lifting. Overwatch is a game designed around team composition, so it's rare that anyone would stand out as such a pivotal member of their own team. This however is one such case. Many jokes circle the Overwatch community about the dreaded "Genji Mains" who blame their teammates for any and all losses and constantly request healing even when at full health. Hydration turns this joke into the highest form of praise, as I have yet to see a player who can make such an impact with his lethal precision. I know we don't have a shot at the Stage 2 playoffs anymore, but if we're going to make a comeback in a later Stage it will be thanks to this man. Grand Finals here we come.
Striker - Boston Uprising
It's that time of the week again folks; that's right it's the Tracer Awards! (You thought I was kidding about this skit huh? Jokes on you.) This week I'm giving the award to Striker of Boston Uprising, and some of you may be wondering, "Why is the Tracer player from a mid-level team with disappointing results being credited?" Well naive reader, in a League dominated by the best Tracer's in the world I can see why you'd be so hestitant to give praise to one who isn't recognised as simply the best. After all, it's every Tracer's job to drop squishy back lines easily and Striker does this no btter than some others. No, it's his ability to take down Tanks AS IF they were squishy back lines that makes him stand out. Whether it's from a well placed ultimate or simply a high dgree of tracking when aiming Striker is easily one of the most lethal Tracer players towards Tanks in the whole League, and it's this kind of unorthodox strategy that catches so many off guard and deserves special mention.
Roshan - Shanghai Dragons
Oh Shanghai how your matches pain me so. I don't think this is a bad team, despite the overwhelming evidence in favour of that argument, but at such a high level as the Overwatch League itself one wrong decision or a bit of lackluster teamwork is potentially all that's required to allow the rest of the League to completely run you over. An abysmal 0-16 win loss record is proof enough that the Dragons have some work to do before they're at this standard. No one player is at fault here, it's a team game after all. However even in light of such franky depressing stats I believe the Dragons, particularly Roshan, are deserving of some recognition. They still managed to get all the way to the Overwatch League, and while here they've put up a very tough fight to even the biggest threats out there. Roshan acts as the team's front-and-centre, so it's no surprise that he would probably take a certain amount of flak for their performance, but he still acts excellently under pressure. I can't stress enough that this mention is not out of pity; I truly beleve that Roshan and the rest of his team are almost at top level standard. They simply need a slight push to be able to stand strong among the true pros.
On the whole this was a rough week for a few teams, and the Overwatch League itself has lost considerable clout thanks to the questionable actions of a few certain players. The controversy that came to light this week mostly cast a shadow over the matches played, but it's always important to remember there are many noteworthy and inspirational stories being told here. It's up to the players and coaches to sort out behaviour amongst themselves, but as viewers we can show our support and keep the OWL in the spotlight for only the best reasons.