Four Things to Know About OWL Season 1, Week 1

January 15th
written by Moirai
Photo courtesy of the Overwatch League / Blizzard Entertainment
Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

With the first week of the Overwatch League (OWL) finally done, we now have a bit more data on how these teams will perform on LAN in front of a live studio audience – as well as a few thousand people online. Here are the biggest takeaways seen from this week:

1. Twitch viewership was high… but struggled to maintain throughout the entire week.

The first day of matches had about 400,000 viewers on the English Twitch stream alone, as Twitch Global Mod Ravager mentions on Twitter. Viewership maxed out around 21:45 PDT, or during the Dallas Fuel vs Seoul Dynasty slug-fest. By day two, however, the max viewership was cut by over 100,000 viewers, with the max just over 280,000. Day three was more popular than day two, with just over 10,000 more viewers at max peak before dropping again to just shy of 230,000 on Twitch during Day Four.

2. The more Korean players, the more wins you had.

As Winston’s Lab’s own Twitter pointed out earlier in the week, the teams with the more Korean players walked away from their respective matches with wins.This also means that the all-Korean players teams are currently perfect going into Week 2: Seoul Dynasty, London Spitfire and NYXL, respectively. The Los Angeles Valiant is the only perfect team that is not made up entirely of Korean players.

3. The most surprising performances came from the Boston Uprising and Philadelphia Fusion, all of which for good reasons.

Boston’s had a bad rep since before they even played a game as being assumed to be the worst team in the League. To some, the lack of well-known talent was a deal breaker for them, while others took their lukewarm 1-1 performance in the preseason as a sign of doom to come. That wasn’t the case come the start of the season, however, as the Uprising became the true underdogs of the tournament with their 4-0 sweep against the Florida Mayhem and once again taking a map off of NYXL, who is considered by many a power ranking to be one of the best teams.

The Philadelphia Fusion were the real Wildcard of the first week thanks to their failure to play in preseason. Though they were trounced by Spitfire in 0-4 fashion, they picked up the pace with a 3-2 win against the Outlaws. They’re currently in the mid-tier standings of 1-1 win/loss.

4. The most shocking performances came from Shanghai Dragons and Florida Mayhem, both of whom only won one map overall this week.

Both teams won only a single map this week, in surprising fashion. For the Dragons, it was a one-two punch from the Los Angeles Gladiators and then a not-very-close 1-3 against the San Francisco Shock.

One of the reasons Mayhem may be in trouble is due to their roster, which currently only has six players (formerly known as Misfits). After winning their one map against Spitfire, Mayhem couldn’t keep up with the Uprising, who swept them 0-4 on Day Three. Though Mayhem has said they will be picking up more players in the mid-season signings, it might not be in time if this performance keeps up.

Also at the bottom are the Houston Outlaws and Dallas Fuel, but they did a little bit better: the Outlaws won three maps overall while Fuel only won a single map but not only bested Dynasty on Junkertown but also tied them on Numbani, which is promising for future games to come.

This isn’t the end, however, this week, OWL picks up again on Wednesday with the San Francisco Shock vs Philadelphia Fusion, then the Florida Mayhem vs Seoul Dynasty, closing it out with Houston Outlaws vs Shanghai Dragons. You can check the rest of the week’s games by going onto OWL’s official website.