An order from the city of Los Angeles forced a stay-at-home quarantine this past weekend. In response, the Overwatch League opted for a series of friendly matches on Sunday. Professional play was back for the first time in a long time.
The Overwatch League’s return was greatly anticipated by many, but they were left with no option but to cancel. In replacement, two showcase matches were held online, with a special treat of Echo being available for play. Hero Pools were also disabled, opening up the matches to unlimited possibilities. The Seoul Dynasty took on the San Francisco Shock and got steamrolled, while the Battle for L.A. led to a more entertaining series.
— Overwatch League (@overwatchleague) March 22, 2020
Echo was released on the PTR last week and has a long way to go before she is ready for competitive play. Regardless, she was a shining feature of the weekend providing a glimpse at what is possible in the hands of professionals. Jay “sinatraa” Won on the San Francisco Shock cracked, floating through the sky with ease and dropping Sticky Bombs onto the enemy. Echo’s ultimate ability Duplicate, let Sinatraa swap between Tracer, Roadhog, and Reinhardt on each map unleashing ultimates at a rapid pace.
The try-hard style of the San Francisco Shock was a realistic look at how Echo will be played, while the L.A. teams had something else in mind. The Gladiators and Valiant took the opportunity to experiment with all the possible composition variations with Echo. The match was a much-needed break from everything going on in the world and provided Overwatch fans with professional play after a month-long hiatus.
AIR REIN ENGAGED pic.twitter.com/80nwPoSXEv
— Los Angeles Gladiators (@LAGladiators) March 22, 2020
It was light-hearted, energetic, and refreshing, everything that you could hope for in esports in a time where isolation is global. For a brief second everyone could forget about the troubles in the world and watch Gia Huy “Chris” “MirroR” Trịnh tilt Caleb “McGravy” McGarvey with none other than Torbjorn.
CS: GO and League of Legends have begun to find their stride again after CoVID-19 forced live-events to the brink of non-existence. The Blizzard Activision titles have both yet to find their footing, but this quality entertainment was a step in the right direction.
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