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Overwatch 2Feb 21, 2018 1:00 pm CT

What to expect when Overwatch League returns for Stage 2 tonight

Stage One of the inaugural season of Overwatch League was an amazing experience to watch. The thrills, spills, and incredible reverse sweeps we’ve come to love over the past month are all coming back tonight at 6 p.m. CST when the Los Angeles Valiant take on the Seoul Dynasty. However, if you’re expecting the same old stuff, here are some things you need to know to stay up to date.

Speaking of dates, one change made immediately after stage one was scheduling. Now, each weekday match begins at 6 p.m. CST and the Saturday matches begin at 3 p.m. with no variation. Also, they’re adding in an extra day for the playoffs, so no more fifteen hour days.

The biggest thing viewers need to watch for is the nerf to Mercy’s instant Resurrect capability during Valkyrie. The live servers got it back in January, and now it’s appearing in the League. As a result, expect a massive shift to the meta as a whole. While in Stage One we saw Mercy being played 96% of the time she’s all but fallen off the map in most competitive play we’ve seen in the interim. While the Open may not be the best place for pick rate analysis per se, we saw lineups with three or more tanks played fairly frequently. It makes sense that control is now the name of the game.

We’ve also seen quite a few personnel changes. The trading window opened just as the first stage ended, and will remain open through the beginning of April. Dot Esports has a running list of all the roster swaps and changes we’ve seen thus far.

The most notable roster addition is definitely the Shanghai Dragons pickup of Geguri. In addition to breaking barriers — being the first female player in Overwatch League is kind of a big deal even if she is reportedly not a fan of that distinction — she’ll also be a great asset to the team with the new meta. Unfortunately, the Dragons are going to need all the help they can get going forward. Speaking of abysmal records, the Florida Mayhem also signed a few players during the off-season. The good and bad thing about their pickups is that they’re all Korean. Bringing a higher level of play won’t be easy while also circumnavigating a sizable language barrier.

The match up we’ll be watching most closely this week is pretty obvious. It’s a rematch of the finals when the New York Excelsior take on the London Spitfire on Friday, 6 p.m. CST. It’s going to be epic.

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