Season 2 of the Overwatch League is rapidly approaching, and odds for Stage 1 winners are out. Throughout the final days before the opening game, we will be going over some of the teams we think have a chance to grab the $200,000 and be in the early running for the OWL Season 2 trophy. For each team we will highlight some of the interesting things about them as a team and see how they stack up against the competition.

The Guangzhou Charge (+4000)

The Guangzhou Charge are one of eight new teams joining the Overwatch League in their second season. They are a multinational (although mostly Korean) lineup, built mostly on the core of Meta Bellum, one of the mainstays of Contenders Korea. Joining them are former LGD teammates Eileen, a DPS player, and OnlyWish, a Support who plays mostly Mercy. They brought in HOTBA, an Overwatch League veteran previously of the Philadelphia Fusion, as an Off-Tank, as well as nero and Kyb, two more DPS.

They have some of the worst odds in the League for Stage 1. They were never the dominant team in Korea, and this is their first season in LA for the Overwatch League. However, I like them quite a bit as a (very) dark horse candidate for Stage 1.

Weak schedule

The Charge’s opening game is against the Chengdu Hunters, an all Chinese expansion team. Then they play the Dallas Fuel, the Vancouver Titans, the Florida Mayhem, the LA Valiant, and the LA Gladiators, before finishing off the stage with a rematch against the Titans. Of these teams, they play two expansion teams, one twice, two bottom of the barrel teams from Season 1, and two playoff teams.

This presents a path to the playoffs for the Charge. If they can handle the Fuel, split games against the Titans, and steal a game from one of the LA teams, that’s a 5-2 record, which should land them in the playoffs. If they can hit the ground running and win their first three games, they’ll be in a good spot to make the playoffs. Their hardest stretch will be their last three games, where they play both LA teams and the Titans again.

Weird Roster Composition

In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple months, the dominant team composition is a three tank three support lineup that is referred to as GOATS. While Blizzard has made some balance changes since GOATS took hold in the scene, it’s likely that we will see this three-three played frequently in Stage 1.

Believe it or not, one of the things you need to be successful as a team in a GOATS dominated meta is good tank and support play. And unfortunately for the Charge, they only have two tank players. This presents an interesting problem for the Charge. Do they try to buck they meta and play two, three, even four DPS? Or, do they force one of their DPS players onto a tank to try and play like everyone else? Personally, I hope it’s the former.

There has been a bit of experimentation with heavy DPS compositions in the offseason, but GOATS reign supreme. It would be interesting to see a team go all out in the opposite direction and would make them difficult to game plan for. A team like the Charge need to take risks like that to have a chance at making a splash in Stage 1.

Old Friends

One of the interesting storylines of Stage 1 will be the Charge versus the Titans. The teams are comprised of the cores of Meta Bellum and RunAway, respectively, and the RunAway had Meta Bellum’s number in Korea. Meta Bellum were defeated 0-4 in their only meeting during season 2 of Korean Contenders, which was the season that RunAway ended up winning.

Both teams will remember that result, and I’m sure that both of their meetings during the regular season will be tenser than your usual game.

Betting Prediction

Prediction: I like the Charge a lot as an underdog, and as a team to sneak into the playoffs of Stage 1. There is a path there for them to make it, especially if they can catch one of the two LA teams asleep at the wheel. I’m excited to see what compositions they choose to run, and how they maximize the talent on their roster. Unfortunately, I don’t see them winning Stage 1, although +4000 is pretty tasty.

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