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Five questions for Week 20 of the Overwatch League

Robert Paul/Blizzard Entertainment

We've got some great matches this weekend in the Overwatch League, from SP9RK1E and the new-look Eternal taking on the Shock juggernaut to the resurgent Mayhem taking on the equally resurgent Valiant. Here's what our writers are looking forward to in Week 20.

Is SP9RK1E already a top-tier DPS?

Tyler Erzberger: He has all the makings of a top-tier DPS, but it's literally been a single week of him playing. I know with the success of the 2019 Vancouver Titans and other amateur-turned-pro talents from South Korea popping off during their rookie Overwatch League seasons it's tempting to crown SP9RK1E as one of the league's best aces, but I want to take a cautious approach for the time being. The true top-tier players are made in tournaments and the playoffs, so call me in about a month after Paris plays in Summer Showdown. If the South Korean wunderkind passes that test, sign me up on the bandwagon.

Arda Ocal: This literally happened in Call of Duty League as well: Owakening had one of the best debuts in competitive COD history, absolutely frying and his team won the tournament weekend.. But it was ONE weekend. In both cases, with Owakening and SP9RK1E, the potential is there, we have a small but impressive sample size.. But that's it for now. Pump. The. Brackets. People!

Emily Rand: SP9RK1LE has been on my radar for a while, both for his formidable Doomfist when he was on Element Mystic and the annoyance I have to go through every time I type his name in an article. I think he needs more consistency (and more games!) to be considered a top-tier DPS by Overwatch League but I won't be surprised if he ends up being one of the best. Based on his history in South Korea, there's no reason to suggest he wouldn't, at the very least, become one of the league's best DPS specialists.

Sinatraa's MVP skin -- cool or lame?

Erzberger: Cool for sinatraa but overall a really lame skin. It's an MVP skin! It should, I dunno, reflect the player and the team he won it on outside of the alien meme about the way Sinatraa looks. There isn't even any orange in the skin! It looks more like he won the MVP as a part of the Hangzhou Spark than as the leader of the San Francisco Shock. Along with the equally ambiguous Doomfist skin the Shock received for winning in 2019, I give a double thumbs down to this year's Overwatch League skins, especially when compared to London Spitfire Winston or Bang "Jjonak" Sung-hyeon's masterpiece of a Zenyatta skin.

Ocal: +1 there, it doesn't even look like it has any connection at all to the San Fransisco Shock. Sinatraa maybe, but definitely not the team. Orange, white and black definitely need to be included.

Rand: I'm not personally a fan, and I think it's generally disappointing if you're thinking of it in terms of gravitas or immediate impact. But, there's a non-significant part of me that wants to defend something that's, well, silly. Sometimes in esports I think we get way too caught up in being like traditional sports or having similar aesthetic trappings, and skins are an avenue where esports can branch out into ridiculousness. And this Zarya skin is really silly. It reminds me of some sort of Men In Black sidekick character. For a better balance between silly/fun and also something that makes more of a visual impact, I'd look no further than JjoNak's MVP skin that came out last year.

OWL coaches are bullish on the Valiant. Are you?

Erzberger: Johannes "Shax" Nielsen gets the frags and Caleb "McGravy" McGarvey gets the love of pop star Hasley. With their powers combined, the Valiant might be unstoppable.

Ocal: We need Halsey on a OWL broadcast. Actually, we need Halsey performing at the next final that has an audience.

Rand: I think what the Valiant have been able to do with what many considered to be "subpar" talent in relation to some of the other rosters in the league is really interesting and a testament to either a good scouting eye, good coaching, or a combination of both. However, I think their strength of schedule has to be considered - and let the record show that I said similar things about the Mayhem before their appearance in the May Melee finals - going all the way back through their 3-0 May regular league play. I don't want to dunk on a team for dunking on lesser opponents because that's also what a good team should do, but I think of the series they've played in the past month or so: the most impressive one was against the Paris Eternal in the tournament itself, not their league match showings. That being said, I'm really looking forward to them taking on the Mayhem this week and a presumably rejuvenated Paris next week.

Should the Dynasty be considered legit contenders anymore?

Erzberger: I'm going to say no, which automatically activates Seoul Dynasty's trap of being underestimated and means they're going to go undefeated this week. No need to thank me, Dynasty fans.

Ocal: I mean their last two series were 3-0 losses, but they are still 6-5, so they are still in the mix. First place? Maybe not. Last place? Definitely not.

Rand: SEOUL! *shakes angry fist at the sky*

Alright, jokes aside about how the moment you start believing in them they fail, and the moment you start thinking they're terrible, they make the finals of the Asian Region May Melee tournament, the most frustrating thing about Seoul is that they definitely have the individual talent. However, even in their May Melee run, you could see that some of their issues had not been wholly fixed, either in communication or composition execution or both. A lot of their problems -- even in what from the outside looked like a 3-0 drubbing by the NYXL -- come from Seoul's inability to execute consistently within a single map, never mind an entire match.

Better match -- Shock-Eternal, or Valiant-Mayhem?

Erzberger: I'm more excited for Valiant and Mayhem, actually. On paper, Shock vs. Eternal is the sexier matchup, especially with all-caps locked SP9RK1E playing, but this Valiant roster of misfits has gone from a mere curiosity of mine to a true respect and them grabbing my attention. Both of these sides have had turbulent paths since the start of the Overwatch League in 2018, and we're now in a scenario where we could, maybe, possibly say that the Valiant and Mayhem are dark horses to win it all at the end of the year? I didn't predict that at the start of 2020.

Ocal: The Valiant and the Mayhem are exciting. Other than the Halsey connection, there is a fun vibe around that team right now. The Mayhem are contenders. Both matchups are only 3-4 spots apart in the standings, so both are important for confidence and seeding.

Rand: Put me down in the Valiant-Mayhem matchup along with my compatriots here. The main reason is that the Mayhem in particular have become one of my favorite teams to watch (something I never thought I would be saying ever). Kim "Yaki" Jun-ki and Gang "Gangnamjin" Nam-jin seem to have been exactly what this team needed to gel, and they've looked great. Going up against the Valiant, who have been on a regular-season hot streak since May, should give us a good idea of where these two teams are at.

Picks:

Saturday

Dynasty vs. Charge
Arda: Charge 3-2
Emily: Charge 3-1
Tyler: 3-2 Charge

Spitfire vs. Hunters
Arda: Spitfire 3-1
Emily: Hunters 3-2
Tyler: 3-0 Spitfire

Spark vs. NYXL
Arda: NYXL 3-1
Emily: NYXL 3-2
Tyler: NYXL 3-2

Shock vs. Eternal
Arda: Shock 3-0
Emily: Shock 3-2
Tyler: Shock 3-1

Reign vs. Defiant
Arda: Defiant 7,899,432 - 0
Emily: Reign 3-2
Tyler: Reign 3-2

Gladiators vs. Outlaws
Arda: Gladiators 3-1
Emily: Gladiators 3-1
Tyler: Gladiators 3-0

Fuel vs. Titans
Arda: Fuel 3-2
Emily: Fuel 3-1
Tyler: Fuel 3-1

Sunday

Charge vs. Spark
Arda: Spark 3-2
Emily: Charge 3-2
Tyler: Charge 3-1

Hunters vs. Dragons
Arda: Dragons 3-0
Emily: Dragons 3-1
Tyler: Dragons 3-0

NYXL vs. Spitfire
Arda: NYXL 3-0
Emily: NYXL 3-1
Tyler: NYXL 3-1

Uprising vs. Fusion
Arda: Fusion 3-0
Emily: Fusion 3-0
Tyler: Fusion 3-1

Valiant vs. Mayhem
Arda: Valiant 3-1
Emily: Mayhem 3-2
Tyler: Valiant 3-2

Justice vs. Shock
Arda: Shock 3-0
Emily: Shock 3-0
Tyler: Shock 3-0