Florida Mayhem will take on San Francisco Shock in an opening match of the preseason in the new Overwatch League.
The Florida Mayhem is the team representing the state of Florida, USA, and the Cities of Miami and Orlando, in the Overwatch League. The team is owned by Ben Spoont, CEO and Co-Founder of UK-based esports team Misfits, which has teams from a variety of competitive esports games including League of Legends and CS:GO. In short, Florida Mayhem are basically a rebranded Misfits Overwatch team. They have only six players(all from Misfits) and only one Head Coach, which makes them one of the smallest teams, but not the one to underestimate, as they already have a solid track record in competitive Overwatch. One of their biggest achievement last year was their amazing run the Overwatch Open, as they managed to beat outright favourites EnvYUs(now rebranded as Dallas Fuel) in the final and take the total prize of $100,00. As mentioned before, all six members of Florida Mayhem are from their previous team Misfits, and considering the successes the team has already had in Overwatch, they should be able to cause some upset wins against bigger and stronger teams. They were also all on their respective national teams for the 2017 Overwatch World Cup, where Sweden even took the third place.
Florida Mayhem are currently priced below 1.60 for the -0.50 option, which is a little surprising, especially if you consider that this is the first game of the preseason and that both teams will want to prove themselves. Both teams are coming into the league with small rosters, which can be proven beneficial for both teams, as the rules state, that every player must play in the preseason, which could be a burden for the teams with larger rosters.
The San Francisco Shock is the team representing San Francisco, California, USA, in the Overwatch League. The franchise is owned by Andy Miller, Chairman and Founder of NRG Esports. NRG have been on the esports scene for a relatively short period and have held rosters in a number of games, but apart from winning the Smite World Championships 2017 and some minor successes in Rocket League and Hearthstone, their teams are not very successful and to be honest, I don’t expect a lot from their Overwatch team, especially if you consider that only one of their players has Apex experience, while others are fairly untested in the high-level competition. Their roster is a mix of players from various teams and nations. Players are coming from the teams like Cloud9 EU, Selfless Gaming, Kungarna, Arc 6,… Even thru several of them played in the World Cup, they are still mostly untested in high-level competition. Almost none of them have played together recently, so it will be interesting to see if they can do anything during the preseason. They also have two inactive players, Jay ‘Sinatraa‘ Won (DPS, USA) and Matthew ‘Super‘ DeLisi (Flex, USA) who will join the team when they reach the minimum required age of 18. The team will be coached by Brad Rajani, with the help of his assistant coach Dillain “LegitRc” Odeneal. Harsha Bandi was signed up as an analyst. Andrew ‘Zwei‘ Baker has a role of the team manager and Brett ‘Brettbox‘ Lautenbach is the current President. Previous manager Maxwell ‘Hotaruz‘ Bateman was fired in late 2017 after sexual assault allegations.
San Francisco Shock are coming into the as underdogs, currently available at around 2.30 for the +0.50 option. On paper, their roster is slightly worse than Mayhem‘s, but in my opinion not enough to justify the 2.30, especially at the start of the league. They certainly possess the ability to make the game close and will fancy their chances in the first game of the preseason.
Prediction: San Francisco Shock +0.50 Asian Handicap
Odds: 2.35 Pinnacle
Also, make sure you check out our Overwatch League preview.