Week One of Stage Four came to a close with a bang. Philadelphia cemented themselves in the playoff conversation, Shanghai continued their winless season (extended their record of worst streak in all of esports), and the NYXL stayed atop the table with a convincing victory over those rivals from across the pond the London Spitfire.
Match One – Philadelphia Fusion vs. Florida Mayhem
Philadelphia finished middle of the table both Stage 1 and 3; however, they were in the top 3 at the end of Stage 2. This, and a win in their first match of Stage 4 has put them in the middle of the pack as far as overall League playoff contenders are concerned.
Florida on the other hand…well they’ve been knocked out of the overall Playoffs for weeks now. Their remaining games are for pride, and the opportunity to play spoiler to teams above them on the table. The addition of Sayaplayer may be a little too little, little too late, but a strong finish to OWL’s inaugural season could give them a huge boost going into next season.
Match Score – 4-0 Philadelphia Fusion
This match wasn’t even close. It wasn’t one of those 4-0 matches where the losing team could have possibly won a couple. No, It took Florida Mayhem 4 maps to score a single point…This was Philadelphia screaming from the top of their lungs that they deserve a spot in the Grand Finals. Sayaplayer may be so good at Widowmaker that it looks like he’s cheating…but Philadelphia is just a better team overall.
Match Two – Shanghai Dragons vs. Los Angeles Valiant
Every time Shanghai plays against a team not named the Dallas Fuel, it seems (sadly) a decent bet they’ll lose. Stage 4 is their last chance to avoid a winless season.
Los Angeles Valiant have had two dynamic stages so far (1 and 3). A match against Shanghai gives them a great opportunity to start Stage 4 out 2-0 and legitimize their claims to best team in the Pacific conference.
Match Score – 4-0 Los Angeles Valiant
Shanghai came out firing on Map 1. That wasn’t enough for a map victory. After that, the Valiant took down the Dragons with few hiccups. Shanghai retains their spot at the bottom of the table, yet top in our hearts. Map Four was the first time since halfway through Map One that the Dragons showed signs of life…and that was against 3 of the Valiant’s bench players, including Numlocked who hasn’t played a single map yet. This match would not be worthy of a rewatch. Plz…let the winless streak end soon.
Match Three – London Spitfire vs. New York Excelsior
London vs. Excelsior is a matchup many have predicted could be our Grand Finals. This was their 4th regular season meeting with NYXL having taken all 3 of the previous. Stage 1 saw London push past NYXL to be crowned the first Stage Champions, but NYXL have responded well with 2 straight titles. This cross-atlantic rivalry has been heating up all season long.
Match Score – 3-1 NYXL
London is a good team. Right? NYXL make any team look like they’re not having their best day, but London is supposed to be in the top 3 of the league. This match looked more like NYXL was playing a bunch of scrubs (that hurt me more to write than it does for you to read, as an avid C9/Spitfire fan), than a top tier OWL team. JJonak and Bdosin are supposed to be the 2 best Zenyatta’s in the league…but if that’s the case, then there is a Grand Canyon sized gulf between #1 and #2. Apart from the first stage of Map 3 (and the 3rd stage I suppose, but that was more of a close barely win for London), NYXL absolutely rolled the Spitfire.
Well that’s it. Week 1 of Stage 4 winds to a close with the NYXL solidifying their position on top of the table, Shanghai remaining winless, and the Philadelphia Fusion continuing their playoff push. This Stage may just be starting, but the OWL’s inaugural season is rounding 3rd and heading home. Will there be any surprises in the table over the next 4 weeks? Will the NYXL continue to dominate so convincingly? Who’s the best casting duo? Do you think the Toyota ad is cringy? All these questions and more will be answered in due time. For now, I leave you with my 2 awards for the day.
Player of the day:
JJonak. There is not a single player better at their main hero than JJonak is at Zenyatta. NYXL has many flashy names on their team, but JJonak is the most consistent player on the roster. He plays on every map in every match, and honestly, there isn’t a support (nor player for that matter) I’d rather see on my team.
Sayaplayer. Damn, this guy is good at Widowmaker. He hit 13 headshots in a row on Horizon: Lunar Colony, and honestly…I’m still not convinced he’s not cheating. Sayaplayer’s POV looked like it was at half-speed. The Mayhem will have to start performing at a much higher level to give Sayaplayer the shot at victory that he deserves.