Overwatch League continued into week three of Stage Four. We are seeing more teams win quickly and pick up maps as the scores indicate a sprint to the finish to make the playoffs. Here is how the night went.
New York Excelsior vs. Philadelphia Fusion
This was a match that people weren’t too sure about coming into it. The last two games there teams had played were both amazing reverse sweeps pulled off by the NYXL. Sadly, we weren’t given the same excitement this go around as the Excelsior take a rather convincing 4-0
Blizzard World: With EQO out due to a wrist injury Shadowburn came off the bench to fill in that DPS slot. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough of a change to help. New York attacked first using a standard dive combo. Since they are the NYXL they still manage to run it well into the Brigitte coming out from Shadowburn. Philly was able to put up a stubborn fight at point B but after a switch to Pharah from Libero NYXL were able to crack the stout defense of Philly towards a third point take. Philly had a decent attack but kept the same composition for the entire map almost. A collection of Widow/Brigitte/Rein/DVa/Zen/Mercy. New York was able to adapt much better with their comp switches and it ended up letting them stop Philly right before the finish line.
Hanamura: Philly finally showed some nice hints of a good defense on their A defense. Carpe and Shadowburn started to heat up on Widow and Junkrat respectively. However, after some nice positioning to zone of the supports coming out from Mano New York was able to get it in overtime. On the defense Pine started to heat up and again Philly refused to make changes sticking to one comp for the majority of their attack. New York seem to be in the heads of Philly.
Oasis: New York absolutely bullied Carpe on Widow on their first map of City Center. They were constantly diving him whether it was the tank duo or SBB hiding in the corner to pulse bomb him. Carpe just could not get any value off of that Widow whereas Pine was able to get a couple of highlight plays we know him for. Moving over to University we saw Pine playing Pharah. His Pharah was not up to the level that Shadowburn’s Pharah was, but due to some really clutch plays from SBB on Mcree they were able to take the second map 100%-99% in a nail biter.
Dorado: With the series already in the bag New York didn’t take their foot off the gas. They brought out a double sniper comp and use it to full effect taking all three points. Philly unfortunately were forced into having Shadowburn on Genji as he doesn’t have the largest hero pool imaginable. Along with Carpe struggling on the Widowmaker play, the DPS from Philly were just overwhelmed by Libero and Pine. The Fusion were unable to push past the second point and fell 4-0 to New York this time not even getting a chance to get reverse swept.
Map Score: 4-0
With NYXL it’s kind of hard to give an MVP. JJonak usually every game deserves it since he’s just such a consistently great player. Today however I’ll spice it up a little and give it to Pine. Pine might not have had the greatest Pharah in the world but it cannot be stated how good he was at shutting down Carpe and the rest of Philly with his Widow play.
Match Score: 6/10
Not the best played map from either team to be honest. The 6 points really come from the moments where Pine, SBB, and JJonak pop off. With no EQO and no Ark you’re better off watching either of the reverse sweep sets.
Seoul Dynasty vs Shanghai Dragons
Shanghai are currently 0-34 looking for a win to hopefully not end up as the worst team ever in esports. Seoul has been struggling at the back end of the season so far playing musical chairs with their roles and players. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be Shanghai as they head to a 0-35 record with a winless record not looking so out of the ordinary.
King’s Row: It started out so well for Shanghai. They seemed to be playing well and even though they lost all their first 3 points they had all the tools it seemed. Fleta was losing the Widow battle and they caught Seoul off guard with a Bastion comp on offense. Then going into the last push to the third point Shanghai had six ultimates to their name. They managed to waste all of them in a spectacular show of poor communication.
Hanamura: Seoul came out swinging almost literally as they rushed point A with a Rein/Zarya/Dva/Moira/Lucio/Moira composition. They took the point right from under the noses of Shanghai and rushed to the second point. Shanghai again were able to show hints of good play being able to full hold Seoul. Unfortunately, the lack of any sort of ability to capitalize or press W coming from Shanghai shows it’s face again as they got full hold attempting to run a dive comp into a type of anti dive. They were full held and we were left wondering if Shanghai could even take a map off of Seoul.
Lijiang Tower: This is where things started to really fall apart for Shanghai. Seoul seemed to be able to look into their crystal ball to counter whatever Shanghai was bringing out. If Shanghai was bringing out a full dive, Seoul would bring out Pharah and anti-dive. They took Night Market rather convincingly thanks to the Pharah play coming out from Wekeed as well as some nice Widow moments coming from Fleta. Heading to Control Center Shagnhai just could not communicate their ultimate usage at all and against a team like Seoul they are able to punish those mistakes. Another win for Seoul.
Dorado: Again some more bright spots coming from Shanghai, but not the ability to capitalize on them. Shanghai on defense brought out a dive comp against one from Seoul. However, Seoul was able to make the adjustments while Shanghai was not. Seoul picking up a Pharah and Brigitte while Shanghai didn’t swap their comp too much. Seoul took all 3 points and left Shanghai to have one last shot to gain something from this series. They were not able to do so as Seoul stopped them after 2 points. Taking the win and the series in a 4-0.
Map Score: 4-0
Wekeed was the better DPS on the day today. Very consistent damage coming out from him and was able to punish Shanghai for letting him run loose in the backline. Fleta wasn’t popping off as much but Wekeed picked up the slack for him taking Seoul to a much needed 4-0 win.
Match Score: 3/10
Unfortunately, this wasn’t the game you were looking for if you’re a Shanghai fan. All it does is leave you with more questions than answers. It leaves you wondering just how close it could’ve been before it all fell apart. If you’re a Seoul fan you thank your lucky stars that you managed to get away with a W that you desperately need to get to the playoffs.
Los Angeles Valiant vs. Los Angeles Gladiators
The battle for LA is probably the best rivalry in Overwatch League at the moment. With the teams sharing the same city there’s always a little bit of pride involved. So far the results have been back and forth but this time the LA Valiant came out on top after one of the best series we’ve seen in Stage 4 and perhaps all of OWL.
Blizzard World: From the first couple of moments of this match, Soon came ready to play along with the rest of Valiant. Soon was dominating Surefour in the Widow 1v1. Along with the rest of the LAV they were able to use the picks Soon was getting on the Widow to push it to all 3 points in overtime. On the other end the Gladiators used their ability to switch compositions to gauge what Valiant was running on defense before bulldozing them for all three points with a minute and a half left. They had the chance to take the map in the extra time they had but due to some incredible Widow play again coming out from Soon the Valiant were able to hold on for a draw.
Horizon Lunar Colony: As if the excitement from the first game wasn’t enough, both teams decided to give us an encore with their play on Horizon Lunar Colony. This time putting Kariv onto the Widow, the Valiant showed they still had the upper hand running a triple DPS single healer dive composition that threw the Gladiators for a loop. For Point B they put Soon back onto the Widow and eventually were able to take the second point after a pretty good stall for the Gladiators all things considered. Hydration brought of the stall Doomfist and managed to make a couple plays that drained a good amount of time in what was besides that a perfect attack from the Valiant. It wasn’t over after that though now it was the Gladiators turn to attack. Bringing out a pseudo Quad Tank with Brigitte being the fourth tank they attempted to rush the point quickly. However, Soon was the man of the hour again time after time killing Shaz before the fights even started. At the eleventh hour the Gladiators managed to take Point A and with some interesting choice on defense for the Valiant, LAG was able to take the second point as well even faster than their counterparts.
The Valiant for their second attack ran the same thing they had before which was a triple DPS dive combo. The Gladiators did not learn from their first attack and were rolled in two points again. The Gladiators would not go quietly as they brought out a Sombra/Widowmaker composition that managed to break the first point but due to some great stalling coming out from the Valiant they were not able to take the second point falling just short and losing the map 3-4.
Oasis: We hit match point for the Gladiators here and Oasis was one of the maps in Stage 3 they were good at especially in game deciding scenarios. Even though Gladiators can flex onto different comps and play them all very well, it was Agilities’ time to shine on DPS playing a stellar Pharah that was able to beat out Hydration’s for most of the maps. Even after getting reverse swept in point due to some ridiculously good Mcree play from Surefour on Gardens the Valiant were still able to hop into Agilities backpack and have him carry them through the next two on Pharah. This was the closest match of the set and I definitely recommend you go watch it yourself as you will not be disappointed by the play at all. The Valiant would call checkmate on the Gladiators taking the win 2-1 on the map and going 2-0 winning the series. There was still one map left though.
Dorado: All good things must come to an end and it eventually did on Dorado. Things had slowed down from the fast pace of the first three matches. LA Valiant were still on high after winning the series but Gladiators had something they wanted to prove. The Valiant started their Point A attack using what brought them to the win. Pharah and Widowmaker played by Agilities and Soon respectively. Surefour definitely was heating up a bit on this last map but it wasn’t enough to keep the Valiant from taking all three points thanks to some clever swaps from Agilities onto Brigitte as they battled towards Point C. The Gladiators would not be as lucky. They used their triple support and triple tank composition to get through the first two points even though both times it was very difficult for them to grind all the way through them. They were some high points in their play coming from Surefour and Hydration but the DPS on the Valiant prevailed in the end giving Valiant their “almost” clean sweep.
Map Score: 3-0
Soon from the get go was on top of his game on the Widowmaker. He was able to out duel Surefour handedly throughout most of the matches being played. With Widowmaker being so prevalent in this meta and the Widow duels being deciding factors to games, if this is the play we see from Soon this team can go far.
Match Score: 10/10
While this wasn’t a 5 map set and the score reads 3-0 this is a series that will go down as one of the best in Stage 4 and maybe OWL Season 1 in general. The play coming out from both teams was great and each game could’ve gone either way. If you missed this one definitely go check it out.