In a turbulent week for the Overwatch League, marked by coach dismissals, new players joining, polemical suspensions and fines, and finally, the release of Félix "xQc" Lengyel from the Dallas Fuel, maybe the games themselves were a little bit on the sideline. But don’t be mistaken: a lot happened inside in the Arena as well, with teams rising and falling, as the standings keep taking shape as we approach the decisive final weeks leading to Stage 2’s playoffs.
12-man Seoul 100%
Despite surprisingly dropping maps against both the Shanghai Dragons and the Philadelphia Fusion, Seoul Dynasty confirmed expectations to maintain their perfect record in Stage 2. Well, there is actually a good reason why they dropped a map against the Dragons: willing to give more play time to all members of their roster, Seoul rested Miro, Fleta, ryujehong and company, entering the match with its secondary line-up.
With Bunny leading the charge, “Seoul B” didn’t have much trouble to take the game against a Shanghai who is looking incredibly lost, showing that when needed, they can also be called upon and bring out their best against other Overwatch Leagues sides.
Now with a 13-3 record throughout the season, Seoul opened a two match lead over London and LA Valiant, who are sharing third, and is still on the chase for New York – against who it will be playing with on Wednesday in perhaps the most hyped game of the season so far. You are crazy if you dare not watching that one.
Pls Nerf JJoNak
The Excelsior meanwhile is looking damn good as usual. With Saebyeolbe, Libero and JJoNak all delivering great individual performances – nothing new as well - the New York Excelsior played an almost perfect Week 3 – only dropping the final map in a close series against Philadelphia – in order to tighten its control for first place, improving its record to 14-1.
JJoNak, in particular, had a monstrous performance against the San Francisco Shock, acting once more as the team’s 3rd DPS player while making sure everyone stays alive and well. The numbers above simply don’t lie. Taking that into account, who on Earth can stop New York’s dominance? Well, as mentioned, perhaps that team is Seoul, but more on that later this week.
What an outstanding week for the Los Angeles Gladiators! After starting the week destroying their (higher-placed) city rivals in an uncontestable one-sided affair, they kept the momentum going and were responsible for one of the biggest upsets of the season so far, where they simply dominated the London Spitfire to claim a 3-1 that even the most optimistic Gladiators fan wouldn’t dare to predict.
With Surefour running havoc, Shaz playing and delivering on all heroes possible and Fissure making London regret trading him away, the question is now: what is the limit for this revitalized Los Angeles Gladiators for the rest of the Stage?
This week’s games against Florida, and especially against Houston should give us more answers, but those are certainly encouraging signs for a team who has struggling for the most part of the season.
Houston, we have a problem
Technically not a “top” moment of the week, but an important one nonetheless. A very tough week for the Houston Outlaws, from the debacle against the Valiant to the painfully close win against bottom side Florida Mayhem – where the team was trailing 2-0 at halftime – confirms suspicions that the side is indeed having problems to adapt itself to the new meta.
The good news are that Houston is still on a good position in the standings – just one win shy from third – but the clock is ticking fast as we progress further through the Stage (and the season). What should it do in order to regain the strong form from Stage 1?
Houston’s problems however are nothing compared to what its Texan rivals are going through: terrible performances, rumors of (more) players getting released or traded away, fines and suspensions, and of course, the release of tank xQc just yesterday.
On stage, the team looks completely clueless and lost: against the San Francisco Shock, Dallas only put a fight on Volskaya, where it was able to hold off Shock’s attacks well while creating itself good openings to turn fights around. After that, however, everything feels apart, with the team not being able to even reach the second checkpoint on both King’s Row and Route 66.
Finally, the game against the Florida Mayhem…well, just a quick look at Reddit’s thread of the game will show you how exactly Dallas lost to one of the worst sides of the league so far. A collection of tactical and individual errors and strange decisions show a team who is in shambles right now. A sad fate for one of the most popular rosters of the entire League, who now, more than ever, need to find themselves first if they hope to see once again the light at the end of the tunnel – and save their season.
East Coast Showdown
Despite the result, it was overall a very close series against the best team of the Overwatch League at the moment. A very hard schedule for Philadelphia – 3 games against the top 3 in a row - is finally over, and following tough and hard losses to Seoul and London, the Fusion finally showed it can indeed compete with the Top 3 – even if the team is not quite there yet. But if the 3-1 loss to the New York Excelsior showed anything, is that they can definitely learn from past mistakes, and put at least a good fight.
With two must-win games coming out this week – against Shanghai and Dallas – the Philadelphia Fusion can however quickly find itself fighting for playoffs contention once again.
A rather one-sided game, the Los Angeles Valiant showed immense mental fortitude to recover from the demoralizing loss to city rivals LA Gladiators to take a somewhat surprising 4-0 win over the Houston Outlaws, aided more or less by an amazing performance by Soon.
Considering the team will face Boston and Florida this week, the LA Valiant is favorites to end Week 4 bosting a 13-5, which will put it a more comfortable position for playoffs fight.
SBB with the wife pic
One of the cutest and certainly most romantic moment of the season so far, Saebyeolbe proved that an extra strength from one’s loved ones, even when they are so far away, truly does wonders, as it indeed brought him luck, as the star player delivered yet another vintage showing this week.
(Photos courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment)
Disclaimer: The following article was written freely based on the author's opinion, and it may not necessarily represent Inven Global's editorial stance.
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