New York Excelsior 3 - Seoul Dynasty 2
Continuing the parade of upsets in Week 3 of the Overwatch League, the New York Excelsior overcame the odds and slew the giants of Seoul Dynasty in a 3-2 series on Friday in the Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California.
All three teams fielding South Korean rosters had flawless 4-0 records entering Week 3, but each one will exit the week with a 5-1 record. London Spitfire was beaten by Boston Uprising to start Day 2 of Week 3 on Thursday, and New York lost to Philadelphia Fusion shortly afterward. Friday, New York bounced back from its loss and in doing so took down the last unbeaten team in Stage 1 of the league.
New York's aggressive playstyle caught Seoul off-guard early on. Led by its hitscan star, DPS Park "Saebyeolbe" Jong-Ryeol, the Excelsior dove with reckless abandon and was rarely punished for it. Whether it was taking a lightning-fast capture of the first point on Eichenwalde or completely shutting the Dynasty out during Game 5 on Lijang Tower, every strategy this team brought to the table gave Seoul serious problems.
The sheer versatility and unpredictability of this Excelsior team simply cannot be understated when talking about this win. Not only did Saebyeolbe, DPS Kim "Libero" Hae-Seong and tank Kim "Meko" Tae-Hong all play Roadhog at different points throughout this five-game series, but Saebyeolbe flexed across multiple hitscan heroes, namely Tracer and Widowmaker. The Dynasty is still one of the top three teams in the league, but Excelsior's dominant play to take this series begs the question of which team deserves the No. 1 spot.
The New York Excelsior will look to build on this win against the Shanghai Dragons at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, while the Seoul Dynasty face another top-tier opponent in a showdown with the London Spitfire at 9 p.m. ET the same day.
-- Wyatt Donigan
Philadelphia Fusion 3 - Shanghai Dragons 2
The Philadelphia Fusion survived a scare from a surging Shanghai Dragons on Friday with a dramatic 3-2 win.
The first two games of this series made it look like this would be a cut-and-dry, lopsided Shanghai loss. Philly dominated on the first two maps, holding Shanghai to just one tick on Point A of Eichenwalde and smashing through the Dragons' defenses on Horizon Lunar Colony. Leading the charge for the Fusion, as usual, was the DPS duo of Lee "Carpe" Jae-Hyeok and Georgii "ShaDowBurn" Gushcha, who took home co-player of the series honors for outstanding carry performances. Whether it was Carpe's hitscan wizardry or ShaDowBurn's projectile prowess, there was little Shanghai could do to slow down the pair in the first two games.
After subbing in support Park "Dayfly" Jeong-Hwan and off-tank Choi "Hotba" Hong-Jun for the final two games, the Fusion looked sloppier than it had earlier this week against New York, often leaving its Mercy out to dry or not creating space for the DPS players to continue dominating. The Dragons, meanwhile, found some of the fuel that allowed it to take a map off the Seoul Dynasty earlier in the week to make things interesting. Leaning on Fang "Undead" Chao to secure a crucial Game 3 win on Oasis, the team looked rejuvenated and ready to go to battle. After picking up a nail-biting win on Junkertown in Game 4, however, the familiar flaws started to show. Poor ultimate economy management, overly aggressive dives onto Philly's backline and general composure issues held the Dragons back. Meanwhile, ShaDowBurn's Genji cut through the Dragons like a hot knife through butter, letting the Fusion escape with a 3-2 series win and a 2-0 week overall.
The Philadelphia Fusion prepares to take on the Los Angeles Valiant at 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday, while Shanghai Dragons face an uphill battle against the New York Excelsior at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday.
-- Noah Waltzer
Dallas Fuel 0 - San Francisco Shock 0
Friday's action in the Overwatch League ended with a bang as the Dallas Fuel finally took home a victory in the Overwatch League with a 3-0 win over the San Francisco Shock.
Fuel fans, rejoice: Dallas has finally picked up that elusive first win. After facing stiff competition from some of the top teams in the league, the Fuel limped into this matchup with several question marks and doubts lingering overhead. Dallas struggled mightily early in the series, barely finishing Eichenwalde in overtime while allowing San Francisco to complete the map with upward of four minutes to spare. In extra time, though, Dallas kicked it into high gear, powered by star DPS Hwang "EFFECT" Hyeon, who put on a clinic throughout the series. Whether it was Tracer, McCree or Widowmaker, EFFECT could not be stopped, and he shut down the Shock as Dallas forced a Game 1 draw.
After that, the Fuel seemed to relax, allowing the other stars on the Dallas roster to shine. Off-tank Pongphop "Mickie" Rattanasangchod, normally known as a D.Va player, showed off an impressive Roadhog, combining well with DPS Brandon "Seagull" Larned's Junkrat to power a formidable pick composition. Through it all, though, EFFECT was at the forefront, hard-carrying his team to victory. Shock DPS Andrej "babybay" Francisty was humbled by EFFECT, routinely losing one-on-one showdowns with the Dallas star.
The Dallas Fuel doesn't have much time to rest as it kicks off Saturday's action against the Boston Uprising at 2 p.m. ET, while the San Francisco Shock will have to wait until Wednesday to take on the Houston Outlaws at 11 p.m. ET.
-- Noah Waltzer