Boston Uprising 3 - Shanghai Dragons 1
The Boston Uprising continued its surge through Stage 3 of the Overwatch League with a 3-1 win over the Shanghai Dragons on Wednesday at Blizzard Arenain Burbank, California.
Boston has now set an OWL record by picking up its seventh straight series victory and cementing its status as the best team in the league in Stage 3. While the Dragons certainly isn't the most formidable of competition, the ease in which the Uprising rolled through this series speaks volumes of the collective strength of this team.
On every map, Shanghai started out with a solid attack side that looked as though it could make things interesting. Dragons DPS Chon "Ado" Gi-hyeon was impressive on Genji, Kim "Geguri" Se-yeon held it down on the front line with D.Va and Weida "Diya" Lu was lightning it up with his Widowmaker. Once the Uprising got its turn on the attack side, however, all of Shanghai's positives faded into the background.
With an incredibly cohesive attack, Boston blitzed through its offensive turns on the first three maps. Whether it was DPS Kwon "Striker" Nam-joo, main tank Noh "Gamsu" Young-jin or support Park "Neko" Se-hyeon, Boston used every weapon in its toolbox to push forward with gusto. Shanghai simply looked outmatched at every turn as Boston did whatever it wanted through most of the series.
The keyword, however, is most. For all the good that Boston showed in the first three maps, it struggled immensely on Route 66. Gone was a lot of the cohesion that had granted it three fairly easy wins; the Uprising looked a bit disjointed, and Shanghai capitalized with a furious defensive hold to take the final map. While the Dragons still hasn't picked up that elusive first series win, a map win against the best team in the league is a solid consolation prize.
Boston will look to continue its impressive Stage 3 run against the Dallas Fuel at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, while Shanghai will have its hands full with the feisty Philadelphia Fusion at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday.
-- Wyatt Elliott
Houston Outlaws 3 - Los Angeles Valiant 1
The Houston Outlaws earned a 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Valiant on Wednesday at the Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California.
In the early goings of Stage 3, the Los Angeles Valiant rose through the rankings while the Outlaws looked shaky. The Outlaws struck hard and fast in this series against the Valiant, though. Taking both Temple of Anubis and Blizzard World by storm, the Outlaws crushed the Valiant beneath its heel, with Blizzard World being particularly one-sided as the Valiant couldn't even take the first point on offense.
Houston didn't relent after halftime, with DPS Jiri "LiNkzr" Masalin unleashing Mei on the final point of Nepal. LiNkzr and the rest of the Outlaws had a strong ultimate economy that spelled the end for the Valiant, and Houston showed great discipline that has been absent for some time. On top of that, LiNkzr's ability to snipe with Mei's long-range icicles put a lot of pressure on the Valiant's airborne Pharah and Mercy, which made it harder for the Valiant to take back control to win the game and series.
While the Valiant ended up winning Junkertown, the damage was already done, with the Outlaws reminding the world why it is still a threat coming into the end of the stage.
The Valiant remains near the top of the standings with this loss at a 5-2 record, but the defeat is still bad news with a difficult schedule ahead. With both the Boston Uprising and the Philadelphia Fusion next week, LA needs to solve its problems fast or else risk crashing and burning into the end of the stage. The Outlaws, on the other hand, earned itself a chance to make it toward the playoff-qualifying top-4 with a current record of 4-3, but the road ahead is still filled with obstacles, such facing the San Francisco Shock and Seoul Dynasty next week.
The Outlaws next takes on the Los Angeles Gladiators at 9 p.m. on Friday, while the Valiant will face the Florida Mayhem at 11 p.m. later that night.
-- Steven Nguyen
Florida Mayhem 3 - Dallas Fuel 1
The Florida Mayhem took a shaky 3-1 victory over the Dallas Fuel on Saturday at Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California.
The Mayhem and Fuel made teamfights look at times like an Overwatch-themed mosh pit. Florida supports Sebastian "Zebbosai" Olsson and Aleksi "Zuppeh" Kuntsi were constantly caught out of position, which highlighted how much of a weakness this is for the Mayhem. With these two players down, Florida was continually at a major disadvantage and was only saved by its DPS players, Kevyn "TviQ" Lindström and Jung-woo "Sayaplayer" Ha, taking out multiple members of Dallas on their own.
Those hero plays might have worked against the Fuel, but Florida will need to hastily improve off this performance to win against even mid-tier teams.
On the other side, the Dallas Fuel is still unable to find a foothold in the league, and with DPS star Hyeon "EFFECT" Hwang gone, the team looked especially weak. Miraculously, Dallas utilized a new starting roster and uncommon team compositions to make the series closer than it should have been, but the strategy changes didn't make enough of a difference to sway the outcome of the match. While the Fuel won individual fights, the initiations tended to be sloppy. Dallas was often so spread out on the map that despite those one-on-one wins, it could not claim objectives or finish off a fight.
The Dallas Fuel next plays the Boston Uprising at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, and the Florida Mayhem will face off against the Los Angeles Valiant at 11 p.m. ET later that evening.
-- Liam Craffey