London Spitfire 3 - Seoul Dynasty 2
The London Spitfire pulled out a win against the Seoul Dynasty in an uneven 3-2 series on Saturday during the Overwatch League at Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California.
Both the London Spitfire and the Seoul Dynasty have fallen quite far from the peaks hit during Stage 1, but London has more gas left in its tank than the uncoordinated Dynasty. Despite the series going five games, the entire thing went by lightning-fast as maps turned into lopsided and awkward battles for both teams.
The Spitfire, however, had a clearer and cleaner gameplan than the Seoul Dynasty. London focused mostly on executing a potent dive and letting its tanks, flex Kim "Fury" Jun-ho and main tank Hong "Gesture" Jae-hee, initiate fights while DPS Kim "birdring" Ji-hyeok scored picks left and right.
This was a sound strategy on paper, but if either Gesture or birdring struggled, then all of the Spitfire struggled. For example, its defense of King's Row was nearly flawless thanks to Gesture's pressure, but when London went to attack, birdring could barely find kills as Gesture overextended in fights, which left the team floundering at certain points. The Spitfire managed to pull out the win in the end, but it wasn't pretty by any means.
Seoul, on the other hand, was entirely reliant on DPS Kim "Fleta" Byung-sun. Most of the team seemed out-of-sync with one another, as players were routinely caught out of position and also coordinated their ultimates poorly. It wasn't until the Dynasty subbed in DPS Byeon "Munchkin" Sang-beom and tank Kim "KuKi" Dae-kuk that it looked like it had any chance of winning.
Both Kuki and Munchkin played Reinhardt and Brigitte, respectively, to zone out London's dive on Watchpoint: Gibraltar. Though Seoul made a comeback to force a Game 5, it was stomped on the tiebreaker map, Nepal. Fleta had no answer against a hot-handed birdring.
The London Spitfire will go up against the Boston Uprising as it looks to climb the Stage 4 ladder at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday. Meanwhile, the Seoul Dynasty will look to gain back some of its confidence against the Shanghai Dragons at 9 p.m. ET on Wednesday.
-- Christiaan Kutlik
New York Excelsior 4 - Shanghai Dragons 0
The New York Excelsior closed out its Week 2 in the Overwatch League with a 4-0 sweep of the Shanghai Dragons on Saturday in Burbank, California.
This series was the ultimate David vs. Goliath matchup as Shanghai, still winless, looked to upset the Excelsior, which recently locked up the No. 1 seed for the Season 1 playoffs. For what it's worth, the Dragons had some things going its way, mainly DPS player Chon "Ado" Gi-hyeon, who did his best to carry his team.
Ado's Genji was, indeed, Shanghai's sole means of winning teamfights, as the Dragons relied on him to get multi-kills with his Dragonblade ultimate. While Ado popped off a few times, that was the extent of the Dragons' accomplishments in this series and nowhere near enough to actually secure victory. Shanghai got clinically dissected from map to map, showing a lack of aggressive decision making and an inability to capitalize on picks. A loss to the Excelsior was expected, though, so it can be somewhat forgiven if Shanghai struck out.
Throughout this series, it became abundantly apparent why New York is the No. 1 team in the OWL. With multiple MVP-caliber players on its roster ranging from support Bang "JJoNak" Sung-hyeon to DPS Park "Saebyeolbe" Jong-yeol, the Excelsior is stacked with mechanical talent.
JJoNak played phenomenally, as per usual, leading his team in damage dealt while keeping his team healthy as Zenyatta. Saebyeolbe also played well, highlighted by a strong McCree performance in Game 3 on Oasis: University, but had competition from his DPS peers. Hitscan DPS Kim "Pine" Do-hyeon was a living highlight reel on Widowmaker throughout the series, while Kim "Libero" Hae-seong slayed the Dragons as Pharah and Hanzo, respectively, in Games 3 and 4.
All things considered, this looked like a practice run for New York, as it continues to gain momentum heading into the playoffs where the Excelsior has to be considered a heavy favorite to win the inaugural season.
The NYXL kick off Week 3 against the Philadelphia Fusion at 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday, followed by the Dragons taking on the Seoul Dynasty at 9 p.m. ET that same day.
-- Noah Waltzer
Dallas Fuel 3 - Philadelphia Fusion 1
The Dallas Fuel pulled off a big upset over the Philadelphia Fusion on Saturday to close out Week 2 with a 3-1 win at the Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California.
After being eliminated from contention for the Season 1 playoffs, Stage 4 seemed like it would be tough for the Fuel, but the team has surged after a change in staff. Under head coach Aaron "Aero" Atkins, Dallas has found new life and become a legitimate threat in the Stage 4 meta.
On the field for Dallas, the Brigitte play from flex player Pongphop "Mickie" Rattanasangchod has been nothing short of spectacular, and it's enabled Dallas to look like an entirely different team. DPS Timo "Taimou" Kettunen's Widowmaker was as lethal as fans remember it being in the past, and fellow DPS Brandon "Seagull" Larned and main tank Son "OGE" Min-seok helped carry the team through solid front line play.
It wasn't perfect from the Fuel, as Game 3 on Lijiang Tower caught the team off-guard, but Dallas recovered nicely in Game 4 and showed that it's hard to stop the Fuel when its firing on all cylinders.
While Dallas celebrates, Philadelphia is left with questions. From the get-go, the Fusion looked dumbfounded, and the team made uncharacteristic mistakes in the first half. Apart from DPS Lee "Carpe" Jae-hyeok, almost all of the Fusion looked lost, mainly because it could not answer Mickie's Brigitte.
Philly even went so far as to sub in DPS George "ShaDowBurn" Gushcha during the second half, the first time he's played in the OWL for a month, in a desperate gambit to gain some momentum. Dallas couldn't counter ShaDowBurn's superb Pharah play on Lijiang Tower, but the Fuel had no such troubles in Game 4 on Watchpoint: Gibraltar.
With the road only getting tougher, the Fusion has to go back to the drawing board if it wants to avoid an epic collapse at the end of the season.
The Fusion next takes on the No. 1 seed New York Excelsior at 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday, while the Fuel next plays the San Francisco Shock at 9 p.m. ET on Thursday.
-- Noah Waltzer