Boston Uprising 4 - Florida Mayhem 0
Boston Uprising got back to its winning ways with a 4-0 victory over the Florida Mayhem to open up Friday's slate of the Overwatch League in Burbank, California.
Coming into the series, Boston was riding a 14-game losing streak that dated back to Stage 1. After being a fringe playoff contender during that stage, the Uprising had fallen on hard times with the meta shift in Stage 2. A loss against the 1-13 Mayhem would have been a rock bottom that had the potential to tank what started out as a promising inaugural season for Boston.
Fans can breathe easy, however, as the Uprising pulled itself together to easily push past the Mayhem on Friday. Throughout the four-game series, you never got the feeling that the Mayhem would actually string together enough plays to take a map victory, as it only managed two points all night long. In the face of Boston's relentless dive, led by DPS Gwon "Striker" Nam-Ju, the Mayhem never seemed able to get much going as Boston ripped it to shreds at every turn.
It's worth mentioning that Boston's first win of Stage 2 came on the back of a shuffled lineup. It's main tank starter, Noh "Gamsu" Yeong-jin, was nowhere to be found at any point, as tank Shin "Kalios" Woo-yeol took his place and allowed the team to play more aggressively than ever before. Not only that, but DPS Stanislav "Mistakes" Danilov made his OWL debut for the Uprising, coming in for Jonathan "DreamKazper" Sanchez in the final two games. Mistakes' superb Sombra gave Boston yet another advantage that proved too much for the Mayhem to handle.
Both teams are done for the week as the Mayhem will continue looking for its first win here in Stage 2 when it faces the Houston Outlaws at 11 p.m. ET next Friday, while the Uprising will try and make it two straight when it takes on the winless Shanghai Dragons at 11 p.m. next Thursday.
-- Wyatt Donigan
Seoul Dynasty 3 - Los Angeles Gladiators 1
Seoul Dynasty came out strong on Friday with a 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Gladiators at the Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California.
Los Angeles has looked like a new team in Stage 2 with the addition of tank Baek "Fissure" Chan-hyung, but this was its first real test in strength, as its two wins prior were against two of the bottom teams of the league: the Shanghai Dragons and the San Francisco Shock. Seoul, too, is on the upswing, with support Yang "tobi" Jin-mo improving dramatically thanks to Lucio's relevance in the new meta.
It looked as though the Gladiators had a chance once it convincingly took Nepal in Game 2 to remain undefeated on the map thus far in Stage 2. After that, though, Seoul crushed the Gladiators' dreams on both Hollywood and Watchpoint: Gibraltar in the second half. Both of these maps featured an overwhelming Dynasty defense stop the Gladiators from getting anywhere far with the payload.
The Gladiators did, however, expose a potential weakness for Seoul in that Nepal win. Los Angeles put enormous pressure on DPS Kim "Fleta" Byung-sun, which sent Seoul into disarray on Nepal. The Dynasty didn't crumble entirely, but when a stronger team attempts the same strategy, it may be the South Korean team's Achilles' heel.
Seoul looks to continue running the table in Stage 2 with a win against Shanghai on Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET, while the Los Angeles Gladiators prepares to take on cross-town rivals Los Angeles Valiant later that Friday at 11 p.m. ET.
-- Steven Nguyen
Los Angeles Valiant 3 - Dallas Fuel 1
The Los Angeles Valiant took a 3-1 statement victory over the Dallas Fuel to close out Friday's action at the Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California.
The Fuel and Valiant matchup harkens back to the days when these teams were known respectively as EnVyUs and Immortals. Both contended to be the best in the West yet have fallen well short of that goal thus far in the Overwatch League. At the end of this North American rivalry, the Los Angeles Valiant came out on top with superior coordination, ultimate usage and game sense.
Despite flashes of life from the Fuel, the Valiant handedly swept through the first half of the match. Organizing around DPS Terence "SoOn" Tarlier's Tracer, the Valiant forced the Fuel to fight in specific locations, giving Los Angeles the ability to choose its battles, from where they happened to when they happened and how they ended. Dallas seemed to play right into this tactic, with the Fuel painfully stalling on engages and staggering members nearly every fight.
Los Angeles maintained its strong form going into the second half of the series through superior ultimate management, neutralizing the Fuel's ultimates and maintaining game-changing resources. The Fuel, meanwhile, seemed to revert back to its uninspiring Stage 1 form, albeit with new players. The DPS players were struggling, tank Félix "xQc" Lengyel was dying alone and Dallas could only win fights with a heavy ultimate or numbers advantage. However, the Fuel dug in its heels and had a final, defiant defense to close out the series and prevent a brutal 4-0 sweep from the Valiant.
The Dallas Fuel next takes on the San Francisco Shock at 9 p.m. ET on Wednesday. Later that day, the Los Angeles Valiant faces the Los Angeles Gladiators at 11 p.m. ET in the next rendition of the Battle for Los Angeles.
-- Liam Craffey