With the end of Stage 2, Overwatch League's inaugural season is halfway over. Now at the beginning of Stage 3 we’re playing on a new patch, with a new map, new rules, and a ton of new players. Hybrid map Blizzard World is in, changes to Sombra have made her the new meta, and now the top four teams will advance to the Stage Finals instead of three. Stage 3 Week 1 didn’t shake the table too much (Shanghai’s still losing and New York’s still winning) but with that said, let's see all the winners and losers this first week into the new stage.

Week 1 Day 1

Match of the Day

Shanghai Dragons vs. Dallas Fuel

I know I already said Shanghai is still losing, but new additions to their roster and their coaching staff had Shanghai playing the cleanest we’ve ever seen.

Gi-hyeon “Ado” Chon and Dae-min “Daemin” Kim are filling the DPS sized holes Chao “Undead” Fang and Weida “Diya” Lu have left behind, while Flex/Tank Se-yeon “Geguri” Kim provides valuable service on and off the stage, being the only woman (for now) in the league and the only player in the Shanghai tank line capable of peeling pesky Genjis and Widows off supports. Sadly, inevitably even, Shanghai lost, thanks to Dallas Fuel DPS madman Hyeon "EFFECT" Hwang.

I had hope for a Shanghai victory. If there was any team they were going to beat, it was going to be Dallas after their sudden and questionable roster changes that saw shot caller, team leader, and all around good guy Scott "Custa" Kennedy traded to the Valiant in exchange for Benjamin "uNKOE" Chevasson. But for all my hopes, Shanghai is dealing with players that were still fresh off the plane. In Daemin’s case, he was playing for the Shock’s Contenders Team the very day before he took the stage for Shanghai. Shanghai has a lot of obstacles to overcome but I still believe Stage 3 will see them win their first game. It just wasn’t this one.

Week 1 Day 2

Match of the Day

Houston Outlaws vs. London Spitfire

The Philadelphia Fusion spoiled London Spitfire’s chances at a return to the Stage finals. But if you were looking for the Stage 1 Champion Spitfire to return to their place at the top of the Stage rankings this match...and this week entirely...is not for you.

London for some weird reason, can’t beat Houston. In regular season play they never have. What’s more, Houston ended Stage 2 dead even: 5-5 with 22 map wins and 22 map losses. Contrast that to London, who finished the Stage 8-2, with 31 map wins and 11 map losses. So the stats were in London’s favor even if the history between the two teams weren't. But it was map selection that killed London’s chances for a win. Oasis, the tiebreaker map, is London’s worst...ever. Out of six engagements there, they’ve only won it once. London lost the map 0-2, sending them to the bottom quarter of the standings.

Week 1 Day 3

Match of the Day

Seoul Dynasty vs. San Francisco Shock

Much has been said about Seoul, about how they’re not performing to their standard. They lost Joon-hyuk "Bunny" Chae to the Valiant, then went on to lose 0-4 against them in their first Stage 3 match earlier in the week. Meanwhile, new additions Matthew "super" DeLisi and Jay "sinatraa" Won ,and Sombra savant Dante "Danteh" Cruz have made San Francisco a new force to be reckoned with and the odds on favorite to win the match.

With the deck and predictions stacked against them, team leader Je-Hong “Ryujehong” Ryu had a little something in store for his team.

Seoul won 4-0. Proof that you should never underestimate your hype-man — a little fighting spirit can go a long way.

Week 1 Day 4

Match of the Day

New York Excelsior vs. London Spitfire

There are currently only two tiers of Overwatch League teams: New York and everyone else. The Excelsior, in the whole of the season, has lost only twice. The last match they lost was back in Week 1 Stage 2. That being said, New York has weaknesses and they are capable of faltering. If you can surprise them like Dallas did, taking them to a surprising tiebreaker 5th match, or like Philadelphia did in the Stage 2 finals, you can beat them.

In terms of sheer team strength, however, the only team that can compare is London. And London’s beaten New York before, during the regular season and in the Stage 1 Finals. The match up between the Stage 1 and Stage 2 champions promised to be close. They’ve always gone to 5. Not this time.

(And London never recovered.)

Robert Kraft may own the Uprising, but the Patriots of the Overwatch League aren’t in Boston.

Final Thoughts

London had a bad week, but even though they’ve been sent to the bottom of the Stage rankings they’re still second overall and a smooth 12 points ahead of their closest competitor, Seoul. Now that it’s Stage 3, the Stage standings matter less and less while the overall standings gain greater importance. It’ll be the top six teams that compete in the Grand Finals, and London, even after this miserable performance, will definitely be playing in them. With the start of Stage 3, it's time to start thinking about the long game.

Ash, the first of her name, keeper of Zenyatta lore, protector of Hanzo mains and Mother of Shanghai Dragons, is a content writer for the Overwatch section of MMO-C and Gamepedia.
This article was originally published in forum thread: Overwatch League 2018: Stage 3 Week 1 Recap started by ComradeKoch View original post

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