1. #1

    Overwatch League 2018: Stage 3 Week 2 Recap

    Stage 3 is rolling right along, inching ever closer to the season playoffs and the end to an explosive inaugural year. This week the standings are unlike anything we’ve ever seen before, with new teams rising up the ranks and unlikely teams slipping towards the bottom. What went down week 2? Let’s find out.

    Week 2 Day 1

    Match of the Day

    Seoul Dynasty vs. Dallas Fuel

    None of today’s matches were amazing feats of gaming to behold. Shanghai lost, San Francisco lost, and Dallas lost too. No great upsets, just a lot of close calls. The Dallas Fuel taking the Seoul Dynasty to tiebreaker was definitely one of those close calls. Dallas has been tinkering with their line up for the last few games, specifically their tank line. Their new main tank addition OGE had a lot to do with why Dallas came so close to beating Seoul.

    Meanwhile Seoul is still struggling to get their Stage 1 groove back, fielding teams that deviate from their core (and arguably stronger) roster. It was a critical Rip-Tire from Fleta at the absolute last possible moment that snuffed out the Fuel’s chances of victory. A last ditch clutch play that, had it not worked, would have seen the match go in the Fuel’s favor.

    Week 2 Day 2

    Match of the Day

    Boston Uprising vs. New York Excelsior

    If you’ve been keeping up with League news, you know Boston’s had to release a player some would argue was their star DPS, Jonathan ‘Dreamkazper’ Sanchez. His departure cast the future of Boston’s playoff potential, Stage Finals and beyond, in doubt. They were on a winning record, undefeated in their last six games. Would that winning streak continue?

    Boston’s first game without their ‘ringer’ was against the New York Excelsior. Even if losing one of their best wasn’t the death knell a lot of fans, myself included, thought it would be, there certainly wasn’t any way their winning streak could continue; New York has been undefeated since Week 1 of Stage 2.

    But if there was any way, any way at all, to communicate to fans and pros alike that Boston was going to be alright, it was this game.

    Wow. Only two other teams have handed New York the ‘L’ : London and Philadelphia. And with this win, Boston rises to 2nd in the Stage standings and 4th in the season overall. This meteoric rise, if they continue to play like the did here, will see them as a solid contender for the Overwatch League throne at the end of the season.

    With Mistakes, Gamsu, Striker, Note, Neko, and Kellex working together as a seamless unit against New York’s disjointed and uncharacteristically slow to adapt lineup, the boys of Boston proved there is no "I" in "Team".

    Week 2 Day 3

    Match of the Day

    Shanghai Dragons vs. San Francisco Shock

    Let’s just get it out of the way, Shanghai lost... again. And again, they are slowly, slowly, improving with every match. With that out of the way, you'll still want to watch this match. Day 3 marked Shanghai’s Team Day, a special event the Blizzard Arena puts on for fans to come meet their favorite team and get lots of free team branded swag along the way. Shanghai doesn’t have New York’s record, or Florida’s charisma, or the strong home city support of Houston. But on this day, everyone in that arena was a Shanghai fan.

    The score really doesn’t do this match justice. These maps were razor thin close, with the Dragons often winning the needed tick, distance, or control in overtime.

    Ado’s Genji, Fearless’s tank play, Fiveking’s healing (with a sweet Battle Mercy kill on an Dragonblading Genji) and Geguir’s D.Va (with some tasty self-destructs) carried the day and for a moment it really did look like the Dragons would cross the line on Junkertown and carry the team to their first ever tiebreaker map 5. Sadly that wasn’t meant to be, but looking at the crowd, you couldn’t tell.

    Fans in Dallas jerseys, Valiant jerseys, and even Shock jerseys were cheering for Shanghai. The love was real and a great reminder why this game is so great. Even though Shanghai lost (and even if that loss does matter in terms of their playoff potential), with the way that entire crowd was cheering for them, Shanghai, in a way, still won.

    Week 2 Day 4

    Match of the Day

    All of Them

    If you have the time and a healthy enough blood pressure, watch every match from today. There’s only been one day, way back in Stage 1, where all the matches went to game 5, but that one hardly counts as the games were super critical stage playoff determiners. Today was an outlier, all-around elevated levels of play.

    There’s Houston facing off against a New York still reeling from their earlier loss against Boston. Throughout the match, New York simply did not play like themselves. It was only through the monumental carry of Widowmaker/DPS specialist Pine that the team won at all. It was a victory so hard fought that after a tense final point on Oasis, shot caller ArK could only take off his glasses, throw his head back, and sigh.

    Caption: BIG MOOD

    The London Spitfire was looking to avenge their Stage 2 loss to the Philadelphia Fusion that kept them from the title match. Again, this was another nail-bitingly close series that saw Philadelphia shut down London on Oasis, one of London’s worst. For the longest time, London was a team that could beat everyone, including New York, with the exception of Houston. The Outlaws have defeated them every time they’ve met in regular play. Now it seems London has a new Kryptonite and it’s Philadelphia.

    Florida, like Shanghai, is still winless this Stage. But with new additions Sayaplayer and Awesomeguy, they’re looking much improved especially with Sayaplayer on Widowmaker removing heads from bodies with the precision of a surgeon. But even his life saving snipes wasn’t enough to resurrect a win for Florida, but they made Boston work to keep their winstreak intact. And with a team with Florida’s kind of record, making another team work for their win is the best you can hope for. Those dropped maps will definitely come back to haunt Boston when it’s finals time.

    Final Thoughts

    I love the Overwatch League because as time goes on, predicting what team will do what for any given match just gets harder and harder. All teams, all of them, are improving in ways we can’t account for. Boston lost one of their best players and continued on unbothered, meanwhile Seoul Dynasty lost Fleta to illness mid-match against the Gladiators and they just couldn’t recover. As a result of all this unpredictability, the stage rankings look so vastly different from what was expected.

    These stage rankings excite me because teams we’ve never seen before are taking the top spots, displacing well-loved teams that have already had their chance to shine (and win a ton of money). The close rankings and the addition of the 4th slot are going to make the race for the Stage 3 finals something incredible to behold.

  2. #2
    Dreadlord Enfilade's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    May be a bit biased here, but it seems like the Philly matches almost always end up being the most exciting ones of the week.

  3. #3
    Poor Shanghai Dragons, they cannot catch a break. Feel bad for Geguri and Ado.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Enfilade View Post
    May be a bit biased here, but it seems like the Philly matches almost always end up being the most exciting ones of the week.
    Yes! It's because most of the matches they win are 5 map matches. And they have a great team with good personalities that are capable of making exciting to watch plays (i.e. Carpe/Snillo)

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by TomBrokovski View Post
    Poor Shanghai Dragons, they cannot catch a break. Feel bad for Geguri and Ado.
    Every single match they play they get better. It's a lot to expect so much of the new players so watching them improve like this is a joy.
    Still praying for that win though!

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