Boston Uprising 3 - Dallas Fuel 2
Joining a flurry of five-game series in Week 3 of the Overwatch League, the Boston Uprising outlasted the Dallas Fuel in marathon 3-2 series win on Saturday at Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California.
Throughout this series, neither team strayed from its gameplan, with Boston sticking to its tried and true dive composition and Dallas Fuel stubbornly playing a slow-burn, tank-filled lineup. Boston's victory could ultimately be attributed to two players, DPS Johnathon "DreamKazper" Sanchez and DPS Kwon "STRIKER" Nam-joo, who each took over the series at certain points. Striker, especially, was a beast on Tracer on Temple of Anubis, splitting the attention of the Dallas tanks and DPS by coordinating pinches with DreamKazper. He also easily scored the Play of the Game with a four-man Pulse Bomb that stopped Dallas dead in its tracks. DreamKazper was more flexible by picking both Pharah and Genji, with his Pharah being incredibly useful on Ilios and Lijiang Tower thanks to his unique ability to find strange angles of attack.
As the series progressed, it looked as though Dallas had just one trick in its book, and that was slowing down the game until DPS players Brandon "Seagull" Larned and Hwang "EFFECT" Hyeon could find picks. That strategy worked to an extent, as EFFECT managed to combat Boston's dives in certain spots, but consistency became an issue as the games drew on.
In the end, Boston's ability to continue pounding Dallas with its effective dive composition won out. Most importantly, Boston won many of the key 1-vs-1 fights, including DreamKazper's Pharah giving Pongphop "Mickie" Rattanasangchod's Roadhog fits on the final map. Dallas may have taken its first series against the Shock on Friday evening, but it still clearly has room to grow to consistently pick up wins in the OWL.
After a 1-1 week, Dallas Fuel will take on Philadelphia Fusion at 5 p.m. ET on Thursday, while the Boston Uprising will take on the Los Angeles Gladiators at 11 p.m. ET Friday.
-- Christiaan Kutlik
Los Angeles Valiant 3 - Florida Mayhem 1
The Los Angeles Valiant took a breezy 3-1 victory from the Florida Mayhem to finish the week 2-0.
The Los Angeles Valiant came out strong in Game 1 on Eichenwalde, showcasing from the very start just how powerful an aggressive playstyle can be. Whether it was DPS Brady "Agilities" Girardi's Pharah, tank Koo "Fate" Pan-Seung's Winston or flex player Lee "envy" Kang-Jae's D.Va, the Valiant never gave the Mayhem a moment of rest and easily gained an early lead. While the Florida Mayhem coordinated effectively enough on Anubis in Game 2, the Valiant continued to outclass and outpace its opponents at every turn. With Valiant DPS Terence "SoOn" Tarlier's Widowmaker sat uncontested on defense, the Mayhem simply couldn't find any solid openings in which to advance while repeatedly letting its support players fall.
The trend was here to stay on Ilios, with the Valiant having a clear focus on taking out Sebastian "Zebbosai" Olsson's Mercy at the start of nearly every fight. With Florida down a major source of healing, the Valiant was free to engage as it wished and quickly moved on to the final map. With Dorado being one of the Mayhem's better maps, Florida Mayhem fans had a reason to hope their team might take a map, and the Mayhem didn't disappoint. The Mayhem may not have picked up the win, but it still managed to see the light between the cracks with a strong finish against one of the best teams in the league.
The Los Angeles Valiant will be back in action against the Philadelphia Fusion 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday, while the Florida Mayhem's next match is directly after against the Los Angeles Gladiators at 9 p.m. ET.
-- Liam Caffey
Houston Outlaws 4 - Los Angeles Gladiators 0
The Houston Outlaws closed out Week 3 of the Overwatch League with an impressive 4-0 massacre of the Los Angeles Gladiators.
Despite the final outcome, the series started off well enough for the Gladiators on Numbani, as DPS Joao Pedro "Hydration" Veloso de Goes Telles pulled out an epic Dragonblade with his Genji to pick up four kills and help secure the final point. From then on, the wheels of the Gladiators hype train came flying off thanks to Houston kicking off a blistering attack. Houston took the first point of Numbani in just under a minute and finished up the map with more than five minutes left in the time bank, which ended up being a sign of things to come.
Game 2 was quite possibly the quickest match in all of the Overwatch League thus far. With the Gladiators starting off on attack, its 2-2-2 strategy on Temple of Anubis met with swift opposition from the triple DPS lineup from the Outlaws that ripped Los Angeles to shreds while holding it to zero capture points. Once on the offensive side, the Outlaws baited the Gladiator tanks into a trap and cut every member down to size, securing the single point needed to take the map.
The Gladiators knew it had to change something, opting to sub in Choi "Asher" Jun-Sung for its own three-DPS team composition. While it may have added a bit of fire to the team at first, the Outlaws quickly snuffed out any hope of a comeback when Houston DPS Jiri "LiNKzr" Masalin's Widowmaker, instantly picked off the enemy Pharah and sent the Gladiators into a downward spiral for the remainder of the series as Houston waltzed its way to victory. Now on a four-game winning streak, Houston is looking like a bonafide contender, while the Gladiators have now lost three in a row and are struggling to find any strand of consistency.
The Los Angeles Gladiators will have its work cut out when facing the London Spitfire on at 9 p.m. ET on Wednesday, while the Houston Outlaws will take on the San Francisco Shock directly after at 11 p.m. ET on Wednesday.
-- Tyson Tavolazzi