With rivalries forming and the fight for the next Stage playoffs beginning to take shape, the second Week into the third Stage of the Overwatch League came with a few surprises and a ton of great action as usual.
The weekend started out with a decisive victory from the LA Gladiators as they went up against the new and improved Shanghai Dragons, who debuted their new players Geguri and Daemin. The LA teams were both on a tear this week, as the LA Valiant took on the San Francisco Shock, and took the 4-0. The last game of the night was an interesting one, however, as Seoul Dynasty took a hard fought win against the Dallas Fuel. Seoul has been struggling lately, it seems, as Dallas is the third worst team in the League right now. They should have dominated Dallas, but went to map five against them. Both teams are switching around their rosters, so I guess they might be going through some growing pains, but Seoul was the favorite in the preseason and it has been odd to see them slipping.
Day two started out with a bang, as the Boston Uprising took an impressive and surprising win over the New York Excelsior. New York is decidedly the best team in the League right now, but Boston has been climbing the ladder throughout the Inaugural season. They’re building momentum and almost took the bronze in Stage 2, getting beat by the Philadelphia Fusion, but came back with a vengeance in Stage 3 and beat Philly. Boston is a team to look out for.
The Florida Mayhem, holding the second-from-last spot in the rankings for all three Stages so far, were unable to get their first Stage 3 win over the London Spitfire, but they did hold their own in the first game and it was impressive to watch. London is another one of the best teams in the League and to see Florida get a draw in the first game showed that they’re getting better. The Philadelphia Fusion then took on the Houston Outlaws, taking another 3-2 win. Philly and Houston are developing a rivalry at this point, as the Fusion have taken every game they’ve played against the Outlaws and have gone to map five each time.
Friday was less exciting, with a lot of wins and losses that were to be expected. First, the LA Valiant went 2-1 against the Dallas Fuel. They had a round one draw, and Dallas took round 2, but LA swept them from there. San Francisco then took a 3-1 win over the Shanghai Dragons, losing only on Numbani. And finally, the LA Gladiators took a close victory against the Seoul Dynasty. To go 3-2 was surprising, as the Gladiators have been dominating lately, but they still took the win in the end.
The final day of Week 2 was one of “close ones.” Every game went 3-2, with Philadelphia taking the first win over London. New York then took down Houston in a close and exciting match and Boston took down the Florida Mayhem, although again, Florida taking two rounds against one of the fiercest teams is telling.
Right now, this all leaves us with the LA Valiant sitting on top. They and the Boston Uprising have yet to lose a game, but both teams have yet to take on the top dogs like New York and London. New York is in third as of now, but will likely move back up as the Stage goes on. The Gladiators and the Fusion are next in line for the playoffs, but London has had a tough time going against all the top teams early on, so they’ll be ones LA and Philly will have to keep their eyes on.
Stage 3 is picking up! Teams are changing strategies and rosters and it’s getting interesting. I’m excited to see where the Boston Uprising go, if London can rise back up to the top and if Florida and Shanghai are able to figure something out and get a win or two.
Week 3 starts on Wednesday, April 18, with the battle for LA rematch, as the Gladiators and Valiant go head to head.