Los Angeles Valiant 4 - Philadelphia Fusion 0
The Los Angeles Valiant earned some crucial map points and beat the Philadelphia Fusion in a hard-fought 4-0 win to start Week 4 of the Overwatch League on Wednesday at Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California.
From the early stages of Game 1 on Numbani, it was clear this series was going to be action-packed. Both teams displayed a deep respect for each other, with tight target focusing and calculated ultimate usage. In the end, even with Fusion DPS George "ShaDowBurn" Gushcha's Genji tearing up the Valiant's backline, Los Angeles took a lead thanks to patient, methodical play.
With the Valiant taking an early lead, the series went to Game 2 on Temple of Anubis. Once again, ShaDowBurn's Genji came out strong, but the Valiant came firing back, quadrupling the Fusion's timebank and utilizing better compositional changes to increase its lead to 2-0.
The Fusion found itself in the frying pan heading into the second half, especially when Valiant DPS Terence "SoOn" Tarlier started turning up the heat. SoOn shattered the Fusion's momentum with a sneaky solo point capture that gave Los Angeles a 3-0 lead before it secured its final victory in another close matchup. The Valiant was far from flawless, but it made fewer mistakes down the stretch and showed better teamwork than Philadelphia, which was heavily reliant on its star DPS duo to stay alive in this series.
The Philadelphia Fusion takes on the Dallas Fuel next on Thursday at 5 p.m ET, while the Los Angeles Valiant will wait until Saturday at 6 p.m ET to battle the Boston Uprising.
-- Liam Craffey
Los Angeles Gladiators 3 - Florida Mayhem 1
In a one-sided series on Wednesday, the Los Angeles Gladiators emerged from Blizzard Arena with a 3-1 victory in the over the struggling Florida Mayhem.
While Gladiators isn't as strong as its neighbor, the Los Angeles Valiant, it isn't a pushover by any means. The Florida Mayhem found that out first-hand as Gladiator DPS Lane "Surefour" Roberts dominated the Mayhem lineup with help from his teammates such as tank Aaron "Bischu" Kim and DPS Joao Pedro "Hydration" Goes Telles. Florida continues to disappoint as it has made virtually no improvements since the opening weeks of the league and remains at the bottom of the standings.
Not even DPS Kevin "TivQ" Lindstrom could make a bearable performance manifest for the Mayhem. The only redeeming point for the Mayhem was its victory on Junkertown in Game 4, but it was a sour consolation prize after getting thrashed for three straight games. While the Mayhem still has a lot to work out, the Gladiators pick up a crucial win as it heads toward the end of Stage 1 still fighting for a playoff berth.
The Florida Mayhem has a chance to bounce back against the San Francisco Shock at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, while the LA Gladiators will face a true test of strength when it faces the Boston Uprising at 11 p.m. ET on Friday.
-- Steven Nguyen
Houston Outlaws 3 - San Francisco Shock 1
The Houston Outlaws' impressive map win streak might be over, but it'll certainly take a 3-1 win over the San Francisco Shock to close out the first day of Week 4 of the Overwatch League.
The Outlaws' 16-map win streak looked at risk coming into this series as star DPS Jiri "LiNkzr" Masalin was out due to illness. Backup DPS Matt "Clockwork" Diaz stepped in to fill his admittedly big shoes. Houston got its streak up to 18 maps, but it came to an end in Game 3 on Oasis; still, the team itself looked decent enough, considering it was missing a crucial component of its fragging power.
Outlaws tank Austin "Muma" Wilmot stepped up continuously throughout the series, particularly on Winston, and wreaked havoc on the Shock's fragile backline. While Houston enjoyed some big performances from traditionally quiet players, the Shock's problems continued to grow as the series went on.
The issues plaguing San Francisco are many and severe, and it's hard to say which is the most problematic of them. Support Daniel "dhaK" Martinez's Mercy play has been especially problematic, whether it's by getting picked off early on or burning his Valkyrie ultimate unnecessarily. The weight of this loss shouldn't be squarely on dhaK's shoulders, though, as there were plenty of mistakes to go around. Stubbornness in switching compositions, lack of coordination on offense and general miscommunications all contributed to San Francisco's loss.
This begs the question: will San Francisco's biggest acquisition, DPS Jay "Sinatraa" Won, be able to fix the problems this team has when he becomes eligible to play? If this series is any indication, the Shock still has a long way to go regardless at other positions.
San Francisco will next take on the Florida Mayhem at 7 p.m ET on Friday, followed by Houston's monumental test against the Seoul Dynasty at 9 p.m ET.
-- Noah Waltzer