Seoul Dynasty dashes Dallas Fuel's hopes to start Week 2

Seoul Dynasty 3 - Dallas Fuel 1

The Seoul Dynasty took down the new-look Dallas Fuel 3-1 to start Week 2 of Stage 2 of the Overwatch League on Wednesday in Burbank, California.

This series was a tale of two halves, as things looked grim for the Fuel early on. The Dynasty completed its attack stage on Hanamura with more than seven minutes left in the timebank.

Not only was the Dynasty's dive lethal on attack, but made crucial adaptations on defense as well. In Game 2 on Nepal: Sanctum, the Fuel took a nail-biter of a win, only to see Seoul close out the next two portions of the control map. The third section, Nepal: Shrine, was a 100-0 thrashing by the Dynasty. Seoul DPS Byeon "Munchkin" Sang-beom suffocated Dallas as Tracer throughout the series, and when he was subbed out for Game 3, the Fuel got an opportunity to bounce back.

The Fuel fired up after the break and burned the Dynasty on Hollywood. After playing the first half passively and allowing the Seoul to dictate the pace of the game, Dallas went on the aggressive, with star DPS Hyeon "EFFECT" Hwang lighting the Dynasty up as Tracer to give Dallas a shot at the reverse-sweep.

That chance was shut down on Map 4, though. EFFECT and the Fuel played well on Route: 66, but Seoul played even better after bringing Munchkin back into the starting lineup. Seoul's DPS held EFFECT and Fuel tank Felix "xQc" Lengyel in check, constantly landing Pulse Bombs on xQc's Winston to annihilate Dallas' frontline. The Fuel still came meters away from forcing a Game 5, but Seoul dug its heels in and remained undefeated in Stage 2.

The Dynasty now prepares to take on the Los Angeles Gladiators at 9 p.m. ET on Friday, followed by the Fuel closing Friday out against the Los Angeles Valiant at 11 p.m. ET.

-- Noah Waltzer

Los Angeles Valiant 3 - San Francisco Shock 1

The Los Angeles Valiant outlasted the San Francisco Shock in a 3-1 win on Wednesday at the Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California.

For the second series in a row, the Valiant tried an interesting lineup featuring three support players, and like last time out, the grouping brought mixed results. Last week, the lineup only took the stage on certain maps, with DPS Brady "Agilities" Girardi making his way in to play his Genji and Pharah at times. In this series, however, support Park "KariV" Young-seo stayed in for the entire series while playing a slate of DPS heroes in each game.

Much like its series against the Shanghai Dragons last week, the Valiant struggled on the opening map. The Shock used its own DPS core of Andrej "Babybay" Francisty and Dante "Danteh" Cruz to narrowly take Volskaya Industries in extra time. Responding to the opening loss, the Valiant then buckled down on Lijiang Tower's control maps, including a full-hold on Lijiang Tower: Garden to easily 2-0 San Francisco.

While the Valiant managed to hold on in the final two maps, it did so by very narrow margins that put its overall strength in question. Both King's Row and Watchpoint: Gibraltar went into extra time, with the Valiant securing 4-3 and 5-4 wins, respectively. Despite handily beating teams like the Shock and the Shanghai Dragons during Stage 1, the Valiant have mightily struggled in the first two weeks of Stage 2. Whether it's the new meta or the new lineup, the Valiant must figure things out or risk getting pushed around by tougher competition.

The Valiant will now face a tough test against the revitalized Dallas Fuel at 11 p.m. ET on Friday, while the Shock will try and bounce back with a matchup with the Shanghai Dragons at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday.

-- Wyatt Donigan

Los Angeles Gladiators 4 - Shanghai Dragons 0

The Los Angeles Gladiators prolonged the suffering of the league's last-place team with a 4-0 sweep the Shanghai Dragons to close out Wednesday night's Overwatch League matches.

Shanghai, which announced earlier this week that the players it had acquired after Stage 1 may not be available to the team until the end of Stage 2 at the earliest, seemed to be unmotivated to pick up its first win. While the team had seemed to be improving in recent weeks even in the face of mounting losses, the Dragons' play was lackadaisical at best Wednesday. The players whiffed several ultimate abilities, the most embarrassing being Weida "Diya" Lu's Junkrat not finding a target with a RIP-Tire that lasted its full duration on King's Row. To cap it all off, the Dragons seemed to have apparent communication breakdowns on occasion, entering staggered into a handful of engagements that led to a multitude of deaths.

The Los Angeles Gladiators, on the other hand, seem to be getting fully acclimated with the addition of Baek "Fissure" Chan-hyung after a shaky performance against the Dallas Fuel in his debut. The team looked cleaner in its engagements and more cohesive in its target priority. Although the Gladiators experienced a slight hiccup on the final map, running dangerously close to being full held, DPS player Lane "Surefour" Roberts was able to save the day with a last-second Dragonblade to keep the team's push going.

While the winless Dragons certainly weren't the most formidable of competition for the Gladiators, this roster gelling early in Stage 2 is a step up for a team that limped to the finish line in Stage 1.

The Los Angeles Gladiators will be put to the test as it takes on the Seoul Dynasty at 9 p.m. ET on Friday. Meanwhile, the Shanghai Dragons continues its lengthy quest to find its first win of the season in a showdown with the San Francisco Shock at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday.

-- Travis Elliott