Los Angeles Gladiators 3 - London Spitfire 1
The Los Angeles Gladiators smashed the London Spitfire in a stunning 3-1 upset on Saturday in the Overwatch League at the Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California.
Gladiators tank Baek "Fissure" Chan-hyung finally got a chance to go up against his old team, the London Spitfire, and helped his team to a dramatic win. Los Angeles didn't stray far from what has worked for it thus far in Stage 2, namely using Fissure and DPS Choi "Asher" Jun-sung to find key picks to turn teamfights in its favor. The duo's swift and tight coordination tore through London for three straight maps, with Asher poking as Tracer while Fissure pounced on weakened targets as Winston. This was especially key to Los Angeles' victory on Volskaya Industries, a map where Asher could easily maneuver his way into the London backline to pick off its supports.
The minor saving grace for the Spitfire was its decision to bring out DPS Kim "Birdring" Ji-hyeok and support Choi "Bdosin" Seung-hyun after the half. The two players gave Spitfire some much needed muscle, even if it only resulted in a single map win after Los Angeles had already gone up 3-0 in the series.
Birdring's ability to safely lay damage from across the map as either Widowmaker or McCree forced Los Angeles to play slowly and carefully to avoid getting picked apart. Meanwhile, Bdosin put out a strong effort on Zenyatta by doling out damage in droves while still managing to heal his team. In the end, however, both Bdosin and Birdring struggled to maintain their composure through Los Angeles' flurry of coordinated ultimates in late-game fights.
The Gladiators will look for a key win against the Houston Outlaws at 11 p.m. ET on Thursday to secure its seeding into Stage 2 playoffs, while London Spitfire will need to rebound against San Francisco Shock at 9 p.m. ET on Friday.
-- Christiaan Kutlik
New York Excelsior 4 - San Francisco Shock 0
The New York Excelsior cruised past the San Francisco Shock in a 4-0 sweep on Saturday at the Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California.
The Shock picked up a solid 3-0 victory over the Dallas Fuel earlier in the week but was reminded how far it is from the top by the Excelsior on Saturday. San Francisco has improved notably from Stage 1, likely due to the meta shifting away from Mercy, as the team is now more versatile with its hero choices. With plenty of hero pool overlap between the DPS players Dante "Danteh" Cruise and Andrej "Babybay" Francisty, the tandem tends to switch off playing staple DPS heroes, giving the team multiple win conditions rather than relying on a single player carry.
In the face of the Excelsior, however, this alone was far from enough to secure even a single map win.
The New York Excelsior have taken a different approach than most other teams in the OWL, largely ignoring the meta shift away from using Mercy and instead opting to use the hero on attack for a degree of respawn advantage. The commitment to Mercy allows the team's tank line to be more aggressive, which in turn allows support player Bang "JJonak" Seong-hyun to play Zenyatta more as a damage dealer than healer.
The Excelsior's discipline was what allowed it to dominate a largely unorganized San Francisco team. Playing off of each other, JJonak and DPS player Park "Saebyolbe" Jong-ryeol were nabbing picks left and right as Zenyatta and Tracer, calling their shots and knocking them down with ease. While the win may have come against a Shock team with just five wins to its name on the season, the sheer decimation from the Excelsior was no less impressive.
Both teams will have to contend with a top-three opponent next week as the Excelsior will prepare for a showdown with the Seoul Dynasty at 9 p.m. ET on Wednesday and the Shock will square off with the London Spitfire at 9 p.m. ET on Thursday.
-- Travis Elliott
Florida Mayhem 3 - Dallas Fuel 2
The Florida Mayhem closed out Week 3 of the Overwatch League with a 3-2 reverse-sweep of the Dallas Fuel on Saturday at the Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California.
After falling victim to a reverse-sweep a day earlier against the Houston Outlaws, the Mayhem managed to secure a thrilling reverse-sweep of its own against the Dallas Fuel. The two standout performers for Florida in this series were none other than main tank Tim "Manneten" Bylund and DPS Kevin "TviQ" Lindstrom. These two worked in tandem during all three of the Mayhem's winning matches for the Mayhem to shut down Dallas DPS Dylan "aKm" Bignet's Widowmaker and enable Florida's own Widow, played by Andreas "Logix" Berghmans to own the battlefield and score key eliminations on the Fuel's supports.
In the first half of the five-game set, the Fuel performed extremely well, looking polished and clean while taking a 2-0 lead into the break. On the attacking side of King's Row to start the second half, however, is where it all fell apart for Dallas. With DPS aKm opting for a questionable Bastion pick that failed to have any impact, it was too little too late by the time he switched over to his Widowmaker as Dallas didn't have enough time to capture even the first point.
As the series drew on, Dallas grew sloppier by the minute, which led to multiple over-extensions and unfavorable team positioning that the Mayhem capitalized on to pick up the surprising reverse sweep for just its second win in the OWL. Having lost back-to-back series against inferior competition -- coupled with the suspension and fines being handed to its players this week -- the Fuel are looking worse for wear with no end to the turmoil in sight.
The Dallas Fuel next faces the Boston Uprising at 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, while the Florida Mayhem will square off with the Los Angeles Gladiators at 4 p.m. ET on Friday.
-- Tyson Tavolazzi