San Francisco Shock 4 - Florida Mayhem 0
The San Francisco Shock took down the Florida Mayhem 4-0 to open Thursday's action in the Overwatch League at Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California.
Despite having less than a day to prepare for this match after wrapping up play Wednesday night, the Shock trounced the Mayhem in a series that lasted just over 80 minutes including the 10-minute halftime. The Mayhem simply couldn't do anything to stop the Shock's aggressive play.
The Shock seemed comfortable taking it to the Mayhem at every moment of this series, from capturing the first point on Temple of Anubis in just over 60 seconds to giving up only 13 percent across two points on Nepal. A lot of this had to do with the one-two punch of flex tank Andreas "Nevix" Karlsson and DPS Park "Architect" Min-ho. Nevix expertly navigated his D.Va in and out of the Mayhem's defenses, racking up 72 eliminations to just one death across the first three games. Nevix being a nuisance on the frontlines allowed Architect to snipe the Mayhem down with precision with his Widowmaker, which was more than enough to give the team four easy wins.
With the Shock being so aggressive, the Mayhem support duo of Sebastian "Zebbosai" Olsson and Aleksi "Zuppeh" Kuntsi struggled to keep their teammates alive, which often left Florida scattered and outnumbered in teamfights. While the team has some solid pieces in DPS stars Kevyn "TviQ" Lindstrom and Ha "Sayaplayer" Jeong-woo, it still has a ton to work on heading into the final Stage of Season 1.
Both teams are out of playoff contention and will now watch from the stands as the rest of Stage 3 plays out over the next few days.
-- Wyatt Donigan
Boston Uprising 3 - Los Angeles Valiant 2
The Boston Uprising staved off a late comeback against the Los Angeles Valiant in a 3-2 series win on Thursday at Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California.
The Uprising is already locked in for the Stage 3 playoffs, but the team is still hunting for an undefeated record to end Stage 3. Though it is hard to ascertain who is truly responsible for the success of the Uprising, DPS player and Tracer specialist Kwon "Striker" Nam-joo has certainly made a case for himself to claim that credit.
While main tank Noh "Gamsu" Young-jin is the heart of the team, it's Striker's performance that has taken the Uprising from contender to 9-0 so far in Stage 3. This series against the Valiant was no exception, as Striker was responsible for nearly one third of his team's damage output, racking up kills in the back line and stalling the point for his team.
Boston looked to be on the verge of suffering a reverse-sweep after losing two maps after halftime, but the team rallied, implementing a strategy change of its own by putting Stanislov "Mistakes" Danilov onto Sombra. Mistakes dictated the pace of fights in Game 5 to best the Valiant on Oasis and take the series.
After being completely dismantled in the first half, the Valiant changed up its approach to Boston in the second half to great effect, allowing the Uprising all the space it wanted before pouncing down on the objective at the last minute. The strategy earned the Valiant the final two maps, but the team's refusal to change heroes on Oasis negated any advantage the strategy change netted. Unable to adequately respond to the Uprising's Sombra usage and getting befuddled by Boston ignoring DPS player Brady "Agilities" Girardi's Pharah, Los Angeles simply folded.
With both teams still in the playoff picture, the Boston Uprising attempt to lock up the No. 1 seed with a win over the Los Angeles Gladiators at 7 p.m. ET on Friday. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Valiant will try and hang onto its spot in the postseason against the Philadelphia Fusion at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday.
-- Travis Elliott
New York Excelsior 4 - Dallas Fuel 0
The New York Excelsior swept the Dallas Fuel in a devastating 4-0 sweep on Thursday in the Overwatch League at Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California.
Dallas has had a dramatic season that saw its players being bounced from role to role while key players have been phasing in and out of its roster. In this series, the absence of DPS Hwang "EFFECT" Hyeon left the Fuel without any firepower, despite the best efforts of DPS players Dylan "aKm" Bignet and Brandon "Seagull" Larned. This left the Fuel without the ability to deal any serious, or even consistent, damage to its opponents.
The team's desperation to find kills was plain on maps like Nepal, where aKm and Seagull played off-meta heroes like Bastion and D.Va on Nepal: Sanctuary. Try what it might, the Fuel simply didn't have enough left in the tank to deal with NYXL's overwhelming star power.
On the other hand, New York played a surgical game as it breezed through a quick series. Flex support Bang "JJoNak" Seong-hyun looked like his old self on Zenyatta and simply dominated Temple of Anubis. He easily took down key players, like Seagull's Genji, and prevented the Fuel from using key ultimates.
There was only one hiccup in the Excelsior's dominance: DPS Kim "Pine" Do-hyeon. Playing on Blizzard World and Route 66, Pine steamrolled his opponents with his signature Widowmaker. However, he tended to play aggressively just to pin down players. While this was valuable on the tight corridors of Route 66, his cocky positioning cost New York the first point on Blizzard World as he got picked off early in a teamfight. Fortunately, New York was playing Dallas, so there was little to worry about in this series.
The New York Excelsior will next play against the Shanghai Dragons at 9 p.m. ET on Friday in the hopes of securing second place for the Stage 3 playoffs. Meanwhile, the Dallas Fuel will return in Stage 4 to fight the Shanghai Dragons at 11 p.m. ET on May 16.
-- Christiaan Kutlik