Philadelphia Fusion ends Boston Uprising's regular season streak

Overwatch League Power Rankings -- Stage 4 (4:12)

The Overwatch League returns this week and all the buzz is around the new tank-based meta. Emily Rand joins Phil Murphy to get you up to speed. (4:12)

Philadelphia Fusion 3 - Boston Uprising 1

The Philadelphia Fusion kicked off its Stage 4 in style against the Boston Uprising with a 3-1 victory on Thursday at Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California.

With the updated patch and new hero, Brigitte, in play, many teams in the Overwatch League are looking to take advantage of the meta shift and shake up the standings. The Philadelphia Fusion did just that by upsetting the No. 2 team in the season standings in convincing fashion.

Brigitte's anti-flanker abilities allowed the Fusion to run a lot more team composition variations, which really showed in Game 3 on Lijiang Tower, where resident DPS Josue "Eqo" Corona popped off on Pharah. Not to be outdone, series MVP and Fusion DPS star Lee "Carpe" Jae-hyeok's Widowmaker put out highlight-reel plays, including a game-sealing clutch for Philadelphia after the Uprising seemingly won a fight to stay alive on the point.

Part of the credit also goes to Philadelphia main tank Kim "SADO" Su-min, who made his debut after a 30-game suspension for account boosting. SADO was a huge reason why Boston was so quiet throughout this series, as he went toe-to-toe with Uprising main tank Noh "Gamsu" Young-jin, one of the top tank players in the league. Shutting down Gamsu precipitated much of the success that the Fusion DPS players found during this series, and Philadelphia was also able to use SADO and fellow main tank Joona "Fragi" Laine interchangeably. The Fusion switched its tank lineup every other map to keep Boston guessing.

Next time out, Uprising will face the Houston Outlaws at 3 p.m. ET on Friday, while the Fusion square off against a slumping Florida Mayhem at 4 p.m. ET Saturday.

-- Tyson Tavolazzi

New York Excelsior 3 - Florida Mayhem 0

The New York Excelsior easily ran over the Florida Mayhem with a 3-0 victory on Thursday at Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California.

The Excelsior started off a little shaky and kept the games uncomfortably close before really opening up and letting loose in the second half. The thin margin of victory was likely due to the Excelsior working in some of its bench players, such as main tank Song "Janus" Joon-hwa and support player Jung "Anamo" Tae-sung, before clinching the series. New York also tested out some different lineups that included more familiar faces, running a DPS duo of Park "Saebyeolbe" Jung-ryeol and Kim "Pine" Do-hyeon on the final map, Watchpoint:Gibraltar. The high-profile DPS players tore through the Mayhem en route to victory to put away the series in style with the aggressive playmaking prowess from Pine's Widowmaker and Saebyeolbe's Tracer.

On the other side, Florida came out swinging by keeping King's Row close and falling just short of a map win with a tie on Hanamura. The team was carried by DPS player Andreas "Logix" Berghmans, who flexed onto Soldier:76 as well as his signature Tracer and Widowmaker. There were minimal signs of life from the rest of the Mayhem, though, save for main tank Kim "aWesomeGuy" Sung-hoon, who helped secure the overtime draw on Hanamura by flexing onto Doomfist to capture the first point.

The Mayhem's star DPS player, Ha "Sayaplayer" Jung-woo, was conspicuously absent from the lineup against New York, but no statement has been made by the team regarding his absence. While his inclusion could have helped the team make the series closer, the skill gap between Florida and New York is likely too big for one player to close.

The Florida Mayhem will take on the Philadelphia Fusion on Saturday at 4 p.m. ET and the New York Excelsior will face off with the London Spitfire later that same day at 6 p.m. ET.

-- Travis Elliott

Houston Outlaws 4 - London Spitfire 0

The Houston Outlaws breezed past the London Spitfire in a 4-0 sweep to close out Thursday's Overwatch League slate at Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California.

The regular season buff that Houston seems to get whenever it faces London continued Thursday as the Outlaws blew right through the Spitfire. While London managed to defeat Houston in the Stage 1 playoffs back in February, the Spitfire has looked lost and helpless in every regular season meeting between the teams, with Houston now owning a perfect 3-0 record.

From the very beginning of the series, it was clear that Houston was ready and able to tackle the new meta here in Stage 4. Both off-tank Alexandre "Spree" Vanhomwegen, who hadn't played since Stage 2, and main tank Austin "Muma" Wilmot each showed an impressive grasp on the fresh set of heroes that are now driving the meta.

Spree's Zarya was on-point with perfectly placed Graviton Surges, and Muma was solid on both Reinhardt and Brigitte while holding down the frontline during each and every teamfight. Speaking of teamfights, Houston DPS Jacob "JAKE" Lyon was a thorn in London's side all night long as he put on a stellar performance on Lijiang Tower as Pharah. With this team firing on all cylinders, it could be time for a Cinderella run to the season playoffs this summer.

London, conversely, seemed wholly unequipped to handle the meta changes of Stage 4. In just about every map, it would stick with old team compositions that were easily countered by the new-look compositions that Houston was running; then, the Spitfire would switch over to something more recently successful in final minute once it was too late. This left London without much traction in the entire series, which was made painfully evident by the final score of each map.

The team finally managed to put up a respectable fight on Watchpoint: Gibraltar, but it was unable to get ahead of Houston in the timebank stage, tragically abandoning the payload on what was looking like an unstoppable attacking round and gave up the series sweep.

Houston will look to start Stage 4 with a 2-0 week when it faces the Boston Uprising at 9 p.m. ET on Friday, while London will hope to bounce back against the New York Excelsior at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday.