Boston Uprising 3 - Seoul Dynasty 1
The Boston Uprising took a 3-1 victory over the Seoul Dynasty on Wednesday at the Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California, for Boston's first win of the stage.
Having lost all six games against the Dynasty prior to Wednesday night's contest, the Uprising came in looking to exercise some demons. Meanwhile, Seoul was trying to prove that it can sustain some momentum after breaking its own losing streak last week. In the end, Boston was the team that looked better prepared for the task and came out with the win.
As the series opened, Seoul gained a strong initial lead on both Blizzard World and Horizon Lunar Colony, looking like it would continue its winning ways -- before everything came crashing down. Whether it was poorly managing ultimate economy, choosing the wrong heroes to play against Boston's team composition or getting picked off by Uprising DPS Kwon "Striker" Nam-joo on Widowmaker, Seoul seemed almost destined to lose.
Conventional wisdom would dictate that Seoul would know that playing Genji and Tracer into Brigitte wouldn't yield positive results, but that seemed lost on the Dynasty throughout this series. Rather than adapt to the hand Boston was showing, Seoul tried to make it work in spite of the odds -- and the results were about what you'd expect. While the Dynasty did manage to win Lijiang Tower, Boston continued to exploit the same mistakes on the rest of the maps to come away with the win.
During Boston's recent losing streak, its problems were similar to the Dynasty, with its players often underperforming individually and disrupting the team synergy. Fortunately, this series showed that Striker and the rest the Uprising could step up and capitalize on the Dynasty's mistakes. Whether or not Boston can continue to mend its own weaknesses against other teams remains to be seen, but this win should bolster the team's morale moving forward.
The Uprising will face off with the Shanghai Dragons at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, while the Dynasty will take on the Philadelphia Fusion at 11 p.m. ET later that night.
-- Steven Nguyen
Florida Mayhem 3 - Shanghai Dragons 2
The Shanghai Dragons nearly got its first win of the inaugural Overwatch League season, taking the Florida Mayhem to a fifth tiebreaker set, but in the end Shanghai could not withstand a late Mayhem onslaught and dropped to 0-37.
The Dragons may have played its best series of the season, although it was not enough. While many might claim that the Mayhem made a lot of mistakes, the Dragons would never have been able to capitalize on any of them with the level of play it had put forth prior to this series. Off-tank Kim "Geguri" Se-yeon and DPS Chon "Ado" Gi-hyeon played at a higher level this match, which was nearly the difference for the Dragons.
Ado's Genji play was clutch and his Dragonblades earned the victories on Horizon Lunar Colony and Lijiang Tower. Meanwhile, Geguri's addition of Brigitte to her hero pool was monumental as her heals kept her teammates alive at the last second, while providing adequate protection with her shields. Together, these two brought Shanghai to a 2-1 lead and was poised to take the fourth map, Watchpoint: Gibraltar for its first series victory of the season.
That is, until Mayhem DPS Ha "Sayaplayer" Jeong-woo stood in the way. His Widowmaker play on Watchpoint brought the Dragons to its knees and destroyed all of its momentum in the blink of an eye. Where his team failed to shut down the Dragons' offense before he was subbed in, Sayaplayer left nothing behind but scorched earth once he stepped onto the stage. After bringing the series to a decisive fifth map and leaving Shanghai's momentum in tatters, it was no surprise that Florida closed out Nepal and kept the Dragons winless.
The Dragons will have the Uprising as its next opponent at 7 p.m. ET on Friday. The Mayhem, on the other hand, will face off against the Dallas Fuel at 9 p.m ET later that night.
-- Steven Nguyen
Houston Outlaws 3 - Dallas Fuel 1
The Houston Outlaws beat the Dallas Fuel 3-1 Wednesday night to secure sole possession of fourth place in Stage 4 of the Overwatch League, extending Houston's hopes of making the four-team stage playoffs. Houston sits one game ahead of the San Francisco Shock with four matches to go in the season.
The Outlaws boast four straight wins in the inter-state rivalry with Dallas, having beaten the Fuel in every match this season and preseason. The Outlaws' victory is largely due to DPS star Jiri "LiNkzr" Masalin's sniper Widowmaker, earning a five-kill streak on the final point of Hanamura. With LiNkzr keeping Dallas down a man or forcing a Mercy resurrection, the rest of the Fuel collapsed and the Outlaws could finish off the fight. LiNkzr's dominance would not have been possible were it not for DPS Jeon "ArHaN" Won-hyeop stepping into the lineup. ArHaN flexed onto several heroes and gave LiNkzr the space he needed to be himself.
Dallas looked like a new team in recent weeks, but regressed against Houston. Dallas came out swinging for the fences in the first half of the series, making both King's Row and Hanamura a game of inches. DPS Timo "Taimou" Kettunen looked like his old self, outpacing LiNkzr as Widowmaker and giving his team some breathing room on both offense and defense. After the half, Dallas subbed Taimou out in favor of Dylan "aKm" Bignet, and that's when things started to go downhill. AKm was not prepared for a Widowmaker duel against LiNkzr, who was clearly on a hot streak, and as a result, he lost nearly every encounter with Houston's sharpshooter.
Despite the loss, Dallas can still make the stage playoffs. The Fuel is a game out of the four-team cutoff with four matches left.
Houston will look to upset another top-ranked opponent when it takes on the Los Angeles Valiant at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday. Meanwhile, Dallas will look to rebound against the Florida Mayhem at 9 p.m. ET on Friday.
-- Travis Elliott