London Spitfire 4 - Seoul Dynasty 0
The London Spitfire easily handled Seoul Dynasty in a lightning-fast 4-0 sweep on Saturday in the Overwatch League at the Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California.
London Spitfire came into this series practiced and prepared to tear apart a disorganized Seoul Dynasty, and the stars of victory were DPS Park "Profit" Joon-yeong and support Choi "BDosin" Seung-tae. Profit was able to consistently take down Seoul Dynasty's lynchpin player, support Ryu "ryujehong" Je-hong, thanks to a litany of flanks.
Without the healing capabilities of ryujehong, London was able to swiftly bat aside the Dynasty in prolonged skirmishes. With Profit maneuvering around the backside, BDosin would pull off a bit of brilliant maneuvering of his own, playing away from his teammates in order to bait Seoul's Winston and D.Va players into their deaths. Repeatedly BDosin would skitter around the corner, leading the enemy DPS players into an eager assault from the rest of the London offense.
Seoul Dynasty's inability to adapt to London's sneaky plays due to an inattentive frontline was its undoing. The South Korean team rarely broke from its standard composition of comfort picks, except on King's Row.
Not surprisingly, Seoul found the most success on that map by playing a triple-tank formation. This allowed Seoul to play defensively and slowly wear down London's offense. But even then, Profit was able to get behind its frontline and whittle away at the ryujehong, leaving its offense toothless and forced into uneven teamfights.
The loss pushed Seoul Dynasty below Los Angeles Gladiators in the playoff standings and makes some dominant successes in Week 5 all the more vital. Right now, Seoul trails the Gladiators by three maps; it will have to make up that difference next week and hope for some map losses, or an outright series loss, by Los Angeles.
Seoul Dynasty will attempt to rebound from a devastating loss at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday against the Houston Outlaws, while London Spitfire will challenge the Shanghai Dragons at 11 p.m. ET on Friday.
-- Christiaan Kutlik
San Francisco Shock 3 - Houston Outlaws 1
The San Francisco Shock held off a late resurgence Saturday from the Houston Outlaws to pick up a 3-1 in the Overwatch League at the Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California.
Houston has a problem, and his name is Jake "JAKE" Lyon, the DPS player for the Outlaws. JAKE's small hero pool was brushed aside during Stage 1 despite many analysts pointing to his flexing onto Genji as evidence of his ability to adapt.
With the meta change at the end of Stage 1, Jake's main heroes have fallen out of favor, and Houston is feeling the pains of not having a true Tracer player. The lack of a dedicated Tracer player forced JAKE's fellow DPS Jiri "LiNkzr" Masalin to play the hero, which lacks synergy with JAKE's primary hero, Junkrat, in addition to limiting the offensive potency of the team.
When things became dire against the Shock, LiNkzr switched away from Tracer and onto big damage-dealing heroes like Widowmaker and Genji in an attempt to carry the team by himself. With no clear way to cut through enemy tanks or dive enemy supports, Houston continued to find itself unraveling.
The San Francisco Shock, meanwhile, have an excellent Tracer player in DPS player Dante "Danteh" Cruz, and this advantage helped deliver his team the series against Houston despite the Outlaws having arguably more skilled players at each individual position. Danteh's presence in the back lines of the Outlaws ensured the focus was mostly on him rather than Andrej "Babybay" Francisty, who had the freedom that LiNkzr didn't to flex to other heroes based on the needs of his team.
Both teams will have a few days of rest before the final week of Stage 2. The Shock will square off with the Florida Mayhem on Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET, and the Outlaws will seek to avoid being the Shanghai Dragons' first win of the season on Wednesday at 11 p.m. ET.
-- Travis Elliott
San Francisco Shock 4 - Dallas Fuel 0
The Philadelphia Fusion brought the broom Saturday at the Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California, with a 4-0 clean sweep of the Dallas Fuel to keep itself in the Stage 2 playoff picture and close out Week 4 of the Overwatch League.
The Fusion is a team that has gone from chaotic to surgical. Swapping out the starting DPS duo of Lee "Carpe" Jay-hyeok and Georgii "ShaDowBurn" Gushcha in favor of Simon "snillo" Ekstrom and Josue "Eqo" Corona, the Fusion looked clean and precise compared to the Fuel.
Philadelphia was highly coordinated when swapping heroes and opted for entirely new lineups and strategies rather than just tweaking one hero at a time. Eqo in particular showed the flexibility of this new-look Fusion by swapping onto off-tanks like Roadhog and D.Va along with DPS staples like Genji. Even when staggered, Philadelphia's players were always on the same page.
On the flip side, the Dallas Fuel was an unorganized mess. Dallas' hero swaps seemed to have no rhyme or reason and came sporadically as the team tried to break defensive chokeholds from the Fusion. The team's tank duo, Pongphop "Mickie" Rattanasangchod and Timo "Taimou" Kettunen, seemed to be playing separate from the rest of team more often than not. If one tank was pressuring, the other was often found focusing the wrong target or hanging out in the back lines. The synergy was no better with the support players. A glimpse into the Dallas team communication during halftime revealed it seems to lack a true leader, as multiple players tried to call out targets in the thick of battle, resulting in chaos and, eventually, yet another loss.
Tthe Fusion will try to stay in the playoff hunt with a crucial showdown with the Los Angeles Gladiators ahead at 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the Dallas Fuel is incapable of playing anything but spoiler for the top teams and will try to complicate the playoff picture for the New York Excelsior at 9 p.m. ET on Thursday.
-- Travis Elliott