Los Angeles Gladiators 4 - Shanghai Dragons 0
The Los Angeles Gladiators took care of business on Wednesday with a 4-0 sweep against the Shanghai Dragons at the Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California.
The new Dragons roster still has major problems. While off-tank Kim "Geguri" Se-yeon and DPS Chon "Ado" Gi-hyeon each had standout moments, with pivotal D.Va Self Destruct ultimates Genji Dragonblades, respectively, the team continued to struggle as a whole. Shanghai lacked clear focus on specific targets, with scattered members acting independently of each other on different sides of an objective.
Another crucial weak point for the Dragons was its support players, Zhaoyu "Fiveking" Chen and Peixuan "Freefeel" Xu. Too many times they overlapped their support ultimates, which routinely put the Dragons at a disadvantage in crucial fights.
While it wasn't the easiest match for the Gladiators, there was a clear difference in the ability between the two teams.
Los Angeles' target prioritization was much better, with main tank Luis "iRemiix" Galarza and off-tank Kim "Bischu" Hyung-seok working closely with the rotating DPS trio of Lane "Surefour" Roberts, João Pedro "Hydration" Goes Telles, and Ted "silkthread" Wang. Surefour especially had a standout performance on Widowmaker and Tracer and showed off his hitscan flexibility. Meanwhile, support players Benjamin "BigGoose" Isohanni and Jonas "Shaz" Suovaara had excellent patience with their ultimates, which allowed the Gladiators to easily outlast the Dragons in teamfights.
While this series didn't show what the Gladiators are fully capable of, it proved that Los Angeles can still dismantle bottom-of-the-table opponents that lack good coordination.
Shanghai Dragons next battles the San Francisco Shock at 9 p.m. ET on Friday, while Los Angeles Gladiators faces off against the Seoul Dynasty at 11 p.m. ET later that evening.
-- Liam Craffey
Los Angeles Valiant 4 - San Francisco Shock 0
The Los Angeles Valiant took down the San Francisco Shock in a 4-0 sweep Wednesday to continue its dominant Stage 3 map streak.
The Valiant has won 12 consecutive maps through its first three games of Stage 3, largely due to new additions acquired in the offseason. In this series, LA made the most of its Stage 3 acquisition from the Seoul Dynasty, DPS and Tracer specialist Chae "Bunny" Joon-hyuk, who ripped holes in the Shock's backline. In addition to having great synergy with main tank Koo "Fate" Pan-seung, Bunny's addition to the lineup brought out the best of fellow DPS Terence "SoOn" Tarlier, who was free to play hitscan heroes like Widowmaker and Reaper. Although the Shock looked out of form for this series, the Valiant is clearly on the rise after its Stage 2 struggles and picking up momentum as it approaches tougher matchups later in the stage.
The Shock has made great strides from its humble beginnings, and it's bested teams like the Los Angeles Gladiators this stage when the team's previous wins have been against the bottom three teams in the league standings. This surge, like the Valiant's, is largely due to new additions.
But San Francisco's fresh roster couldn't keep the Shock from being run over by the Valiant on Wednesday.
DPS player Park "Architect" Min-ho, who San Francisco picked up during the Stage 2 transfer window, made his debut for the team, but not on his signature Genji. Instead of putting Architect on the heroes he's known for, the team pushed him onto Sombra, and Architect failed to make an impact. The Shock looked disjointed, often wasting opportunities due to individual over-aggression causing unnecessary deaths and stymieing any momentum the team managed to gain.
The Valiant will square off against the Dallas Fuel at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, while the Shock will take on the Shanghai Dragons at 9 p.m. ET later that same day.
-- Travis Elliott
Seoul Dynasty 3 - Dallas Fuel 2
The Seoul Dynasty closed out Wednesday's action in the Overwatch League in a close 3-2 win against the Dallas Fuel at the Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California.
Seoul and Dallas have a very strange relationship in the Overwatch League. While these two teams should've had one of the more storied rivalries in the league, the Fuel has been floundering at the bottom of the standings from the start, while the Dynasty continue to fall just short of the stage playoffs but remain among the best in the season standings.
Regardless of their records, both teams somehow bring out the best in each other when they square off, and this series was no exception.
The Fuel has been running different combinations of players lately to try and figure out what works best. For this series, the Fuel ran with the DPS duo of Kim "Rascal" Dong-jun and Hyeon "EFFECT" Hwang, who complemented each other well with their flexible hero pools. EFFECT, in particular, looked solid on a variety of hitscan heroes in addition to his signature Tracer as well as a surprise Mei on Nepal Village in Game 3.
On top of that, the Fuel finally sent in main tank Son "OGE" Min-seok, a recent pickup making his OWL debut. OGE's tank play was a little inconsistent as Winston, but he looked good when the team strategy revolved around his Reinhardt play, which helped the Fuel take the series to a Game 5 after a crushing victory on Route 66.
In its past few games, Seoul has looked shaky because of multiple lineup changes and in-game roster shakeups. This time, however, even its most veteran players looked lost, especially main tank Gong "Miro" Jin-hyuk, who did not play well for a decent chunk of the series. Fortunately, the Dynasty finally looked like its old self near the end, especially when support and captain Ryu "ryujehong" Je-hong had room to operate on a wide variety of hero picks from Zenyatta to his classic Ana, and Seoul decisively closed out the tiebreaker Oasis game for the series victory.
The Fuel will attempt to pick up a win this week as it takes on the Los Angeles Valiant at 7 p.m. ET on Friday. Meanwhile, Seoul faces off against the Los Angeles Gladiators at 11 p.m. ET later that day.
-- Steven Nguyen