San Francisco Shock 4 - Florida Mayhem 0
The Philadelphia Fusion flattened the Florida Mayhem in a dominant 4-0 sweep on Saturday during Week 1 in Stage 4 of the Overwatch League at Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California.
The power imbalance between the two teams was obvious as the Philadelphia Fusion easily handled the Florida Mayhem on nearly every map. Florida had only one way to match its opponent's aggression, and that was for DPS Ha "Sayaplayer" Jung-woo to heat up. Sayaplayer was able to pull this off on Horizon Lunar Colony during Florida's defense of Point B. He utterly devastated the Fusion with his signature Widowmaker, chaining double and triple kills together with ease. His biggest moment came when he was able to score a quadruple kill by pushing out into the open to chase his opponents down.
But without Sayaplayer, the Mayhem were easily railroaded by the Fusion.
The most devastating map win came on Oasis as the Fusion chained ultimates together and withstood meek offensive assaults to walk away from the entire map without suffering a single death. Then on Oasis: University, Philadelphia tore apart Florida with four straight team kills. It started this domination by having tank Kim "SADO" Su-min spawn camp Florida with a flanking Earthshatter ultimate to catch nearly the entire team off-guard before chaining a Dead Eye from its McCree. On Dorado, Philadelphia's bold aggression even allowed support Alberto "neptuNo" González to score several kills as a Mercy on Sayaplayer's Widowmaker, a key kill that left the Mayhem crippled.
The Florida Mayhem will hope to stabilize against the Los Angeles Valiant at 9 p.m. ET on Wednesday, and the Philadelphia Fusion will go up against the Shanghai Dragons at 11 p.m. ET on Thursday.
-- Christiaan Kutlik
Los Angeles Valiant 3 - Shanghai Dragons 1
The Los Angeles Valiant took home a 3-1 win over the Shanghai Dragons on Saturday at Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California.
The Dragons made things interesting in Game 1 on King's Row but otherwise didn't have much to show in this series. DPS Weida "Diya" Lu carried Shanghai and looked good on several heroes including Hanzo and Widowmaker, and the front line duo of off-tank Kim "Geguri" Se-yeon and main tank Lee "Fearless" Eui-seok applied decent pressure and bought space for Diya like a frontline should.
The bright spots for the Dragons were few and far between, though, as the team struggled in a litany of other areas. Poor performances from the supports and DPS Kim "Daemin" Dae-min, the team's inability to manage its ultimate economy and just general sloppy play plagued the Dragons, showing that while this team is better than the Shanghai that began Season 1, it is still very much a bottom-of-the-barrel roster.
On the other hand, the Valiant soared to an easy 3-1 win. Los Angeles gave Game 4 on Watchpoint: Gibraltar to its B-team so it could gain some on-stage experience, which resulted in losing the map well after the series was decided. Everyone on Los Angeles contributed to the series win, with the DPS duo of Brady "Agilities" Girardi and Terence "SoOn" Tarlier doing a lion's share of the work.
Between Agilities' Hanzo and Junkrat and SoOn's Tracer and Widowmaker, the two linked up to overwhelm Diya time and time again and shut down the Dragon's main win condition with ease. A series against the Dragons doesn't prove much, but a Valiant team with the postseason in its sights can take comfort in knowing it can care of business without breaking much of a sweat.
The Valiant next faces the Florida Mayhem at 9 p.m. ET on Wednesday, while the Dragons takes on the Philadelphia Fusion at 11 p.m. ET on Thursday.
-- Noah Waltzer
New York Excelsior 3 - London Spitfire 1
The New York Excelsior closed out Saturday's slate with a 3-1 win over the rival London Spitfire in Burbank, California.
While it's been a while since London and New York battled each other for the Stage 1 title, it's undeniable that whenever these two powerhouses meet, there's a big match feel in the air. Unfortunately, this time around, the Spitfire just didn't seem ready to handle the Excelsior.
With regular off-tank Kim "Fury" Jun-ho out for Saturday's match, the Spitfire instead fielded D.Va specialist Sung "WooHyaL" Seung-hyun, which hamstrung the team in the variety of compositions it could run. Blaming this loss on WooHyaL is unfair, though, as the rest of London also failed to deliver.
London tried out some uncommon compositions, including some classic OGN Overwatch APEX-style dive with Lucio and Mercy as the supports, but the Spitfire failed to execute time and time again. The only map that the Spitfire seemed alive on, Lijiang Tower, happened to be its only win of the series, but London immediately returned to its uninspired play on Dorado in Game 4.
London may have a spot in the postseason for now, but it'll need to dig in deep to find wins, especially with other teams rapidly climbing the ranks.
On the other end of things, the NYXL did what it does best: win and look good doing so. Support and MVP contender Bang "JJoNak" Sung-hyeon is already deadly enough as Zenyatta, so New York decided to give him yet another weapon by running Brigitte, which boosted JJoNak to 350 health in armor and rechargeable shields.
JJoNak with the standard 200 health is scary enough, but this monster was downright ridiculous. The rest of New York certainly helped JJoNak out by keeping him safe in the face of London's dive and picking up kills of its own, but this match showed just how far above the rest of the field JJoNak is. If anything, this series proved what many already know: The Excelsior is the best team in the OWL, and it will take a serious upset to knock the king off its throne.
London looks to bounce back when it takes on the San Francisco Shock at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, while the Excelsior faces the Seoul Dynasty at 9 p.m. ET on Friday.
-- Noah Waltzer