New York Excelsior 4 - Philadelphia Fusion 0
The New York Excelsior defeated the Philadelphia Fusion in a clean 4-0 sweep to start Week 3 of Stage 4 in the Overwatch League on Wednesday at Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California.
The Fusion came into this series at a disadvantage, as DPS Josue "Eqo" Corona was subbed out due to a wrist injury, which clearly had an effect on Philly's performance throughout the series. Philadelphia was severely disorganized; it didn't adapt well to New York's flanking strategies across maps, and none of the Fusion's attacks or defenses were coordinated.
The Fusion didn't even put up a decent fight on Hanamura, a map that the team has been known for doing well on throughout the season. Until Eqo is healed up and returns to the roster, Philadelphia will have to just hope to hold on to its spot in the standings.
The Excelsior didn't need to pull out anything complicated to defeat Philadelphia in its current state and ran very simple team compositions. The Fusion couldn't withstand the brutal assault from New York DPS Kim "Pine" Do-hyeon and support Bang "JJoNak" Seong-hyun. Pine's Widowmaker felled almost anyone who had the misfortune to fall in his sights, while JJoNak's Zenyatta annihilated members of the Fusion while he kept his own teammates alive with clutch Transcendence ultimates.
Next up, the Fusion faces the Los Angeles Gladiators at 11 p.m. ET on Thursday. The Excelsior takes on the Los Angeles Valiant at 6 p.m. ET on Saturday.
-- Steven Nguyen
Seoul Dynasty 4 - Shanghai Dragons 0
The Seoul Dynasty took a clean 4-0 Overwatch League victory over the Shanghai Dragons on Wednesday at Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California.
While the Dynasty took the series rather one-sidedly against the Dragons, it wasn't without some surprises. Shanghai support Xu "Freefeel" Peiwan deployed Bastion on King's Row, while DPS Lu "Diya" Weida brought out Mei for a wonderful six-minute hold on the second point of Hanamura. These are the kinds of strategies that helped the Dragons make a statement on the first half of the series and showed that the winless team has fight left in it.
Neither strategy helped Shanghai secure a win, but it's definitely a step in the right direction to employ unorthodox strategies to force opponents to adapt.
The Dynasty looked better than it has in a while, but it's an easy task to fulfill when face-to-face with the bottom team of the Overwatch League. While all of Seoul flourished, DPS Kim "Fleta" Byung-sun had the biggest hand in defeating the Dragons.
Whether it was committing to daring flanks on Widowmaker on King's Row or Dorado, or just simply overpowering the Dragons with pure finesse and precision, Fleta showed just how lethal he can be if opponents let him roam. Seoul had no need to reveal any tricks or new strategies to come out with a win, which is a big potential first step for the Dynasty to stop its skid out of the playoffs.
The Dragons will face off against the Houston Outlaws at 7 p.m. ET on Friday. The Dynasty, on the other hand, takes on the Florida Mayhem at 9 p.m. ET later that day.
-- Steven Nguyen
Los Angeles Valiant 3 - Los Angeles Gladiators 0
The Los Angeles Valiant took down the Los Angeles Gladiators 3-0 in the fourth installment of the Battle for LA to close out Wednesday's Overwatch League slate.
With the first season of the Overwatch League winding down, seeding for the playoffs is at the forefront of every match, and teams are bringing their best a nightly basis. This iteration of the Battle for LA was no different, as the Valiant held a scant two-game lead over the Gladiators coming into the night.
A win for the Gladiators would have kept its hope alive for stealing away the Pacific division title. Unfortunately for the Gladiators, the Valiant showed no signs of letting its lead dwindle.
All throughout this series, the Valiant consistently threw off the Gladiators' rhythm and prevented it from showing off its trademark adaptability. Instead, the Valiant pulled out all the stops to try and gain an advantage over its opposition.
While the normal suspects of Valiant DPS players Terence "SoOn" Tarlier and Brady "Agilities" Girardi certainly put in work, it was the flexibility of support Park "KariV" Young-seo that ended up being the ultimately X-factor for the Valiant. On Horizon Lunar Colony, he switched over to Widowmaker on a few occasions and completely ran through the Gladiators.
Once it was time to bring the series home on Oasis, Agilities and SoOn did their thing and got their team the win.
The Gladiators certainly didn't let the Valiant get away with things very easily, however.
After earning a draw on Blizzard World, every map ended up being decided by just one point as both teams were evenly matched all throughout. What ended up being the difference, though, was the uncharacteristic mistakes from the Gladiators at key moments. Whether it was supports being picked off at the start of many late-game teamfights or simple poor positioning that led to silly deaths, the Valiant made the Gladiators pay each time and walked away with the win.
The Valiant will look to stay undefeated in Stage 4 when it faces the New York Excelsior at 6 p.m. ET on Saturday, while the Gladiators will try and bounce back against the Houston Outlaws at 7 p.m. ET on Friday.
-- Wyatt Donigan