Philadelphia Fusion 3 - Seoul Dynasty 2
The Philadelphia Fusion clutched a reverse-sweep against the Seoul Dynasty to take a 3-2 series on Friday in Burbank, California, in a match that had major playoff implications.
Philadelphia is now one massive step closer to securing its spot for the season playoffs, knocking the Dynasty out from entering the Stage 4 playoffs and likely ruining Seoul's chances of entering the season playoffs. Early on, though, things looked great for Seoul, taking advantage of Philadelphia in the first half by running a fast triple-tank, triple-support composition, made possible by supports Heo "Gambler" Jin-woo and Yang "Tobi" Jin-mo's Lucios speed-boosting the team across the map.
In the second half, though, Games 3 and 5 on Oasis and Nepal were, respectively, firmly in the Fusion's hands. The tremendous task of reverse sweeping after a lackluster first half was largely accomplished thanks to DPS Joshua "Eqo" Corona, who used Junkrat and Pharah to repel a stumbling Dynasty roster. The Fusion's main strategy boiled down to Eqo's Pharah using Rocket Barrage with a Zarya's Graviton Surge, played alternatively by DPS Lee "Carpe" Jae-hyeok and Tank Choi "HOTBA" Hong-joo. In addition, Carpe reminded the world why he deserves to be in the MVP conversation as his Widowmaker carved through the Dynasty throughout the series. The Fusion is far from perfect, relying heavily on farming up ultimates to win teamfights and sometimes showing poor coordination, but it pulled together to get the job done.
The Dynasty took advantage of the Fusion's slower tempo on King's Row and Hanamura, barreling through the Fusion to quickly take control over objectives. As both Eqo and Carpe heated up in the second half, though, Seoul simply couldn't find the necessary firepower needed to secure the series. Even players like support Ryu "ryujehong" je-hong and DPS Kim "Fleta" Byung-sun, who started the season as superstars, couldn't clutch key kills for Seoul, while the rest of the team fell apart as time went on. By the end of Game 5 on Nepal, the Dynasty, a team once considered a shoe-in for the season playoffs, now look extraordinarily unlikely to even make it to the postseason, leaving fans and analysts alike to wonder just what went wrong.
Philadelphia has a crucial match with playoff implications against the Houston Outlaws at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, while Seoul will need to regroup against a rising Dallas Fuel at 11 p.m. ET on Wednesday.
Dallas Fuel 4 - Florida Mayhem 0
The Dallas Fuel took a commanding 4-0 win over the Florida Mayhem and moves into good position to steal a spot in the Stage 4 playoffs, sitting one game behind the Houston Outlaws with a solid map score to boot.
Coming into this series, the Fuel's season playoff hopes were dead, but a shot at the Stage 4 playoffs was still on the line. Dallas played with confidence, led by main tank Son "OGE" Min-seok, who held down the frontline as Reinhardt and Winston. Granted, that's not too hard to do against Mayhem main tank Kim "aWesomeGuy" Sung-hoon, who was out of synch with his struggling support duo all night long. What's more, dominant performances from Timo "Taimou" Kettunen's Widowmaker in Games 1 and 2 and flex support Benjamin "uNKOE" Chevasson's Zenyatta throughout the series gave the Fuel a lethal edge, crushing Florida's DPS regardless of who was in. Not only was the Fuel physically superior, but it also displayed great discipline and mental acumen, swapping compositions on the fly and displaying great fundamentals. Dallas might need some help from other teams to get into the Stage 4 playoffs, but other teams should fear sleeping on the Fuel.
On the other side was the hapless Mayhem, who again struggled in teamfights. AWesomeGuy abandoning his team as Winston to dive on Taimou's Widowmaker and allowing OGE's Reinhardt to hit massive Earthshatters was a consistent theme of the night, though it wasn't the only thing wrong with Florida. It's tough to judge aWesomeGuy's performance given that his supports were frequently dead, particularly main healer Sebastian "Zebbosai" Olsson. With nothing to play for other than pride coming into the final week of competition in Stage 4, the Mayhem will hope to have a better outing while looking towards the future of this team.
The Fuel looks to continue its climb up the standings against the Seoul Dynasty at 11 p.m. ET on Wednesday, while the Mayhem take on the London Spitfire at 9 p.m. ET on Thursday.
Boston Uprising 4 - Shanghai Dragons 0
The Boston Uprising cruised to a 4-0 win over the still-winless Shanghai Dragons on Friday in the Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California.
While the Uprising hasn't looked nearly as good as it did in Stage 3, posting a perfect 10-0 record before finishing second overall behind the New York Excelsior in the stage finals, it recaptured some of that dominance in this series. Main tank Noh "Gamsu" Young-jin looked comfortable dominating the frontline battle with ease, while support Kwon "AimGod" Min-seok impressed as Zenyatta, picking up several kills while basically roaming uncontested. Of course, this is easy to do when your opponent is the floundering Dragons, not to mention the fact that Uprising DPS Kwon "Striker" Nam-joo decimated the Dragons to open things up for his teammates. From his Zarya play in the increasingly popular triple-tank plus triple-support composition, Striker did a majority of the heavy lifting for Boston. Having been eliminated from the Stage 4 playoffs, but still in contention for the end-of-season playoffs, the Uprising simply took care of business as it continues to prepare for the postseason.
Shanghai nearly won its first series of the inaugural season of the Overwatch League Wednesday against the Florida Mayhem, but this series was never in the Dragons' reach. Playing opposite of Gamsu, main tank Lee "Fearless" Eui-Seok struggled as he was never on the same page as his healers, constantly going forward without his healers only to die. The Dragons struggled at basically everything: team composition matchups, poor decision making and ultimate usage, even DPS star Weida "Diya" Lu was completely quiet today, showing his mercurial nature. With only the Los Angeles Gladiators and the San Francisco Shock left on the schedule, the Dragons might just need a miracle to avoid going 0-40 and ending its first season in infamy.
Shanghai takes on the Los Angeles Gladiators on Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET, while the Uprising prepares for a clash against a recently-struggling New York Excelsior on Thursday at 11 p.m. ET.