This was a week of great matches, a couple of surprises and some history being made. It could not have started any better with another Battle for Los Angeles that did not disappoint. There was a big upset between San Francisco and Philadelphia that I don’t think many people saw coming. Lastly, Boston shot up the standings and became the only team to beat the three all-Korean teams (New York, London and Seoul) in one stage as well as becoming the second team (besides the NY Excelsior) to beat every team in the league. Let’s get into the matches.
MOTD: DAY ONE
While there are definitely rivalries in the Overwatch League (Houston and London, New York and London, Dallas and itself) the battle for Los Angeles always feels like a summer blockbuster. Maybe it’s because it is finally warm here in Boston, but what a fun match this was to watch. Since the addition of Fissure, these teams are so evenly matched that it came down to the final capture point on Oasis where the Valiant pulled off the victory. But leading up to that moment included some insane play including one of the most exciting back and forth team fights I’ve seen to close out Numbani which involved the Valiant pushing meters away from finishing the map only to have Surefour EMP four people and his team clean it up (all of this is in overtime). But somehow, the Valiant stalled long enough and got enough picks to finish the job.
I feel fairly comfortable saying that these two are end of season playoff-caliber teams, (not sure the Gladiators will make it due to their poor start) and they played like it. For the Gladiators, Surefour is showing to be a top Widowmaker in the league, something which I did not expect. For the Valiant, Agilities stepped up in a big way (with the exception of Ilios). His Genji on Numbani was top tier and his Pharah helped pave the way for the victory on Oasis.
MOTD: DAY TWO
After giving the New York Excelsior their third loss of the season last week, Boston’s schedule did not get any easier taking on both London and Seoul in week three. After getting off to a surprising start with the Spitfire handing the Uprising their first loss on Temple of Anubis and edging out a victory on Numbani, Boston went into the half down 0-2. They went on to complete the reverse sweep in dramatic fashion winning Ilios 2-0, Junkertown 1-0 and Oasis 2-1. But what doesn’t show up in that 2-1 score on the final map is the fact that London was at 99% with the overtime bar ticking down after killing multiple members of the Uprising. Both Mistakes on the Sombra and Striker on the Tracer kept the point alive long enough for reinforcements to arrive and finished it off with a massive EMP to seal the victory.
While Boston ended up with getting the win, London looked like the stage one champions again instead of the inconsistent mess they have been thus far in stage three. They still made a fair amount of substitutions, but they seemed to be successful instead of providing a level of inconsistency to the play on stage. But for the MVP of this match, I have to give it to Striker. He had another phenomenal day on Tracer ending with 50 final blows, 18 deaths and is a major part of why Boston won this match. Once Oasis had ended, the team jumped up out of their chairs and hugged each other with Striker shedding some tears overwhelmed and excited at what had just happened. That passion is admirable.
MOTD: DAY 3
Look, I didn’t plan this okay? Yes, this is another Boston match, but let’s take a look as to why this match was so important. For one, this is the first time that any team has beaten the three all-Korean teams in one stage (New York, London, Seoul). It was also the Uprising’s 10th win in a row, longest in the history of the league. Lastly, not only did it put them into first place in stage three but also bumped them into second place in the overall standings. But how did they do it?
Well it’s a boring answer at this point, but Striker has truly stepped up after the lineup change last week. He had always been one of the key bright spots for the team previously, but he is on another level with his Tracer play. While some Tracer players focus on one thing, (dueling, supports, farming ult charge on tanks) he does all of them at a very high level to the point where some are starting to put him above Saebyeolbe as the best Tracer in the league. Time will tell.
MOTD: DAY FOUR
Talk about an embarrassment of riches on the final day this week. Both London and New York won five map matches, but I’m going to go with the Excelsior’s second reverse sweep in week three versus the Gladiators. Whether New York is simply coasting with their enormous map differential, trying new strategies or is starting to be figured out, they’re still pulling out the wins but struggling to do so.The turning point for the match was Pine on Ilios. The first point was Ruins and after a back and forth point, his Widowmaker took three shots and secured three kills on the Gladiators resulting in winning the point. From there on out, it seemed to snowball.
However, the reason I mentioned trying new strategies is the addition of Janus to the starting lineup over Mano. In both of their matches this week, the Excelsior started Janus for the first two maps and lost all four. Then Mano came in and things began to improve. Janus’ playstyle as Winston is much more aggressive while Mano peels for his supports more and had an awesome primal rage play on the Lighthouse point of Ilios. Jjonak was in a window laying down fire on the point when Hydration used Genji’s Dragonblade. He got one slash in before Mano popped up out of nowhere and knocked him away before he could finish off the Zenyatta. It was a small moment, but a beautiful one. Mano gets my MVP as the difference maker.
What a crazy week, huh? New York mortal? Boston being first place in stage standings and second in overall standings? Dallas not winning a map across both matches? Well, that last one is normal, but let’s get to the predictions!
- Day 1: Boston over Shanghai, Valiant over Houston, Dallas over Florida
- Day 2: London over Gladiators, New York over San Francisco, Philadelphia over Seoul
- Day 3: Boston over Dallas, Gladiators over Houston, Valiant over Florida
- Day 4: London over San Francisco, New York over Seoul, Philadelphia over Shanghai