Thursday and Friday saw some excellent Overwatch being played. In fact, it seemed there was a theme for the two nights. The first game of each went to a Map 5. The London Spitfire defended against a much improved San Francisco Shock on Thursday. Then Friday saw a rematch between the LA Valiant and struggling Boston Uprising. However, each subsequent game was a total blowout, ending in 4-0 victories for the LA Gladiators, Philadelphia Fusion, NYXL, and San Francisco Shock (this time taking on the Houston Outlaws). All eyes were on the Boston Uprising, looking to get themselves out of their slump and put out more performances like they had in the previous stage. Especially against their biggest rivals of Stage 3. Unfortunately, Boston fans are still looking for that W. Because the game against the LA Valiant brought their losing streak up to 4, in an extremely tight 5-map series.
It’s no secret that the Uprising are uncomfortable in this new meta. They’ve yet to properly adapt to Brigitte. And while they certainly show signs of improvement, this team is looking much more like its Stage 1 iteration. It’s something of a pattern with them, however. Whenever a meta swaps, they seem to possess some serious difficulty adapting to it. And while they’re a very disciplined team with good coaching, they’re very exploitable because of their overspecialization. This proved to be the case in many of their previous matchups. It was even noted by the Dallas Fuel after the once-struggling team pulled off an upset victory in the match.
Both of the first two maps went squarely in the favor of the LA Valiant. They completed King’s Row, while only yielding the first point on their own Defense. Then they full held on Hanamura, despite the map’s infamous nickname of “Draw-namura.” But Boston isn’t a team to immediately count out. Looking for the rare chance at a reverse sweep, Boston struck back on Oasis. In an incredibly close game, the two teams played all three objectives. It was Boston who took it away in the end. And the followed up by holding the Valiant on Point C of Dorado, completing the full map in less than the time provided to the Valiant.
With two maps secured for both teams, it came down to a tiebreaker. On paper, one might assume that another control map spelled good news for Boston. They won the prior one, of course. But no such miracle occurred. The Valiant shut Boston out completely, locking up both points on their own and keeping their rivals from the elusive reverse-sweep. As a result, Boston continues its losing strike, despite looking like a top contender in the previous stage.
Saturday also had some very interesting Overwatch League matchups. The Seoul Dynasty took the London Spitfire to Map , but were once again unable to secure the W. Surprising absolutely no one, the NYXL 4-0’d the Shanghai Dragons, bringing their losing streak up to an almost impressive 0-34. Then the Dallas Fuel pulled out another major surprise with an upset victory over the Philadelphia Fusion. This was especially perplexing because the Fusion already proved capable of shutting Brigitte comps down. They brought in Shadowburn for Lijiang and dominated that map. However, they kept him in on Gibraltar, which isn’t traditionally a Pharah map. And without anyone to pressure Taimou or Mickie, the Fuel walked away with a 3-1 win. This is especially concerning for the Fusion because the next several games on their list are up against much more dangerous Overwatch League teams. So time will tell if they really are up to the task.