The Overwatch League is back in full swing for Stage 4. This Stage brings, with it, a few incredibly significant changes for the Pros to play around with. The most drastic, however, is the addition of Brigitte. A fairly divisive character to the community, itself, Brigitte has done exactly as was promised. She changed the Meta in a big way. Yesterday’s games were the first in the season to feature her, and the difference was extremely pronounced. While the first two matches of the night ran her sparingly, it was the last match where fans got to see a taste of her power in the hands of the pros. The Dallas Fuel and Shanghai Dragons may both in the lower echelon of teams in the Overwatch League Standings, but their game was fairly intense.
The Dragons looked incredibly good on King’s Row, a map that they also managed to pull off an impressive win against the Seoul Dynasty a while back. The Dallas Fuel made some very suspect plays, attempting to run double-sniper into the Dragons’ Rein-Zarya composition. But without being able to really exploit the angles or advance properly onto the enemy team, the Dragons pulled out an incredibly dominant win. Geguri brought out her Zarya, which is a hero she’s pretty much made her name with. It’s the one she became most known for. Add to that the star performance put out by Diya. On Widowmaker for most of the night, Diya was the star of the Dragons for most of the night, singlehandedly turning whole fights around.
However, the next several maps saw things fall apart for the Dragons. They were unable to get anywhere on Hanamura in time-bank. They were only able to pull off the first round because the Fuel didn’t respect the angles of the Shanghai snipers. However, there were two major factors in the Fuel completely dominating Hanamura time-bank. The first was Taimou, who picked up McCree, which is a hero he’s been known for, yet rarely played in the Overwatch League. Taimou popped off in a major way. Yet it was Mickie on Brigitte that threw everything into disarray for the Dragons.
They simply didn’t know how to respond to it, constantly running a Dive composition into the problem. The obvious issue is that Brigitte counters Winston, the main tank of any Dive comp. But both Brigitte and McCree counter Tracer and Genji. The de facto Dive DPS. The Dragons’ stubbornness to adapt or their lack of understanding of the Meta hurt them in the end. As such, when it came to time-bank, they weren’t even able to get a tick. Then, on their defense, they ran a wonky triple-tank, triple-support composition with no checks on Seagull’s Pharah. So once the Fuel got the positioning they wanted, it was a done deal.
Nepal was actually a game that looked pretty close at first. But, unfortunately, the Dragons couldn’t out-frag the Fuel. Control maps are more or less all about superior firepower and mechanics. The positioning game is somewhat less important. And the Fuel made more of the big plays, preventing the Dragons from really getting anything. Then came Dorado, where the Dragons once again failed to properly respond to Mickie’s Brigitte. However, the thing that really put the nail in the coffin was Taimou, still on the McCree, just deciding he wanted to be like Pine, and popping off, cleaning up most of the Dragons himself, securing the map win and the series win, in the end.
The matchup between the Dallas Fuel and Shanghai Dragons was far from the closest match of the night. On the first day of Stage 4, fans were treated to a 5-map series between the Seoul Dynasty and the LA Valiant. The Valiant famously went 4-0 in their matchup against the Dynasty in the first week of Stage 3. This time they aimed to make a comeback. However, they came up short, still putting the pressure on for an incredibly tight 3-2 game. Meanwhile, the LA Gladiators put out a dominant showing against the San Francisco Shock.
The next matchups are bound to be just as intense. The NYXL has won the Overwatch League Stage playoffs twice, and both times it was against one of the next two teams to clash – the Philadelphia Fusion and the Boston Uprising. Speaking of the NYXL, they’re up against the Florida Mayhem. Then it’s the Houston Outlaws vs. the London Spitfire.