Stage 3 of the Overwatch League is winding down. And with this being the final week, the standings are basically set. Thursday and Friday provided some fairly intense matches. The Shanghai Dragons looked extremely competitive against the best team in the league, the NYXL. They nearly took their opponents to a Map 5 situation, showing how much they’ve improved. The London Spitfire fought it out with the Seoul Dynasty in a match that went down to the wire. And the undefeated Boston Uprising took on the previous Stage favorites, the LA Valiant in an incredibly close, 5-map game.
But there were also a handful of rather disappointing matchups. Despite seeming to be in a much better place than earlier stages, the Florida Mayhem took a clean sweep against the also-shaky San Francisco Shock. Meanwhile, the Dallas Fuel continue to underperform, especially without their star DPS, Effect. They went up against the NYXL on Friday and were likewise full-swept. To put this into perspective, they performed more poorly against the best team in the League than the winless Shanghai Dragons. While the Dragons are 0-30, they show signs of improvement. Meanwhile, the Fuel continue to almost completely self-destruct. It’s especially tragic as the individual mechanical skill is there. Players such as Seagull, Effect, and Mickie, for example, have many excellent performances under their belt. But team cohesion is a significant hurdle for them.
The most heated matches were definitely the London Spitfire vs. the Seoul Dynasty and the Boston Uprising vs. the LA Valiant. The Seoul Dynasty continue to try out new looks in the stage. There’s speculation that they’re holding something back for the Overwatch League Season Playoffs which, at the moment, they’re still very much in the running for. In fact, despite this stage somewhat rocking the “Big Three” narrative, all three teams are still in the running. NYXL remains at the top. London’s in third place and Seoul’s in fourth. The team that’s been recently added to this conversation, though, is the Boston Uprising. Though they’ve been in contention for some time, they practically bullied their way into the top two. So, naturally, there are rumblings regarding the mantle of “Best Team in the West.”
The Seoul Dynasty have had a rough Stage 3, as have the London Spitfire. But the two teams put on a high-level show on Friday. In the end, London went home with the win. It’s something that had to feel good for them, especially winning on Map 5. London has been extremely lackluster on Oasis, with only a 2-9 record on that map. Meeting Seoul there had to give them Philadelphia Fusion flashbacks. But they managed to take it in a clean 2-0 victory. They were able to counter the tank-heavy “Slambulance” composition of the Seoul Dynasty by keeping their distance, staying spread out, and being patient. And with that momentum, they claimed the second round in a very close game.
The Boston Uprising vs. LA Valiant game was just as tense as the game came down to the wire. And in the end, it was the Boston Uprising to walk away with the W. There was some insane Overwatch on display throughout the night. One highlight, in particular, saw Note – the Uprising’s D.Va – score a 4-man Self-Destruct on Blizzard World. On Temple of Anubis, they managed to prevent the Valiant from making any progress on Point B, despite not completing the point, themselves. But the worries came during the second half when the Valiant picked up both Nepal and Route 66, largely due to the DPS duos of Soon and Agilities or Soon and Bunny. Especially on Route 66. Oasis was a tight map. The Uprising took Gardens, largely due to a very odd Mercy-Moira composition, thus lacking a great deal of sustain. They lose University despite a huge lead. Then they close out the map with a win on City Center, thanks in no small part to Striker and Mistakes putting on major DPS performances for their team.
Boston went on to defeat the LA Gladiators to secure their spot at the top of the Overwatch League Stage 3 standings on Friday. Largely due to the efforts of Striker, who managed to put his entire team in his backpack and carry them on Route 66 with some clutch kills in overtime. And not only did they win the game, but in doing so, they went completely undefeated in Stage 3. As per the rules, it’s they’re choice who they take on in the Playoffs. But if Striker and Gamsu have anything to say about it, it won’t be the NYXL again.