OWL Week 3 Recap: Valiant win the ‘Battle of LA’ as Philadelphia and Boston shock the world
At the end of week three of the Overwatch League, no team is left undefeated as Seoul, London and New York fall for the first time this year.
Philadelphia and Boston show their heart
On Day two of the third week of OWL action, Boston Uprising did the unthinkable as they were able to outmuscle their opponent London Spitfire and hand them their first loss of the season. All players from Boston did exceptionally well in their games, but extra praise must be heaped onto the offensive duo of Striker and DreamKazper throughout the series.
In the first two weeks of play, London’s offensive carries of Profit and birdring were highly regarded as the best players in their position. The fact that DreamKazper was able to have his best performance yet against one of the strongest duo’s has highlighted his potential as a bright young star within the league.
For Philadelphia, it was Fragi, Poko and Carpe leading the charge as they put New York Excelsior to the fire and came away with the win in five games. Shadowburn once again showed exemplary skill on his patented Genji and Junkrat down the stretch and constantly kept the enemy healers at their wits end whenever they saw his Dragonblade ready to go.
New York was able to bounce back in a big way in their next outing with a win over Seoul Dynasty in another tight five game series. Pine wasn’t used in multiple games throughout the Philadelphia series but he was definitely in the rotation against Seoul as he once again proved his worth as one of the most complete players in the Overwatch League.
New York have put their consideration in for a 1st place finish after taking out Seoul in that fashion. In their last two weeks of play, it will be imperative to go 3-0 as they prepare to face London Spitfire for their last game of the Stage One play-in. At this point, both of those teams look like Championship contender material and that series will surely be the difference maker heading into playoffs.
Valiant victorious in LA, Houston Outlaws have another perfect week
One of the most hyped fixtures last week was the ‘Battle of Los Angeles’ between the LA Valiant and LA Gladiators. Valiant’s Head Coach made it clear that Valiant wanted to solidify themselves as the ‘Lakers’ of Overwatch with a win in this series, and they did just that over the course of five games.
If the Valiant are trying to be the Lakers, they’ve succeeded with specific player match-ups emulating their roles. Kariv is an expert at setting the table and rotating from healing stabilizer to damage threat on his Zenyatta. The way in which he puts his team ahead of his own performance in order to get the win makes him similar to Lonzo Ball in that sense.
But no game of Overwatch is won off of just healers and tanks. Soon has asserted himself as the hitman on Valiant, similar to Brandon Ingram, his assertion of instant offense makes it easier for Valiant to get ahead in tough series as Agilities and Fate pick up the pieces.
The LA Gladiators lost two games this week, but it wasn’t without their fair share of promise as they took LA Valiant to five games in their series. It seems like the Gladiators are just a few pieces away from making themselves a playoff contender. Surefour is the only real big time threat that can match the bigger names across the league.
Although Asher has shown promise on Tracer, he is still missing a step when it comes to the top talent at London and New York. Gladiators will surely make some changes and sign big name free agents once the first Stage of play wraps up in two weeks.
The Houston Outlaws continue their resurgence with a comfortable 2-0 to finish out the week. Beating Florida Mayhem may have not been the biggest feather in their cap, but taking out the Gladiators in four showed their cerebral ability to close out games once they have the slightest advantage.
Looking forward, Houston will have their work cut out for them as they look to pick up wins against Seoul Dynasty and London Spitfire in the final weeks of play if they want to be considered for playoffs. The Outlaws will have to rally around their potent carry threats of coolmatt and Jake to really get their feet off the ground against those teams.