Week One was full of a whole lot of surprises, as we head into Week Two look for the race for the Stage playoffs to become a bit more clear.
As we start the week the ever-improving Shanghai Dragons take on a .500 Los Angeles Gladiators squad, Los Angeles Valiant take on San Francisco Shock in the match of the day and Dallas Fuel get OGE back against the Seoul Dynasty.
Stage Three Picks Record
Shanghai Dragons (0-22, 0-2) vs. Los Angeles Gladiators (11-11, 1-1)
Ian: Gladiators 4-0
Having Diya back certainly helps the Dragons and I do think they’ve already shown improvement this Stage. That doesn’t mean they’re going to get a win over the Gladiators though. As everyone’s favorite Semmler would say, I think “Fissure is going to run game on the Dragons.” There will be a close map or two but Gladiators should take it easily.
Ollie: Gladiators 3-1
We’re going to see the Dragons start to make big improvements weekly, and that will start here by picking up a map against LAG. Having Diya back will be a big boost, and I expect him to play a dueling Tracer style to help protect his backline. The Gladiators will still be too strong this time though. Fissure remains an absolute animal, and Silkthread has given them an option to flex between projectile and hitscan mid-game.
San Francisco Shock (7-15, 1-1) vs. Los Angeles Valiant (13-9, 2-0)
Ian: Valiant 3-1
If Valiant want to back up Week One and actually prove that they’re good again then they need to take this game. Shock are hot and looking better every day, but Valiant were one of the best squads in Week One. This match will tell us if Valiant’s rebuild was actually a success or if Week One was just easy scheduling. I believe in the high quality we saw from LA in Week One and I think they take a very close match over the Shock.
Ollie: Shock 3-2
This is a really hard one to call, but I think Danteh’s Sombra might make the difference for San Francisco. He has already proven himself to be one of the best in the league on the hero, and his general improvement since stage one has been very impressive. Valiant look like a team reborn, but I think Shock’s DPS might be too hot to handle here.
Dallas Fuel (6-16, 1-1) vs. Seoul Dynasty (15-7, 1-1)
Ian: Dynasty 3-1
Fuel have shown some improvement so far in Stage Three and that was without Rascal or OGE. I think the wins are just over the horizon for Dallas, but unless Dynasty use their bench team again it should be a fairly easy win for Seoul.
Ollie: Dynasty 4-0
While the last two times these sides met led to close games in Seoul’s favour, I think they’ll be too strong this time for a Dallas team still in transition. Having Rascal back and OGE available will be a big plus for the team, but I don’t think their coordination will be there quite yet. It remains to be seen though if they stick with Seagull on D.Va, who has impressed on off-tank, or if Mickie will reprise his role.