Well I’m not sure any of us expected Boston to beat NYXL yesterday, but here we are. After a huge upset and another incredible Philadelphia vs. Houston match, Friday promises another couple high-quality matches and possibly a Dragons win?
The resurgent Valiant take on Dallas Fuel who just missed an upset over Seoul, Shock take on Dragons without Super and Gladiators look to make a statement over an inconsistent Stage Three Seoul team.
Stage Three Picks Record
Los Angeles Valiant (14-9, 3-0) vs. Dallas Fuel (6-17, 1-2)
Ian: Valiant 3-1
Valiant have looked unstoppable through three maps and I don’t think Fuel are going to be the team to stop them just yet. While Dallas looked much improved against Seoul with OGE, I still think Valiant are better and they will continue their hot streak, even if they will drop a map. Bunny looked unreal against Shock and with his Tracer play it allows Soon to swap onto a McCree or a Reaper or Widow. Suddenly the Valiant look far more flexible than they did a couple weeks ago.
Ollie: Fuel 3-2
Dallas have looked much improved in recent weeks, pushing both NYXL and Seoul Dynasty to close game fives. The addition of OGE has made their dives much cleaner, and in Effect and Rascal they two of the best DPS players in the world. I’m going to take a leap of faith with this prediction, so expect Valiant to win 4-0 now.
San Francisco Shock (7-16, 1-2) vs. Shanghai Dragons (0-23, 0-3)
Ian: Shock 3-1
I feel like every single Shock game I talk about how they’ve looked much improved with their new players, but to be clear they’re currently on an 8 map losing streak. They played Seoul close, but Valiant pulled away as that much went on. Not having Super due to illness will hurt their quality, but I still think they’re a step above the Dragons. I really want Shanghai to get their first win and it coming when I picked against them would be peak, but not sure it’s coming just yet.
Ollie: Shock 3-1
Despite a fantastic opening round win against the Gladiators, the Shock have suffered back to back 4-0. I think they’ll bounce back with a win here though, but I expect the ever improving Dragons to make SF work for it. Shanghai’s core problem right now is the support line. Freefeel and Altering just aren’t good, and the more Fiveking, and in particular, Sky play, the better synergy they’ll build with the rest of the Korean roster. A settle six needs to play a few games back to back so they can really start to gel. It’s nice seeing Diya though showing why he was so hyped before stage one. Who knew good tanks would help so much?
Seoul Dynasty (16-7, 2-1) vs. Los Angeles Gladiators (12-11, 2-1)
Ian: Seoul 3-2
Seoul has been riding a very thin line this stage in all its matches. A 4-0 defeat to Valiant where they apparently underestimated the LA squad, a 4-0 against Shock that probably could have been a loss and a 3-2 against a Fuel team still getting used to their new main tank. I still think Seoul pull it out particularly if Fissure can’t play again, but if LAG have Fissure it’s going to be close. I’m siding with Seoul but if they drop this match then we have to start showing some real concern for the preseason favorites.
Ollie: Seoul 3-1
There’s a couple of factors at play heading into this matchup. Have Fissure and Zunba recovered enough to play for their respective teams? Will Seoul play themselves by fielding their B team? I think people are starting to sleep a little bit on the quality Dynasty have, and I think they’ll have too much here for LAG to deal with. The Gladiators are a decent team, but I still think they’re slightly off that level that will push them into becoming regular playoff contenders.