Week Two was possibly the most exciting week ever in Overwatch League. Seven of the 12 matches went to five maps and Saturday saw all three games go to a map five. Valiant and Uprising sit as the only undefeated squads left in Stage Three while a solid group of Gladiators, NYXL and Fusion sit at 3-1. We’ve had some massive surprises in London’s 1-3 and Seoul’s 2-2 records, while the Outlaws keep playing close games and coming up just short.
As we start Week Three, the playoff race has begun to take shape. Two top teams face off in the battle for LA as Valiant try to stay perfect for the Stage against a rowdy Gladiators team. Fuel have a new coach and take on Shock, while Dragons face off against a desperate Seoul Dynasty squad.
Stage Three Picks Record
Los Angeles Gladiators (13-11, 3-1) vs. Los Angeles Valiant (15-9, 4-0)
Ian: Los Angeles Valiant 3-2
This is a really good match. Honestly both of these teams have impressed so much through the first two weeks that it’s hard to pick a winner, but I definitely think we start off the night with a Map 5. Valiant have only lost 1 map so far in four matches, but Fuel did push them to the limit in the 2-1 Valiant victory. Gladiators looked off against San Francisco to start the stage, but since then haven’t lost and just beat Seoul. I’m leaning towards Valiant because their DPS have been on fire and Space might be the best player in the entire match. If Fate can hang with Fissure it should be a Valiant win.
Ollie: Valiant 3-1
I’ve gone with LAV here simply because the map pool really, really favours them. Of the four maps, Gladiator’s best win rate is on Ilios, with only 38%. In contrast, Valiant currently sit at 70% and above for all four maps, so this could be a very one-sided matchup. However, in Fissure, LAG have a genuine match winner, and Silkthread will have a point to prove against his former side.
Dallas Fuel (6-18, 1-3) vs. San Francisco Shock (8-16, 2-2)
Ian: Shock 3-1
This is also a match that could go either way. Both Dallas and Shock have looked better in Stage Three even if they’ve only combined for 3 wins. Shock have the better DPS but the Sinatraa v EFFECT battle is going to be intense. I’m giving the edge to Shock simply because of the turmoil Fuel are under right now. OGE still isn’t at his peak shotcalling due to the language barrier, they have a new coach and I just don’t think they’ll be able to put it all together right away.
Ollie: Dallas 3-2
Every time the Fuel look like they’re picking up any momentum, they seem to do their best to absolutely implode. However, I think they’ll sneak past Shock here. Effect has looked on this stage, and having a main tank who he can communicate with has really freed him to wreck the enemy’s backline. The deciding factor in this match though will be Super vs OGE. These two teams are incredibly close in quality, so it’s a tough one to call.
Shanghai Dragons (0-24, 0-4) vs. Seoul Dynasty (16-8, 2-2)
Ian: Dynasty 4-0
So something appears to be seriously wrong with Seoul. At first that loss to Valiant could just be chalked up to playing the “B” team, but a lot of those players have seen playing time in the next three matches. Now a loss to Gladiators while playing all the starters, except Tobi who was ill, has sent Seoul reeling a bit. Obviously they still have the talent to easily take care of Dragons, but watch out for how Seoul play once the schedule turns over. Their next three games are Boston, Philadelphia and NYXL. They finish the stage up against London and Houston. After this 2-2 start they’re going to have to go 4-1 against that gauntlet to make the stage playoffs and honestly I don’t see it happening. They’ll beat Shanghai, but it might be their last win for a while.
Ollie: Dynasty 4-0
Seoul have a had rough week, but I think it’s important to contextualize those performances in the last minute injuries and illnesses the side have suffered, especially to their two best players in Fleta and Zunba. Any team will struggle if two key individuals have to pull out the day of a match after scrimming with them all week. There are still problems, but a Seoul at their worst is still a competitive team against most of the top sides. If you want to see the improvements Shanghai have made, just look at how differently opponents are treating them now. I don’t think their first win is far away, and despite the losses, I think Geguri has proven a lot of doubters wrong. I don’t seem them getting a win against Dynasty though.