After a bit of a lackluster Wednesday, we have some heavy hitters on deck for Thursday. Houston starts off the night looking to break their streak of close losses against a Florida Mayhem squad that almost beat Boston. The red-hot Uprising take on the ice cold Spitfire in a match of top teams and we get a rematch of the Stage Two Finals as Philadelphia Fusion look to get revenge against the NYXL.
Stage Three Picks Record
Houston Outlaws (13-11, 1-3) vs. Florida Mayhem (4-21, 0-4)
Ian: Outlaws 3-1
Houston has suffered some heartbreaking loses this stage to some of the best teams in the league, with that out of the way the schedule begins to ease up and the wins will start coming. Florida took Boston to a fifth map last week so they’re no pushover but I still think Outlaws are a step above for now.
Ollie: Outlaws 3-1
I don’t think Mayhem are too far away from the Outlaws in terms of quality at the moment, but Florida are still integrating a few new faces into their starting line up, which is why I’ve given Houston the edge. However, there are a few maps in the pool that heavily favour Widowmaker, and Sayaplaya has already proven himself dominant on the hero a number of times so far this stage. Once again though, I think it will be Mayhem’s supports that will be their downfall. Zebbosai is constantly punished for being out of position, and it costs his team too many teamfights.
London Spitfire (16-8, 1-3) vs. Boston Uprising (16-8, 4-0)
Ian: Uprising 3-2
Boston is possibly the hottest team in the league right now while London appears to be in a bit of slump. I think a win here would get Spitfire back on track but I’m just not sure they’re that much better than Boston right now to win this in four maps. Then if it does go to Oasis I definitely don’t trust London there, so I think it’ll be yet another close loss for London.
Ollie: Uprising 3-2
This game will come down to how London perform on Ilios. Going into Control I’m expecting it to be one map apiece, as Numbani heavily favours the Spitfire, and likewise Anubis for Boston. If they can edge ahead, Junkertown is a toss up that could easily settle in their favour. However, if this goes to a game five, it’s Boston’s for the taking. London need Birdring back firing on all cylinders once more, as he’s vital to the way they play.
New York Excelsior (21-3, 3-1) vs. Philadelphia Fusion (16-8, 3-1)
Ian: Fusion 3-2
I honestly have no idea who’s going to win this match. NYXL came one team fight from losing both matches last week and I don’t know if that means they’re going to come out angry on Thursday or if it means teams have figured out to beat them. I think this will go to five maps and honestly might be too close to call. I might as well just go with my gut here and that means I’m taking Fusion.
Ollie: NYXL 3-1
Excelsior will bounce back here with a convincing victory in my opinion. They’ve looked to have Fusion’s number in the past (when they’ve had proper time to prepare), and I think Fusion will struggle against NYXL’s strong anti-dive playstyle. While Fragi has improved immensely, I still think he’s easy to coax into bad decisions, and New York will use this to their advantage to take out the main tank early on. While the last time these two sides met, in the playoffs, went to a game five, the three maps NYXL won were in dominate fashion, and I’m banking on seeing more of that.