Thursday was maybe one of the best days of matches from the entire season. It wasn’t the three straight map 5s that we had last Saturday, but two reverse sweeps and an unreal Oasis between London and Boston made it incredibly exciting. With three of those teams tasked with playing again today we’ll see if they can keep it up.
Fusion are fresh off yet another disappointing collapse against NYXL and they’ll try to bounce back against a surging Shock squad. Both Florida Mayhem and Shanghai Dragons look to get their first win of the stage as they face off against each other and Boston tries to continue it’s unbeaten streak as they take on an inconsistent Seoul Dynasty.
Stage Three Picks Record
Philadelphia Fusion (16-9, 3-2) vs. San Francisco Shock (9-16, 3-2)
Ian: Fusion 3-1
I think Fusion are the far superior team in this matchup but I will say I’m very worried about the quick turnaround for both Philadelphia and Boston. Philadelphia played the last match on Thursday and suffered a brutal reverse sweep at the hands of NYXL. Now they have to play the first match today. You’d have to imagine they put most of their practice time this towards taking down NYXL so there’s no telling if they have any strats for Shock. They’re also probably exhausted after that loss. I’m going with Fusion because I still think they’re the second best team in the league, but there’s definitely some upset potential.
Ollie: Fusion 3-2
Not just back to back days, but back to back games, might take its toll on Philly here, but I still expect them to come out on top. Shock’s performances have looked better this stage (even if the results aren’t there), and Architect has finally given them a top tier Genji player. This is a squad with a lot of potential, but the pieces haven’t quite clicked yet. A shock (get it?) wouldn’t be surprising here, but Philly’s quality, especially in the DPS department, will shine through.
Florida Mayhem (4-21, 0-5) vs. Shanghai Dragons (0-25, 0-5)
Ian: Dragons 3-2
If the Dragons don’t get their first here when are they going to get it? Is that a reliable reason to pick them? No, but at this point they’ve shown enough improvement that I’m just going to ride with them. It’s the battle of who’s supports can be less awful. We might be getting a lot of weird brawls in this match considering the consistency with which both Mayhem and Dragons lose their backlines early in fights.
Ollie: Dragons 3-2
My brain says Mayhem, but I’m following my heart here and rooting for Shanghai. We’re all desperate to see them pick up that win, and fingers crossed it happens here. The additions Dragons have made have looked solid, and it may just suit them that Florida aren’t really known as an aggressive dive team. Keeping the Mayhem DPS in check though is a must though, and that duty will mainly fall to Geguri, who has really impressed on D.Va since coming in. I’m willing Shanghai to their first win.
Boston Uprising (17-8, 5-0) vs. Seoul Dynasty (17-8, 3-2)
Ian: Uprising 3-1
This match is the battle for second place in the overall standings which I’m not sure anyone saw coming before the season. Uprising are coming off an insane match against London Spitfire in which they had absolutely no business winning and somehow pulled off a 1v6 stall on Oasis and won in possibly the craziest map of the season. Seoul is sitting at 3-2, but their wins have come over the three of the bottom four teams in the league. Boston has been playing at a much higher level so I’m going with them, but there’s a chance that Seoul could take this due to more time to prepare and rest. Boston has got to be exhausted after yesterday’s marathon reverse sweep, so honestly this might come down to how much preparation they were even able to get in.
Ollie: Dynasty 3-1
This prediction isn’t based on the form of the two sides at the moment, but more the fact Boston are playing on back to back days with two entirely different sets of maps, and that’s going to really disrupt their preparation. Seoul have struggled with players being unavailable for a variety of reasons recently, but I think we’ll see their starting six tonight. Both of these teams have a very similar playstyle, with their DPS and main tank diving the opposition, while their off-tank will normally peel for their backline, so whoever can counter-dive successfully will come out on top. I think Boston are still the favourite to take this given how they’ve played so far this stage, but Dynasty might just edge it thanks to the extra prep time.