Ohhhh boy did Friday surprise us. Fusion looked awful against a suddenly mid-tier Shock team, we were too hopeful about the Dragons and Boston continues to dominate. Hopefully, we’re not as far off on Saturday.
London attempts to recover from that Boston match while taking on the other undefeated Stage Three team, Los Angeles Valiant. NYXL tries to finally not go to a Map 5 against Los Angeles Gladiators and the battle for Texas pits Houston against Dallas.
Stage Three Picks Record
London Spitfire (16-9, 1-4) vs. Los Angeles Valiant (16-9, 5-0)
Ian: Valiant 3-2
As was the case with the Boston match earlier this week, London will need to win this in four maps. I think they have the capability to do so, but it’ll be close. LAV have been playing tremendously so far this stage, but this is by far the toughest match they’ve had. London looked much better against Boston but also lost in excruciating fashion which has to have had some effect on their psyche. I’m simply going with the hot hand here as well as the skin from Space and Bunny.
Ollie: Spitfire 3-1
These two teams are polar opposites in form right now, but London were a single kill away from beating Boston, and despite losing, played far better than they have the rest of stage three. Hooreg has finally had a chance to show his quality with some consistent game time, and with a slightly more favourable map set, I think they’ll see out Valiant here. The LA side are unbeaten so far this stage, but they squeaked by Dallas and Gladiators, and I think sides are slowly starting to figure out their new-look lineup. This will be a close game whatever though.
New York Excelsior (22-3, 4-1) vs. Los Angeles Gladiators (13-12, 3-2)
Ian: NYXL 3-1
NYXL have looked off the past couple of weeks, which is to say they lost exactly one match and two others went to a 5th map. But Boston and Philadelphia are two of the best teams in the league and I’m not sure LAG have the talent to pull off what they did. They’ll get a map on the back of Fissure, but NYXL firmly reassert their dominance after surviving Fusion.
Ollie: NYXL 3-1
Excelsior will be playing on four of their best maps today, and after a couple of close games recently, I think they’ll have a pretty comfortable victory over the Gladiators here. I’m impressed by how well they’ve integrated new support player Amano, who has proved himself a solid replacement for ArK. Gladiators are by no means a bad team, but they’re a step below New York, and an LAG win here would be an upset for sure.
Houston Outlaws (14-11, 2-3) vs. Dallas Fuel (6-19, 1-4)
Ian: Outlaws 3-1
Outlaws go up 3-0 in this match and lose Route 66. Dallas was showing signs of improvement, but they’ve yet again changed up the roster and now they don’t even have a head coach. I think Outlaws have looked better than their record this stage and they get an easy win to pull them one game back of the league playoffs.
Ollie: Outlaws 3-1
You know, if this game happened a week or two ago, after Fuel ran both Seoul and Valiant close, I would have said they could give Houston a good run for their money. But once more, Dallas beats Fuel. They are their own worst enemy, and any time they have any sort of momentum, they do their best to disrupt it. Currently coachless, the only map I see them taking here is Route 66, and that’s because the Outlaws are absurdly bad at it, rather than Fuel being any good. I think at this point as a Dallas fan, all you can hope for is the team shows improvement and Taimou continues to pop off on Widowmaker. And for the love of god, I hope we don’t have to watch aKm play Genji again.