By Steve Toroni
Week Four featured a lot of one-sided bouts as the more dominant teams in the OverWatch League were impressive, handling their opponents decisively. With one more week remaining in Stage One, some of the middle-tier teams separated themselves from the rest of the pack. Let’s take a look at the most exciting matchups of Week Four.
Week Four: Day Three
Seoul Dynasty vs. Houston Outlaws
Coming off of a brutal 4-0 rout at the hands of the London Spitfire on day two, the Seoul Dynasty looked for redemption against the Houston Outlaws. The Outlaws, who took care of business on day one, defeating the San Francisco Shock, did their best to shock the world and improve on an impressive 6-2 record.
The first map came down to a fifth round, which saw some intense competitive play from both clubs. Despite a last second Primal Rage by Jin-Hyuk “Miro” Gong’s Winston, Houston was able to escort the payload through the doors of the Eichenwalde castle to extend play. In the fifth round it was a battle of the Junkrats, as things came down to the wire. Houston’s Jake Lyon sent a Rip-Tire right into the congested point of contention, eliminating three Seoul players. This was followed immediately by a Rip-Tire from Seoul’s Seok-Woo “Wekeed” Choi that blew up Jake and did great deal of damage to the Outlaws. But a quick Mercy Resurrect set up Jake to redeem himself, knocking off four Dynasty players-and sealing victory in map one.
Seoul won the next two maps with stellar play by Wekeed’s Tracer and Joon-hyuk “zunba” Kim’s Zarya, but Houston responded with a victory in round four in Junkertown, which set up the final round in the infamous Lijiang Tower. Seoul dominated the first portion of the map, controlling 100 percent of the contesting point behind excellent play from Byung-Sun “Fleta” Kim as Pharah. The Outlaws came back and won the next point, but Seoul held off Houston and extended their record to 6-2 in Stage One.
Keys to Victory
Fleta seemed to neutralize Houston early and often as McCree. With accurate shooting and aggressive play, his well-timed ultimates helped Seoul’s push in the first couple of maps. But it was Jin-Mo “tobi” Yang’s commitment to Mercy that was crucial to Seoul’s execution, especially at the end of rounds. While both teams used Mercy throughout the contest, it was tobi who excelled at achieving his Valkyrie more often. This, in turn, boosted his allies and was a prominent factor in the Dynasty’s sixth victory of the year.
Fleta was once again impressive, displaying competence with multiple Heroes throughout this contest. Competing against a Houston Outlaws squad that was looking for the home-run kill the entire contest made it particularly difficult for Seoul to be overly aggressive. With the help of his support and Zunba backing him up with D.Va, Fleta shone in the role of both attack and defense across five maps. Early on, he capitalized on McCree’s agility and was a sensational marksman. He then switched to Pharah and creatively used his ability to fly,- weaving in and out of the contesting point in Ilios, eventually unleashing a vicious Barrage behind Houston’s attack and eliminating their chance at gaining control of the zone.
Week Four: Day Four
Boston Uprising vs. Los Angeles Valiant
Boston came into this bout at a 4-4 record while Los Angeles was coming off of a decisive win against the Philadelphia Fusion to improve their record to 5-2. The Uprising has proven to be competitive against the toughest teams in the Overwatch League and this contest was no exception.
Map one started off as a rout in favor of Boston. Behind crafty play from Namju “Striker” Gwon’s Tracer, the Uprising won the first three points. However, Los Angeles came roaring back and took the next two points with Brady “Agilities” Girardi taking to the sky as Pharah and rained consistent Barrages to subdue the Uprising attack. Speed was the constant pace for the Valiant, but Boston’s counter was always just a bit faster. Map two was highlighted by Jonathon “DreamKazper” Sanchez besting Agilities’ Genji with a stellar defense of the contesting zone. After Lucas “NotE” Messinar took care of the Valiant’s support and the rest of their first wave, DreamKazper wiped out the opposition’s last gasp with a devastating Dragon Blade.
Despite L.A. playing well, they could not keep up with Boston. The Uprising keep proving the critics wrong, winning another contest in which they were not favored, and taking all four maps.
Keys to Victory
Both teams used two tanks, two support, and two offensive heroes for the majority of the contest. NotE stuck with D.Va and was a constant force against the speedy Los Angeles team. Boston found that running a Tracer/Genji/Zenyatta combination was the recipe for success. Youngjin “Gamsu” Noh put a tremendous amount of pressure on the Valiant’s defense early and often, as the collective forces of the Uprising consistently proved to be overwhelming for Los Angeles.
It was NotE who was committed to D.Va yet again. The strategy that Boston has decided to run with is certainly not broken, and until it breaks the Uprising will continue to thrive. NotE has been a force throughout the Overwatch League and in this contest was successful in not only being a rock for the Boston attack, but was arguably more valuable defending the contesting zone.
As D.Va, taking out multiple enemies with Self Destruct is crucial to the success of running the hero. NotE was able to utilize this ultimate ability when the opposition made their push, eliminating three or four enemies that posed a threat to controlling the point. Look for Boston to stick with this meta in Week Five as they will face Houston and Philadelphia.