Philadephia Fusion Eliminate the Boston Uprising Out of the Overwatch League Playoffs

The Philadelphia Fusion is the first team to ever win a playoff series, and the first team to ever win a playoff series as the lower seed. The final team to earn a playoff spot is moving out of the first round and look like a serious threat to win it all.

After an impressive showing in game one, that put the entire Fusion roster on display in the win, it was a question whether or not that Fusion team would show up again today. Losing game two to the one-two punch of Mistakes on Hanzo and Striker’s Widowmaker brought those questions to the surface. Fortunately for Philadelphia, it became the EQO show on the decisive game three, and he limited Mistakes damage against the Fusion supports.

However, the Boston coaching staff made some highly questionable decisions in the loss today. First of which was the decision to go away from Volskaya and Kings Row and fight on Hanamura and Eichenwalde instead.  It not only fed into the Fusion’s playstyle but also took them out of their comfort zone. Sure, the Fusion looked strong on Volskaya in game one, but the Uprising entered the day with a 10-1. It was the Uprising going away from their bread-and-butter and it cost them

Secondly, the moment the struggles started to hit Mistakes, when EQO focused him more heavily on the sniper or when he switched to Genji to dive on top of him, the entire Uprising attack faded. Gamsu was caught often in no man’s land of the battlefield and was susceptible to picks from the dangerous Fusion sniper-line. The moment that matchup switched backed over to EQO’s favor, the entire Fusion team took on a different look. Even despite a slow start in game two, which he admitted in interviews later, he showed his ability to adapt and target the right players on offense.

The other aspect of this entire series that’s interesting to point out is the constant subbing from the Philadelphia Fusion. Subbing out HOTBA for Poko on maps with more linear launch angles for D.Va’s self-destructs and using HOTBA on maps where more defensive-minded D.Va play came in handy. The flex spot wasn’t the only role being swapped in-and-out. BoomBox was subbed in for Dayfly because he can play Bastion and Roadhog on Junkertown or flexing BoomBox over to a damage role. The Fusion tried many different things and most of them worked out great.

By the same token, the entire gameplan from the Fusion answered everything the Uprising attempted in this series. It was the Fusion straight up outcoaching the Uprising coaching staff by forcing matchups and finding ways to make Striker, and more importantly, Mistakes feel uncomfortable enough to switch their focus solely onto Carpe and EQO aggressively coming at them. It was a treat to see a team truly prepared for a match.

Now, the Fusion will have the first shot at the New York Excelsior and the early takeaways are that the Excelsior will struggle against this high-flying DPS-duo of the Fusion. It’s clear that this Widow-meta doesn’t necessarily fit right into the NYXL’s play style, and work similarly to the Boston Uprising. Of all the teams left in the playoffs, the NYXL get their worst draw out of the first round, and a team that matches up unfavorably for New York. Fusion looking to pull a second consecutive upset to play for an Overwatch League title.

Featured photo courtesy of Overwatch League

Advertisements

Los Angeles Gladiators Win Game One over the London Spitfire with Fissure on the bench

Shortly before the start of the second Overwatch League playoff match, the Los Angeles Gladiators sent out a press release relaying to fans that Fissure would be sitting out the first map against the London Spitfire. A move born out of some inner turmoil and a strong week of practice from iRemix, but nevertheless, the Gladiators didn’t miss a beat with their best player on the bench.

Now, the Fissure benching will take all the headlines, but the biggest story is not only how good the Gladiators looked in the win, but how badly the Spitfire looked in the loss. It was a combination of a cohesive, fundamentally sound Gladiators approach to this match against a discombobulated, miscalculated attempt at slowing down the Gladiators backline. Similarly to a Philadelphia Fusion team that came out firing, the LA Gladiators also made a statement by sweeping the Spitfire.

Starting with Surefour, the MVP of the match, who gave the supports of the Spitfire trouble all game long. On either McCree or Widowmaker, Surefour wasn’t being contested enough to throw him off his positioning or force him into tougher sightlines. It was a struggle in both the Widow-duel and trying to dive onto his spot. It was a huge game for Surefour and helped make up for a real space creator in Fissure on the bench.

Luckily for the Gladiators, the decision to bench Fissure ended up working out. The move from Bischu to Void gave that frontline a bit more firepower, but the Gladiators dominated at every position. It wasn’t just Surefour on hitscan, but Hydration tearing it up on Hanzo or Silkthread in more of an aggressive dive role. It feels as if no team is improving at the rate of the LA Gladiators, and tonight was more proof of that.

London Spitfire Meta Woes

Trying to come to terms with the Spitfire’s recent struggles that have now bled on over into the postseason, in my eyes, boils down to one thing. The drastic gameplay changes with the popularization of sniper compositions, forcing Profit onto a role he’s not entirely comfortable with or necessarily excels in like he does with every other damage role. Bridring can certainly play an effective Widowmaker, but the most aggressive-minded team in the OWL having to play more passive-aggressive sniper strategies is messing with their gameplay.

This run also comes in the midst of a number of roster changes this team has made, as they assemble a core structure to the organization.  All these subtle and big changes hit at once and at the most inopportune time right before the playoffs. This is no excuse for getting badly outplayed and generally outcoached, but it’s a factor into the recent struggles. However, more of this will lead them out of the playoffs.

New York Excelsior JJoNak Wins the first Overwatch League MVP as Zenyatta

The best player from end-to-end gets the proper recognition as the Overwatch League’s first most valuable player. Bang ‘JJoNak’ Seong-hyun, a Zenyatta main, who in many ways revolutionized the flex-support meta with his damage hybrid style wins the MVP. JJoNak ended second in total damage among all qualified players as a support player. Nuff’ said

The story of a talented, rather unknown player, to the top of the Overwatch League and the best player on the best team. The rise of the New York Excelsior is certainly a team effort, but it’s an undeniable fact that JJONak brings something to the table that no other player in the league can offer. In terms of actual value, losing JJoNak would likely hamper every aspect of the NYXL roster. He’s that much of an impact player.

JJoNak doesn’t have any glaring deficiencies in his game and even with more modest healing numbers, he uses Zenyatta’s transcendence for maximum value more than every other Zenyatta which makes up for his focus on damage. He’s the most unique player in the league. No other player can offer the type of impact he can on any given match.

He is the heart and soul of the NYXL and that the coaching staff is still finding new uses for his talent. Consider this, the Excelsior popularized pocketing Mercy onto Zenyatta to keep JJoNak alive and let him do maximum damage with the damage-buff. The entire NYXL strategy is centered around this guy finding kills and it hasn’t failed them yet.

As JJoNak takes home the MVP trophy that he rightfully deserved, the NYXL will look to not let his dominating season go to waste. A refocused NYXL team will provide a much different look in these playoffs than what we saw at the end of stage four, and a big reason for that will be JJoNak.

Congrats to New York Excelsior JJoNak!

 

Overwatch Contenders Season Two starts with a bang as Mastermind GC and British Hurricanes fall in day one

The Overwatch Contenders season is back. Seven regions, 84 total teams, 6,048 players all looking for a chance to make it to the big leagues. Overall, contenders is flushed with talent and much like season one should bring some high-level Overwatch.

Yesterday marked the start of the European and Australian seasons. The same teams enter season two as the prohibitive favorites to win the league in almost all respective league. Starting in Europe, the season one champion British Hurricanes actually fell in their first matchup at the hands of Young and Beautiful. In the Australian region, similarly to the British Hurricanes, the season one Australian champ, Masterminds GC, losing to Dark Sided team who held them to only four points in four maps.

Europe

Looking back at the reason the British Hurricanes lost turns the focus to the meta switch and how these teams adjust to the move away from dive-compositions. In the first game of the season, Matt “Dids” Didehvar on Widowmaker and Mateusz “MATTH” Prymas on Hanzo gave the Hurricanes fits all afternoon. It was a constant barrage of picks onto the squishy characters. Hurricanes had no answer despite solid performances out of the damage department.

In the next few matches, the Angry Titans took care of business against Orgless and Hungry, followed by an exciting third match between two of the teams who qualified through trials. These two teams have a history: 6nakes being the trials champions and Bazooka Puppies barely sneaking into the top four. During trials, these two teams played a close five-game set, but 6nakes still got the better of them. In the loss today, it was a complete team effort, getting strong performances all over. However, without the ferocious Hanzo aggressive out of William “Asking” Vetter, the win was likely not happening.

In terms of teams to watch out for coming out of trials, 6nakes is undoubtedly that team. Similarly to Young and Beautiful, 6nakes is more inclined towards the snipers and with the meta being the way it is, Asking might be one of the newest threads in that division. It’s a balanced team, but the test will be against the contender’s teams and seeing how they stack up.

Australia

Australia got the jump on the rest of the contender’s leagues this week and have concluded week one of matches. With the Masterminds falling, the league has a different look extremely early into the season. The rest of the results were as expected, with the season one champion Sydney Drop Bears winning it easily over Blank Esports.

I wanted to take a second to recognize a most excellent play pulled off on first point Illios. As you’ll see in the video, this team boost the right heroes and move in the right direction, in-sync to dive directly onto the healers without being seen. Kanga Esports, fortunately, won the game because of this maneuver and avoided the reverse sweep out of Serenity.

BlossoM Secures the Top Spot at OWC Contenders 2018: Trials Korea with Win over WGS H2

The former management team behind the GC Busan organization back before they were members of the London Spitfire, seemed to have put together another up-and-coming squad. BlossoM will now get a chance to compete in Overwatch Contenders Korea and based on the talent from two main DPS-players, to Swoon and his impressive Zenyatta, this team could be dangerous.

Securing the undefeated trials record tonight came at the hands of strong team play, shutting down World Game Star H2, who’s also being promoted to challengers. The three other teams are MVP Space, who finished second overall, and GC Busan Wave, meaning Meta Athena will miss out on a promotion. Meta Athena, one of the more consistent organizations in Overwatch, lost out by one map win. The +8 map differential was one behind WGS H2’s +9.

BlossoM Royal Road?

The surge of Blossom in trials has made it more difficult on teams like Meta Athena and other teams looking to qualify. Even after huge turnover of player and coaching staff this year: losing Gambler to Seoul Dynasty, and their former head coach Agape to the London Spitfire; The Blossom are improving at an impressive rate. On top of all that, Blossom was one of the teams involved in boosting, resulting in a few former players being released from the team.

The addition of Ans, who has arguably been their best player in Trials on Widowmaker, loosened the load for everyone. Also adding LIP as a late addition heading into Trials worked out tremendously for Blossom, as he slotted in nicely as the fill-in damage main aside Ans’s Widow. In reality, the two tanks are the ones responsible for such a dominating effort in Trials. Both SeeYa and Mineral did nothing but create space for that newly added backline. It was a culmination of the spacing, aiming, and execution that led to the 7-0 record.

It’s clear this team has taken massive jumps in coordination and skills since the few appearance we saw of them in April. The overall team record is only 8-4. Only 12 matches on record and this team is now looking like a real threat to make even more improvements heading into Contenders.

Homall Gaming Chair Racing Style High-back Faux Leather Office Chair Computer Desk Chair Executive and Ergonomic Style Swivel Chair with Headrest and Lumbar Support (White)