London Spitfire 4 - San Francisco Shock 0
The London Spitfire picked up a 4-0 sweep of the San Francisco Shock to open up Saturday's Overwatch League slate at Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California.
After playing four straight five-game sets, London got the chance to flex a bit against San Francisco in this series. For all the good that San Francisco has done thus far in Stage 3, it looked wholly inept against the Spitfire on Saturday afternoon.
Despite London still playing without star DPS Kim "birdring" Ji-hyeok, who is nursing a wrist injury, the Spitfire seemed to not miss a single beat in this series. The DPS duo of Park "Profit" Joon-yeong and Lee "Hooreg" Dong-eun looked incredible, switching off between playing Widowmaker and Tracer at various points in the series and wreaking havoc on the Shock. While teams usually tend to have players stick to a single hero of the two, the London pair kept San Francisco guessing at every moment.
While the Shock has shown some major strides here in Stage 3, the team looked like it was back to Stages 1 and 2 levels of ineptitude in this series. Its reliance on DPS Park "Architect" Min-ho was exploited to the fullest extent by the veteran South Korean squad. London made sure to focus the Shock DPS player down at every turn, and with him neutralized, San Francisco couldn't come up with another option. Not even fan-favorite DPS Jay "sinatraa" Won could save the day, as the Shock only managed two point captures across all four games. Adjustments need to be made soon, or the Shock will be forced to watch its Stage 3 playoff hopes slip away.
The San Francisco Shock will look to rebound against the Houston Outlaws at 11 p.m. ET on Wednesday, while the Spitfire will take part in showdown against the Seoul Dynasty at 11 p.m. ET on Friday.
-- Wyatt Donigan
New York Excelsior 4 - Seoul Dynasty 0
In a clash of South Korean teams, the New York Excelsior decimated the Seoul Dynasty in 4-0 fashion on Saturday in Burbank, California.
While the Excelsior isn't in first place in the Stage 3 standings, New York showed Saturday why it is still one of the best teams in the Overwatch League. Different players took turns carrying New York from map-to-map, showing how many superstars this squad has. In Game 1 on Volskaya Industries, the front line showed up strong, with main tank Kim "Mano" Dong-gyu's Winston leaping around and dictating fights on Point B. Next on Numbani, it was DPS duo Park "Saebyeolbe" Jong-yeol and Kim "Libero" Hye-sung who popped off as Tracer and Genji, respectively. Not to be outdone, hitscan DPS specialist Kim "Pine" Do-hyeon and the MVP candidate support Bang "JJoNak" Sung-hyeon took over Games 3 and 4.
After winning a come-from-behind win against the Philadelphia Fusion on Thursday, the Dynasty seemed to have righted the ship after a inconsistent Stage 3, but Seoul seemed just a step behind New York throughout this series.
From worse ultimate economy management to lacking the raw mechanical advantage that the Excelsior had, Seoul just got outclassed. The upside for the Dynasty is that it kept relatively even on some of the maps while showing a level of tactical awareness that has seemingly gone missing the past few weeks. Perhaps this Dynasty team isn't the best in the league, but teams should still be wary of sleeping on Seoul.
New York looks to continue its winning ways against the Dallas Fuel at 11 p.m. ET on Thursday, while the Dynasty gears up to take on the London Spitfire at 11 p.m. ET on Friday.
-- Noah Waltzer
Philadelphia Fusion 3 - Shanghai Dragons 2
The Philadelphia Fusion struggled but won a close 3-2 series against the Shanghai Dragons on Saturday night at Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California.
In what should have been a one-sided match, the Fusion stumbled as the Dragons took the series all the way to a fifth map. Before now, Shanghai had steadily been gaining steam by taking a single map off various teams like the Boston Uprising and Seoul Dynasty. The team seemingly put all its progress together and took one of the top teams in the Overwatch League to a Game 5 on Saturday, which is an impressive achievement in its own right and deserves every bit of recognition, even if it did end in a loss for the Dragons.
Shanghai main tank Lee "Fearless" Eui-seok was the top player for Shanghai in this series. True to his namesake, he is 100 percent dive whether or not his team follows up with him; that's always been a double-edged sword for the Dragons, but without his dives causing chaos in the backline of the Fusion, Shanghai would've had no chance of winning both Blizzard World and Junkertown.
At the same time, the Fusion didn't play perfectly, which allowed the Dragons a lot of leeway to take advantages wherever it could find them. Unsurprisingly, it was the Fusion DPS duo of Lee "Carpe" Jae-hyeok and Josh "Eqo" Corona who brought the Fusion back from the brink of defeat on the final map, Oasis. Eqo's Pharah especially demolished the Dragons on both points to help bring a sudden end to such a high-tension series. This match, however, made one thing certain: Shanghai is not a team to be taken lightly, and it is starting to gain the chemistry needed to get close to that elusive first win.
The Fusion will face off with the Dallas Fuel at 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday. The Dragons will appear on stage again against the New York Excelsior at 9 p.m. ET on Friday.
-- Steven Nguyen