Los Angeles Valiant 3 - Boston Uprising 2
The Los Angeles Valiant held back the Boston Uprising to take home a 3-2 Overwatch League series win on Friday in Burbank, California.
Things looked grim for the Uprising at the end of the first half, as it was thoroughly schooled by the Valiant. Boston looked uncoordinated on King's Row and fell victim to LA's more methodical, pick-oriented team compositions. The Valiant soared on the back of DPS Brady "Agilities" Girardi, who showed versatility in flexing between heroes ranging from Hanzo to Brigitte.
From there, the Valiant full-held the Uprising on Hanamura's first point with a brutal pick composition that allowed flex tank Indy "SPACE" Halpern to shine as Roadhog. While LA shined, Boston couldn't seem to get anything together and fell apart in its signature dive compositions while flex support Kwon "AimGod" Min-seok struggled as Zenyatta.
Indeed, heading into the second half, it looked like Boston needed a miracle.
As it turns out, that miracle took the form of one of its DPS players, but not MVP candidate Kwon "Striker" Nam-joo. Instead, the Uprising's Stanislav "Mistakes" Danilov had the hot hand as McCree among other champions and secured Oasis for the Uprising before using Brigitte to devastating effect on Dorado.
The Uprising seemed to finally find its old form and dominated the tempo of the match while the Valiant flailed trying to find a response. Fortunately for the Valiant, and Agilities, the tiebreaker on Nepal allowed him to use Pharah, which spelled disaster for the Uprising. With Striker and Mistakes unable to keep him down, Agilities gave the Valiant its wings back and led LA to take a 2-0 win in Game 5 to prevent a heartbreaking reverse-sweep.
The Valiant will continue on to a matchup against the Los Angeles Gladiators at 11 p.m. ET on Wednesday, while the Uprising take on the London Spitfire at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday.
-- Noah Waltzer
New York Excelsior 4 - Seoul Dynasty 0
The New York Excelsior struck down the Seoul Dynasty in a 4-0 sweep on Friday at Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California.
The Seoul Dynasty continues to have moments of greatness mirrored with points of despair. Main tank Gong "Miro" Jin-hyuk made his highly anticipated return to the lineup and came out with staggering force by preventing the Excelsior finishing King's Row on Reinhardt with a clutch Earthshatter. Just afterward, though, Ryu "ryujehong" Je-hong attempted to live his new dream of playing DPS on Horizon, and the whole team seemingly refused to make any adjustments to New York's lineup, leading to an utter defeat on the map.
Normally, this would be a major blow to morale, but Seoul used it as a rallying cry. DPS player Kim "Fleta" Byung-sun came alive on Widowmaker, reminding New York to not take him lightly. Unfortunately, coordination issues can't be fixed over halftime, and the Dynasty fell prey to the dreaded "C9 defense" and left the payload for too long during overtime, which determined the outcome of the series on Map 3.
The Excelsior, on the other hand, remains the top team of the league and locked up a No. 1 seed in the Overwatch League season playoffs Friday. Off-tank Kim "MekO" Tae-hong performed well throughout the series and gave DPS players Park "Saebyeolbe" Jong-yeol and Kim "Libero" Hae-seong all the space they needed to make plays. New York kept Seoul on its toes, too, by switching up its team compositions and throwing Seoul off-balance.
The Seoul Dynasty next faces the London Spitfire at 4 p.m. ET on Saturday, while the New York Excelsior faces off against the Shanghai Dragons later that evening at 6 p.m. ET.
-- Liam Craffey
San Francisco Shock 4 - Houston Outlaws 0
The San Francisco Shock ran roughshod over the Houston Outlaws in a 4-0 sweep in the final Overwatch League series on Friday at Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California.
San Francisco appears to have finally solved its personnel problems and is using the right players for the right job at the right time. The Shock have also remedied its issue with inflexibility and looks able to adapt to various situations by switching up its lineup on the fly. Now that star DPS player Jay "Sinatraa" Won has added Brigitte to his repertoire, he is a mainstay for the Shock once again.
The Stage 4 premiere of flex tank Choi "Choihyobin" Hyo-bin on D.Va has also benefited the Shock as the front line is far more potent with Choihyobin providing main tank Matthew "super" DeLisi with better protection during dives. The Shock is now just as scary on tape as it has long been on paper and looks like an early shoo-in for the Stage 4 playoffs.
The Houston Outlaws, still reeling from a crushing defeat earlier in the week, came out flat against the Shock. The DPS corps continued its trend from the previous defeat of consistently missing the mark and being unable to make plays. Simply put, the DPS duo of Jake "JAKE" Lyon and Jiri "LiNkzr" Masalin appeared asleep at the wheel Friday.
LiNkzr, usually a potent Widowmaker, could scarcely pick off the Shock's support players, let alone win a duel with the opposing Widowmaker. Even when LiNkzr could deal out significant chip damage to the Shock's tank line, there was no follow-up from his DPS partner. Jake was seemingly searching for an answer all series long to no avail, swapping between Tracer, Brigitte, Hanzo and Junkrat on a near-constant rotation.
The San Francisco Shock will get plenty of rest before taking on the surprisingly potent Dallas Fuel at 9 p.m. ET next Thursday. Meanwhile, the Houston Outlaws will catch a break in a matchup with the Shanghai Dragons at 7 p.m. ET next Friday.
-- Travis Elliott