Stage 3 Week 3 is now over and most games ended with 3 maps in favour of one of the teams. The magic number was a boon to some and a disappointment to others.
Houston Outlaws 3-1 Florida Mayhem
Florida started off strong during map one. They took advantage of a big mistake by Rawkus and ticked the control point with ease. Something had to be done, and the Outlaws took Dive formation, with Muma charging forward. They fought the Mayhem off and denied them the win, but it was extremely close. Looks like this was the push they needed, because the following team fights were much more one-sided, and in the end, Houston got what they wanted.
Boston Uprising 3-2 London Spitfire
London turned a losing battle around and took the first map 2-3., after losing 2-0. Exactly the same thing happened on map two – with the Uprising taking the points with amazing plays, just to fall one by one in little tactical errors that added up. The vicious cycle was broken in the third game, where Boston took the win and kept pushing forward. Map four turned out to be the deciding one. The Uprising managed to defeat their opponents, then London came back. The 1-1 99%-99% was so intense, it was hard to watch. With all Heroes rushing at each other, giving all they’ve got, it all ended when Gesture was eliminated, quickly followed by Nus. The six-on-four battle was decided in a matter of seconds. The Boston players displayed looks of disbelief, immediately followed by joy and celebration.
Philadelphia Fusion 2-3 New York Excelsior
This was a scene-by-scene recreation of the Stage 2 finals all over again. Reverse sweep and all. Philadelphia players must be burning with desire to finally conquer New York and show everybody they are the best team in OWL. They sure played like that, because the first two games were swept quickly. However, NYXL knew what to do in situations like these. They outplayed Philly on map three and took the objective practically uncontested. But there was no smooth sailing ahead. Fusion came back biting, taking the first point on the payload. The 2-2 stalemate was finally broken and the win ran through Philly’s fingers. The tiebreak was intense. The 1-0 turned into 1-1 and in the end, NYXL were victorious. A rather unpleasant déjà vu for Fusion, to be sure.
Philadelphia Fusion 1-3 San Francisco Shock
The Shock are back indeed. Taking of Philadelphia sure isn’t a simple task, but they dealt with them in an extremely convincing manner. Sinatraa seems to have finally found his place in the team and feels confident. He outgunned Carpe on many occasions, and that’s no small feat. San Francisco took a comfortable lead of 2-0. Another notable performance was Danteh, who, as the casters mentioned, is probably the best Sombra player in the league right now. EQO, piloting Genji, found key kills that helped him turn the tide of the game and win map three, but the deal was ultimately sealed on the last map, where the orange team expertly fought the Fusion all the way of the payload, until their inevitable victory.
Florida Mayhem 3-1 Shanghai Dragons
This was quite the trade of blows. Florida took the first map 2-1, but the Dragons came right back with 1-2. Shanghai had an amazing start on Nepal and dominated the Shrine, but Mayhem came back quick and took a point. In a duel between two D.Va’s Manneten pushed away Geguri and secured the point and the game. The Dragons pushed forward, and Ado made good use of his Genji, but in the end, Mayhem managed to put together a strong defense and took away the victory.
Boston Uprising 2-1 Seoul Dynasty
This was the only game to break the theme of threes, but the lucky number was definitely involved. After Boston snatched the first game, map two ended in a 3-3 tie. The blue force pushed forward, also winning the third game, dropping the final one. Seoul had their chance to come back, but could not muster enough strength to achieve it, and their differential will suffer for it. They can afford no more missteps on their path forward.
London Spitfire 3-2 Los Angeles Valiant
Can you lose a match you’re completely dominating? That’s what the Spitfire must have been asking themselves during Map three. The audience sure did. The first two maps were swept quickly and easily by London. Valiant made a handful of misplays and were generally lacking focus. As everyone thought it was over, Soon started clicking on heads and clearing whole areas by himself. With well-timed attacks by his teammates, LA regained their footing so much so, that a tiebreaker was forced and everything was up in the air until map five began. However, London knew what they had to do and mirroring the tactics from the first two games, quickly defeated their green rivals and took the important third point.