Stage 3 is over and The NYXL kept their title with an unprecedented score. Even the best-performing team with their massive win-streak could not dethrone them.
Los Angeles Valinat 0-3 New York Excelsior
Just as predicted, the semi-final game between the New York Excelsior and Los Angelis Valiant was one-sided to the point of almost going through the motions. The green camp was shot down on their track in the first map, scoring only two points on the payload. As soon as the offence was switched, Saebyeolbe and pals did the running and gunning, and the Valiant did the dying. LA’s organisation had its moments but was overall lacking. And that’s exactly what Pine took advantage of, eliminating them one by one. The games ended rather quickly and resulted in a massive 0-3.
With that out of the way, it was time for the matchup that everybody was expecting. On one side we have the uncontested overall leader and reigning champion from Stage 2. On the other is the uncontested Stage leader and record-breaking winner. Both wearing blue jerseys and ready to fight until the end.
Nobody thought this battle would be easy, and it was up in the air as to who will take the edge and show that they’ve got what it takes.
Well, it turned more one-sided than anticipated.
New York Excelsior 3-0 Boston Uprising
History repeated itself almost step-by-step. The first map was Route 66 – a sniper-heavy battlefield in which Striker had to test his mettle against Pine. Saebyeolbe’s signature Tracer agile play-style and proper target prioritising did wonder for the New Yorkers and the Uprising was intercepted early, scoring only 2 points on the track and dropping the map.
Map two, Nepal, was a one-sided steamroll. The Koreans established dominance early on and did not leave the zone for a second. Boston did their best to push them out, but pushing an entire team out is an impossible task when you’re constantly on respawn.
Map three, Volskaya, was not the last one, as many suggested. The NYXL scored two points with their aggressive plays, but the Boston regrouped and came lashing back, pushing to a 2-2 tie, and then a 3-3 even score that ended the affair.
Numbani was the real nail-biter of the night. After the dramatic tie, could Boston muster enough strength to strike back and take what’s theirs? In short – no. This time the Excelsior was on the offence and managed to get all three payload points. After that, in a hard-fought battle, the Uprising payload was stopped very close to its final target. So was their unbroken winning stride of the unseen-before 15 games.
New York Excelsior is the Stage 3 champion
Not because the Valiant or the Uprising had a poor performance, but because the NYXL had the counter-strategies and the plays to outgun them both. When asked how does he feel, MVP Saebyeolbe, in English, muttered simply ‘I’m the best Tracer in the world.’ They were glad to take their revenge on Boston and felt like it was completely deserved. And after having the score to boot, it is hard to argue with them. As for the cheering fans at home, he said simply ‘I love my fans. Thank you, guys’.
What a show. The blue Koreans might look unstoppable now and they will rightfully celebrate their hard-fought victory. But this amazing success has also painted a target on their chest and the other teams in OWL will do everything in their power to dethrone them. Stage 4 is right behind the corner and it will be more intense than any of the previous ones. But we don’t have to worry about it just yet. Now, let the celebrations begin.