It’s the end of the season and teams are doing their absolute best. The two home teams are outperforming even the wildest fan expectations and keep rolling.
Los Angeles Valiant 2-1 London Spitfire
At this point, we can say the Valiant are objectively the best team this Stage. They haven’t lost a single game yet and comfortably lead the rankings in the Stage. In the overall League ranks, they are sitting on second place, with only the NYXL besting them in terms of win-loss ratio and map differential.
On June 8th the Valiant met London Spitfire. The British representatives reorganized their ranks and put only eight eggs in the basket – their core roster. Even with birdring back in the action, Londoners were no match for the well-oiled mean green machine. Blizzard world saw to differing approaches by the two teams. During the control phase, Space locked in Roadhog and chained his way through the teal ranks, giving plenty of opportunities for Agilities, flavorfully armed with Junkrat, to blast away at his heart’s content. When the roles switched, Spitfire relied on heavy armor – birdring on Zarya, Gesture on Reinhardt, Profit on Brigitte and Fury on D.Va. This proved to be a tough nut to crack for LA and the battle ended in a dramatic 3-3 tie. London took the edge in map two. They fought a tough 0-1 victory and thing were looking up for a while. But they the Valiant came back lashing and once they got started, there was no stopping. The 2-0 game three blended into a 3-0 game four, ending the ordeal right there and then. London will have to fight hard if they want to make the Season Playoffs cut because six teams are going home in just a week.
Los Angeles Gladiators 3-2 New York Excelsior
The other home team is also performing amazing, having lost only one game in the stage – a defeat inflicted by their peers form Valiant. This day they had to fight the most menacing team of all – the New Yorkers. However, the Gladiators were ready to take on the challenge. Their play with skill and confidence, and really want to make it to the final six. On the other hand, the NYXL are looking a tiny bit shaken for the first time since the beginning of the league – they lost a game to the Valiant, which left a stain on their score.
Just as expected, the games were tough, frantic and the results kept audiences on the edge of their seats the entire time.
The Excelsior capitalized on their strengths as a team and somewhat unsurprisingly won King’s Row and Hanamura, both with a score of 1-2. The Gladiators could not afford to drop the third map even if it meant the end of the world, and they got to work. Lijang Tower was the turning point. Void took the risky decision to save his ultimate a little longer than he was supposed to and turn the tide of battle right after LA had lost their initial advantage. The risk paid off and the Gladiators started to shift the match on its side. They scored a massive 3-0 on Watchpoint: Gibraltar and it was off to the tiebreak. The fierce Nepal battle ended up relatively quickly with a 2-0. The Gladiators proved their worth and made the local audience explode with cheer. Saebeolbe and his camp will need to train harder if they want to avoid future unpleasant surprises like this one.
San Francisco Shock 1-2 Philadelphia Fusion
The third California-based team was the only one to suffer a loss. They took a step back to make way for the Fusion, a squad that is still determined to win every game and make the final cut.
The Shock showed confidence and competence in this matchup. They took the lead and scored the massive 4 points on King’s Row versus their rivals’ 3. On Horizon EQO and Carpe combined their powers to shoot down their enemies, but so did Sinatraa and Architect, so the match ultimately ended in a tie. The Hanzo-Widowmaker combo is not one often wielded in the League and this experiment costed the Fusion dearly.
Philly mustered every ounce of focus and stayed in the game in the most critical point – the tough Liijang Tower game where they triumphed 1-2. The final battle was resolved with a nerve-wracking 3-4 in favor of Fusion, who eventually managed to steal this valuable victory from the clutches of Sinatraa and his teammates, even though San Francisco played extremely well and outperformed Philadelphia many times.