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Shanghai take down the OWL champions

Overwatch League’s Stage 1 Week 4 was full of the trademark OWL twists and turns – outsiders are on the rise, and champions suffer defeats. The highlight of the week is definitely the Shanghai Dragons 3-2 victory over the Inaugural season champs London Spitfire.

Friday, March 8, did not offer many surprises, though this turned out to be just a calm before the storm. In the first match of the day, the LA Gladiators triumphed in a flawless 4-0 run against the Atlanta Reign. The purple warriors have much to prove after their initial matches, so this was a nice boost in confidence. Meanwhile, the red-and-blacks led by Daniel “dafran” Francesca were surely shaken up by the loss and reminded that they should never allow hubris to stand on the way of victory. Philly beat the other LA squad, Valiant, in a close 2-3, while the Toronto Defiant rolled through the Chengdu Hunters in an 3-1.

On Saturday, March 9, things got heated. The Titans steamrolled Terence “SoOn” Tarlier’s Paris Eternal in a 4-0, and so did the NYXL against Shock, and Dallas Fuel against Shanghai. The green-vs-green Valiant-Outlaws clash was a tight Houston victory with just 1-2 score after a dramatic tie on Volskaya. Seoul Dynasty defeated the Washington Justice in a somewhat expected 3-1.

Sunday, March 10, was the big day. Charge – Gladiators went 1-3, and so this Paris – SF Shock. The pink Sparks went 0-3 against the Defiant, dropping Nepal, King’s Row and Rialto, and matching them 2-2 on Volskaya.

The cherry on the top was the long-awaited London-Shanghai game, though. The battle of the arguably best versus worst team from the previous season was seemingly predetermined, but the Chinese squad had something else in mind. With a flexible hero choice and excellent tactics, they prevailed over Jae-hee “Gesture” Hong and pals in a nail-biting 2-3.

Min-seong “diem” Bae was even awarded the Player of the Match title due to his strong Zarya performance ended by a devastating Widowmaker run. He popped so many headshots and maintained high damage output, around 44k, at all times, while dying only 10 times. You can witness his performance here:

The final day of this week’s Overwatch affair was a one-sided Boston victory over Florida with an all-out 4-0. The blue rebels are continuing their steady advance after the shame of being the first team in history to suffer defeat in the hands of the Shanghai Dragons, though the reds’ impressive display of skill makes the situation much less significant in hindsight.

The final match of the week was a well-balanced and fun 3-2 Vancouver Titans – Chengdu Hunters showdown.

OWL continues this week with a prime Korean battle between the Spitfire and the Dynasty on Saturday.

Image credit: Shanghai Dragons