Overwatch League Week 4 Wrap-Up — The Stage 1 Finals Are Starting to Look Interesting

As Week 4 of Overwatch League's Inaugural Season concludes, Seoul Dynasty's 3rd place spot may be at risk; can a Western team make it to the Stage 1 Finals?

on February 8, 2018 2:30 PM

Week 4 of the Overwatch League has come and gone with some rather interesting results. Going into this week, I would have told you that the London Spitfire, Seoul Dynasty, and New York Excelsior were sure bets to make it to the Stage 1 Finals. After Week 4 concluded, I am not too sure: A team I once thought was the best garnered another loss that puts their 3rd place spot at risk. Let’s look at the results of Week 4:


Day 1: January 31st, 2018

Match 1: Los Angeles Valiant vs. Philadelphia Fusion

Watch Game 1 VAL @ PHI Stage 1 Week 4 from OverwatchLeague on www.twitch.tv

Any matchup between the 4th through 6th place teams will affect the League standings in an interesting way. Moreso, map wins are proving to be very crucial to where each team is placed. The matchup between the Los Angeles Valiant and the Philadelphia Fusion exemplified both points. Both teams are in a position to potentially make it to the Stage 1 Finals: a win will give them the 4th place spot, moving them closer to clinching.

Going into this, I thought this would be an even matchup; it could have been one that lasted five games. However, as pointed out by the Chris Pucket and crew, when the Fusion doesn’t rise to the occasion, they are a bit sloppy. Additionally, the lack of Poko in the match led to a more passive playstyle that could not keep up with the Valiant’s dive composition.

In the end, the Valiant swept the Fusion giving them four map wins. This ended up working in their favor to some extent, as we will see in their next match with the Boston Uprising.

Match 2: Florida Mayhem vs. Los Angeles Gladiators

Watch Game 4 FLA @ GLA Stage 1 Week 4 from OverwatchLeague on www.twitch.tv

As two teams that have been struggling in the first stage, the Los Angeles Gladiators and the Florida Mayhem face-off in a match that will aid them in the long run. Los Angeles is clearly the favorite and proved that by winning the match 1 to 3.

The Gladiators have proven they can perform against the most dominant of teams like the Valiant and the Fusion. However, when they are off their game, the other team takes advantage of their mistakes that lead to 4 – 0 losses.

Both of these teams have been performing fairly poorly in the first stage of Overwatch League. This may be due to the small size of their roster. Teams like New York Excelsior and Philadelphia Fusion have rosters that allow them to sub in players to their advantage (i.e. New York’s Pine for control maps). These teams don’t have that option. Florida Mayhem did sign Joonas ‘Zappis’ Alakurtti, but that boosted their roster up to just seven players. If both teams were to sign more players, they may have a better chance of moving up the standings.

In my mind, both of these teams are out of the running for the Stage 1 Finals. They should be focusing on moving up the standings in hopes to be in the top three during Stage 2.

Match 3: Houston Outlaws vs. San Francisco Shock

Watch Game 2 HOU @ SFS Stage 1 Week 4 from OverwatchLeague on www.twitch.tv

These teams have been really fun to watch. Both teams have some of the strongest players in the league like LiNkzr (who didn’t play due to illness) and BABYBAY. The clear favorite is the Houston Outlaws, but that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t get some incredible highlights from both teams.

Although they lost the first two maps, BABYBAY had some excellent plays with Soldier 76 on Numbani and Widowmaker on Anubis. Muma, the Player of the Match, had some great Primal Rage kills with the Winston on Numbani, as well as showing his flexibility by using Orisa and Roadhog.

Similar to how I feel about the Gladiators, the San Francisco Shock should focus on moving up in the standings during Stage 2. The Stage 1 favorites — which includes the Houston Outlaws — have mostly been determined. If the Shock work on their strategy a bit more, they could be a contender for the Stage 2 Finals.

Results:

Los Angeles Valiant vs. Philadelphia Fusion (4 – 0)

Florida Mayhem vs. Los Angeles Gladiators (1 – 3)

Houston Outlaws vs. San Francisco Shock (3 – 1)

*Note: Bolded teams denotes the winners of its match

Day 2: February 1st, 2018

Match 1: Philadelphia Fusion vs. Dallas Fuel

Watch Game 4 PHI @ DAL Stage 1 Week 4 from OverwatchLeague on www.twitch.tv

Coming off a pretty rough match against the Los Angeles Valiant, the Philadelphia Fusion see themselves in an important match against the Dallas Fuel. Fortunately for the Fusion, the Fuel has only seen one win against the San Francisco Shock, one of the lower seed teams in the League. However, there is some favor for Dallas as Taimou and HarryHook are back on the starting lineup.

Although this may have been one of the stronger performances from the Dallas Fuel, they still lost 4 – 0 against the Philadelphia Fusion. Dallas continues to struggle to win a match, which makes their chances of making the playoffs way harder than it should be.

On the other side, Philadelphia Fusion has shown they can outmatch teams that are considered more dominant. If they continue this momentum into Week 5 — and if other teams don’t perform as well as they should — we could see the Fusion in the Stage 1 Finals.

Match 2: New York Excelsior vs. Shanghai Dragons

Watch Game 3 NYE @ SHD Stage 1 Week 4 from OverwatchLeague on www.twitch.tv

I think we all know who won this one. Even with a mixup to the starting lineup that sees Pine in for Saebyeolbe, the New York Excelsior still got a 4 – 0 victory over the Shanghai Dragons.

When it comes down to it, New York Excelsior just has a better strategy than the Shanghai Dragons. Undead continues to be a valuable asset to the Dragons, but that isn’t enough to garner a win against one of the best teams in the League. When you have solid DPS players like Pine and Libero, that alone is enough to make things difficult for the Dragons who have lost every single game they have played thus far.

Match 3: London Spitfire vs. Seoul Dynasty

Watch Game 1 LDN @ SEO Stage 1 Week 4 from OverwatchLeague on www.twitch.tv

This could be considered the most important match for both teams; whoever wins this matchup between the London Spitfire and the Seoul Dynasty would determine who takes the number one spot in the standings. Luckily for the Spitfire, they beat the Dynasty in all four games.

Starting on Numbani, we see a solid defensive performance from London Spitfire shutting them out on the first map. That same play continues as they continue to shut out Seoul on Anubis and Ilios. It isn’t until Dorado where we see the Dynasty finally on the scoreboard but is too late to really affect the game as the London Spitfire already had the match win.

A big question mark that had me baffled was the lack of ryujehong on the support. He has been a huge factor for the Seoul Dynasty and to see him not in a single game was baffling. If it’s a matter of switching things up to throw off the Spitfire, I understand the lineup change for the first two games. However, after their performance on Numbani and Anubis, why would you not put in your star player? Sure, London may be ready to take on ryujehong, but could have been a differentiating factor for some of these matchups. His absence was surely felt from the Dynasty as they lost to the Spitfire 4 to 0.

Results:

Philadelphia Fusion vs. Dallas Fuel (4 – 0)

New York Excelsior vs. Shanghai Dragons (4 – 0)

London Spitfire vs. Seoul Dynasty (4 – 0)

*Note: Bolded teams denotes the winners of its match

Day 3: February 2nd, 2018

Match 1: San Francisco Shock vs. Florida Mayhem

Watch Game 2 SFS @ FLA Stage 1 Week 4 from OverwatchLeague on www.twitch.tv

Similar to their match against the Los Angeles Gladiators, the Florida Mayhem continued to struggle against teams that are considered middling. The San Francisco Shock may not be a contender at this stage, but have shown they can go toe-to-toe with the likes of the Houston Outlaws where they got a map win against the playoff favorite.

As I mentioned above, the Florida Mayhem doesn’t have a lot of options in terms of substitutions. In fact, they don’t have any. Even with the addition of Zappis, they need to become a more flexible team if they are only going to run with a seven-person roster.

Match 2: Seoul Dynasty vs. Houston Outlaws

Watch Game 5 SEO @ HOU Stage 1 Week 4 from OverwatchLeague on www.twitch.tv

In another matchup that affects the Stage 1 Finals to a tremendous degree, the Seoul Dynasty see themselves against a strong Houston Outlaws team. If the Houston Outlaws won, they would have made it into the top three as we move into the fifth and final week of Stage 1. Unfortunately, that is not the case as we saw the Dynasty get the 3 – 2 win and ending Houston’s streak.

Although the Houston Outlaws lost their first two games, they’ve won their past five matches and have become a favorite to make the Stage 1 Finals. Sure, the Seoul Dynasty ended their win streak, but if the Dynasty loses even one match in Week 5, the Outlaws may have a chance to compete in the finals.

Match 3: Los Angeles Gladiators vs. Boston Uprising

Watch Game 3 GLA @ BOS Stage 1 Week 4 from OverwatchLeague on www.twitch.tv

Coming off a couple wins against the London Spitfire and the Dallas Fuel, the Boston Uprising continued to bring that momentum against the Los Angeles Gladiators, a team that has been struggling. On paper, this should have been a competitive matchup, but Boston gets the win as they take all four games.

I do think the Boston Uprising is being underestimated. I’ve said it since the first week, this team has the potential to make it to the playoffs once the regular season is all said and done. They did have a bit of a rocky start in the beginning, but they are slowly becoming a dominant force in the League.

Results:

San Francisco Shock vs. Florida Mayhem (4 – 0)

Seoul Dynasty vs. Houston Outlaws (3 – 2)

Los Angeles Gladiators vs. Boston Uprising (0 – 4)

*Note: Bolded teams denotes the winners of its match

Day 4: February 3rd, 2018

Match 1: Shanghai Dragons vs. London Spitfire

Watch Game 4 SHD @ LDN Stage 1 Week 4 from OverwatchLeague on www.twitch.tv

We all know the Shanghai Dragons have been very rough in this first stage of Overwatch League, but their schedule this week was unforgiving. First, they faced the New York Excelsior; now, they go toe-to-toe against the London Spitfire. As you expect, the London Spitfire swept the Dragons, pushing Shanghai further away from the playoff picture.

Match 2: Dallas Fuel vs. New York Excelsior

Watch Game 2 DAL @ NYE Stage 1 Week 4 from OverwatchLeague on www.twitch.tv

For the New York Excelsior, this was an imperative match that determined their place in the standings. London Spitfire is three games ahead of them after their win against the Shanghai Dragons; if New York wants to see themselves at the number one spot, they need four wins.

Going into this matchup, I was sure the Excelsior was going to win. However, sweeping the Fuel did not seem probable. The Fuel has lost a lot of games, but have garnered map wins from some of the best teams like the London Spitfire and the Seoul Dynasty. As I expected, New York Excelsior gets the victory over the Dallas Fuel, but didn’t grab enough map wins to move to the number one spot.

Match 3: Boston Uprising vs. Los Angeles Valiant

Watch Game 1 BOS @ VAL Stage 1 Week 4 from OverwatchLeague on www.twitch.tv

The Boston Uprising is the Overwatch League’s underdog. The Los Angeles Valiant is by no means a struggling team; they are a favorite among those watching in the Blizzard Arena as well as the viewers at home. Even after a win against the London Spitfire, no one expected them to get a win against the Valiant due to some questionable performances earlier in the season.

The Boston Uprising not only came out victorious, but also swept the Los Angeles Valiant, moving them up to 5th place in the standings. If they can continue to perform like this — with a few teams making some mistakes in Week 5 — we may see Boston in the Stage 1 Finals.

Results:

Shanghai Dragons vs. London Spitfire (0 – 4)

Dallas Fuel vs. New York Excelsior (1 – 3)

Boston Uprising vs. Los Angeles Valiant (4 – 0)

*Note: Bolded teams denotes the winners of its match


Standings

  1. London Spitfire – 7 wins, 1 loss
  2. New York Excelsior- 7 wins, 1 loss
  3. Seoul Dynasty – 6 wins, 2 losses
  4. Houston Outlaws – 5 wins, 3 losses
  5. Boston Uprising – 5 wins, 3 losses
  6. Los Angeles Valiant – 5 wins, 3 losses
  7. Philadelphia Fusion – 5 wins, 3 losses
  8. San Francisco Shock – 3 wins, 5 losses
  9. Los Angeles Gladiators – 3 wins, 5 losses
  10. Dallas Fuel – 1 win, 7 losses
  11. Florida Mayhem – 1 win, 7 losses
  12. Shanghai Dragons – 0 wins, 8 losses

As we move closer to the Stage 1 Finals, the chances of Seoul Dynasty clinching are fading. Don’t get me wrong: I believe by the end of the regular matches of Week 5, the three teams that make it will be the London Spitfire, New York Excelsior, and Seoul Dynasty. However, there are some teams that may have a chance if they can win their next two games. The teams sitting between 4th and 7th all have the same record and can potentially get into the finals if Seoul loses their next two games.

Overwatch League

While my adoration for the Boston Uprising has me pulling for them to make it alongside New York and London, I think the favorites to make it to the Stage 1 Finals beyond the 1st through 3rd positions are the Houston Outlaws, Philadelphia Fusion, and Los Angeles Valiant. All of these teams have proven they could give the top three a hard time. Boston Uprising did defeat the London Spitfire in a 3 – 2 match in Week 3, but they are a bit scrappier than the other three. However, when they can strategize and work together, they are a team that shines past any of the aforementioned favorites.

Opinion

Something I have begun to notice is how competitive this is becoming. Sure, the London Spitfire and the New York Excelsior are dominating everyone in the League (with a few exceptions), but that third place spot is up for grabs. If the Seoul Dynasty loses one game next week, we could see the Houston Outlaws, Boston Uprising, Los Angeles Valiant, or the Philadelphia Fusion take that spot away from them. Week 5 will be full of crucial matchups that will make each game exciting and dire for each team eligible for that 3rd place spot.


The first stage of Overwatch League’s Inaugural Season ends next week starting February 7th to the 10th. Check back next week for our weekly Wrap-Up of Week 5, and check our previous recaps of Week 1, Week 2, and Week 3.

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Michael Ruiz is a staff writer at DualShockers. He enjoys most video games, but would be happy playing Galaga for the rest of his life. When he isn't playing games, he is probably watching professional wrestling or podcasting over at Model Citizens Media.