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Overwatch League Week 6 Wrap-Up — No Mercy

Overwatch League sees a new meta leaving Mercy behind; New York Excelsior are still on top despite their loss against London Spitfire.

As one stage closes, another opens as Stage 2 of Overwatch League commences. After Stage 1, we are given a good picture of where each team stands; based on the standings, NYXL, Outlaws, Spitfire, Valiant, and Dynasty are top-tier teams, Uprising, Fusion, and Gladiators in the mid-tier, and the Fuel, Mayhem, and Dragons in the bottom-tier. Stage 2 will help determine if these teams are truly representing their current standings.


Day 1: February 21st, 2018

Match 1: Seoul Dynasty vs. Los Angeles Valiant

Watch Game 4 SEO @ VAL Stage 2 Week 1 from OverwatchLeague on www.twitch.tv

Starting things off in Stage 2 are two of the most dominant teams in the league, the Seoul Dynasty and the Los Angeles Valiant. In what should have been a pretty close match — considering the Dynasty lost to Valiant the last they met — ended in a 4-0 loss for the team in green.

Firstly, the change in the meta of Overwatch has changed the strategy in a significant way. Support characters are much more vulnerable without Mercy by their side. In this particular match, the Valiant was just outplayed by the Dynasty. Seoul has been known as a team that can survive and adapt, and it certainly showed in this match. With Lucio back in the primary rotation of heroes, all the teams will have to adjust to the new meta. Hopefully, they can do that as quickly as the Dynasty seemingly has.

Match 2: Dallas Fuel vs. Shanghai Dragons

Watch Game 3 DAL @ SHD Stage 2 Week 1 from OverwatchLeague on www.twitch.tv

The Shanghai Dragons cannot catch a break. If you couldn’t guess, the Shanghai Dragons lost yet another match against what I would consider a bottom-tier team.

Dallas Fuel has had its turbulent moments, but things are looking up with the addition of Rascal and aKm giving them more flexibility and heroes to choose. As stated by Taimou from the post-match interview, aKm brings a solid Soldier 76, while Rascal brings a competent Genji, which is integral to the dive composition.

Match 3: Los Angeles Gladiators vs. San Francisco Shock

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

The Los Angeles Gladiators and the San Francisco Shock are both middling teams that have shown they can compete with top-tier teams. While Shock has had some trouble moving up the standings, the Gladiators have been one of those teams that have been overlooked. Now with the addition of one of the best tanks in the league, Fissure (formerly of the London Spitfire) may give the Gladiators the push they need to get to the top of the standings.

Like the matches before it, the Gladiators outplayed the Shock. San Francisco did give its opposition a run for the money on Hanamura, but LA held them to just one point on each of the following maps.

Results:

Seoul Dynasty vs. Los Angeles Valiant (4-0)

Dallas Fuel vs. Shanghai Dragons (3-1)

Los Angeles Gladiators vs. San Francisco Shock (4-0)

*Note: Bolded teams denotes winner of its match

Day 2: February 22nd, 2018

Match 1: Houston Outlaws vs. London Spitfire

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

The Stage 1 champs, the London Spitfire, played their first match of Stage 2 against the Houston Outlaws. Going into this, I assumed the Spitfire would carry their momentum from the finals and win their first match. It seems I underestimated the Outlaws, as they won the match in the first five-game set in Stage 2.

What was surprising about the match, in particular, is the loss on Ilios for Spitfire; they have seen more victories on this map compared to the Houston Outlaws. If I were a betting man, I would have put my money on London winning that map; luckily I am not. Players like LinkZr and Boink played exceptionally and shut down the Spitfire.

Match 2: New York Excelsior vs. Florida Mayhem

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

It is not a surprise that the New York Excelsior beat the Florida Mayhem. What is surprising is how close the game was. They may have lost, but at least Florida put up a good fight.

Of course, Saebyeolbe was the most problematic player for the Mayhem. Considered one of the best Tracer players in the word, he garnered 47,748 hero damage, 65 final blows, and 44 kills on support. Florida Mayhem’s support players could not escape the wrath of Saebyeolbe.

Match 3: Boston Uprising vs. Philadelphia Fusion

Watch Game 3 BOS @ PHI Stage 2 Week 1 from OverwatchLeague on www.twitch.tv

Both the Boston Uprising and the Philadelphia Fusion have been fighting for 6th place in the overall standings. After Stage 1, Boston occupied that spot with the Fusion shortly behind due to a discrepancy in map wins. However, the Fusion comes into Stage 2 ready to steal that position away from them with a 4-0 victory.

It seems that the Uprising still needs to work on their strategy. They did have a slow start in Stage 1, but quickly got accustomed to their opposition. Now that the meta has changed, they are going to have to get acquainted with it, as well as how others are integrating it into their strategy.

Results:

Houston Outlaws vs. London Spitfire (3-2)

New York Excelsior vs. Florida Mayhem (3-1)

Boston Uprising vs. Philadelphia Fusion (0-4)

*Note: Bolded teams denotes winner of its match

Day 3: February 23rd, 2018

Match 1: London Spitfire vs. New York Excelsior

Watch Game 5 LDN @ NYE Stage 2 Week 1 from OverwatchLeague on www.twitch.tv

If I had to pick the best match of the week, London Spitfire and New York Excelsior’s showing in the first week of Stage 2 would receive that crown. In an extremely tight five-game matchup between the two Korean teams, London Spitfire comes out with a win. Unfortunately for NYXL, Pine didn’t step up while Spitfire’s Birdring dominated.

Match 2: Dallas Fuel vs. Los Angeles Gladiators

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

Simply put, Dallas Fuel needs to play more like this. The Dallas Fuel is showing the naysayers (like myself) that they can play cohesively. If they continue to play like this, especially if xQc can bring this performance back next week, I have no doubt that they can go to the Stage 2 Finals.

Match 3: San Francisco Shock vs. Seoul Dynasty

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

The Seoul Dynasty continues to prove that they can adapt to a troubling situation. At the half, the San Francisco Shock managed to tie things up with the top-tier team. However, the Dynasty turned things around and outperformed the Shock giving them their ninth loss.

It is nice to see the Shock can be unpredictable at times with some compositions they may not be comfortable with. They are a mid to bottom-tier team and it may be to their benefit if they can switch things up on the fly.

Results:

London Spitfire vs. New York Excelsior (3-2)

Dallas Fuel vs. Los Angeles Gladiators (3-1)

San Francisco Shock vs. Seoul Dynasty (1-3)

*Note: Bolded teams denotes winner of its match

Day 4: February 24th, 2018

Match 1: Philadelphia Fusion vs. Florida Mayhem

Watch Game 3 PHI @ FLA Stage 2 Week 1 from OverwatchLeague on www.twitch.tv

Coming into Stage 2, the Philadelphia Fusion may become a top-tier team if they continue to play at this level. Now undefeated in this stage, they are destroying their competition which is exemplified in this match; the Fusion held the Mayhem to just one point throughout the entirety of the match. Philadelphia Fusion will be a team to look out for throughout Stage 2.

Match 2: Boston Uprising vs. Houston Outlaws

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

The Houston Outlaws continue to be a force in the Overwatch League as they take out the Boston Uprising. The Texas-based team didn’t seem to be the strong team they are now at the beginning of Stage 2. However, by the end of the first stage, Houston has become a top-tier team.

As always, LinkZr flaunts his incredible talent throughout the match as one of the best DPS players in the league. Additionally, Muma shows off his fantastic tanking ability with his Winston on Hanamura and Reinhardt at the Control Center.

Match 3: Shanghai Dragons vs. Los Angeles Valiant

Watch Game 3 SHD @ VAL Stage 2 Week 1 from OverwatchLeague on www.twitch.tv

The Shanghai Dragons and the Los Angeles Valiant match unfolded as expected; the Dragons saw their 12th loss. As I watched this match, I pondered on what this team could do better to get some wins. Not that they haven’t improved since day one, but they have yet to win a single match.

It is possible that the team just doesn’t have the flexibility of all the other teams in Overwatch League. That will hopefully change with the team’s latest player signings. Eui-Seok “Fearless” Lee, Gi-Hyeon “Ado” Chon, Se-Yeon “Geguri” Kim, and Junjian “Sky” He will all be wearing those red jerseys and will hopefully fill the holes in the team’s current strategy.

Results:

Philadelphia Fusion vs. Florida Mayhem (4-0)

Boston Uprising vs. Houston Outlaws (0-4)

Shanghai Dragons vs. Los Angeles Valiant (0-3)

*Note: Bolded teams denotes winner of its match


Opinion

The new meta for Overwatch has changed things up in the league. In Stage 1, it was rare that a Mercy was not picked. Now with the new patch, her Ultimate duration has been decreased and the ability to instantly refresh the cooldown timer for her resurrection taken away, Mercy is rendered useless. According to Winston’s Lab, a site that provides stats for Overwatch League, Mercy was the most picked hero with a 95.15% pick rate previously; post-patch, her pick rate dropped to 29.91%.

This poses a problem for some teams that may have been comfortable with the Mercy meta and now have to learn a new strategy that may affect how well they do in the beginning matches of Stage 2. Teams who could or should have won their matches, like the London Spitfire and the Boston Uprising, may have been susceptible to this hindrance. However, teams have taken advantage of this situation, such as the Seoul Dynasty, to outplay their opponents.

Looking at the Stage 2 Standings, it is surprising to see the Dallas Fuel on top. Although they played low to mid-tier teams this week, they seemed to be more cohesive than their time in Stage 1. This cohesion will certainly be put to the test next week when they face Seoul Dynasty and Los Angeles Valiant, who are in 3rd and 5th place respectively.

As we end our Week 6 Wrap-up, let’s look at the standings so far for both the stage and the overall season:

Stage Standings

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

Season Standings

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

That is it for this week’s Overwatch League Wrap-up. Check back next week to see if the stage’s current top three teams can keep this momentum going. If you want to catch up on all the action, check out the rest of the Wrap-ups: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5.

This post was last modified on March 6, 2018, 11:19 am

Michael Ruiz :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.