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Let’s OWL with Jammy! Week 3 Highlights (Season 1)

We may only be into the third week of the Overwatch League, but last week will most likely go down as the most exciting week of the entire league! Day One closes with Valiant winning the Battle of Los Angeles after being down 0-2 and managing a perfect reverse-sweep against the Gladiators to finish 3-2. Day Two opens with the fall of London as Boston re-enact the revolution (the only tea harmed was my own, as I spat it over my monitor in excitement…). Philadelphia step up to topple the giants of NYXL, who themselves follow up by defeating the league goliaths of Seoul Dynasty. With all three full-Korean teams showing their mortality, in one week, the entire league has been ripped open and is fresh for the taking.

The Battle For Los Angeles

Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

The Battle for Los Angeles was one of the most anticipated events of the league. With the Blizzard Arena situated in LA, fans for both teams were out in numbers and raising the roof for their favourite home-team. Valiant had the edge on paper, as the casters called a Valiant white wash over the Gladiators, a close fight was not expected.
Surprisingly, Gladiators took both Eichenwalde and Horizon looking dominating against their local rivals as they showcased just how effective their duos can be. It is dangerous to underestimate the synergy Gladiators have with their Tanks and Support players. iRemiix and Bischu have a long history as teammates and seem to know exactly when to peel effectively for each other, greatly increasing the survivability of the Gladiator’s Tanks as they create space for the very capable DPS of Surefour, Asher and Hydration. Similarly, both BigGoose and Shaz come into the OWL from Team Gigantti, where the duo were feared for their coordination in protecting themselves in the backline.

An intense Ilios sees the map tied up going into Lighthouse, where a desperation attempt by Valiant allows them to retake the point in overtime, when both teams were sitting on 99%; map three could have gone to either team but a perfect clutch play by Valiant’s Fury keeps the team in green alive.

Junkertown was close. Due to some clutch D.Va bombs by Bischu (5 kills total) Gladiators managed to push all three points in overtime and came incredibly close to shutting down Valiant on their final push for third. To keep the match alive, Valiant pull off some great, co-ordinated plays to push the map into a timebank and eventually hold Gladiators just short of the first point and push the set onto the tiebreaker map: Lijiang Tower.

The first round on Lijiang goes back and forth between the two LA teams, finally going Valiant’s way whilst the point is 99/99, only for it to go to the Gladiators round two again with the point counter on 99/99. There was no difference in skill between the two teams as the set enters the last possible round on the last possible map for the title: Kings of LA. It was an ironically valiant attempt for the Gladiators as they extended overtime for a good while, but unfortunately for them, the LA Valiant manage to push off their advances to take Lijiang, the set and ultimately the Battle for LA.

FINAL SCORE: Los Angeles Valiant 3 – 2 Los Angeles Gladiators [Match Replay]

Where’d You Go, xQc?

Felix “xQc” Lengyel, Main Tank for Dallas Fuel, popular streamer and MVP from last year’s OW World Cup has been suspended by the OWL for four matches due to homophobic comments against Houston Outlaw’s Main Tank, Muma. The comments were made on his popular stream shortly after Fuel lost to Outlaws in Week 2. In response, the Dallas Fuel have made an internal suspension, taking xQc out of their roster for the remainder of Stage 1.

As far as the public can see, amends have been made between xQc and Muma as an apology was made on Twitter. xQc writes:

Muma did respond, confirming there were “No hard feelings”.

On top of the ban, xQc has been fined $2,000 by the OWL and has claimed that if the money does not get donated to an LGBT cause, he will personally donate a further $2,000 to one.

The EFFECT Effect:

EFFECT (Four Kills) vs. Boston Uprising

It is no secret that the Dallas Fuel have really needed a pick-me-up. With xQc being xQc and the general performance of the team being under-par, it was a great relief for the team to finally take a win from the San Francisco Shock. They unfortunately fell a little short against an on-form Boston after taking the match to round 5 but with players like EFFECT finally hitting their stride and playing like this can we see a late stage comeback from the boys in blue?

Ever Get That Feeling of Déjà Vu?:

The Different Styles of Tracer

There’s been talk on the desk about who the best Tracer in the league is after Reinforce claimed it was Saebyeolbe. Truth is, this is an incredibly difficult question to answer simply due to the impact of style each player brings to their Tracer.

If we look at Saebyeolbe, he is undoubtedly the best player in the league at duelling. Looking at his stats against Seoul Dynasty, Saebyeolbe won 34 duels to Seoul’s DPS players whilst only dying 19 times against them, effectively shutting down the formidable offensive abilities of the Dynasty and in large helping NYXL take the win. Similarly, during the World Cup Qualifier Stage against Team USA, Saebyeolbe was the cause of every single death Sinatraa suffered on Tracer, taking him out of the fight and unable to carry his team.

Carpe, the outstanding Tracer for the Philadelphia Fusion, plays an incredibly aggressive Tracer which is a large reason why Fusion have been tearing up the mid-table of the league. His style perfectly complements his teammates ShadowBurn (who in turn plays a fairly passive Genji) and Fragi who is one of the most aggressive Main Tank players in OWL. The space Fragi generates by diving deep is perfect for Carpe to zip in and tear up the opposition backline as they scatter from the over-reaching monkey, whilst ShadowBurn either protects their own backline or follows up as an afterthought, linking his finishing swift strikes to eliminate their opponent’s ability to sustain.

So where does that leave Soon, the Tracer from LA Valiant? Well, in an almost opposite style to Carpe, Soon excels at sticking with his team and pushing their objective. That’s not to say he can’t hold his own on a flank or follow up a dive, but part of the reason he is so formidable is his ability to synchronise with his teammates and gain huge value playing the objective, allowing him easy access to healing from his backline and protection from his frontline; virtues not often extended to a Tracer.

So who’s the best? Who knows! This is likely a question that will never be answered but it is great fun watching these top players fight for the right.

-Jammy

Weekly Scoreboard

STAGE 1 // WEEK 3 – JANUARY 24, 2018

SHOCK

1

3

SPITFIRE
DRAGONS

1

3

DYNASTY
GLADIATORS

1

2

VALIANT

STAGE 1 // WEEK 3 – JANUARY 25, 2018

UPRISING

3

2

SPITFIRE
FUSION

3

2

NYXL
OUTLAWS

4

0

MAYHEM

STAGE 1 // WEEK 3 – JANUARY 26, 2018

DYNASTY

2

3

NYXL
DRAGONS

2

3

FUSION
FUEL

3

0

SHOCK

STAGE 1 // WEEK 3 – JANUARY 27, 2018

FUEL

2

3

UPRISING
VALIANT

3

1

MAYHEM
GLADIATORS

0

4

OUTLAWS

Current Standings:

PACIFIC DIVISION

#1

DYNASTY

5 – 1

#2

VALIANT

4 – 2

#3

GLADIATORS

2 – 4

#4

SHOCK

2 – 4

#5

FUEL

1 – 5

#6

DRAGONS

0 – 6

ATLANTIC DIVISION

#1

NYXL

5 – 1

#2

SPITFIRE

5 – 1

#3

OUTLAWS

4 – 2

#4

 FUSION

4 – 2

#5

UPRISING

3 – 3

#6

MAYHEM

1 – 5

 

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