The midway point of the final stage of Overwatch League has just passed us. Week 3 of Stage 4 proved to be just as interesting as the last, having both great upsets and predicted victories. I’m looking over each Overwatch League team, giving a fair description of their week along with a grade. Much like as I said in last week’s recap, the grades are my opinion, but I am trying to look at every team with no bias. For those wondering how I score my teams, it is stated in a quote on this page. To start off this week:
New York Excelsior
This was one of the big surprises of the week: the Excelsior losing a match. While they did win their first game against the Philadelphia Fusion 4-0, they lost in a map 5 match 3-2 against the Los Angeles Valiant. The start of the week was business casual, but the loss was surprising. While it was very close, the team just didn’t seem as versatile as previous matches. This is not good, but people who are avid watchers of the league tables know New York’s position. They are aiming to win the Grand Finals no matter what.
They might have to lose this battle to win the war, so to speak. This was a little obvious with some of the plays they were making, like Pine flanking almost impossibly as Widowmaker. Alas, hiding strategies or not, I’m giving them a 6/10.
This week was tough for the Fusion, and it ended as many expected. As decent as they have been, they lost to both the Excelsior and to the Los Angeles Gladiators. The match against New York was a tough one, but a sweep for the opponents nonetheless. The Gladiators match was a lot closer, but a 3-1 score fit the match. EQO is still playing well, but ever since Shadowburn has been reintroduced to the lineup, he has been hit or miss. Unfortunately for this week, he was missing. Carpe continues to be a good candidate for Overwatch League MVP, and Sado has started to show holes in his tank play. While the tank line of Sado and Hotba seems like a more coordinated and defensive pairing than previous teammates, they still need to work more as a team.
This week though, in all perspectives, was a 0-2 week, so I’m giving them a 3/10.
As I said last week, the matchups Seoul had this week were easy, and they needed these two wins. While their match against Florida was much closer than anticipated, it ended up with those two wins. They swept the Shanghai Dragons 4-0 and fought against the Florida Mayhem to a map 5 win, 3-2. The key person who stepped up in this team for this week was their star player Fleta, who dominated the lower ranked teams. Wekeed also had flashes of brilliance, his main highlight being a 4 man kill barrage on the hero Pharah against the Dragons. Ryujehong is back in form, even if it was against easier competition.
The only question left is the same as many that I’ve asked before, can they carry these wins into momentum for next week? For now, I’m giving them a 7/10.
Better than last week. But not good enough to win. The Dragons continue their almost inevitable ride into the winless season nobody with a heart wants. Getting swept by the Seoul Dynasty 4-0 was soul-crushing, and their 3-0 loss to the Houston Outlaws was demoralizing. Luckily enough, the players themselves seem to be taking it well, smiling before matches and having good starts. The one map draw against the Outlaws proved that they can at least compete, but they need to put that energy into every map. Geguri and Fearless continue to be great players, and Freefeel is improving. Honestly, the one and only match they might win this season is the next one on their schedule. The Florida Mayhem is another bottom three team. Only them and the Boston Uprising are close form-wise to the Dragons. Yet, the Mayhem took the Dynasty to a map 5, much closer to winning than Shanghai did.
This was an improvement, but still enough to be bottom and winless. I’ll give them a 1/10.
Los Angeles Valiant
The past few weeks, I’ve mentioned how winning is what the Valiant has done. No ifs, ands, or buts. This week was the first week I was truly impressed at the team. They won the battle of LA 3-0 and ended up beating a relaxed New York team in 5 maps, 3-2. Also as I mentioned before, they haven’t really had standout players. They just work as a team so well, and it ended up working out against New York. Agilities and Soon stepped up, and the tank duo of Space and Fate are still one of the best duos in the league.
There isn’t much bad to say about the Valiant for this week, with the only downside being that New York was clearly not playing to their best. Even with that though, the Valiant are clearly in the top of the league, and they’re getting a 9/10 and my team of the week.
Los Angeles Gladiators
The team I dubbed the second best team in the league last week didn’t have as good a week as the past few. They didn’t do horribly but ended up with a 1-1 record. They lost against the Valiant 3-0 but then won against the Philadelphia Fusion 3-1. The main issue with this team was their inconsistency in the battle of LA. While they won last time they faced, to put it simply, the Valiant was a better team. I still think that the Gladiators will be the second best team when it comes to the playoffs, but their star players just didn’t play up to par. While it was shown Surefour and Hydration are still great attackers with their match against the Fusion, the Valiant match showed their flaws.
They still are frontrunners along with the other LA team. I’m giving them a 6/10.
This team was headlined last week with the temporary benching of most of their roster, hoping to put out a more consistent roster. This week, they started out well but ended the week really poorly. The cutting of the roster looked alright last week, and this week started off with a close 2-1 win against the Boston Uprising. But the other surprise of the week was their 3-1 loss to the Dallas Fuel, where the Spitfire got full held on the first three maps. While in their first game (and the one map they won against Dallas) Birdring consistent and worked well with Profit, it wasn’t there for most of their Dallas match. While I still think their roster cut was a smart idea, they need to get used to this meta and come up with more strategies other than running dive constantly.
Besides that, a little of coaching will make them a top team again pretty soon. I’m giving them a 5/10.
Oh boy, the losses keep coming for this team. Boston ended up losing two very close games to two very good teams, but they are losses nonetheless. They first lost to the Spitfire in a 2-1 match, and then ended up on the losing side of the match against the newly great San Francisco Shock, by 3-1. This team went from 14 straight wins to 6 straight losses, and they are slowly becoming what they used to be. Even though they are still losing, the matches aren’t only closer. They are finally adapting to the meta, by bringing in AimGod and making Striker more versatile. This is a sight for sore eyes because this team can do a lot of damage when on form.
The schedule isn’t going to try to be nice for them though, and they need to win at least a couple games to keep in the playoff race. I’m giving them a 2/1o.
San Francisco Shock
Much like the casters at Watchpoint said, people who became fans of the Shock from the start of the season weren’t expecting a great team now. They were expecting a great team in the future, with young talent being signed up that couldn’t play until their 18th birthdays. The future is now, in Stage 4 and on. They won both games 3-1 this week, against an on fire Dallas Fuel and against the Boston Uprising. Sinatraa and Sleepy are continuing their great form, and Babybay is now back in the lineup. He fit in well during the maps he played. This team is really something else this stage, proving the dive meta isn’t truly dead; you just have to play differently.
This would be the best team right now if it wasn’t for the Valiant, and they are totally a threat for the Stage 4 playoffs. I’m giving them a 9/10.
Remember how Outlaws fans said how this stage was their best one? With Brigette coming in and the dive meta being dead, the Outlaws would dominate. I think they were half right, and it turns out it fits the Fuel even better. Their first match was a 3-1 loss against the Shock, but their win against the Spitfire 3-1 was truly remarkable. Not only did Taimou and Mickie continue their great form, but they full held the Spitfire on three maps to get the win. To be fair, the Spitfire did do the equivalent of the same thing over and over and expected a different outcome.
Either way, Dallas is racking up wins. This is what they needed, especially for next season. They won once and lost once, though. I’m giving them a 6/10.
This week was also easy for Houston, as they (much like Seoul) faced two bottom tier teams, and ended up also with two wins. With two 3-1 wins, against the Shanghai Dragons and against the Florida Mayhem, they looked back to their early Stage 4 form. Though it was against easier opposition, their players were back. Linkzr was popping off again, and Muma was back to his great tank ways. Arhan looks like a star attacker in his own right. They needed these wins to get their confidence back from their boasting at the start of the stage.
The only question is, can they take these wins into the rest of the stage? I’m giving them a 7/10.
Last but not least, the Mayhem. While they did lose both matches this week, they showed fight in both games. Yet again, Sayaplayer shines as the best player on the team. This week though, for moments, it was almost as if he had a team that worked with him. In their first game, the 3-2 loss to the Dynasty, they took another team to a map 5. That was a big step forward, but their next game was a 3-1 loss to the Outlaws. They did win maps and showed better coordination, but they still have many flaws to fix.
They are more trying to win to determine their roster for next season, but they have a chance to go out with dignity. I’m giving them a 2/10.