London Spitfire 3 - Florida Mayhem 1
After an intense series Thursday, the London Spitfire earned a 3-1 victory against the Florida Mayhem at the Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California.
The Mayhem squad looks much different from the one that took part in Stage 1, as Florida has continuously shown improvements despite a lack of wins to match those results. However, Florida couldn't follow through with any advantage it got on a consistent basis Thursday. While Mayhem DPS players Kevin "TviQ" Lindstrom and Andreas "Logix" Berghmans were relentless powerhouses throughout the series, the same cannot be said for the rest of the team as many were either caught out of position or missed key ultimates and abilities entirely during crucial teamfights.
Florida upset London on the first map, Volskaya Industries, but lost its lead immediately afterward with one-sided losses on Lijiang Tower and King's Row. In the course of its 3-1 victory, however, London made a variety of puzzling mistakes while attempting to adapt to Florida's offense. In both the first and final maps, Volskaya and Route 66, London struggled to make a unified push, instead finding itself picked off one by one and forced to reset its offense. Against stronger competition, those errors could lead to losses.
Florida Mayhem will get another shot this week against the Boston Uprising at 7 p.m. ET on Friday. Meanwhile, London face off against the Philadelphia Fusion at 4 p.m. ET on Saturday.
-- Steven Nguyen
Philadelphia Fusion 3 - Houston Outlaws 2
The Philadelphia Fusion reverse-swept the Houston Outlaws in a 3-2 overtime victory on Thursday at the Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California.
This was the second time Philadelphia's pulled off the impressive feat, and this time around, it was against one of the league's best. The Fusion improved to 3-0 with the win and have vaulted themselves to among the top three teams in the league in overall record.
The first half was all Houston, which looked just as powerful as it had since the end of Stage 1. The Outlaws played aggressively on defense in the first half and earned a full-hold during overtime on the first map, Volskaya Industries, and a true full hold on the second map, Nepal. DPS player Jiri "LiNKzr" Masalin could do no wrong for his team, even when the Fusion made its comeback. In one notable play on Widowmaker, he was able to force the Fusion into a reset on his own with two quick pickoffs on both Philadelphia supports.
While one side of the DPS duo was popping off, the other half was suffering. Previously lauded as an underestimated player during Stage 1, DPS player Jake "JAKE" Lyon seemed to be a bit of a weak link for Houston. He delivered a lackluster performance playing on heroes he is not usually accustomed to and was even shut down on his signature Junkrat. JAKE's struggles weren't the only reason why the Fusion was able to rally back in the series, but his mistakes certainly helped Philadelphia get a foothold.
It's been an impressive start to the season for the Fusion, which earned two 4-0 sweeps to start Stage 2 and followed that with an even more incredible reverse-sweep of the Outlaws. Philadelphia has proven it can persevere in the most dire situations, culminating in a full-hold on defense in Game 4 to force overtime. While one win against a top-level opponent such as Houston won't dissuade the naysayers, it's clear the Fusion are a different team than what it put together in Stage 1, when it finished 6-4.
There will be no rest for the weary as the Fusion must face off with the Stage 1 champions, London Spitfire, at 4 p.m. ET on Saturday, while the Houston Outlaws take on the New York Excelsior at 6 p.m. ET later the same day.
-- Travis Elliott
New York Excelsior 4 - Boston Uprising 0
New York Excelsior made the most of its diverse hero pool en route to a 4-0 victory over Boston Uprising on Thursday during the Overwatch League at the Blizzard Arena at Burbank, California.
The dive-heavy approach that worked wonders for Boston in Stage 1 has grown stale in Stage 2 and led the Uprising to an 0-12 start in maps through the first three series of the split. Uprising main tank Noh "Gamsu" Young-jin never had the follow-up needed to secure the key support kills for his team, which forced Uprising into a bitter grind for objective control.
New York, meanwhile, showed off versatile strategies against Boston's one-trick roster. DPS duo Park "Saebyeolbe" Jong-yeol and Kim "Libero" Hye-sung were able to juggle between Genji, Pharah and Tracer with ease to maneuver around a passive Boston lineup hoping to protect its backline. And in the few cases Uprising decided it should be aggressive, Saebyeolbe and Libero rebuffed nearly every offensive assault with hardly any effort.
The Uprising will attempt to wipe the slate clean at 7 p.m. ET on Friday against the Florida Mayhem. New York Excelsior will challenge the Houston Outlaws at 6 p.m. ET on Saturday.
-- Christiaan Kutlik