We are at it again as six more teams squared off against each other for the second day of the Overwatch League pre-season exhibition matches. A somewhat shock win for Los Angeles Gladiators, Dallas Fuel winning the first ever Overwatch League Texas Derby and Boston Uprising surprising everyone despite losing to the New York Excelsior.
In the first ‘upset’ of the pre-season (well, in terms of results, that didn’t play to the script), Los Angeles Gladiators defeated the highly favored B̶u̶s̶a̶n̶ London Spitfire 3-2 as DPS expert Surefour made sure his team isn’t overlooked as ‘the other’ Los Angeles team. Setting the tone early on Junkertown, Surefour & Co’s unconventional yet effective strategies worked like a charm to catch the Koreans off-guard, paving the way for the upset. Spitfire hit back to win maps 2 & 3; Assault and Control maps but were unable to maintain the momentum to lose the fourth map on Numbani. By now it is apparent that the Koreans don’t fare well on maps that involve escorting the payload and were tipped to win the tie-breaker map on Lijiang tower. But the Gladiators defied the form books to win 2-0 on Lijiang and to ensure everyone take notice.
Dallas Need More Fuel
In spite of them ultimately outgunning the Outlaws, the early season fan favorites, Dallas Fuel appeared rusty in their matches, losing more team fights early on and losing the first map, Dorado; scraping for a win on Anubis before finding their groove on Oasis. Being one of the few teams with preset lineups heading into the Overwatch League, they oddly appear to be still searching for the right balance to the team following the additions of Custa, xQc and Seagull. All three new players got some playtime but an interesting point was that xQc only getting one outing, with Fuel opting for Seagull to replace main tank Cocco on the deciding map, Lijiang Tower. We saw some sloppy plays and off-timed ultimates from both teams as well but that can be attributed to early season blues. But as it stands, Dallas need to find their groove soon while Outlaws look promising.
Boston Are Better Than On Paper
The boys from Boston are performing better than expected as they gave NYXL a good fight despite losing 1-3 to the early season frontrunners. DreamKazper, STRIKER and Gamsu all performed very well for Uprising – a team which no one gave any chance at the Overwatch League forcing the likes of Saebyeolbe and Mano to dig deeper than expected. Dubbed ‘The Moneyball’ squad, Boston Uprising shows promise and while they may not be amongst the leading teams this season, should be a force to be reckoned with in a couple seasons. Also, keep a lookout for STRIKER who outplayed Saebyeolbe on Oasis and is being touted as the next big thing.
The Overwatch League pre-season action continues tomorrow as more juicy matchups take place as San Francisco Shock take on London Spitfire, Seoul go against Houston and the Shanghai Dragons search for their first win in the pre-season as they square off against Boston Uprising.
Timings listed above are correct as of Malaysia/ Singapore/ Hong Kong time.