Welcome to the OWL W4 D1 Recap! The fourth week of the Overwatch League has kicked off, and with it, we have already seen interesting strategies, a clean sweep, and a five-map series. With only three matches to comb through for this entry, here is what happened in the recent Overwatch League matches.
Los Angeles Gladiators versus Atlanta Reign
Nobody could’ve predicted the result for this match. The Atlanta Reign were the favourites going into their match against the Los Angeles Gladiators. The Reign have had a solid start so far in the league, however it’s been a rocky road for the purple squad from Los Angeles. Fans of the Gladiators were delighted when the team not only took the match win over the Reign, but they’ve had a complete turnaround from previous weeks. The final score for the matchup was 4-0 in favour of the Gladiators.
If there was one word to describe this match for the Gladiators, some would probably go for ‘unexpected’ or ‘surprising’. That’s only because of the results that the Gladiators produced in the past three weeks. For others though, ‘impressive’ and ‘clean’ would spring to mind. The Gladiators looked on form during this game, as they almost constantly had the advantage over Atlanta throughout the match. The team focused on working together instead of going for the flashy plays, and the results showed. But that isn’t to say there were no impressive moves from the squad. New DPS player and rising star, Gui-un “Decay” Jang, shook things up by playing as Genji during the Gladiators’ attack round on Temple of Anubis.
As the Gladiators began to contest the second point, Decay used his dash ability to cut down three members of the Reign quickly, and then helped his team keep the respawning opponents at bay as the percentage continued to build. This match has kept the hopes of the Gladiators alive for the Stage 1 Playoffs, but they still have to rely on other match results and their own results in their game against the Guangzhou Charge later in the week.
Gladiators Have Atlanta’s Number
Atlanta didn’t play poorly, it was more due to the fact that the Gladiators read them like a book through the entire game. Despite the loss and some mistakes, the Reign still looked rather cohesive. It wasn’t a complete stomp over Atlanta either. They successfully completed Kings Row in overtime and captured Point A of Temple of Anubis in their attack run. They also managed to win some team fights that allowed progress onto the objective, or they would win fights to force the Gladiators back. Atlanta still have a solid chance at the Stage 1 Playoffs as they face off against the Chengdu Hunters and the Houston Outlaws next week, and they’re currently sat in 6th place overall, tied with the Guangzhou Charge.
Los Angeles Valiant versus Philadelphia Fusion
It may have gone to a map five, but the match-up between the Los Angeles Valiant and the Philadelphia Fusion wasn’t the cleanest. And while the Valiant had a shimmer of hope that they could take their first victory of the season, the Fusion swiped it from underneath their feet and claimed the win for themselves. However, fans of the Valiant might consider the fact that the actor of Peeta Mellark from the Hunger Games, Josh Hutcherson, being a fan of their team as a win, as the actor was at the game and revealed that he’s a tank main in the game! The final match score was 3-2 in favour of Philadelphia.
Valiant’s Hard Week
It really isn’t a good time to be a Los Angeles Valiant fan. The team is now in last place. They own a 0-6 match record of 0-6 and a -9 map differential. The Valiant are officially eliminated from the Stage 1 Playoffs too, and there haven’t been many signs of improvement from the team. In order to improve, the Valiant need to work on how they engage and disengage during their fights. These areas are sloppy and are costing the Valiant at crucial points.
Their players are also dying rather often, as stated by caster Hexagrams during Nepal. If their Lucio is dying 5 times on one point, it’s not a great sign. Still, there are three more stages left in the Overwatch League, and the Valiant are still due to play the Houston Outlaws on Saturday. Things may seem dark, but there is still hope for the Los Angeles squad in the green and gold.
The Philadelphia Fusion eked out the victory on Busan for the fifth and final map of the series, but the road to this victory was not easy. The Fusion started out okay in their first two maps of the series, going up 2-0 before halftime. But for the next two maps after halftime, it was as if they had made the decision to become clowns and join the circus. They weren’t moving as a unit and they didn’t look as if they were coordinating, either. Nevertheless, main tank Su-min “SADO” Kim landed a very good flanking Earthshatter as Reinhardt on Busan that aided in their win on the map.
Toronto Defiant versus Chengdu Hunters
The third and final match of the night was between the Toronto Defiant and the Chengdu Hunters. Chengdu was hoping to catch a win in the match, but unfortunately, the Defiant had other plans. After some fairly close games, the Toronto Defiant took the win, with the final match score of 3-1.
Chengdu do not disappoint. They’re one of the only teams who don’t run a standard 3-3 composition, switching Reinhardt out for Wrecking Ball. But that wasn’t what had fans hooked this week. Chengdu had an odd defense on Volskaya Industries, but it was a well-protected one. The team decided to run a Bastion and a Torbjorn, where the Bastion and Torbjorn’s turret sat behind Reinhardt’s shield and they were protected from the back by Orisa’s barrier. If that wasn’t enough, they decided to have a Brigitte as well just for some extra shields, and they ran with an Ana as their healer. All of this was set up on the bridge that sits above and behind the second point. If you’re having trouble visualising this, here’s a photo.
Fans Love the Hunter’s Odd Compositions
Fans have come to love the Hunters because of their unorthodox compositions, and whilst they may not get the wins with these compositions sometimes, they did get the win on Volskaya Industries in this match-up, and their strategies are very entertaining to watch as a variation from the usual 3-3 composition.
Toronto are now fourth overall in the league, and they have a very strong shot at securing a spot in the Stage 1 Playoffs. The match itself was a convincing win from the Defiant, and whilst they did lose the third map, that didn’t shake them as they were able to finish the four-map series and take the third and final win on Route 66.
From DPS player Seung-hyun “ivy” Lee playing Tracer on Ilios to Se-Hyun “Neko” Park giving fans a strong demonstration of Ana on Kings Row as he slept the enemy Pharah, killed it and then killed their Wrecking Ball too. Couple those with effective teamwork and good coordination, Toronto had a great match and are looking good heading towards the Stage 1 Playoffs.
FRIDAY 8TH MARCH
8:30 PM EST – Paris Eternal vs Vancouver Titans
10 PM EST – New York Excelsior vs San Francisco Shock
11:30 PM EST – Dallas Fuel vs Shanghai Dragons
SATURDAY 9TH MARCH
3 PM EST – Los Angeles Valiant vs Houston Outlaws
4:30 PM EST – Seoul Dynasty vs Washington Justice
6 PM EST – Guangzhou Charge vs Los Angeles Gladiators
7:30 PM EST – Hangzhou Spark vs Toronto Defiant
SUNDAY 10TH MARCH
2 PM EST – Paris Eternal vs San Francisco Shock
3:30 PM EST – London Spitfire vs Shanghai Dragons
5 PM EST – Florida Mayhem vs Boston Uprising
6:30 PM EST – Vancouver Titans vs Chengdu Hunters
Check out our Week 4 Power Rankings here!
Images VIA: Overwatch League and the Los Angeles Gladiators