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Six Stack: Six Questions Heading into Stage 2, Week 3 OWL Matches

Blink and suddenly we are into the third week of Stage 2 in the Overwatch League’s inaugural season and as we go deeper into it, so does the plot involving the twelve teams in the league. In preparation of Week 3, here are the six main questions we hope to be answered by the end of the week. But before we go any further, here are the matches taking place, starting tomorrow morning.

Screen Shot 2018-03-07 at 9.32.30 am

Screen Shot 2018-03-07 at 9.32.38 am

OK. Let’s get on to it.

Are Seoul Really Out of the Woods? 

The Seoul Dynasty (4-0) appear to have found their groove in Stage 2 but despite the perfect record, look less dominating than we expected them to be. They dropped maps against Fuel and the Gladiators; both teams that many expected the Koreans to easily roll past. There is a sense of déjà vu  considering that they were dominating the league up til the third week in Stage One before encountering the big boys in NYXL and Spitfire, which started the slide resulting in them missing out on the playoffs. The Fusion who have been on a roll will be their biggest test this week as they prepare for a huge Week 4. Will they have a perfect, 6-0 record come end of week 3?

Where is Seagull?

The change in fortunes for the Dallas Fuel (2-2) probably prompted the team to carry on with the pairing of AKM & Effect deep into Stage 2. However, we haven’t seen any of Brandon ‘Seagull’ Larned to date which prompts the question – will he ever get back into the team, and if so, how? AKM has proven to be a more effective hitscan player and Effect is their designated Tracer. We’ve seen Rascal appear on the Genji as well while the team’s previous second DPS option, Taimou have flexed onto the tank role. The absence of Seagull is made even more perplexing since his social media presence has been naught since end of February. Rumor has it, he is training for an off-tank role similar to Mickie’s which may result in very limited appearances during Stage 2. We wouldn’t be surprised if he’s taking the time to master Brigette as well, in preparation for an upcoming meta once she goes live.

When Will the Shanghai Streak End? 

Shanghai Dragons (0-4) had the best opportunity to break the curse last week when they faced the San Francisco Shock (1-3) in Week 2 but were ultimately destroyed 0-4. With only six matches remaining, our prediction of the Dragons winning at least two matches is suddenly in jeopardy, moreover with them facing the Dynasty and Uprising this week.  Seems like the only good news for them this time around is that their newest recruit, Geguri have been showing proficiency on the ‘meta changing’ (says Jeff ‘Daddy’ Kaplan) Brigette. Will she be Shanghai’s last piece of the puzzle for their first ever Overwatch League win? That visa approval can’t get through any sooner.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhAK3d6q6Yo?start=416&w=560&h=315]

Will Houston Bounce Back?

After starting Stage 2 by shocking the London Spitfire and dominating the Boston Uprising, the Outlaws stumbled the following week; losing to the Philadelphia Fusion and New York Excelsior to go 2-2. It’s all about the momentum and they next face the Los Angeles Valiant who are on a three-game winning streak following their win over the Fuel last Saturday. An Outlaws win against LA Valiant is even more important considering they next face a slew of mid-tier teams (Gladiators & Shock) that may affect their playoff chances overall. The Outlaws’ true mettle will be truly tested during this period starting with Valiant who are not only their potential playoff rivals, but are also red hot with Soon seemingly enjoying life in this post-Mercy meta.

Who Will Win Battle of Los Angeles 2?

The second Battle of Los Angeles takes place this Thursday and the Gladiators (2-2) will be keen to avenge their reverse-sweep loss to the Valiant in Stage 1. Both teams enter Week 3 with contrasting fortunes – Valiant (3-1) on a 3 match winning streak while Gladiators are reeling from a loss to Dynasty last week. Undefeated on Nepal in all of Stage 2 – they even stole that map from the Dynasty – the Gladiators must be cursing their luck as this map isn’t on the cards for the tie against Valiant. However, the Valiant have been shaky on  Hanamura and Gibraltar and if Gladiators are to stand a chance to win this rematch, winning on these two maps are essential. Winning the tank battles is also important and with Fissure’s addition to the Gladiators tank corps, expect the Valiant to face a stiffer competition than last week’s outing against the Fuel.

Have the Other Teams Got Boston Figured Out?

After finishing Stage 1 with a respectable 6-4 record, the Boston Uprising find themselves in peculiar position at the start of Stage 2, currently sitting on a 1-3 record. Even more surprising was that all of the losses were 0-4 stomps, two of which were from teams many perceived to be on a similar level to the Uprising – Fusion and Outlaws. The Uprising surprised everyone in Stage 1 when they defeated the London Spitfire but don’t expect that result to repeat itself this week as the high-flying Spitfire will be ready for the Uprising, and are surely keen to set the record straight. The Fusion reversed the Stage 1 result at the start of Stage 2 and you can expect more teams to set the records straight vs the Uprising who seem to have been severely affected by the Mercy nerf.

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