2019-07-14 - Overwatch League 2019 Stage 3 Playoffs / Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

2019-07-14 – Overwatch League 2019 Stage 3 Playoffs / Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

After a few weeks on hiatus due to the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) Crisis, the Overwatch League finally returned this past weekend. To keep players, casters and fans safe all matches have moved to an online play format. Due to this fact and to reduce the ping between teams who are located all around the world, the four conferences have been condensed into three. Originally, 16 matches were scheduled for this weekend but six matches were cancelled for different reasons. Of the matches that did play this weekend, the Chinese teams and the Seoul Dynasty made their regular season debut.

Here we recap some of the biggest matches of the weekend, including how each of the Chinese Teams and the Seoul Dynasty did with their first regular season appearances.

Weekend Results

Saturday, March 28th
Guangzhou Charge 0 v 3 Shanghai Dragons
Chengdu Hunters 2 v 3 Hangzhou Spark
Toronto Defiant 3 v 1 Boston Uprising
Los Angeles Valiant 0 v 3 Seoul Dynasty
San Francisco Shock v Los Angeles Gladiators

Sunday, March 29th
Chengdu Hunters 3 v 0 Shanghai Dragons
Hangzhou Spark 2 v 3 Guangzhou Charge
Florida Mayhem 0 v 3 Atlanta Reign
Seoul Dynasty v Los Angeles Gladiators
Los Angeles Valiant v San Francisco Shock

Match Highlights

Guangzhou Charge 0 v 3 Shanghai Dragons

Gunagzhou had a very strong start on the first map of Nepal against Shanghai. The Charge’s ReinhardtZarya and ReaperMei picks locked down the point and kept strong control ending the first round 100% to 0%. The Dragons came out strong on the next point with a dive composition consisting of Hammond, D.va, Tracer and Doomfist. The tempo of the fight quickly swung back in favor of the Dragons as Byungsun “Fleta” Kim on the Tracer and Lee “LIP” Jae-won on the Doomfist took control of the fight. The fights were still pretty scrappy and even, but the Dragons had better team coordination and swung back taking the map 2 – 1.

On Route 66, the Charge once again had a very strong start to the map. They rolled through point A and B and had over three minutes on the clock to secure point C. Jungwoo “Happy” Lee had great success on the Widowmaker up until this point, but had trouble playing the sight lines in the final stretch against the double shields Shanghai was running. The Dragons ran down the clock and a last minute switch by Happy to Hanzo allowed them to finish the map in over time. The Dragons had a much better run, completing the map with several minutes on the clock. The final map in Eichenwalde went the way of the Dragons and was the most one-sided match of the series.

San Francisco Shock 1 v 3 Los Angeles Gladiators

This was second game of the regular season for the San Francisco Shock, the 2019 Champions. They went into the game with their 2019 MVP Jay “Sinatraa” Won on the bench which may have attributed to their quick demise on the first two maps. Both teams settled on dive heroes with the Shock running Widowmaker and Tracer into the Gladiator’s Doomfist and Widowmaker. It was a scrappy fight back and forth but ultimately the Gladiators take Illios 2-0. Route 66 was another slaughter as the Shock tried to dive into the Gladiators double shield, but got shut down. The payload barely made it half way when the clock ran out. Chris “Mirror” Trinh on the Doomfist was clean and dangerous and the Gladiators easily took Route 66.

Sinatraa was finally subbed in for map 3 on Numbani as he took up off tank position on Zarya. The Shock did a complete 180 and were suddenly looking like the 2019 Champions again. They rolled through the Gladiators and won the map with a three minute time bank and stopped the Gladiators from even finishing their run. The Shock would continue to post superior time banks going into Volskaya, but the Gladiators kept on their heals. Both teams captured point A and point B and Gladiators would force a point B draw in the second round.

In the final map on Oasis the Gladiators’ showed no signs of slowing down. Mirror’s Doomfist was as deadly as ever and the team played as one tight unit. Even with Sinatraa, his cavalier play-style while highly rewarding also ran big risks. When he would get caught out, the Gladiators punished the Shock for it. “Team Kill’ and the resounding bell sound was heard more than once. In a clean 2-0 for Oasis the Gladiators handed the Shock their first loss of the season.

Chengdu Hunters 3 v 0 Shanghai Dragons

The Shanghai Dragons should have had the edge coming into this match after their clean sweep over the Guangzhou Charge the day before. The Chengdu Hunters on the other hand had to fight tooth and nail against the Hangzhou Spark and ended up falling in game five. Shanghai has also shown they have access to competently play multiple types of compositions. Chengdu tend to favor and excel at dive oriented compositions. Due to this and being able to capitalize on sloppy decisions by the Dragons, it was the Hunters who remained firmly in control this entire series.

The Shanghai Dragons we saw on Saturday looked like an entirely different team compared to how they played on Sunday. The Chengdu Hunters started with a convincing 2-0 win on Nepal against the Dragons. They continued to struggle through Dorado where they were able to stop Chengdu just short of point B. On the Dragons attack they were nearly full held on point A, but managed to push through with less than a minute on the clock and ultimately would fall just in front of church, halfway to a map win. Eichenwalde was the final nail in the coffin as the Hunters managed to full hold the Dragons at point A then take the win for a clean sweep.

Seoul Dynasty 3 v 0 Los Angeles Gladiators

Both Seoul and the Gladiators took wins on the first day of the weekend and were looking to gather more momentum in day two. The first map on Nepal showed both teams had the motivation and drive to succeed. Seoul Dynasty looked more solid with their composition, settling for double shields from Orisa and Sigma. The Gladiators played more fluidly changing their composition from round to round from double shields, to dive to ReinZarya and back to dive. But the Dynasty had the upper hand and secured the first win.

Seoul stays firmly in control of the tide of the battle, sticking with the double shield and letting the Gladiators crash against them with dive. Seoul take map 2 and going into match point, the Gladiators fought back from behind and managed to finish the map on Eichenwalde behind the Dynasty, but in round 2 full held them for the draw. In map 4 on Volskaya, Seoul hold the Gladiators from a point B capture. The Gladiators are nearly able to hold Seoul on point A, but they break through and take the second point and the series.

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