Philly vs NYXL kick off an action-packed Week 3

17:00, 21 Feb 2020

Week 2 was a little rough, but the Overwatch League is starting to kick into gear for Week 3. Not only do we have an amazing match to jumpstart the weekend, but we’ve got a full afternoon of Overwatch and we’re slowly inching closer to Hero Pools, set to kick off at the start of March. However, that should detract from the storylines set to flesh out this weekend. Will it be the Outlaws or the Uprising that can bounce back? Who makes the statement win between the NYXL and the Fusion? And where exactly do the Defiant and the Spitfire stand among their peers?

February 22nd

Match of the Week: New York Excelsior vs Philadelphia Fusion @ Washington
(15:00 EST / 12:00 PST / 21:00 CET)

Yiska: NYXL (3-2) Neither the Fusion nor the Excelsior have really been tested so far and this series promises to be the first stress test. The Fusion looked mildly shaky against the Justice, though they shook off their jitters against the Mayhem and delivered a solid performance there. Perhaps still a little green behind the ears, the Fusion had to build an entirely new core in the off-season while the NYXL maintained their core roster. Therefore I think it’s slightly too early to expect the Fusion to go into this match as a favorite, though a victory here isn’t out of the question. Deciding factors in this series will be whether WhoRU can maintain trigger discipline on his Blizzard, if HOTBA and Nenne can contain a reawakened Carpe and how feasible Fusion’s Orisa compositions will look against a top tier team.

Volamel: Fusion (3-2) The Fusion is getting a bad rap from a close match against Justice, which is fair, but comparing that performance to their match against the Mayhem, is night and day. I expect the NYXL to continue running their more proactive style and odd picks, but I still feel like they need to refine and find their sea legs. This will be the age-old battle of flexibility versus refinement and this early in the season, I’ve got to give an edge to Fusion’s slightly more refined strategies. Carpe’s clutch factor, Ivy in the head-to-head, Sado’s return—all signs point to Philly taking what seems to be an upset win.

Boston Uprising vs Houston Outlaws @ Washington

(17:00 EST / 14:00 PST / 23:00 CET)

Yiska: Houston (3-2) It’s borderline stupid to give the fifth map to the Houston Outlaws especially against the Boston Uprising, but I can’t help myself here. The Outlaws are capable of more than they have shown last weekend, but the flu didn’t magically disappear during their travel home and likely also lasted through their practice blocks and for some even into the weekend. I don’t expect Danteh or LiNkzr to start this weekend either, but I think their DPS-line is sufficient to beat the Uprising. 

Volamel: Houston (3-1) This match is tough to call. Both teams haven’t shown much life. So, judging on paper, as long as Houston doesn’t stroll into D.C on a fever dream, they should be okay in taking the win here. Looking at MekO to step up to mitigate Myunbong’s impact.

Paris Eternal vs Washington Justice @ Washington
(19:00 EST / 16:00 PST / 01:00 CET)

Yiska: Eternal (3-2) The question will be how much the Eternal counted on Hanbin in practice blocks before the season started and how much of a patchwork system they were running during the first week. If the team has solid enough communication to call out Corey’s flanks, then Hanbin and Xzi should not allow Corey to do what he did against the Outlaws. From the looks of things, the Eternal were expecting to play D.Va compositions but were surprised by Smex being unavailable, hence why Benbest had to jump in on Sigma with only 24 hours fore-warning from his coaches. D.Va compositions should give the Justice more trouble.

Volamel: Eternal (3-1) With Hanbin coming into the fold, we finally get to see Paris v1.2. Along with that the Eternal now removes themselves from the self-induced pigeon-hole of only playing double main tanks. On top of that, Washington has to prep for 2 matches, Paris only has 1 game this weekend. Paris takes another upset here barring getting in their own way.

February 23nd

New York Excelsior vs Houston Outlaws @ Washington
(15:00 EST / 12:00 PST / 21:00 CET)

Yiska: NYXL (3-0) The Outlaws play only maps they have already played on stage against the NYXL but will likely mostly focus on their match against the Uprising which appears to be the only winnable one given their level of play and their health condition. This might even be so much of a stomp that we could see some Saebyeolbe!

Volamel: NYXL (3-0) Not much to say here. NYXL are just leagues above Houston even at 100% health. Won’t be a close game. If you’ve got dinner to cook or need time to clean the house, this is a good match to listen to with half an ear.

Toronto Defiant vs Philadelphia Fusion @ Washington
(17:00 EST / 14:00 PST / 23:00 CET)

Yiska: Fusion (3-2) The match against the Defiant is a trap game for the Fusion. Likely allocating more resources towards preparing for the Excelsior, the Defiant could luck into a close series here if they have more up their sleeves than Reaper flanks and Dive compositions. 

Volamel: Fusion (3-1) This should be fairly decisive for the Fusion, but the narratives I want to pay attention to is how close the Defiant make this match, what DPS players they do it with, and how Beast performs. 

London Spitfire vs Washington Justice @ Washington
(19:00 EST / 16:00 PST / 01:00 CET)

Yiska: Justice (3-1) The Justice have escaped the gravitational pull of the cellar of the standings and are feeding off a solid core and a great Corey. Moreover, the match promises to be a D.Va treat, with two promising rookies who both won their Contenders regions, delivered in their first matches especially on Blizzard eats and for some reason write their name in CAPSLOCK. Who will be screaming the others’ names after the series? 

Volamel: Justice (3-1) Stocks are fairly upon London after taking NYXL close, but I have a feeling that was an NYXL issue rather than Spitfire doing well. That said, this match is predicated on that as an idea. Take London’s match against the Eternal as an example, this team can look very weak at times when their gameplan goes belly up. Much like the Defiant, this is a litmus test for Spitfire.

Images courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment

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