Two great teams in the Overwatch League with a lot left to prove did battle on Wednesday.
At the end of Stage 2, the Seoul Dynasty once again found themselves as the team on the outside looking in at the post-stage playoffs. Finishing just outside of playoff eligibility for the second time was no doubt a bitter pill to swallow, but the Dynasty are still third in the league overall. If anything, their lackluster stage finishes only serve as fuel for the team to push even harder in the second half of the Overwatch League.
The Los Angeles Valiant also took a dip in Stage 2, a fall that started with a loss to their cross-town rivals and ended with a walloping at the hands of the New York Excelsior. During the break between stages, the Valiant made heavy player changes, including the acquisition of Bunny, who previously played DPS for the Dynasty.
Will the Valiant’s new talent energize the team back to their Stage 1 levels, or would the Dynasty start the stage with their signature dominance?
Map One: Temple of Anubis
The Valiant welcomed Custa and Space to their starting roster. Meanwhile, the Dynasty debuted their own new faces in Gambler and XepheR.
On defense, Seoul set up behind Miro’s Orisa shield on the lower high ground. The Dynasty were only able to orchestrate a slight stall on the point before the Valiant pounced right on top of FLETA and the rest of the Dynasty. Agilities on Genji helped LA sustain their presence on the point even as members of his team fell, and he finished things off on point A with a deadly Dragonblade. As teams usually do after taking the first point, LA barreled right on through to point B. With Seoul still waiting on all their respawns to come through, LA was able to firmly establish their presence on the point before Seoul finally tried to contest. Quickly, the Valiant had point B firmly within their grasp as well.
The Valiant’s defense set up on the far high ground, with SoOn on Widowmaker behind Fate’s Orisa shield, and right away, several costly headshots stopped Seoul in their attacking tracks. That set the tone for the rest of the Dynasty’s offensive run, as the Valiant pushed them back time and again. Just when Seoul looked to have an advantage after taking out Los Angeles’ tanks, Agilities took the advantage right back by landing a huge Riptire which took out both Seoul supports. The Valiant decisively shut the Dynasty down to get off to a 1-0 lead.
Map Score: Valiant 2, Dynasty 0
Match Score: Valiant 1, Dynasty 0
Map Two: Numbani
On attack, Los Angeles packed firepower from the air and on the ground, with Agilities on Pharah and SoOn on Tracer. Inexplicably, Seoul seemed unwilling to engage in a hard defensive stand on the point, choosing instead to slide back from the objective as Los Angeles gained ground. With the Valiant constantly building their objective control meter, by the time the Dynasty started to gain traction in the fight, the first point was already lost. With nearly no hiccups along the way, the Valiant found themselves quickly at the second point.
Incredibly, Los Angeles continued to find little resistance as the payload moved through the home stretch. There were moments where the Valiant’s hold on the payload was fragile, but they always had an ultimate ready to use to carry them through those dicey situations. In no time, Los Angeles had fully completed the map.
Seoul attacked with FLETA on Tracer and Munchkin on Sombra. However, Los Angeles looked to have a solution for every angle of attack the Dynasty threw at them. It wasn’t until overtime had already been burning for several seconds before FLETA forced his way through the ranks of the Valiant with a Dragonblade, clearing the way for Seoul to cap point A. But even as the payload started the move, the Valiant were careful to never ease up the pressure, forcing the Dynasty to fight their way to the second point.
With just over a minute left, Seoul managed to get enough eliminations to push the payload close to the goal line. But a pick onto Gido’s Zenyatta helped Los Angeles collapse Seoul down once again. The Dynasty only had enough time to send a few of their fastest heroes back to the payload to contest it, but the attempt would fail as they so often do. The Valiant walked away with a comfortable 2-0 lead in the series.
Map Score: Valiant 3, Dynasty 2
Match Score: Valiant 2, Dynasty 0
Map Three: Nepal
Both teams started off strong and heavy, with Reapers, Reinhardts, a Zarya and a Roadhog clashing in the Village. Seoul grasped the point first, but Los Angeles managed to grind their way through to force the objective to tip their way. Up 83 percent, Munchkin helped Seoul retake the objective with a huge multi-kill Death Blossom. But the Valiant came right back, this time holding true to the end.
Up 1-0, the Valiant had a series victory within their sights as the teams moved to the Sanctum. Los Angeles asserted themselves on the point first, able to build up to just under 50 percent before FLETA picked up two eliminations to open the point up to Seoul. However, just as they’d done all series long, the Valiant came right back with Space holding court over the objective as Roadhog. With that, Los Angeles wrapped up both Nepal and the series win.
Map Score: Valiant 2, Dynasty 0
Match Score: Valiant 3, Dynasty 0
Map Four: Junkertown
On attack, the Valiant would position Fate as Orisa on the payload with SoOn and Kariv as the double sniping artillery to back him up. Just one slight stall stood between Los Angeles and a first point take. But as the payload moved into the second stretch of the map, Seoul solidified around it largely thanks to big plays by FLETA on Genji. Even though the stall was lengthy, even FLETA ended up not being enough to completely shut Los Angeles away from the second point.
With around a minute to work with, the Valiant moved into the home stretch of the map. In overtime, Los Angeles was able get just enough eliminations to give themselves some free forward movement before Seoul came back to contest. Once again, the Valiant dug deep for some of the best Overwatch play we’ve seen from them in a long time, persisting on the payload to push it home just in the nick of time.
Just as Los Angeles did on attack, Seoul’s offense featured two snipers alongside Gido on Bastion. Right away, the Valiant started to cause the Dynasty trouble, with Agilities on Junkrat able to build up to a Riptire quickly and often. The Valiant first big team clean up was thanks to a Riptire landing among the Dynasty tanks and laying down that first big chunk of damage. After that, Los Angeles was able to stall Seoul again and again with picks meant to stagger and handicap. The Valiant finished their strong full hold with Fate plopping his Supercharger directly on top of the objective as the last of the Dynasty’s forces and hopes crumbled by the wayside.
Map Score: Valiant 3, Dynasty 0
Final Match Score: Valiant 4, Dynasty 0