Overwatch League Stage 3: Los Angeles Valiant easily down Shanghai Dragons

2018-04-04 / Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment
2018-04-04 / Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment /

Los Angeles Valiant looked to continue their banner week in the Overwatch League.

The Shanghai Dragons loaded up their roster with new faces in their season opener on Wednesday, and while they showed more life than they’ve had all season, they still walked away with a 3-1 loss at the hands of the Dallas Fuel.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Valiant started Stage 3 better than they even dared to dream, flooring the Seoul Dynasty with a 4-0 sweep. It’s difficult to say if their commanding win was due to changes in their own roster or if it was largely due to a lack of chemistry on the part of the Dynasty. Whatever the reason, the Valiant were flying high, having dispatched one of the toughest teams on their schedule with ease.

If the Dragons wanted this match to be their first win, they would need to up their level of Overwatch — and fast.

Map One: Temple of Anubis

On attack first, the Valiant charged forward with a classic dive composition. As soon as they noted that the Dragons were also in dive composition, they went back to change heroes, with SoOn on Widowmaker and Agilities on Junkrat. The Riptire did end up ensuring that Los Angeles could take point A with plenty of time to spare.

Moving onto point B, SoOn perched himself on top of the gate into the objective and rained sniper shots down on Shanghai indiscriminately. That combined with some masterful Zenyatta play from Kariv completely shut the Dragons down, downing Shanghai members literally as soon as they re-entered the fight. For being outnumbered for a majority of the fight, the Dragons were able to muster a fairly strong stall by making sure at least one member of their team was on the point at all times. However, their efforts were purely to delay the inevitable. With just under three minutes left on the clock, the Valiant finished the map.

On defense, the Valiant kept SoOn on Widowmaker as the Dragons’ approached the point with a dive composition. Towards the middle of their offensive push, Shanghai nearly at point A in their grasp, with Fearless and Ado able to open up the objective in their favor with two early kills. With Kariv falling next, it seemed all but certain that the Dragons would take the point. But Agilities ended up spoiling their plans with a fantastically timed Riptire that obliterated Daemin on Tracer while also laying down heavy damage to other surrounding Dragons. The Valiant surged back to the point, able to take advantage of the damage done to swipe the Dragons from the point. Shanghai was unable to muster together another cohesive attack before their time ran out.

Map Score: Valiant 2, Dragons 0

Match Score: Valiant 1, Dragons 0

Map Two: Blizzard World

The Valiant made their offensive approach slowly, carefully positioning themselves closer and closer to the point as their damage dealers attempted to find the elimination necessary to get the charge forward started in earnest. Soon enough, Los Angeles found their mark, dropping Fearless first with MG following soon after. With both tanks gone, Shanghai’s remaining defense collapsed quickly.

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The Valiant’s escort of the payload proceeded nearly unchecked for the entire stretch. As the cart neared the next checkpoint, Shanghai finally got themselves a successful jump on Los Angeles, able to find the kills necessarily in the rooms off to the side of the payload. But even as this fight was taking place, SoOn had snuck onto the payload and was scooting it forward on his own, a signature move of his. The free forward movement helped ensure that Los Angeles’ next push would net them the second checkpoint.

The next portion of the map went in Los Angeles’ favor very quickly. With the payload nearing the completion point, Shanghai found themselves physically and literally rebuffed from the objective thanks to a Primal Rage from Fate. With no one close enough to contest it, the payload slipped home, giving Los Angeles the full 3 points.

It took quite a while for Shanghai to hit their stride on point A. With just over a minute on the clock, the Dragons managed to gain two ticks on the point with a excellent EMP combined with a Self Destruct. But even though the Dragons wiped the Valiant from the map, Los Angeles had the time to return to contest and they immediately returned the favor. With time running out, Shanghai had to scramble back to the point to mount their last attack but even as they were setting up, Agilities ruined their plans by taking out Shanghai’s Zenyatta. The Dragons put everything they had into the fight to no avail.

Map Score: Valiant 3, Dragons 0

Match Score: Valiant 2, Dragons 0

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Map Three: Ilios

Geguri and Freefeel would come into the roster for the Shanghai Dragons as the series moved on.

Starting on Lighthouse, Los Angeles had Agilities took to the skies as Pharah, and he immediately started to cause the Dragons issues as he hunted down their supports. Shanghai switched Freefeel onto Moira after their first failed push in hopes that the hero’s healing would be able to keep them alive as they made their way to the point underneath Agilities’ rockets. But it was like the Dragons were waves breaking against the sandy shore of the Valiant — every attack and every approach was broken up and crushed by the Los Angeles defense. The Valiant would take the first point 100 percent to 0.

Moving onto Ruins, Los Angeles pushed the point with a triple-tank composition. Meanwhile, Shanghai elected to go for a more traditional composition for the map, which gave them more agility and speed. The Dragons took advantage of this by flitting into the Valiant backline and yanking away their tenuous hold on the point. But Los Angeles would come back strong, complete with a huge Earthshatter from Fate that caught three members of the Dragons in his path.

At 99 percent, Shanghai mustered up an attack that pushed Los Angeles back largely thanks to a killing Self Destruct from Geguri. But just as before, Shanghai’s control on the point would last long only as long as it took Los Angeles to regroup and make their way back to the point. Bolstered by a Moira Coalescence, the Valiant easily retook the point and this time faced no challenge during overtime.

Map Score: Valiant 2, Dragons 0

Match Score: Valiant 3, Dragons 0

Map Four: Junkertown

Los Angeles accompanied their payload with Space on Roadhog to back up Fate on Orisa, and flanked by two snipers in SoOn and Kariv. A couple key pick-offs saw the Valiant easily gaining the first checkpoint. Shanghai struggled to slow Los Angeles down in the next portion of the map as well after suffering a Riptire and a Whole Hog, but would finally stabilize on defense as the payload entered the last portion of the map.

Shanghai found a good deal of success holding off Los Angeles in the last section, largely due to their ability to target and down Fate’s Winston early over and over again. But the Valiant ground the Dragons down, helped in large part by the huge amount of time they had to work with, and with 11 seconds left completed the map.

Instead of just putting Geguri’s Orisa on the payload, Shanghai put Freefeel as Bastion on the payload as well. However, the Dragons were dismantled very quickly which caused them to abandon that composition. Upon resuming Zenyatta duties, Freefeel proceeded to rack up quite a few kills which helped propel the Dragons to a point A take.

With the Valiant still regrouping, the Dragons were able to set up on the high ground behind their Orisa shield. On Widowmaker, Ado was able to get a kill onto Fate but Agilities’ Junkrat was able to more than equalize with a couple mines. Shanghai had to withdraw, giving up their high ground position. Subsequent Shanghai pushes back onto the payload looked hesitant and confused, and SoOn on Widowmaker only added to the Dragons’ grief as he landed headshot after headshot. Eventually, Shanghai’s time ran out, giving Los Angeles their second 4-0 win of the week.

Map Score: Valiant 3, Dragons 1

Final Match Score: Valiant 4, Dragons 0