Overwatch League – Stage 4, Week 3 preview

OWL STAGE 4 WEEK 3 PREVIEW
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All the talk in the Overwatch League continues to revolve around the 2-2-2 roster lock that has completely shaken up the competition and the rankings.

The move has completely turned the season on its head, creating great intrigue and Stage 4 looks wide open at this point.

One can question the wisdom of such a huge change during the season, but it has certainly shaken Overwatch to its core.

Suddenly anyone making the season-ending play-offs will have a chance at success, making this stage even more important.

Justice surprising this Stage

Currently sitting at 3-0 and in a tie for top spot are Washington Justice, who last week took down Florida Mayhem and, more impressively, smashed Vancouver Titans 4-0.

Washington have an interesting team in terms of nationality, with their two DPS being American while the other four starters are South Korean. Yet this appears to have had little impact on their communication, with the team routinely being on the same page and showing great timing.

Much of the success they’ve enjoyed in this stage has been on the back of the two DPS players, Stratus and Corey, with the latter perhaps being the front-runner for stage MVP given his high performance levels thus far.

Particularly on Hanzo, Corey has been all but unstoppable and his continued ability to pick off key targets is one of the largest changes since Stage 3.

Upcoming this week for the Justice are two opponents with a combined 1-5 record – Boston Uprising and Houston Outlaws – with a chance to potentially reach five wins only three weeks into the stage.

Gladiators struggling

Los Angeles Gladiators currently sit with a disappointing 2-2 record despite the new meta seemingly fitting them well. Every Gladiators match has been close, with their two losses coming to the Outlaws – their only win of the campaign – and San Francisco Shock across the full five games.

The Gladiators, however, have also taken down Chengdu Hunters, who are sitting at 3-1 and one of the teams taking the most advantage of the change in the meta.

Decay and Surefour have finally been able to show their true skills across multiple DPS heroes, with Decay in particular standing out on McCree.

Up front rOar and Void will still be hoping to create space for the rest of their team, but that is difficult with many teams going towards Reaper and Mei in order to break through the frontline.

With a myriad of teams finding more success given the meta shift, the Gladiators need to find a win this week against the struggling Dallas Fuel if they are to remain one of the teams in the play-off hunt.

New York misfiring

One of the surprisingly slow starters in this stage have been New York Excelsior, who currently hold a 1-2 record with their relevance for this stage hanging in the balance this week.

The Excelsior still have an incredibly talented line-up, with some of the highest skill levels in the entire league and many of them able to play the DPS role. Despite the change to offensive heroes, New York have struggled to adapt with their DPS not shining as brightly as many anticipated.

This week sees the Excelsior first up against a struggling Hangzhou Spark squad and secondly against Guangzhou Charge, who are one of the better teams in the league currently at 3-1.

A third loss would be crippling for the Excelsior with their recent play-off struggles appearing to now extend into the regular season.

However, keep in mind Season 1 MVP in JJoNak remains on this squad and he is the type of player who is almost impossible to deal with when producing his best.