On the second day, there were surprises.
The second day of Overwatch League’s preseason was full of the unexpected. The Los Angeles Gladiators came out on top in what ended up being a slugfest with the London Spitfire. The Fuel and the Outlaws started their rivalry off with a bang and New York turned in the most convincing win of the night over Boston.
London Spitfire v. Los Angeles Gladiators
London were the favorites of many coming into the match with the Spitfire roster bolstered by Korean talent. But Los Angeles wasn’t intimidated and would go on to provide fans with five rounds of great Overwatch.
Starting out on Junkertown, Gladiators’ DPS Surefour used Bastion to shred the Spitfire and take the point with more than three minutes left. London got off to a slow start, and weren’t able to push it past the first point, giving the Gladiators the first map and a surprising 1-0 lead.
London would wake up during the second round on Horizon. The Spitfire would hold L.A. from getting any progress on point B during the first round. Using their momentum, London made quick work of round two and tied the series up at 1-1.
For round three on Ilios it was more of the same. Hooreg on Widowmaker provided the picks London needed to dominate the scenic Greek island. The Spitfire would take the round 2-0 and move the match score to 2-1.
Round four took the teams to Numbani with a game similar to round one and Junkertown. London was able to make it a four-round game this time, but Surefour was once again able to get the Gladiators a win by using Bastion to cut through the London defense like a hot knife through butter.
With a score of 2-2 after four rounds, it was time to head to Lijiang Tower for some bonus Overwatch. Unfortunately for London, L.A. would keep rolling with the momentum from the last map, taking both points convincingly. The Gladiators walked away from their first preseason performance with a 3-2 win.
Final Score: Los Angeles 3 — 2 London
Houston Outlaws v. Dallas Fuel
One of the most anticipated matches of the night was between in-state rivals the Dallas Flame and Houston Outlaws. Dallas was the favorite in this one thanks to some big names on their roster, but the Outlaws weren’t just going to be walked over.
Houston would show they were no ones little brother during the first round on Dorado. Dallas would manage to capture the first checkpoint, but would stall in the second stage thanks to a tenacious Outlaw Defense. The team in neon green managed a much better initial push than Dallas and Houston were able to win with time to spare. After one game, the score was 1-0 in favor of Houston.
The Fuel would come back on Anubis, though. In a match full of offense, Effect for Dallas stood out on Reaper. Houston played well, but just weren’t able to match the Fuel’s offensive tempo. Dallas would take Anubis after 4 rounds with a score of 3-4, tying the match score at 1-1.
The first tiebreaker of the match would be on Oasis. The Outlaws dominated University and looked good heading into Gardens, but then it all fell apart. Dallas was able to adapt and eventually overcome the Outlaws, taking Oasis 2-1. Taimou provided fans with a blast from the past and helped his team to a win when he hopped on Roadhog during City Center.
With Dallas up 2-1, the Lone Star State grudge match headed to Eichenwalde. Houston once again showed their defensive prowess and were able to hold off Dallas and tie up the series at 2-2. This was despite some flashy Tracer play by Effect, who was really impressive all night.
Finally, it all came down to round five on Lijiang tower. Both sides started the round out with sloppy play on Night Market. Houston would end up barely taking the round, but it wasn’t pretty. Gardens would be close as well, but the Fuel were able to find a way to win it. Control Center and the match would also end up going Dallas’ way.
The teams from the Lone Star State looked pretty evenly matched on Thursday, despite the star power on the Fuel roster. There’s enough talent on both sides to make this one of the most entertaining match-ups in the league come regular season.
Final Score: Dallas 3 – 2 Houston
Boston Uprising v. New York Excelsior
The final match of day two saw New York face off against Boston in what could end up being another entertaining rivalry once the season rolls around.
The first map of the round was Dorado and the Excelsior were able to capture all three checkpoints, but with no time left in the bank. But it wouldn’t matter thanks to a beautiful New York defensive stand led by Pine on Widowmaker. New York would go up 1-0 after the first round.
On Temple of Anubis Boston looked much improved from the first map. After a strong first round by New York, the Uprising were able to take both points thanks in part to some strong Reaper play by Dreamkazper. In round three Boston were able to take point A quickly, but stalled out and left the door open for New York to take the round by getting one tick on point B, which they did quickly. After the battle in the desert, New York found themselves up 2-0.
Oasis was the setting for round three and the best performance of the night from Boston. The Uprising took University, despite some interesting Moira play for New York courtesy of Libero. Boston would keep their momentum up and continue to play competitively, winning Gardens and taking Oasis 2-0. After three rounds, it was New York 2 – 1 Boston.
New York was able to get three points, again in overtime during attack on Eichenwalde. The Excelsior held out on defense and took the round and match, 3-1. The uprising were impressive, especially on defense, and played a better game than many were predicting they would.
Final Score: New York 3 — 1 Boston
Day two of preseason gave fans two rounds of five games each, something that could end up being a regular occurrence during the season. This is alright though, because who doesn’t love a good competitive Overwatch match?
It will be interesting to see how Surefour and the rest of the Gladiators perform later on after their impressive performance versus the Spitfire. The Outlaws and the Fuel with both be teams to watch as well. Houston may have come into the game considered underdogs, but showed they have the talent needed to hang with the top teams.
The most impressive performance of the night came from, surprisingly, Boston. The Uprising were able to take Oasis against a very talented New York Excelsior team. The Uprising showed sparks of promise on defense and performed better together than almost anyone thought they would.
Day three of Overwatch League’s Preseason matches start Friday, Dec. 6 at 4 p.m. PST with the London Spitfire taking on the San Francisco Shock.