Review: Stage 1 Week 1
Week 1 ended for the Fuel on a high note after a victory over the Seoul Dynasty. Their first game against the San Francisco Shock left something to be desired, but the match against Seoul showed confidence and decisiveness. Week 1 showed fans two sides of Dallas, one without motivation or coordination and one with the teamwork to dismantle one of the best main tanks in the league.
San Francisco Shock: 4-0
This game was a wash for Dallas. The San Francisco Shock beat the Fuel in every aspect without much resistance, partly due to preparation and nervousness. Teams in the OWL cannot scrimmage their opponents for that week, so Dallas did not know what to expect for the Shock and the team from the bay surprised them. San Francisco used the flexibility on their roster to throw new problems at the Fuel. Over the course of the series, the Shock made several substitutions and ran compositions other than the standard 3-3.
The Dallas Fuel looked outclassed in every sense, they were indecisive on their engagements, constantly taking large amounts of poke damage, and getting picked off one at a time. Dallas was playing Hyeong “Effect” Hwang on the Zarya, a role he did not look very comfortable on. There isn’t too much more to say about this game.
Player of the Game: Sinatraa
Jay “Sinatraa” Won’s Zarya was next level. He was building Graviton Surges every fight, placing them in smart spots and getting follow up. Sinatraa has an aggressive playstyle that the rest of his team matches and feeds off of. Jay was consistent, which in GOATS is one of the most important tasks, he had a great game.
Seoul Dynasty: 1-3
This match up looked like it would be a steamroll for the Dynasty, but Dallas read them like a book and played accordingly. The coaching staff on the Fuel figured out Seoul’s game plan to run Jehong “ryujehong” Ryu on Ana and to enable Chanhyoeng “Fissure” Baek. Great teamplay came out from Dallas, they worked on shutting down Fissure’s Reinhardt by Discording him. Knowing that Seoul would prefer the Ana over Zenyatta, Minseok “OGE” Son played more aggressively. This removed Fissure without the fear of being Discorded himself and chunked down. The only variable Dallas seemed stifled by was the Sombra from Min-hyuk “Michelle” Choi, but Dallas responded with their own.
Seoul was unable to adapt to Dallas or change their gameplan, so they went down in the series 3-1. Dallas may still be experimenting with their starting roster, as Dylan “aKm” Bignet is looking like the stronger Zarya, as well as the Sombra player. Perhaps training Richard “rCk” Kanerva on the Sombra more will be necessary for future success.
Player of the Game: aKm
The frenchman was popping off all day. His Zarya play was up to par with the best, he was building EMP’s consistently on Sombra and his Widowmaker 3k won them Kings Row. Dylan outperformed Effect on Zarya and played his other characters as well as the best in the league, this was his game.
Preview: Stage 1 Week 2
Week 2 looks like it will be the same as Week 1 for Dallas. The new expansion team the Guangzhou Charge are their first match on Thursday, the 21st. After that they have a challenge on their hands, their opponent is the Philadelphia Fusion who looked very strong in week one. Guangzhou lost their match against the Chengdu Hunters, but it is still undecided on how strong they are in the GOATS matchup. Dallas could make quick work of the Charge. However taking on the Fusion is a whole different beast, with good preparation, Dallas can put up a fight.
Guangzhou Charge: 0-1
After losing their first match to a Chengdu, Guangzhou is looking like an oddity. Of the five maps they played against the Chengdu Hunters, they only played a 3-3 composition twice. This gives the idea that they are not strong at it.
The maps in this set are Busan, Hollywood, Temple of Anubis and Route 66. Of these maps Busan and Hollywood are strong GOATS maps. The latter half of Route 66 is also strong for 3-3 compositions. With that being said, Dallas also looks keen to avoid GOATS with Effect and Zachary “ZachaREEE” Lombardo often starting maps on Tracer and Sombra respectively.
This matchup comes down to who wants to run what and how can they force it. If the Charge opt to run an anti-GOATS composition Dallas could force their GOATS matchup and try to outplay them there. Or they can oblige Guangzhou and run a split dive composition. Dallas have great DPS with Effect, aKm, ZachaREEE and Timo “Taimou” Kettunen, not only that, they also look like a strong GOATS team after the win over Seoul. Dallas takes this match.
Prediction: Dallas wins 3-1
Dallas Fuel Fun Fact: French Friends
The two frenchmen on the team, aKm and Benjamin “uNKOE” Chevasson played on the European team Rogue before finding their way back together on the Fuel. The old team dominated the European scene early on before disbanding when OWL was created. The hitscan DPS was signed to the Fuel in Stage two of season one and uNKOE made his way there shortly after. Almost all of Rogue made it to OWL, perhaps they will all make it back on one team some day.
Philadelphia Fusion: 2-0
The Fusion look like one of the best teams this stage, taking them down will be a challenge. The clutch factor from Gael “Poko” Gouzerch and consistency from Jaehyeok “Carpe” Lee will overwhelm the Dallas roster.
The maps for this match are Busan, Numbani, Horizon Lunar Colony and Dorado. Numbani and point B of Horizon Lunar Colony are the strongest GOATS maps in this set. The Fusion look more consistent than the Fuel on this front. Busan and Dorado are where things get wacky. Busan can see GOATS often, or triple DPS setups with a single tank disrupting. Dorado is a great map for Winston and Widowmaker, perhaps Taimou will make his Season 2 debut on this map.
OGE will do a good job on Winston and Reinhardt, but Carpe and Poko will outplay their counterparts of aKm and rCk. If the coaching staff from Dallas figures out how to play a new game against the Fusion, they stand a chance, otherwise they will lose.
Prediction: Philadelphia wins 3-1
Player to Watch: aKm
After his performance last week, aKm looks like a superstar. His Zarya is incredible and he is flexing to other characters like Sombra and Widowmaker. Next week he will be going up against the powerhouse Carpe, seeing them dish out damage will be a spectacle. Dylan Bignet looks like he was made for this meta with his damage output and hero pool, don’t be surprised to see him flex onto other heroes and help Dallas take more wins.
What are your predictions for week two? Tell Ethan what you think @Hearin_Voices
Featured image courtesy of Dallas Fuel
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