Review: Stage 1 Week 2
This week was a tale of two teams, one that looks like six gold solo queuers and the other a professional team that took down the Philadelphia Fusion. Dallas’ match against the Guangzhou Charge was a stomp in the Charge’s favor. There were moments of life in the Fuel with good coordination and teamwork, but not enough to get a single win. However, that was overshadowed by the trash talk and eventual win over the powerhouse Philadelphia Fusion. The silver lining to all of this is that the coaching staff for the Fuel now have unequivocal proof that Dylan “aKm” Bignet is a better Zarya that Hyeon “Effect” Hwang. With this knowledge they will likely be starting aKm over Effect in their 3-3 composition.
Guangzhou Charge: 4-0
Poor positioning plagued the Fuel all series long. Often the Dallas roster would find themselves in an uphill battle, literally. Guangzhou would muscle their way onto high ground and rain death from above onto the Boys in Blue, nobody wants an enemy Zarya right clicking meteors into them.
While aKm was in the lineup there were times when good engagements would come in and coordinated ultimate usage would win them fights. However the few moments of brilliance in this game were not enough to carry themselves out of the hole they dug. Whenever it mattered the most Dallas would misuse ultimates, not get them in time or use them at the wrong time. All of these factors going into a team that nobody knew very well lead to the Charge upsetting the Fuel.
Player of the game: Rio
Seungpyo “Rio” Oh had an amazing performance on main tank during this game. Going up against Minseok “OGE” Son is not an easy feat, but Rio stood his ground and lead the Charge to a 4-0 victory. Rio has shown his prowess on Winston, Reinhardt, as well as Wrecking Ball against other very good main tanks and never under performed. This current meta can be brutal for main tanks, with the strategy a lot of times being “Delete the Reinhardt”, this does not phase him though as he leads his team into every fight without fear.
Philadelphia Fusion: 1-3
Nobody expected Dallas to win this, except for Justin “Jayne” Conroy, an Assistant Coach on the Dallas Fuel. The Boys in Blue took this series 3-1, their only loss on Horizon Lunar Colony when they put Effect in over aKm. This game didn’t see many flaws on either side, Dallas just had a better understanding of what they wanted to do and were able to control the pacing and engagements.
After some trash talk from both teams, Dallas convincingly took a win over a team many thought would steamroll the stage. To be fair, the Fusion were down one player, Isaac “Boombox” Charles was sick and unable to play. With this unfortunate situation, Elijah “Elk” Gallagher played in his place. This was bad news for the Fusion as Elk is a typically a Mercy and Lucio player, not a Zenyatta or Ana player. If Boombox was in the lineup the outcome might have been drastically different, or the same, who’s to say?
Player of the game: aKm
Once again aKm showed up and delivered amazing Zarya play, doing more damage than his counterpart Jaehyeok “Carpe” Lee on the side of the Fusion. Dylan Bignet is currently ranked sixth in eliminations, ninth in final blows and twelfth in damage per ten minutes. This meta is teamwork based, but aKm is still putting the Fuel on his back in his own way, providing consistent damage as well as coordinating plays.
Preview: Stage 1 Week 3
Dallas has only one game this week, against the team that got their first win after 42 losses. This is a break for Dallas as they have faced formidable opposition in the previous weeks. Shanghai is looking like a new team with the motivation to rack up more wins, but they don’t look super strong compared to other teams.
Shanghai Dragons: 1-2
The streak is over, the Dragons got their first win ever against the Boston Uprising in a decisive 3-1 victory. Shanghai seems to be practicing Sombra GOATS, so that means shutting down Jinhyeok “DDing” Yang as the invisible hacker.
Expect to see Benjamin “uNKOE” Chevasson on his signature Ana to try and stop DDing’s antics. A lot is riding on Zachary “ZachaREEE” Lombardo and uNKOE to minimize the enemy Sombra.
The maps in this set are Ilios, Numbani, Volskaya Industries and Dorado. The first map is typically a GOATS map, with only an Orisa anti-Dive composition on Ilios: Well sometimes. Sombra is not particularly strong or weak on these maps, so Shanghai might forgo her on this map. Next is Numbani, a very strong Sombra map, at least the first two points. Dallas has never been particularly strong on this map, but point three should favor them as it is almost always a GOATS mirror match.
Volskaya Industries could be troublesome for the Fuel, point one is very open and susceptible to many DPS heroes. Point two is more enclosed, but very hard to finish due to close enemy spawns. The Dallas roster is very flexible, but it seems like they are best at GOATS. The more anti-GOATS focused roster in Shanghai will have an easier time on this map.
Lastly there is Dorado, this map could go either way. Point one and three are typically Reinhardt centered, with point two having lots of highground. Youngjin “Gamsu” Noh generally plays Winston more than Reinhardt, so OGE may have the advantage on points one and three. This map has great potential to close out the series for Dallas as they stopped Philadelphia there in the last game of the series and are looking to repeat that.
Prediction: Dallas wins 3-1
Player to watch: aKm
He is the star player on the Fuel right now, his Zarya play is next level and on track to be on of the best in the league. His matchup this week is against Ming “Diem” Sung Bae. Diem is consistent on Zarya for the Dragons, but not particularly a standout player on that role. Keep an eye on aKm, he will likely outperform everyone this week.
What are your predictions for week two? Tell Ethan what you think @Hearin_Voices
Featured image courtesy of Dallas Fuel
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