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Florida Mayhem: Stage 3 Preview

The Florida Mayhem are coming off of a tough Stage 2. In that stage, they were one of only two winless teams and look to already be rebuilding for the future. However, they were only swept 4-0 once, against the New York Excelsior. Every other match in Stage 2 saw the Mayhem take maps from some strong teams. The Florida Mayhem are not the meme everyone makes them out to be and heading into Stage 3 they have some people to prove wrong.

Stage 3: A New Team

Over the break period between stages, the Florida Mayhem have been the most active team in regards to roster changes. These changes saw Koo “Fate” Pan-seung and Seong “Byrem” Joo-lee being added to the active Mayhem roster. These pieces were acquired at the expense of Caleb “McGravy” McGarvey, Johannes “Shax” Nielsen and Russel “FCTFCTN” Campbell, plus some cash.

Trading for Fate
Fate
Pictured: Fate, Courtesy of the Overwatch League

The addition of Fate is a very important one. This is because many had the Mayhem’s previous tank duo pegged as the worst in the league. They lacked cohesion, and were often caught out of position by enemy teams. The Mayhem organization had previously chalked this up to a difficulty in communication between their Korean and English speaking players. However, since the departure of their western players, these issues have continued. Hopefully, this signing will alleviate these long standing issues.

The pickup of Byrem

Byrem is an interesting pick-up for this team. Not only does he have a bad reputation in his home country of South Korea as an account booster, but the Mayhem already have a capable player at that position. The flex support position is arguably the only position in which an upgrade may not be needed. This of course is assuming mechanical skill is the most important asset of a player’s worth. There may be more intangible reasons for this acquisition. Only time will tell if Byrem sees any play time moving forward.

Other Signings

There are still strong rumours circulating that another player will be signed before Stage 3. It is public knowledge by numerous sources that indicate a player by the name of Lee “Gargoyle” Beom-jun will also join the Mayhem. The Florida Mayhem do need a new off-tank/flex position player, as time and time again Koo “Xepher” Jae-mo is critiqued for not being able to play at OWL standards. That being said, Gargoyle does not offer the same flexibility as Xepher on heroes such as Pharah. It should be enough that Gargoyle is an upgrade over Xepher’s D.Va, as it seems to be that Goats will still be prevalent in the Stage 3 Meta.

There are other rumoured players to join the Florida Mayhem, but none as strongly rumoured as Gargoyle. These players are also not as crucial as a new tank pairing for the Mayhem.

Stage 3: The Meta

bqb
Pictured: BQB, Courtesy of the Overwatch League

It seems that the Meta will mostly involve GOATs and iterations of the composition. Recent Contenders games have shows maps like King’s Row and Rialto to always have GOATs be played. Most other maps mix together a decent amount of Bunker Composition (Orisa & Baptiste are the staples of this composition) and Sombra GOATs. There is still room for DPS heavy compositions on Control maps, or for the Chengdu Hunters of course.

It’s hard to say if this Meta will suit the Mayhem or not. Ha “Sayaplayer” Jeong-woo will still unfortunately have to play a decent amount of Brigitte. This will limit his carry potential on his signature heroes like McCree. However, Lee “BQB” Sang-bum may just be able to quit Zarya duty in order to play Sombra for this team. Contenders teams have preferred to play Sombra instead of a D.Va in this composition however, the Mayhem were not able to do this in Stage 2 because BQB had to play Zarya. With the acquisition of Gargoyle, BQB is no longer the only capable Zarya on this team and can show the world his famous Sombra play.

The Florida Mayhem should look more cohesive, they should look like a more skilled team and with the inclusion of Gargoyle should look more flexible. Although, it is difficult to rebuild mid-season and create winning opportunities right away.

Stage 3: The Schedule

  • Friday, June 7th: Seoul Dynasty
  • Monday, June 17th: Paris Eternal
  • Saturday, June 22nd: San Francisco Shock
  • Monday, June 24th: Houston Outlaws
  • Sunday, June 30th: Hangzhou Spark
  • Sunday, July 7th: New York Excelsior
  • Sunday, July 8th: Atlanta Reign

On the surface, this schedule looks really tough for the Mayhem. However, with a little bit of optimism, this could be a stage in which Florida finally wins two matches. First of all, in the last stage the Mayhem played against five eventual playoff teams. In this stage, they only play against four Stage 2 Playoff teams. The Shock and Excelsior games may be unwinnable. But the match against fellow Stage 2 winless team, the Houston Outlaws may be a good indicator as to whether the new Florida Mayhem team has gelled enough by mid-stage to take this winnable match. Other noteworthy matches include games against the Eternal and Reign. Both of these teams have really struggled at times this year and will need to perform well to avoid an upset win by the Mayhem.

Stage 3: Final Thoughts

This will be another tough stage for the Florida Mayhem. They will need to quickly build cohesion between the players of their new roster and start to cultivate a confidant and competitive spirit within the team. However the schedule offers a few chances and with the signing of Gargoyle hopefully becoming official ASAP, the Mayhem have a depth to their roster they did not have previously. Here’s to hoping the Mayhem can not only continue to take maps from teams above them in the standings, but begin to win matches from them as well.


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“From Our Haus to Yours”.

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