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Overwatch League Recap: New York Excelsior vs. Shanghai Dragons

shanghai dragons vs nyxl

Excelsior 3-0-1 Dragons

Despite many analysts’ predictions, Shanghai looked quite competent in their match against New York today. While it took time for the NYXL to adapt to the Dragons’ Pharah-centric compositions, after halftime they looked dominant. Shanghai should be proud of holding their own against New York, especially for their performance on Hanamura, but today’s match continued to highlight why New York belongs atop the season standings.

Oasis: Excelsior 2-1 Dragons

Toronto Defiant
NYXL DPS: Yeon-kwan “Nenne” Jeong

New York opened up on University running GOATS into Shanghai’s Pharmercy but were caught off guard by the Dragons’ aggression. Seong-hyun “JJoNak” Bang was picked off first in the opening skirmish and in the second team fight, hindering NYXL’s attempts at taking the point. Shanghai took the map 100-0, blindsiding the Excelsior.

On City Center, Yeon-kwan “Nenne” Jeong opted to play Soldier: 76 to help mitigate Jinhyeok “DDing” Yang’s Pharah, earning them the first point take. Shanghai couldn’t adapt to New York’s hitscan, allowing the Excelsior to pay back the favor with a 100-0 point win of their own.

Gardens saw the NYXL lead off with a similar hitscan focused composition, with Nenne on McCree to further put a dent in DDing’s Pharah. However, DDing managed to hold his own against one of his greatest counters, reliably picking off Nenne early on in team fights. While New York couldn’t take the point until Shanghai had earned 75% capture, once they captured it they would not let go. The Excelsior took the point 100-75 to win map 1.

Hanamura: Excelsior 1-1 Dragons

On point A defense, New York ran a standard 3-3 composition. The Dragons initially led with Youngjin on Roadhog, taking one tick on their first engagement before swapping him to Doomfist to finish taking the point. New York quickly stabilized on point B, with stellar play from JJoNak on Ana shutting down Shanghai’s attempt to snowball. The NYXL were successful in holding off the Dragons from taking a single tick on point B.

Shanghai Dragons
Image courtesy of Robert Paul

On attack, New York ran triple DPS, with Nenne on Widow, Hae-seong “Libero” Kim on Pharah, and Tae-hong “MekO” Kim on Hanzo. While their first push was shut down early, Dong-gyu “Mano” Kim managed to sneak onto the point as Orisa and place pressure to aid their second push. After failing their snowball attempt, the Excelsior swapped to 3-3 for their subsequent point B pushes. While their engages often started strong, the NYXL failed to maintain their momentum throughout their team fights. Shanghai’s impeccable ultimate usage — especially two well-placed self-destructs from Se-yeon “Geguri” Kim — prevented NYXL from making progress on the point, ending the map in a draw.

Eichenwalde: Excelsior 3-2 Dragons

Toronto Defiant vs. New York Excelsior
NYXL DPS: Hae-seong “Libero” Kim

New York opened on Eichenwalde running GOATS into Shanghai’s Pharmercy. Even after the Dragons swapped DDing onto Sombra after they quickly lost point A, the Excelsior continued to steamroll. After denying key ultimates from the Dragons by stunning DDing out of his EMP and MekO eating Min-seong “diem” Bae’s graviton, the NYXL finished the map with 3:08 in their timebank.

New York opted for their own Pharmercy on defense, setting up Hae-seong “Libero” Kim to face off against DDing in the air. While the NYXL held point A for over two minutes, Shanghai were able to capture it just before overtime. The Dragons completed point B in a similar fashion, but a frantic overtime hold from New York prevented them from finishing the map. The Excelsior took Eichenwalde 3-2.

Gibraltar: Excelsior 1-0 Dragons

Both teams opened Gibraltar running Winston GOATS, with New York repeatedly picking off Seong-hyeon “Luffy” Yang early on to prevent Shanghai from effectively making progress. The Dragons looked like they had run out of steam, and were unable to take even point A before time ran out.

On offense, New York put on a strong display. While they were briefly stalled by Shanghai under the bridge, the NYXL’s slow and steady pushes allowed them to gradually gain cart distance. With the threat of a backcap from MekO, the Dragons started making mistakes that New York capitalized on. New York won the final fight of the match to take Gibraltar 1-0.

Conclusion

Shanghai looked formidable against New York during the first half but failed to keep up the pressure after halftime. Once New York became comfortable facing off against DDing’s Pharah, Shanghai no longer posed a threat on any composition they tried running. New York is still taking baby steps into diversifying their team comps this stage. Luckily for them, their 3-3 prowess will keep them in the runnings as a top tier team for now.

 

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