Defiant- 1 NYXL- 3
With their first three matchups behind them, the Toronto Defiant had little time to celebrate their reunion with starting flex support Se-hyeon “Neko” Park. After two hard fought victories without him, Toronto now faced off against an undefeated New York Excelsior squad currently dominating Stage 1 opponents.
Busan: Defiant- 1 NYXL- 2
Toronto entered Meka Base with fan favorite Joo-seong “RoKy” Park still in at main support. Jae-yoon “Aid” Go’s usage on flex support through Week 2 allowed RoKy to really put his talents on display. Accompanied by Se-hyeon “Neko” Park, the duo opened the series against 2018 MVP Sung-hyeon “JJoNak” Bang and NYXL main support Tae-sung “Anamo” Jung.
Both teams opened up with a Widowmaker, Wrecking Ball and Sombra, but NYXL showed much more success with the composition, capturing the point with little resistance from the scattered Defiant.
On Sanctuary, Toronto won the opening matchup against New York’s 3-3 composition to gain first capture. With ultimate advantage, Toronto withstood Yeon-kwan “Nenne” Jeong and Tae-hong “MekO” Kim’s Graviton Surge, Self Destruct combo. The Defiant successfully matched NYXL’s dominance on Meka Base with a shutout of their own.
With the map tied up, Downtown would be the deciding battleground. Despite Neko’s early Coalescence, NYXL repelled the Defiant’s engage and captured the point to begin gaining percentage. With ultimate advantage for the NYXL, a key boop from RoKy launched Dong-gyu “Mano” Kim high into the air, ruining his chance for a defensive Earthshatter. Despite Toronto’s efforts, NYXL managed to retake the point and claim map one.
King’s Row: Defiant- 2 NYXL- 3
On offense, Toronto opened with Kang-jae “envy” Lee on Sombra finding little success. A precise volley from JJoNak’s alternate fire removed Seung-hyun “Ivy” Lee’s Zarya and beat back the Defiant’s initial assault. After a delayed capture and quick a switch to D.Va, envy’s Self Destruct made Toronto’s final push through streets a breeze. Unfortunately for the Defiant, New York didn’t seem keen on surrendering the third point so easily. At the final engage, Do-hyung “Stellar” Lee’s early death left Toronto with no chance to continue their push. With two points on the board, New York shifted to attack.
After a cheeky pot shot from Hae-seong “Libero” Kim’s Widowmaker to start their assault, he quickly returned to Brigette. The NYXL captured point A with little resistance. With not much success behind envy’s Sombra once again, he chose to commit to building an EMP while New York marched through the streets of Kings Row. After slowing NYXL’s progress, envy committed the EMP and was immediately stunned and dispatched by Libero’s Bash, perfectly countering the ultimate. Another late switch to D.Va from envy once again bolstered the Defiant. After an Earthshatter exchange, his Self Destruct found Libero and Nenne to swing the fight advantage in Toronto’s favor. At the final engage, New York overwhelmed Gyeong-mu “Yakpung” Jo’s Reinhardt and quickly scattered the rest of the Defiant with a Self Destruct of their own. New York entered halftime with a commanding 2-0 lead.
Temple of Anubis: Defiant- 1 NYXL- 2
Once again down and out, the Defiant would need an incredible reverse sweep to stun the Excelsior. Starting on attack once again, early picks for Toronto didn’t seem to hurt New York’s confidence. With positioning so key to success on Anubis, Yakpung was constantly being singled out by New York. Toronto’s efforts finally paid off with an overtime capture of Point A, snowballing into 57% of Point B.
New York began their attack and it didn’t take long. With ultimates in tow, NYXL marched through point A, onto point B and quickly claimed the map to win the series.
Dorado: Defiant- 3 NYXL- 0
With the series in hand, Jong-ryeol “Saebyeolbe” Park joined the fray for the Excelsior for his first action of Stage 1. Despite the roster change, both squads once again opted for their 3-3 compositions. Toronto finally came to life. Envy flashed his swagger repeatedly on attack. His key Self Destructs were highlighted by a combo with Yakpung’s Earthshatter. As the tank duo approached the second checkpoint, they paired ultimates to show their best impressions of Meko and Mano. The incredible combo found four and Toronto successfully pushed through to the final checkpoint.
Toronto kept their momentum and stifled New York early on their attack. Another incredible Earthshatter from Yakpung found five to keep New York spawn locked. With New York reeling, Meko and Mano took matters into their own hands. Despite their popular and effective combo, Toronto held strong and were able to claim the final map from the mighty NYXL.
Toronto’s dominant performance on Dorado may have come as a surprise to many viewers. Yakpung’s resurgence seemed to come out of nowhere as Mano had outplayed the young main tank throughout most of the series. Envy’s performance; however, seemed rather consistent throughout most of the series. Apart from his poor utilization of Sombra on King’s Row, he displayed marvelous usage of his Self Destructs from Busan straight through to Dorado.
The Defiant have already shown a strong resilience by claiming Dorado to close the series. They will need to carry that momentum as they prepare for another difficult matchup against Cameron “Fusions” Bosworth and the Boston Uprising this Saturday.
Featured/Player Images Courtesy of the Overwatch League
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