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Overwatch: Shanghai Dragons Stage 3 Preview

Stage 3 Preview

Accomplishing franchise history by qualifying for their first Stage Playoff last stage, it’s hard to top that in Stage 3. Despite being bounced in round one versus San Francisco, Shanghai played the highest level of Overwatch to date. This is only a sneak peek of their potential though, as the meta evolving could grasp them a higher seed in Stage 3.

Toughest Match: Los Angeles Gladiators (5/21)

Stage 3 Preview
Image Courtesy of the Los Angeles Gladiators on Twitter

Despite the Gladiators losing their last two matches on a combined map score of 6-1, LA should not be taken lightly. Los Angeles won the first six matches in Stage 2, controlling a map record of 18-3-1. The Gladiators consistently showed growth with the big help of Benjamin “BigGoose” Isohanni, and they’ll likely improve even more once Hyung-seok “Bischu” “Aaron” Kim is at full-force.

The Stage 2 matchup the Dragons faced against LA included a loss in dominant fashion on a 3-1 final score. After starting hot with a 2-0 start on Busan, Shanghai was thumped abruptly in the final three maps. At the time, the DPS patch was applied in the league, and teams hadn’t figured out where their DPS compositions fit. The Dragons crescendo-ed the more Stage 2 continued and eventually broke the map streak of San Francisco in the playoffs (who had a perfect regular season stage 2 record). With Weida “Diya” Lu back and Min-seong “diem” Bae rising to one of the best damage-dealers in the league, expect nothing less than an excellent match.

Easiest Match: Guangzhou Charge (6/29 & 7/6)

Stage 3 Preview
Image Courtesy of @sunken99 on Twitter

Shanghai should be blessing the people who create the OWL schedules because the Dragons have been set up for an excellent Stage 3. The Charge escaped with only two wins in Stage 2, still yet to find their footing in the league. Guangzhou ended Stage 2 with two straight wins versus Atlanta and the Outlaws, and Jin-seo “Shu” Kim played a huge role in this. Now sitting in the league’s top 10 in healing, the Zenyatta/Ana main flips fights with a single transcendence.

This may look to be two strong matches from Jin-hyeok “DDing” Yang, as his Sombra play has taken the league by storm. With his ability to place the EMP right on top of the enemy support line, the Dragons have almost mastered their use of the ultimate economy post-EMP. Combo that with Shanghai’s ability to flex into several different compositions, look for the Dragons to win both games against the Charge.

Critical Match(es): Los Angeles Valiant (6/6 & 6/20)

Stage 3 Preview
Image Courtesy of the Los Angeles Valiant on Twitter

Not only do the Dragons have two matches against the Charge in Stage 3, but they also hold two against the Valiant. LAV started to get the gears grinding in Stage 2, scraping wins against mid-tier teams such as Atlanta and Chengdu, while also taking Seoul to five maps in an eventual loss. Once Los Angeles slid Young-seo “KariV” Park into their lineup, the flex shot his team’s potential through the roof.

GigaDad Young-jin “Gamsu” Noh will be the Dragons’ focal point during this matchup, as he faces new additions that could force strategies that Shanghai won’t expect. The main tank will need to keep his team on track to perform cohesively, while also capitalizing on the Valiant’s inexperience as a team. Expect Shanghai to take two wins, but maybe dropping a map or two in the June 6 matchup.

Shanghai Dragons Stage 3 Schedule

Week 1

6/6, 8:30 PM PST: Los Angeles Valiant

Week 2

6/13, 5:30 PM PST: Atlanta Reign

Week 3

6/20, 8:30 PM PST: Los Angeles Valiant

6/21, 7:00 PM PST: Los Angeles Gladiators

Week 4

6/29, 4:30 PM PST: Guangzhou Charge

Week 5

7/6, 3:00 PM PST: Guangzhou Charge

7/7, 12:00 PM PST: Philadelphia Fusion

Overview

With an absolutely soft schedule in Stage 3, it is very realistic to see Shanghai coming into the Stage 3 Playoffs with a 4-3 or even 5-2 record. Facing two teams that have certainly fallen off the top-tier list in Philadelphia and Atlanta, the Dragons will pull close in both series and maintain their map record.

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Featured photo from Shanghai Dragons Twitter

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