Overwatch League 2019 Stage 3, Week 1: Dynasty's Top Plays, Prize Money

Theo SalaunContributor IJune 10, 2019

Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

Week 1 of Stage 3 is wrapped up, and the second half of the Overwatch League's second season is officially underway. Following the San Francisco Shock's victory over the Vancouver Titans in the Stage 2 Finals, the OWL's return is marked by an updated patch (Patch 1.36); a new, tropical Escort map (Havana); and a bevy of roster moves.

As teams adjust to an undefined meta, this week's slate of matches featured new faces in new threads and treated fans to a variety of finishes. While recently dropped players like TviQ (of the Florida Mayhem) and Bunny (of the Los Angeles Valiant) are missed, many more made their debuts. And they did so in style, as the league's alternate jerseys were finally revealed.

Overwatch League @overwatchleague

@oogido_ @KING_BABYBAY @gesture @JJoNakLove @KruiseOW @OW_RoKY @minon501 @OW_Krystal @Hydration @SPREE @Neptuno @Fusions @sinatraa @DallasFuel The same thing as @LAValiant! #OWL2019 Introducing the Third Kit Collection! Shop here: https://t.co/Jbhl9c7LOI https://t.co/Gam256dnVv

Babybay got his grudge match against the Shock, Sombra-GOATS ran rampant and the Seoul Dynasty and New York Excelsior finally returned to form. Only eight teams make the stage playoffs, dependent on this stage's standings, so the $25,000 for making said playoffs and an additional $200,000 for winning them is already on the line. With all 20 teams playing, here's how Stage 3's first week shook out and what to expect moving forward.


Thursday, June 6

San Francisco Shock 3-2 Atlanta Reign

Florida Mayhem 0-4 Seoul Dynasty

Guangzhou Charge 3-1 Chengdu Hunters


Friday, June 7

Los Angeles Valiant 1-3 Shanghai Dragons

Paris Eternal 3-1 Toronto Defiant

Boston Uprising 0-4 London Spitfire

Houston Outlaws 2-3 New York Excelsior

Los Angeles Gladiators 4-0 Dallas Fuel


Saturday, June 8

Hangzhou Spark 4-0 Philadelphia Fusion

Vancouver Titans 3-1 Atlanta Reign

Seoul Dynasty 4-0 Guangzhou Charge

Los Angeles Valiant 4-0 Chengdu Hunters


Sunday, June 9

New York Excelsior 4-0 London Spitfire

Paris Eternal 3-1 Boston Uprising

Washington Justice 0-3 Dallas Fuel

Vancouver Titans 3-1 Los Angeles Gladiators

Full scores and standings available at the league's official site.


The week started off in top-tier fashion, figuratively and literally, as the Shock and Atlanta Reign each debuted their alternate jerseys while going the distance to Map 5. After ages spent relegated to San Francisco's bench, babybay got his first shot against his former team, and Atlanta nearly pulled a victory away from the Stage 2 champions. Cloaked in majestic odes to Georgia's most notable produce, the peach, the Reign and their support-turned-hype man, Dogman, came out hot before eventually succumbing.

Atlanta Reign @ATLReign

Where is your Golden Stage now, ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?!? We hoodwink the @SFShock, steal their map streak, and go up 1-0 in the series. #OWL2019 | #LetItReign https://t.co/y7TY4R6cqi

The rest of Thursday's action included a dominant win from the Dynasty and a close match between the Charge and Hunters. The Mayhem struggled with some unsuccessful debuts from Fate and Byrem, as they were dominated by the Dynasty, who debuted Highly and ILLICIT. Although the 3-1 score in the Charge's favor might not seem close, the actual map points score was just 15-12, and Chengdu got some big highlights, as YangXiaoLong delivered a nasty headshot onto Happy. Despite the Jake Paul comparisons, the Charge's nero had a nice debut and postgame interview, touching on the team's multilingual comms, after turning 18 just last week.

Overwatch League @overwatchleague

Welcome to #OWL2019 @ow_nero! Find out the unique way the @GZCharge communicate within the team. https://t.co/U6dIipgQGs https://t.co/XiPva13SgC

Friday saw debuts from FCTFCTN for the Valiant, sharyk and Gods for the Defiant, Persia and alemao for the Uprising, and QuaterMain for the Spitfire. There were huge plays throughout the day, including a fat shatter from rOar during the Gladiators' rout of the Fuel.

Overwatch League @overwatchleague

The @LAGladiators come rOarin' into the series with a 2-0 on Oasis! #OWL2019 🔴 https://t.co/Z7fRNnPKmv https://t.co/b4si7uXg6p

And during Houston's close loss to New York, LiNkzr's return to form prompted the greatest caster call of the first week: "Finland's gift to esports strikes again!"

Overwatch League @overwatchleague

Finland's gift to esports is BACK! @LiNkzrOW #OWL2019 🔴 https://t.co/Z7fRNo7lL5 https://t.co/Hx9Tiz3Cvw

But the biggest play of the entire week was when flex-support Greyy swapped onto Widowmaker and singlehandedly clutched out Eternal's victory over the Defiant.

Overwatch League @overwatchleague

😮 @GreyyOW with the CLUTCH jump shot to seal the deal for @ParisEternal! They take their first win of #OWL2019 Stage 3! 🔴 https://t.co/U6dIioZfOU https://t.co/QqkMMUjLLC

Saturday was mostly blowouts but featured some interesting lineup changes and big plays. The Spark's demolition of the Fusion has invigorated the community's hunger for fragi to replace Sado. The Valiant proved they don't need their star Zenyatta, IZaYaKI, as KariV performed admirably in their rout of the Hunters.

Overwatch League @overwatchleague

Here little piggy. 🐷 #OWL2019 🔴 https://t.co/Z7fRNnPKmv https://t.co/qmpcuSuhbs

Most notably, the Reign again proved their toughness as they lost 3-1 against the typically indomitable Titans but only 11-8 on map points. And, to the delight of Lunatic-hai and hairdo fans everywhere, ryujehong made a filthy return on Ana as the Dynasty used a completely different lineup in a very similar rout, this time against the Charge.

Overwatch League @overwatchleague

With sleeps like this, it looks like @ryujehongsexy is in the lead. #NapTime 💤 #OWL2019 🔴 https://t.co/Z7fRNnPKmv https://t.co/AlE3JgH25X

Sunday featured the "Match of the Week" between the Excelsior and Spitfire, chances for the Uprising and Fuel to right their ships and an interesting matchup between the Titans and the hometown Gladiators. Unfortunately for the Spitfire, NYXL learned from their success replacing MekO with Saebyeolbe and running Sombra-GOATS, so they ran that lineup throughout a 4-0 sweep. Nenne certainly played his part as well.

Overwatch League @overwatchleague

🤯 @Nenne_chu, they have families! #OWL2019 🔴 https://t.co/Z7fRNnPKmv https://t.co/nflmbqpWwo

While the Uprising made some small lineup changes and failed to figure anything out (although AimGod definitely seemed to perform better than Persia), the Fuel stuck to their lineup and got a big W. To close the week, Vancouver handled the Gladiators very comfortably.

Looking forward, teams will need to adjust accordingly as the meta shifts between Sombra-GOATS, bunker comps and the occasional Widowmaker. If Week 1 was a sign of what's to come, then Stage 3 looks to feature a tumultuous array of team compositions and a variety of fresh-faced, high-skilled debutants.