This week the Overwatch Six Pack takes a look at the Dreamkazper allegations, the Rise of the L.A. Valiant, and the top Games to Watch This Week!
1) The DreamKazper Allegations
When I was putting together the Six-Pack for this week, I was originally going to feature Jonathan ‘Dreamkazper’ Sanchez in the MVP category. He put together an outstanding performance in week one of Stage 3, helping to carry the Boston Uprising to a 2 win and 0 loss record while cementing his team’s spot in the upper echelon of the league. Then it all came crashing down.
On Sunday night a 14-year old girl released a statement, alongside screenshots, claiming that Sanchez, age 21, had taken advantage of her and had her send him sexually explicit images. Since going public with her accusations, another girl, aged 16, has also stepped forward and told a very similar story, involving him striking up a friendship with her, asking for explicit pictures, and even going as far as to buy her a plane ticket to go see him. The Overwatch League has been investigating the incident since Sunday and on Monday the Boston Uprising officially terminated Sanchez’s contract. If proven to be true, these allegations could have sweeping and serious consequences for him, completely separate from the Overwatch League.
I could end off by saying how his departure will hurt the Boston Uprising and also give a realistic look at the team’s playoff chances going forward, but in light of recent events, that’s not what’s important here. If you or anyone you know has experienced any form of harassment, or for any reason you need someone to talk to, please check out the Kids Help Phone in Canada or your local state-run youth crisis centre such as The Crisis Text Line.
2) Biggest Surprise: NYXL vs. London Spitfire
The Stage was set. The top two teams in the overall standings were going head to head. A win for either team would not only set them up for the Stage ahead but also exorcise some demons from stages past. On one side, there was the NYXL, a team that had only lost three games in all competitions and who were fresh off of winning the Stage 2 championships. Facing off from the other side was the London Spitfire, a team that had defeated the NYXL in the Stage 1 finals and won every matchup against them since. What happened next can only be described as a massacre.
NYXL shot out of the gate on Temple of Anubis, capturing point ‘A’ quickly and doing the same on point ‘B’. While London also managed to complete both points, they did so with no time remaining, giving NYXL almost five minutes to get one tick on point ‘A’ on their next attack. London’s subsequent defence was admirable, but NYXL finally managed to crack them with a minute left and take the match and the 1 to 0 lead. From there, the NYXL dominated on Blizzard World, clipped London’s wings on Nepal, and managed to fully hold them on Junkertown. Leading the charge for NYXL was Sung-Hyeon ‘Jjonak’ Bang. He completely dominated as “support” character Zenyatta, coming up with kill after kill and managing to provide a large amount of healing with his frequently charged ultimate ability.
As a result, London falls to 0 wins and 2 losses and now has the same amount of losses as they had in the entirety of Stage 2. As for NYXL, they continue to roll and the team currently looks all but unstoppable.
3)Top Moments: Rocky VI, Dancing Gorillas and More!
a) Tactical Visors are overrated anyway.
It appears that Agilities is really good at Overwatch.
The L.A. Valiant did not have a good Stage 2. With 4 wins and 6 losses the team highly underperformed and looked nothing like the dominant squad that had come within a hair of qualifying for the Stage 1 playoffs. There were a number of factors that led to their regression, but most glaring was a between Stage coaching change that put the players mostly in charge of coming up with strategies for their matches. By putting players in charge of making strategies, there was an extra layer of pressure put on the team. And without a clear leader on the team, the Valiant struggled through numerous inconsistent performances.
Going into Stage 3 I admit that I had extremely low expectations for this team, and was downright confused by some of their offseason moves. They traded away their promising DPS player, Ted ‘Silkthread’ Wang, and released Kang-Jae ‘Envy’ Lee, a mainstay in their lineup for the entirety of the team’s existence. But they did also manage to trade for Joon-hyuk ‘Bunny’ Chae and Scott ‘Custa’ Kennedy, and since then this team has looked reinvigorated. They are currently the top-ranked team in Stage 3 and looked downright dominant in week one, managing to sweep the mighty Seoul Dynasty and the newly supped up Shanghai Dragons.
Custa has risen as a shot caller and Brady ‘Agilities’ Girardi has been a whole new player since he dyed his hair blonde. Their acquisition of DPS player Bunny from the Seoul Dynasty was an underappreciated steal and the team should be an exciting and dynamic team to watch going forward. Perhaps most excitingly, the Valiant’s match against the similarly resurgent L.A. Gladiators later this Stage will no doubt be a closely contested affair.
5) Top Matches to Watch: Stage Playoffs Edition
Wednesday: San Francisco Shock vs. L.A. Valiant 9:00 PM EST
Both the San Francisco Shock and LA Valiant have improved immensely going into Stage 3 and this match should be an exciting one. Be sure to keep an eye on the Tracer battle between Sinatraa and Soon, as they are two of the top-ranked players on that character. Whoever comes out on top in that battle could very well decide which way this game goes. It will also be a test for both teams to see where they are in the league hierarchy and it could very well be a blowout.
Thursday: Boston Uprising vs. NYXL7:00 PM EST
Boston vs. New York is one of the best geographical rivalries in all of sports’ history, and the Overwatch League is no exception. This match is going to be an interesting one as we’re going to get our first look at who the Boston Uprising’s new DPS player will be. On top of that, this is the third instalment in the New York/Boston Overwatch rivalry, and while NYXL has won both previous matches the games have at least been competitive. If Boston ends up winning it will probably be because off of the strength of their main tank player Gamsu and DPS phenom Striker.
Friday: Seoul Dynasty vs. LA Gladiators 11:00 PM EST
The Seoul Dynasty and L.A. Gladiators finished Stage 2 in fourth and fifth place respectively. With the newly added fourth playoff position both of these teams could very well make it into that final place and this match could very much prove to be crucial. Also, this match features two of the most exciting teams in the league and it’s always fun to watch Gladiators’ main tank Fissure go up against Korean comprised teams.
Saturday: London Spitfire vs. Philadelphia Fusion 4:00 PM EST
Speaking of Stage playoffs, Saturday’s match between the London Spitfire is a rematch of the Stage 2 playoffs and it’s also a must win for London Spitfire. The team already has two losses and can’t really afford to drop any more games if they want a shot at making the Stage 3 playoffs. London has a pretty good chance as the Fusion are still without the suspended Eqo, which will provide London’s dynamic DPS duo of Profit and Birdring a chance to dominate.
6) Most Exciting Debut: Min-Seok ‘OGE’ Son
While he doesn’t arrive with the same pedigree and hype as previous new players Kim ‘Geguri’ Se-Yeon and Jay ‘Sinatraa’ Won, Min-Seok ‘OGE’ Son debut comes as a relief for the Dallas Fuel and their fans. For the first time in what seems like forever, the Dallas Fuel should finally have a pure main tank player in their lineup. OGE was originally signed by the Dallas during Stage 2, back when their previous main tank Felix ‘xQc’ Lengyel was still on the roster. At the time the move seemed to be more of a security measure, as xQc had been playing rather well and looked to be controversy free. As it turned out the controversies weren’t over and xQc was eventually let go by the Fuel leaving the main tank sized gap in the team’s lineup.
That void would have been filled earlier if OGE didn’t receive a four-game suspension himself for account boosting. There’s definitely a sense of irony in that the person who is replacing the twice-suspended xQc’s debut was delayed because he was suspended himself. Drama aside, OGE should provide a significant boost to the Dallas Fuel lineup and it will be exciting to see how his first couple of matches go. OGE was a member of the Korean Team Conbox in last year’s Apex season, which featured a number of Overwatch League players including the Boston Uprising’s Gamsu and The Seoul Dynasty’s Zunba. OGE will have a chance to face off against his former teammate as the Fuel play the Seoul Dynasty on Wednesday night at 11:00 pm EST.
What has been your favourite moment of Stage 3 so far? And what are you looking forward to in the future? Let us know in the comments below!
Liked this article and want to read more like it? Check out our Interview with Mercy Voice Actress Lucy Pohl and the Overwatch League Stage 3 Preview.