Game 1: Los Angeles Valiant vs San Francisco Shock
Shock wins 4-0
Valiant and Shock started off our first day of games in enthralling fashion, with a rematch of their preseason clash. Shock started strong on Dorado by running a deathball composition to capitalize on the teamfight control of Andrej "babybay" Francisty’s McCree. The team was then able to clear the first two portions of the map fairly effectively thanks to a strong performance from Dante "Danteh" Cruz’s Tracer. While they were able to carry their momentum into the final turn of the map, an unfortunate lapse in concentration caused Shock to vacate the payload and let overtime expire. Valiant pounced on the weakness, and they never looked back. After stealing a victory on Dorado, Valiant would take Temple of Anubis in overtime before winning Illios and Numbani to sweep the set.
Valiant’s success stemmed from cohesive execution and strong DPS play. Where Shock played defensively and focused on picking off a target early, Valiant used the coordination of Koo "Fate" Pan-Seung and Lee "envy" Kang-Jae to pressure positioning, and they allowed their flankers to take control of the teamfight. What was even more impressive was the team’s ability to swap between Brady "Agilities" Girardi’s dive-first mentality and Ted "silkthread" Wang’s more reactionary play to secure the win.
Game 2: Shanghai Dragons vs Los Angeles Gladiators
Gladiators wins 4-0
The Gladiators shook off a tough loss at the end of the preseason and overwhelmed the Shanghai Dragons in a decisive 4-game series. Strong support play from Jonas Samuel "Shaz" Suovaara and Joao "Hydration" Pedro's Doomfist pocket pick would put Los Angeles up early by full holding the Dragons on Dorado. Temple of Anubis was more of the same.
Shanghai struggled to keep footing in the rest of the series, as Fang "uNdeAD" Chao and Lu "Diya" Weida never seemed to stabilize. The revolving door of DPS players used by LA forced many different offensive looks on their opponents, taking advantage of some changes in tempo and prioritization to keep the Dragons off balance. The win was also capped by extremely impressive performances from Benjamin Ville Aapeli "BigGoose" Isohanni and Shaz, who both gave brief glimpses into the depth of the European talent pool.
Game 3: Seoul Dynasty vs Dallas Fuel
Dynasty win 2-1-1
The marquee matchup of the day promised fireworks. We were not disappointed.
Dallas showed a unique look early, opting for only a single tank and single healer. Their aggressive push-heavy style limited the playmaking opportunities for Dynasty’s DPS. A key hook from Timo "Taimou" Kettunen would deny Byun "Munchkin" Sang-Beom's Reaper ultimate and secure a clutch win on Junkertown.
Refocusing, Dynasty would rely on its starpower to bounce back against Fuel’s momentum. Kim "Fleta" Byung-Sun quickly started off a compelling MVP campaign with exceptional Widowmaker prowess and a patient Genji, taking an extremely close 6-5 victory on Anubis and a decisive sweep on Illios.
Dallas would need a win on Numbani to send the series to a decisive game 5. A sneaky capture at the end of Dallas' attack secured them three map points and forced Dynasty to match. Unsurprisingly, Seoul had come to play. Behind extremely impressive teamplay, they would pressure Fuel’s tank line, opening gaps for Munchkin and Fleta to dissect the squishy backline. Big plays from Hwang "EFFECT" Hyeon would stall the attackers just long enough to start Overtime, giving Fuel one last chance to tie the series.
A minute would not be enough for either side, as both Dallas and Seoul struggled to find a way through the enemy defenses, giving the series win to Seoul.
Day Two starts two hours earlier, at 5 PM EDT, with the London Spitfire beginning their Overwatch League campaign against the Florida Mayhem. Philadelphia Fusion will take on the Houston Outlaws in the second set, and the day will wrap up with a derby match, as the Boston Uprising battle the New York Excelsior.
Be sure to catch the all the games on the Official Overwatch League Twitch Channel. Like what you read? Stay up-to-date with all of our Overwatch League coverage here.