Week 2 recap time, let’s do this.
Florida Mayhem 3-0 Vancouver Titans
The most lopsided match of the season so far showed just how far Vancouver have to go before they become a good team. Mirror’s debut was less than ideal, and False continued to look bad. Map 1, Colosseo, saw Mayhem become the first team to fully cap a push map as Someone and Checkmate ran all over Titans to set the tone for the series. Dorado started off pretty much the same way, with Mayhem setting an absurd time, capturing the final point with 2:36 remaining. Vancouver showed some fight on their offense, but by that point it was too late to make a comeback, and Florida took a 2-0 lead heading into King’s Row. King’s Row itself was a slaughter, with Mayhem setting a 3:16 full-cap time, and then Someone proceeded to spawn camp Titans as Florida full-held to finish off a brutal sweep.
Raisin’s MVP: Someone (FLA, Tank)
SF Shock 3-1 Houston Outlaws
Houston appears to be in trouble. No Winston, no win. It seems like they were figured out by Toronto and now every team just plays Tracer into Danteh’s Doomfist and kills him. Shock leaned into this strategy by playing Kilo instead of S9mm on all 4 maps and mostly using him on Soldier or Tracer. Danteh managed to find good value on occasion, but ultimately on symmetrical maps (Control and Push), slow starts by Houston doomed them to a loss. Map 1, New Queen Street, was the most one-sided of the match. Danteh and Pelican were unable to find any value on their signature heroes and Shock easily swept through and fully capped the map. Map 2 saw Piggy brought in for Danteh to play Sigma on Circuit Royal, and Pelican tried playing Bastion for some reason. Houston nearly got full held, but a timely switch off of Bastion to Genji did the trick for Pelican and the Outlaws were able to at least get the first point. That was as far as they were able to get though, as the hill on point 2 proved too difficult for Houston to climb. The Outlaws defense was going well, holding outside of Shock’s spawn on second point with 2 minutes remaining, but then a bad sound barrier by Lastro and some completely inexcusable stagger kills off of the payload let Shock push the payload the required distance to secure the map and a 2-0 series lead. Houston brought Danteh back in for Midtown, where his Doomfist combined with Mer1t’s Soldier and Reaper were able to outplay Coluge’s Winston and Proper’s Tracer to fully capture the final point in overtime on offense and then hold Shock short of point 2 to send the match to a map 4. Map 4 was, unfortunately for Houston, Control, where they have historically been awful. Ilios was a clean 2-0 for Shock, with Danteh’s Doomfist finding very little value and Proper’s Echo cleaning up on the advantages generated from Coluge being on Winston. Houston are now 5-1 on asymmetrical maps (Hybrid and Escort) and 1-5 on symmetrical maps (Control and Push).
Raisin’s MVP: Proper (SFS, Damage)
Washington Justice 3-0 Atlanta Reign
Coming off of an up-and-down week 1, Washington Justice decided they’d rather be up by dismantling the previously unbeaten Atlanta Reign. Map 1, Colosseo, was a great example of why the Push game mode is awful and desperately needs a rework, as Justice basically won purely off of the fact that they won the opening fight. Hawk’s Doomfist seemed to get a little less value than Mag’s Winston, but the real difference maker for Washington was Decay, who absolutely dumpstered Nero in the Tracer duel. Decay pulled off a Fleta Deadlift on Colosseo (admittedly a slightly less impressive feat in the era of 5v5), accounting for 13 of the team’s 23 kills. On Dorado, Hawk tried a switch onto D.Va, but in addition to Decay, Happy started to do Happy things. Pulling off a DPS diff on Kai is not an easy task, but Happy made Kai look silly trying to play Soldier against Happy’s Widowmaker. Washington fully capped Dorado with 3:21 left on the clock, a blistering pace that Atlanta could not hope to match. On offense, Kai decided he’d had enough and swapped to Widowmaker himself, a decision that immediately paid off with 2 headshots sending Happy back to spawn where he decided to forgo the Widow duel in favor of playing Soldier himself. The role of dealing with Kai then passed to Decay, who mercilessly pestered Kai on Tracer, preventing him from hitting any more headshots as Happy dealt with the rest of Atlanta. A full hold sent the series to Eichenwalde with Justice holding a 2-0 lead. Atlanta finally broke through with Hawk on Zarya and Nero on Reaper. Reign’s offense plowed through the map, setting an almost-unbeatable mark with 4:13 remaining after completing the map. Justice, for their part, had a good attacking half by most standards, finishing with 1:52 left after a beautiful boop from Opener forced a C9 at the end of the map. Nevertheless, Justice had work to do if they wanted to overcome the over 2 minute difference in the time banks. Thanks to a clutch Reaper ult from Decay and the weird quirks of Escort maps, Washington were able to find enough to close out the upset in 3 maps.
Raisin’s MVP: Decay (WAS, Damage)
London Spitfire 3-1 Boston Uprising
The continuing trend of London playing Rein everywhere gave us a very close first map, as Colosseo saw neither team reach a checkpoint in their push. Ultimately, Marve1’s Doomfist was the difference maker as Boston took an early lead in the series. From there, things went downhill for Uprising. Map 2, Route 66, had both teams play the meta Winston-Ana-Soldier comp, but for Boston, there was an unusual decision made to play Punk on Winston instead of Itsal or Marve1, who are more experienced on the hero. A close map ended in a London victory after a long overtime push on their second attack led by SparkR’s Soldier. On Midtown, Boston brought Marve1 back in to play Doomfist, and London went back to their trademark Rein. After a horrible C9 on point 2 on defense, Boston were unable to reach that point on attack giving London a 2-1 series lead heading into map 4. Map 4, Lijiang Tower, was just about a best-case scenario for London, as Rein can be very effective on that map. Strong Soldier play from SparkR and a good showing from Landon paved the way for a 2-0 victory on Lijiang Tower and a 3-1 series win for the Spitfire.
Raisin’s MVP: Backbone (LDN, Damage)