Both the Boston Uprising and Dallas Fuel entered today’s Overwatch League bout on the rise—the Uprising scored a huge upset win against the London Spitfire on Thursday, while the Fuel earned their first victory. But the Fuel’s winning streak came to a quick finish as the Uprising won a close 3-2 series today.
The match was a tale of two styles: Dallas Fuel’s “anti-dive” pick composition against Boston Uprising’s traditional dive.
Dive is one of the major staples of Overwatch—a highly mobile style that works in most metas. Today’s flavor features the mobility of Genji, Tracer, Winston, and D.Va backed by Zenyatta and Mercy. The concept is simple: Your tanks dive in, usually toward the enemy’s backline, and the DPS dash in and clean up. Most teams this season have featured dive, especially on maps that favor it, and for some it’s nearly the exclusive style, like the Los Angeles Valiant and, of course, the Boston Uprising.
The Dallas Fuel, though, aren’t one of those teams.
Historically, the Team Envy lineup that formed the core of the Dallas Fuel struggled to play dive compositions, to much chagrin during dive-favored metas. While the current meta leaves open other compositions, especially on certain maps, dive is still the most flexible style. Yet the Fuel are unwilling or unable to play it, and that’s contributed to their poor 1-5 start this season. They’ve opted to force the pick composition many call “anti-dive,” even on maps where it isn’t typical, to mixed results.
Putting Brandon “Seagull” Larned on Junkrat and Hwang “EFFECT” Hyeon on McCree, backed by Orisa’s massive shield and more pick potential from Roadhog, places Fuel’s players on comfort picks and gives them a cohesive style: Sit in a chokepoint and grind the enemy to dust.
This composition was displayed on the opening map Numbani, where Fuel opened the attack by walking through the house and planting their flag in the doorway to the capture point. Uprising’s high-ground defense withered under the oppressive pick potential of a team featuring Junkrat’s trap and mine, McCree’s flashbang, and Roadhog’s hook.
When the Fuel offense rolled up with the payload into the wide open tract at Numbani’s final checkpoint, though, the Uprising’s dive chunked away over five minutes. Fuel eventually rallied and took the map, scoring a huge defense of the initial capture point on Uprising’s second attack by standing in the door at the point. But the rest of the match continued that tug-of-war, ending in an Uprising series win.
Uprising took Anubis and Ilios in order, backed by incredible play from their talented breakout DPS duo of Jonathan “DreamKazper” Sanchez on Genji and Pharah and Kwon “Striker” Nam-joo on Tracer. Fuel responded with a Dorado win aided by a nutty first checkpoint hold backed by EFFECT’s ridiculous McCree. But the final map, Lijiang Tower, went Uprising’s way.
The Fuel’s style worked as a true dive counter if not for the incredible play from Uprising’s breakout stars, DPS duo DreamKazper and Striker. The two players dazzled with their ability to stay alive despite Fuel’s pick potential and positioning. Neither player had any exposure in international Overwatch before the OWL, but both are making their presence felt, one pulse bomb and dragonblade at a time.
The win moves Uprising to 3-3, squarely in contention for a spot in the OWL Stage One playoffs. The Fuel fall to 1-5 and continue a baffling season for what was supposed to be one of the league’s best teams.