The Shanghai Dragons came closer than ever before to picking up their first win of the Overwatch League, but a weakened Dallas Fuel barely managed to deny them.
Neither the Dragons nor the Fuel have had a spectacular start to the season. Dallas had only secured a single match victory prior to this series, while the Dragons are the only team without a win to their name yet.
Though the season is plenty long enough to make up for a slow start, as the end of Stage One approaches both teams are getting desperate for wins. Unfortunately for the Fuel, however, their star DPS Hwang ‘Effect’ Hyeon was to be absent for the entire match for personal reasons.
The mandatory change in personnel came with some new looks for the Fuel. Of particular note was the combination of Seagull’s Genji alongside Taimou’s Pharah that appeared several times – the Fuel haven’t run much of either hero before now, and Taimou has typically been known for his hitscan prowess.
Unfortunately, the new strategies weren’t enough to find a convincing win. Before the Overwatch League began, the Fuel might have been expected to roll over the Dragons with ease, but in their current form and without their star player the match proved a much greater test.
The series ultimately went the full distance, with the two teams trading blows all the way until the final point of a deciding fifth game, when the Fuel finally emerged victorious.
For Dallas, the win may prove key if they’re ever to realize the potential that they were credited with ahead of the season. Shanghai, meanwhile, will be disappointed to have missed an opportunity to get on the board, but there were certainly positives to take from the match. DPS player Chao ‘Undead’ Fang still stands out as a mechanical marvel, and the team’s coordination continues to improve.
Dallas Fuel’s final match of the stage will be against Los Angeles Gladiators on Friday February 9th
, while Shanghai Dragons’ final chance to get a win in Stage One will be against the even more formidable Los Angeles Valiant later the same day.