Dallas Fuel vs Florida Mayhem
For our first match of the day, we have a somewhat underwhelming clash between the Dallas Fuel and the Florida Mayhem. Not exactly a must watch, but it should be an entertaining scrap regardless, especially in the current meta.
The last time Florida stepped foot on stage was against the Shanghai Dragons, and they lost that series in pretty underwhelming 1-3 fashion. They're currently winless after four weeks of play, and they're dead last in the standings. They're one of the worst teams currently playing in the Overwatch League, and the stage playoffs are quite literally an impossible goal at this point. That's not a surprise, but the biggest problem is the fact that they simply haven't shown that much over the last couple of weeks. There are no signs of promise, nothing exceptional or worthy of mentioning. They're just painfully mediocre, if not even bad at times. It's hard to blame them as well -- there are some mind-blowing teams competing right now and it's hard to keep up. The gap between Florida and your average mid-tier team is quite large. Perhaps even insurmountable. Regardless, they're still trying, and perhaps they'll attain more success once stage three comes around. That said, don't bet your money on it happening. When Florida is playing, betting against them is almost the default, go-to choice.
Dallas, on the other hand, are coming in with a metric ton of hype after outclassing both the Los Angeles Valiant as well as the Houston Outlaws last week in the Overwatch League's first homestand held in North Texas. They won against their perennial Texan adversaries, and improved to a very respectable record -- four wins and two losses, with an okay (albeit somewhat underwhelming) plus three map differential. They're not exactly ready to challenge for the throne, but they're a very solid, deceptively strong mid-tier contender that's able to throw down with the best teams in the League. They're currently ranked sixth, and if they win this match tonight their playoff spot is locked in. How well they will do in the stage playoffs is another matter entirely, but their road towards this point has been pretty solid. Then again, they didn't exactly have the hardest of schedules, but their play has been steadily improving and it's a true testament to their grit and determination. They're making noticeable strides with each passing week, and watching them play has been really enjoyable across the board.
Florida hasn't played ever since week three, so they had a whole week to not only recuperate and come up with a solid game plan, but they also had the luxury of watching Dallas Fuel play two matches, and eight maps in total. Having that kind of upper hand would, in general, be a huge benefit. Then again, Florida has shown so little over the last couple of weeks that even though they have a head start of sorts, they probably don't know how to use it to their advantage.
They're simply outmatched across the board, and they know it as well. That doesn't mean they won't fight tooth and nail in order to get a potential upset, but they're not favored for a reason. If there is one thing that became certain with Dallas over the last two stages, it is the fact that they're shooting for the stage two playoffs, and they're a very solid mid-tier contender. They're not perfect, they're prone to making egregious mistake as much as the next gatekeeper, but they have a ton of talent as well. It really depends on the day, but they're playing some really good Overwatch more often than not, so there's reason for optimism.
We're going with Dallas on this one. Not only do they have the better players overall, but they're far more adept at the current meta, and they know the stage playoffs are within reach. While it might not be particularly clean or dominant, Dallas should definitely be able to get the win. There's no doubt about that one.