The second week of the Overwatch NUEL Spring split was far more competitive than the last: each of the streamed games took place on King’s Row, setting the stage for yet more interesting Moira play. De Montfort’s ‘Fnathicc’ held off Leeds in the first game, and continued their flying form against UCL in a slightly closer follow-up. Their attack on the sixth round was particularly worth watching back, but I want to focus today on the game between York’s second team, The Cavalry’s Beer, and Warwick Zlinda.
The game was interesting for a few reasons: firstly, that York’s second team has spent the season trying to replicate the success of their sister team, Underwatch, who reached the semifinals of last season’s competition, and secondly, because Team Captain Ethy‘s boys found themselves severely outmatched against a team with an average that was 400 SR higher than them. The game would nonetheless deliver in stunning form.
Both teams opened with Moira, utilising the lack of verticality in King’s Row. Instead of emulating LA Valiant’s passive hold on King’s Row last week, York held further forward with an Orisa pick, and this would cost them later. Despite not running the normal double sniper composition, Warwick Foefrenzy’s Hanzo controlled space around the statue really well. With York Nobody’s Widow headshots failing to land, York was forced to retreat. The aggressive positioning didn’t help: as with last week’s King’s Row game, Warwick’s more mobile Reinhardt composition simply walked through the shield to pick York Ethy’s Orisa, followed by their Mercy. Not a good start for York. Their aggressive positioning continued to cost them through streets phase too. Warwick MarkyMark’s hyper-aggressive Reinhardt stopped York from setting up properly at all. Both York tanks swapped to D.Va and Winston, but couldn’t stop the crucial earth shatters from MarkyMark, the first securing streets, the second securing a time of 4.11 for Warwick’s attack phase.
Markymark’s earthshatters secure streets for warwick
York’s built on their lessons from round 1 and executed a full dive composition with Lucio and Zenyatta. York SheepOnFire looked much more confident on Genji, pushing Warwick apart and making their Moira pick ineffective. Warwick’s defence fell as fast as York’s: the SR difference cannot be overstated here. Coordinating Platinum players often tend towards caution, but York’s attack looked extremely confident for a team that had just been rolled on the attacking phase.
York’s confident attack splits warwick apart
York Ethy’s aggression persisted less successfully on streets: tanks must go aggressive after capturing Payload, but he lacked the support of his team and was unable to find anything useful. York nonetheless managed a reasonably convincing push for a time of 1.37.
Warwick’s second defensive hold was poor. Even considering the potential for York Nobody’s Widowmaker pick, they held very far up and found themselves flanked by York, who had used their Lucio to speed boost through Hotel. The prolonged fight was enough for York SheepOnFire to build a 4-kill Dragon Blade. York Ethy’s strange positioning from the previous rounds worked well in a more coordinated fight. York were stopped just at the end of streets phase, though, and had a daunting task ahead of them: delay Warwick for nearly four minutes.
I approved of their decision to pick Reinhardt on defence. The Orisa clearly hadn’t worked, and Reinhardt’s mobility seems to have worked better in NUEL games so far. The composition also included a Junkrat, acknowledging that Warwick needed to have their attack slowed down. MarkyMark’s earth shatter was, yet again, crucial for his team. Both York supports were punished for their aggression and died almost instantly. Warwick captured payload with 1.50 to go: more time than York had in their entire time bank for round three. York looked much more coordinated and calm on their round four streets defence. Team Captain Ethy acknowledges ‘errors’ in the preceding rounds but says that the team chose to focus on ‘fundamental skills and pre-practised playstyles’. It showed. A lucky Graviton Surge caught the entire team and resulted in a penta-kill for Warwick Casul, but York’s huge sustain healing from their Lucio and Moira was crucial in the final fight. Warwick were unable to completely secure kills, handing York the win with 3 metres left on Warwick’s payload.
the final two fights
My MVP for this week is York SheepOnFire. His consistently good Genji performance left Warwick, a team with extremely talented players, without an answer. That said, this was undoubtedly the most exciting game we’ve had so far this season. I can’t wait for more stellar performances as seeding makes each game more competitive in the second half of NUEL Spring.