The Titans’ first match of week 3 is against a team with a very curious schedule. The Dallas Fuel played no matches in stage 2’s opening weekend, then they proceeded to roll over the Toronto Defiant in an easy 4-0 win, while handling the Paris Eternal 2-1. The Fuel, in the Overwatch League’s inaugural season, were a team who massively underachieved and dealt with plenty of player controversy and coaching issues which were only magnified by their roster’s incredible notoriety. The Fuel roster was filled with extremely popular players, many from the pro scene and notable streamers like Seagull and Canadian national team main tank xQc. After plenty of controversy that has been discussed ad nauseum, the Fuel, an early favourite, finally got their act together in stage 4.
In an old playoff format that only featured 4/12 teams, the Fuel barely made it into the playoffs. They had a record of 6-4, with a map differential of +5, only one more map win than the Houston Outlaws, and Philadelphia Fusion. They only made the playoffs because of a clutch 3-1 victory over the second place LA Valiant, who had a record of 9-0 at the time, on the second last day of the stage but lost in the opening round to the New York Excelsior.
This year, instead of the clutch play the Fuel showed off in last season’s stage 4, they lost their win and in to the playoffs to the Boston Uprising, in a reverse sweep. Since the Vancouver Titans defeated the Guangzhou Charge in the stage’s last regular season match, the Uprising made it to the playoffs where they were swept by the Titans.
|Control Win %||73%||75%|
This is close. Percentage wise, this is the closest someone has come to the Titans statistically in a while. Lifetime, the Fuel have a mere 44% on control maps, which is actually their highest among map types, which could lead to this being more of a mismatch than it appears to be on paper. Lijiang Tower was their third best Control map out of 5 with a win record of 6-8. The Fuel look a lot better than they did last year, and they underachieved a little in stage 1. With that in mind, Lijiang Tower is a good map for DPS heroes so we could see a similar result to Busan vs the Outlaws.
|Assault Win %||28%||85%|
Uh okay, that’s a little more like what we’ve come to expect from the Titans. Not only is Hanamura extremely favoured for the Titans, but it’s also a map that drastically favours GOATS. Dallas’ GOATS isn’t bad, but it’s not on the same level as Vancouver.
|Hybrid Win %||67%||93%|
We saw the Titans dominate the Spark on , and lucky for the Titans the map heavily favors 3/3 on attack. One of the common defense themes is a bunker composition, which the Titans did well against on Eichenwalde against the Outlaws and on King’s Row against the Spark. One of the biggest obstacles the Titans will have to deal with is the skill and flexibility of the Fuel players. OGE, the Fuel’s main tank is excellent. He’s one of the better Winston players in the game, his Reinhardt is good as well but his Winston is on another level, he’s likely a top 3 Winston in Overwatch league in terms of overall skill and use of Winston’s ultimate ability, Primal Rage. NotE, their off-tank is not only one of the better D.Va players, but he’s also very flexible and can play several DPS roles like Tracer, and Hanzo.
If the Fuel opt for a 3/3 defense instead of Bunker, their Winston GOATS could be harder to handle for the Titans. Blizzard World’s first point is good for both GOATS and bunker comps. It’s a fairly open map for the first 60% of the payload push before you get underground.
|Escort Win %||56%||69%|
Junkertown is not a map where you need to play GOATS and that could be trouble for the Titans. There are two things pro teams often do on Junkertown, the fun one is the pirate ship comp, where you put a Bastion with an Orisa shield on the front of the car and a Reinhardt protecting the back while Mercy and Baptiste protect the whole team. The serious one is double sniper. We could potentially see Stitch in here to take over for SeoMinSoo and if the Titans opt for a triple DPS attack, Bumper might make the serious flex onto Hanzo while Jjanu uses the Wrecking Ball to disrupt the Fuel.
In terms of predictions, this should be a win for the Titans but it could be close. It’s probably a 3-1 win, but with the radical team comp changes that occur on Junkertown, this could go to game 5. Since game 5 is Control, the longer this match goes, the better it could be for the Fuel. The Titans need to get this match done as quick as possible and not underestimate the Fuel, they look like a pretty good team this stage and could easily make the stage 2 playoffs.