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OverwatchMay 7, 2018 11:00 am CT

NYXL ends Boston’s undefeated stage by winning stage finals

There was a giveaway for free Overwatch League branded sunglasses at the Blizzard Arena, but it wasn’t really needed since Boston was serving up so much shade. They took their games against the two L. A. teams this week, making them the first team with an undefeated match score in a stage. As a result, they were able to pick who they would face off against in the semifinals, with their team president HuK calling the L. A. Gladiators the “easy opponent.” Hydration’s retort: “We’ll see you tomorrow.”

Boston’s undefeated streak continued against the Gladiators. Though the Gladiators showed signs of life on Junkertown, Boston held them just before the final point, then pushed the payload to the mark the Gladiators set. The next two maps were a rout, with Boston refusing to let the Gladiators take a single point on either Ilios or Temple of Anubis.

NYXL’s match against the L. A. Valiant went similarly. In fact, the end result was nearly identical. The Valiant just barely failed to take the third point on Junkertown, then NYXL full held on Ilios and Anubis.

This win meant the finals would feature one of the most intense city-to-city rivalries, carrying across multiple sports: New York versus Boston.

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The final series between NYXL and Boston started off similarly to the previous two series. NYXL held Boston before the final point on Route 66, then full held them on Nepal. After the half, Boston came back strong with a tie game on Volskaya. NYXL took the payload to the end of the road on Numbani, and then played spoiler to a perfect season by holding Boston within inches of the goal line. NYXL’s Tracer player Saebyeolbe was named Player of the Day, and announced to a cheering crowd, “I am the best Tracer in the world.”

NYXL taking two stages in a row really cements their place at the top, but I feel like Boston also won in a larger sense of the word. The team handled themselves with dignity during a scandal and ousted that member immediately. They acknowledged it and didn’t hide from it, though that player’s name was immediately all but been stricken from the record. It would’ve been easy for them to lie down and take a stage to regroup, but Mistakes and the rest of the team exemplified their team’s motto: Rise Up.

The teams have this week off, then stage four begins next week. While of course the teams will be vying for top of the stage, the overall leaderboards for the finals now loom large. Only six teams will move on, and with just ten maps in the differential between fourth and seventh place right now, every map matters in this stage. Tune in May 16th at 6 p.m. CST when the L. A. Gladiators face off against the San Francisco Shock to kick off the stage.

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