One should be excused for sleeping on the Florida Mayhem, especially considering their recent struggles in the past seasons.
Yet much how one massive upset managed to break almost everyone’s bracket as they vied for the $100,000 cash prize in picking a perfect bracket throughout the finals, a second one was in the cards in today’s match that pitted the LA Valiant against the Florida Mayhem.
The North American winners-bracket quarterfinals started with a bit of a rough game, with the Gladiators taking a massive loss to the Fusion; the second game thankfully had a bit more of a back and forth in store for fans.
The matches began on Busan, Sanctuary, and teams alternated control of the point as they both continued to poke and prod each other while looking for weaknesses. Thus far in the control maps for the Overwatch League 2020 playoffs, the control maps were a standard-bearer for how the rest of the match would play out.
Valiant took the first map, and the second round was to be played on MEKA base where Valiant managed to put up a massive 99% while Mayhem were locked out by Dreamer on Winston and Rain on Lucio offering massive AoE effects and plays. Mayhem managed an additional 52% before control shifted again, and Valiant took the first map looking strong.
The second map was Numbani and Mayhem began on attack where they managed a clean three points with a heft of time left on the time bank for the Florida team: they ended the first run with 2:51 remaining in the bank. Valiant, conversely, struggled across the map to manage even the first point which was never conquered, making the score 1:1.
Volskaya Industries was the third map, and the Valiant were first up on offense which they cleaned up with relative ease, and an additional 2:22 left in the time bank after walking through both points with comparative ease. Then Mayhem took the two points with 3:22 remaining, because 2CP; both teams lost twenty seconds from their banks in the attempt by Blizzard to ensure that 2CP doesn’t last for hours.
Valiant got 50% of the second point before being shut down by Gargoyle on D. Va dropping a bomb and impressive Winston play from Fate on the side of the Mayhem. The Mayhem, however, couldn’t return the favor, as Valiant sat on a massive ult bank as Mayhem continued to claw towards the point, and Valiant took the third point.
Watchpoint: Gibraltar was the fourth map with Valiant on offense, and Fate and Gargoyle looked to once again be the legendary tank line of the match on Winston and D. Va. The Valiant struggled to reach the first point, but barely managed; the second point was a far harsher point (mirroring Hollywood in its varying elevation), but they again managed on the skin of their teeth. They failed to pick the third point which could have ended the series; this proved to be the undoing of the Valiant as Mayhem pushed through on an equally contested run through Gibraltar, and managed to out-pace the Valiant.
Once again, it was all to come down to the fifth map as two teams looked almost even as they battled around the world, but the final map was a difficult Oasis which began on Gardens. The Mayhem took a sizeable lead in Gardens and capitalized on the one-fight territory of the scoreline, winning the first round. City Center was next offering varying degrees of elevation, and Valiant opted to play low and quickly with a modern dive comp that saw them clean sweep the second map of the round.
The third and final for Oasis was University, and the Valiant took an early lead on the back of Dreamer leaping in on Winston marking the start of a dive against an unsuspecting Mayhem; Mayhem failed to recapture, and Valiant took a hard-earned victory to maintain their upper bracket run. Mayhem drops into the lower bracket, where their next loss will be the last of the playoffs.