Dallas Fuel Opening Weekend Recap: A Spark that Didn’t Quite Catch

Courtesy of the Dallas Fuel

Well, it’s been about 24 hours since the Dallas Opening Weekend concluded and it definitely was a rough one. Especially if you compared this outing to 2019’s dominant home wins over the Valiant and Outlaws. The Fuel are limping out of the weekend with an 0-2 record, but there is still lots of season left, with lots of hope. Here’s your humble writer’s takeaway from this past weekend. Let’s start with the bad.

The Fuel Start the Season Winless

Courtesy of Overwatch League

The is the obvious and most front and center issue is that the Fuel are currently winless and sit in last place of the Pacific Conference. Every win this season is going to be hard-fought, there aren’t any pushovers in the Pacific. Having the 2020 Grand Finals Champions and 2020 Grand Finals Runners Up in your same conference is just an indicator of how strong it is. Couple that with the cancellation of several games, due to the coronavirus epidemic, the Fuel cannot afford to drop any games even this early portion of the season. The team will have to sit on the sidelines waiting for their next opportunity until Week 5, when they play the Chengdu Hunters in Seoul. Hopefully they can take advantage of this time to scout their future opponents.

Issues in the Off-Tank Role

There were issues with the second tank position, usually reserved for the off-tank role. This lack of flexibility was easily identified by the San Francisco shock and exploited to the fullest. Both Lucas “NotE” Meissner and Ashley “Trill” Powell performed well on their comfort picks but neither one were able to flex with any success. NotE’s Zarya Ult charge (Horizon Lunar Colony) gave AKM Blade a run for its money. The good thing is, both of these players are great players and have weeks to work on expanding their hero pools for Season 3 craziness.

Now that we got that out of the way….let’s look at the good.

Gui-un “Decay” Jang Came to Carry

Courtesy of Overwatch League Youtube Broadcast

The highly touted DPS proved why there was a bidding war for his services going into Season 2. Decay, in his first game as a member of the Dallas Fuel, came out the gates swinging. Well not swinging, because he didn’t play Reinhardt, but he made his presence known on stage. His name came across the kill feed time and time again and he hard carried his team as much as he could. An impressive aspect of his performance was the number of different heroes he played. The weekend saw him play McCree, Tracer, Genji, Mei, Widowmaker, and Reaper. Flexibility and lethality give me high hopes for this half of our new DPS duo. 

William “Crimzo” Hernandez Starts his OWL Journey

Word came out Saturday, Benjamin “uNKOE Chevasson was ill and wouldn’t be participating in the Opening Weekend. This unfortunate circumstance rushed Crimzo into the starting lineup. Crimzo, who signed February 3rd, took the helm as the starting flex support before really getting to synergize with the team or be acclimated into the pressure of the OWL stage. The game against the Los Angeles Valiant was tough. Immortality field timing was an issue and he ended up on the wrong side of the kill field in the perceived upset loss. Day 2 saw the team fall to the Season 2 Champions, San Francisco Shock, Crimzo performed what could be described as having more confidence and comfort on stage. Stage jitters could possibly been at play when he took the stage against the Valiant. I see Crimzo really excelling as the season progresses.

The Dallas Crowd   

Courtesy of Dallas Fuel

I’m not going to regurgitate the “7th man” term that was floating around this weekend, but the crowd was once again HYPE. I don’t need to tell anyone that watched live or on stream that the people of Dallas love their home team…you heard it over the broadcasters. These fans will see them through the year, good or bad, rain or shine proving that Fuel fans aren’t fair-weather fans. This emotional investment from the crowd can only lead to increased morale for the team.

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“By the common OWL fan, for the common OWL fan”

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