So far, stage four of Overwatch League has been progressing as most anyone would have anticipated. Week two, however, did see an interesting development that has left fans pleasantly surprised. The Dallas Fuel (9-25) seem to have finally woken up, taking down both the Boston Uprising (22-12) and Philadelphia Fusion (21-13) – only dropping one map in the process. They're living up to their potential late in the season, and they could very well make it to the stage four finals if teams are slow to figure them out. Not bad for a team that was suffering through a lot of inner complications all season long. Let's see why Dallas has finally been enjoying success, and what to expect down the road.
They are killing it in the new meta
It's always difficult to know which teams will stay hot and which will struggle whenever there's a massive meta shift. To complicate matters for Overwatch League, no one knew which patch they were even going to be playing on until a couple of days before stage four started. For Dallas, the addition of Brigitte has ignited their competitive fire once again. [caption id="attachment_104145" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Seagull / Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment[/caption] A lot of their success stems from having two excellent flex players in Pongphop "Mickie" Rattanasangchod and Brandon "Seagull" Larned. Mickie and Seagull have been interchangeable on D.Va, allowing the Fuel to get creative with compositions depending on the map. Having Minseok "OGE" Son on dedicated tank duties has allowed Timo "Taimou" Kettunen to stay on DPS, giving him more time to rake up the kills. Dallas has been rolling out with a 2.5 tank setup in many situations with Mickie on Brigitte. He has been key to pulling the thread in team fights, playing an oppressive style of Brigitte that demands the attention of his opponents. Like in comp queue, facing Brigitte players like this is quite the chore to deal with since their armor and shield capabilities keep them alive for what seems like the whole fight. https://twitter.com/overwatchleague/status/1000538014592913408 Taimou has been the tip of the spear for Dallas now that he's been able to stick to Widowmaker – a hero that helped him climb the Korean ladder in his Apex days. He ripped apart Boston and Philadelphia with Widow, often getting the better of Jae-Hyeok "Carpe" – the Fusion's star Widow player – in the sniper duel. If everyone stays healthy and Taimou isn't called to flex onto a tank role, Dallas is going to be a huge problem for other teams to solve. His longtime teammates have welcomed his Widowmaker back with open arms: https://twitter.com/cheybells/status/999736461116162048
A new coach seems to be helping
Coaching has been a sore spot for Dallas since the beginning of the season. Many people blamed former coach Kyle "KyKy" Souder for the Fuel's failures, which may or may not have been the case. Kyky has moved on to the Houston Outlaws and, after a brief interim, Dallas hired veteran Overwatch Coach suffering through a lot of inner complications Since acquiring the former Fusion University coach, Dallas has seemed almost unstoppable. There's finally some excitement in the Fuel's dugout, so it seems as though Atkins has brought about a positive cultural and psychological change for these sleeping giants. The jury is still out on the Dallas Fuel, but this new look has at least earned a huge sigh of relief from the community. This is a team that's capable of being at the top. They have all the pieces necessary to destroy the competition, but something was missing. Even though it feels like everything has come together, there are still a lot of games left. Look for Dallas to keep running their strong Brigitte compositions going forward, and be sure to keep an eye on the walking highlight reel that is Taimou.