Overwatch League: Rising Up in the nick of time

With only one week left in the regular season, the playoff picture is finally looking more and more concrete. While the Stage Four Playoffs will commence the day after the regular season concludes, most teams will already be looking ahead for the ultimate prize: the postseason.

It’s time to countdown the worst team in the league to the best, kind of like a reverse power ranking. Rankings will be based on overall record, performances during the past week, and stage record (we’re currently in Stage Four). Let’s get things started.

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Out of playoffs:

  1. Shanghai Dragons (0-38, 0-2 this week, no change)

Shanghai was so, so, SO close to beating the Mayhem before imploding on themselves in the tiebreaker map. Then, they got dominated by Boston. 0-40 looks more real than ever.

Main tank Eui-Seok “Fearless and off-tank Lee Se-yeon “Geguri” Kim remain in first and second for league MVP voting with DPS Gi-hyeon “Ado” Chon in fifth. It’s worth noting that the fan vote is only worth 25 percent of the decision for the award.

  1. Florida Mayhem (7-31, 0-2 this week, no change)

The only positive thing that can be said about the Mayhem is that they weren’t the first team to lose to Shanghai. On the other hand, they got crushed by Dallas.

  1. San Francisco Shock (16-22, 0-2 this week, -1)

The Shock were able to battle NYXL to the end, but still ended up falling. Two losses this week means that they probably won’t be able to battle into stage playoffs. On a positive note, the improvement they’ve shown since the first stage is amazing.

  1. Dallas Fuel (11-27, 1-1 this week, +1)

Dallas currently holds the final seed in the stage playoffs by a one map differential with Philadelphia trailing them. Regardless of how they do, should they it into the stage playoffs, just making it would be huge for a team that looks to finally be finding its groove in the final stage.

Playoff potential:

  1. Houston Outlaws (21-17, 1-1 this week, -1)

With less than 10 percent of a chance to qualify for playoffs, Houston’s loss against the Valiant virtually dictated their fate. It’s a far cry from when the Outlaws were playing for the Stage One playoff title. In the offseason, they should try to find a Tracer.

  1. Seoul Dynasty (21-17, 0-2 this week, -2)

Seoul was supposed to be the most dominant teams in the league, and now, they have only a small chance (less than 10 percent) to make playoffs. Poor Byung-sun “Fleta” Kim, he could only carry them so far.

  1. Philadelphia Fusion (23-15, 2-0 this week, +2)

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    Philadelphia main tank Joona “Fragi” Laine after a Fusion Victory. Photo credit to Compete/Kotaku.

The Fusion battled back this week, winning two must-win matches to take back the final playoff seed. With the worst map differential among the remaining teams, odds are they will stay at the bottom of the table (fifth or sixth seed), but anything can happen in the Overwatch League.

  1. London Spitfire (23-15, 0-2 this week, -2)

The Spitfire played close games against both LA teams, but could not beat either of them. Out of the remaining teams that can still qualify, London has the best chance. A lot has to go wrong for them not to quality. While they are currently in the fourth seed because of their very good map differential, a game against Philadelphia next week could decide where they end up finishing in the playoff seeding. Boston may have a game up on them, but it seems unlikely that the Uprising will win all of their games next week.

  1. Los Angeles Gladiators (23-15, 2-0 this week, no change)

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    The LA Gladiators, lead by flex support Jonas “Shaz” Suovaara, entering Blizzard Arena. Photo credit to Dot Esports.

While the Valiant might be the hottest team in the league, the crosstown rival Gladiators weren’t going to be upstaged by them this week. Close wins against the Spitfire and NYXL have shown how far this team has come since acquiring Chan-hyung “Fissure” Baek from the Spitfire. I wonder how much the Spitfire regret this trade now.

Secured playoff spot:

  1. Boston Uprising (24-14, 1-1 this week, +3)

All Boston needed was two wins and a bit of lucky results by other teams to clinch a spot in the playoffs after a six-game losing streak. While the win against Seoul wasn’t pretty, Boston dominated Shanghai. Have the Uprising really regained their footing? NYXL will be the ultimate test. The Uprising could finish anywhere from third to sixth in the final seeding, so to stay in third they’ll have to bring their “A-game”.

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The Uprising have clinched a playoff spot. Photo credit to the Boston Uprising.
  1. New York Excelsior (32-5, 1-1 this week, -1)

NYXL may have suffered their worst ever losing streak (two games), but that’s not why they went down in this week’s rankings. While its very apparent they aren’t playing the best, they could be (beating San Francisco 2-1 makes that very apparent), the main reason they fell this week is how dominant the Valiant have been. While NYXL might be the best team in the league overall, the Valiant are the hottest right now.

  1. Los Angeles Valiant (26-12, 2-0 this week, +1)

Can the Valiant become the second team in the league to go undefeated in a stage? With matches against San Francisco and Dallas lying ahead in the final week of the season, it’s very possible. The Valiant should also be a little wary of the looming Stage Four playoffs, which they currently hold the first seed in. The Gladiators are right behind them with a 7-1 record this stage. At the end of the day, NYXL is still the biggest challenge they have lying ahead in the end of season playoffs, and that’s the one that matters the most.

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