Overwatch League: Bring on the playoffs

Four stages have come and gone and the next step is the six-team playoff, starting on July 11th.  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 the final stage playoffs. Let’s get things started.

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Out of playoffs:

  1. Shanghai Dragons (0-40, 0-2 this week, no change)

Congrats Shanghai, you did it! You officially have the record for most losses in a row for a professional sports team. While this season may have been a disaster, with it now coming out that Korean players were not allowed to speak Korean on comms, the Dragons have one of the biggest fan bases in the lead. Fans will be eagerly waiting for the team to secure their first win in season two.

  1. Florida Mayhem (7-33, 0-2 this week, no change)

Johan “CWoosH” Klingestedt and Joonas “zappis” Alakurtti started both games this week after not being seen on stage for a while, but the Mayhem lost to both London and Boston 4-0. The Mayhem may have the least promising future out of all the teams that didn’t qualify for playoffs, but with Jung-woo “Sayaplayer” Ha to build around, there could be success to be found.

  1. San Francisco Shock (17-23, 1-1 this week, no change)

San Francisco may have not made stage playoffs, but they also didn’t lose to Shanghai in their last game, so that’s a plus. André “iddqd” Dahlström finally debuted in map four against Shanghai, going without a death and therefore having the best kill/death ratio in the entire Overwatch league. San Francisco has a bright future ahead of them, especially with there recent coaching change.

  1. Seoul Dynasty (22-18, 1-1, -2)

Seoul fell apart. Once seen as the best team in the league, the Dynasty gave themselves a chance with a win over Dallas, but couldn’t overcome the Gladiators. If it’s any consolation, beating the Gladiators wouldn’t have helped them unless London had beaten Philadelphia (which they didn’t). With the amount of talent Seoul has, hopefully they can get it together next season.

  1. Houston Outlaws (22-18, 1-1, no change)

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    Jake “JAKE” Lyon of the Houston Outlaws. Photo credit to Overwatchscore.

Houston may have not won out to make playoffs, but their teamwork and brotherhood can be clearly shown both onstage and through Twitter. The close but heartbreaking loss to NYXL must have stung, but just like Seoul, it wouldn’t have mattered in the end due to Philadelphia beating London 3-1. It will be interesting to see what changes happen on Houston’s roster, and what Jake “JAKE” Lyon is doing instead of Overwatch World Cup trials.

  1. Dallas Fuel (12-28, 1-1 (0-1 in Stage Playoffs), +2)

The Fuel were able to make Stage Four playoffs due to map differential, specifically that London was able to win one map against Philadelphia. Dallas may have bowed out against against NYXL in the first round of the Stage Playoffs, but it was an impressive 2-3 loss that went to the last map. The Fuel burned bright in Stage Four, and with their head coach Aaron “Aero” Atkins in charge of the USA World Cup Team, the Fuel might get an advantage when it comes to scouting now talent for next season.

Oh, and they also denied the Valiant a perfect 10-0 stage. That’s pretty cool.

Qualified for playoffs:

  1. Philadelphia Fusion (24-16, 1-1 this week, no change)

The Fusion qualified despite losing against a playoff-hopeful Houston in the beginning of the week, and then were ever to win against London. Despite that win, they were unable to secure the final Stage Four playoff spot without a 4-0 win, which they were just one map short of, winning 3-1. Philadelphia will have much more to play for in July when the season playoffs occur.

  1. London Spitfire (24-16, 1-1, no change)

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    The London Spitfire after winning the Stage One playoffs. Photo credit to Stevivor.

London’s loss to Philadelphia meant 50,000 dollars less in season ending bonuses, but kept their opponent in the first round of the playoffs the same; the LA Gladiators. London has been almost as hot and cold as the Fusion, and the limited roster after four of their players were benched permanently, which was supposed to build synergy on the starting roster, has not helped as much as originally thought.  It truly does feel like a life time ago when they won the Stage One playoffs.

  1. Los Angeles Gladiators (25-15, 2-0 this week (0-1 in Stage Playoffs), -1)

The Gladiators had the number one seed in Stage Playoffs and got to select their opponent. To the delight of everyone, they made the courageous move to challenge the LA Valiant for another round of the Battle of LA. Sadly for them, they lost 2-3 and watched their rivals win Stage Four. If the Gladiators and Boston win their respective first round matches, the Gladiators will have to go through NYXL, who they beat for the first time this past stage, to get to the finals.

  1. Boston Uprising (26-14, 2-0 this week, no change)

The Uprising became the first team to beat the NYXL twice during the season and were able to keep the third seed for playoffs despite only going 4-6 through Stage Four. Most fans consider them the worst team in playoffs because of their Stage Four performance, but with a seemingly better understanding of the current meta and a new patch coming into playoffs with the updated Hanzo and nerfed Brigitte, Boston might be the team to win it all. Just maybe.

First round bye:

  1. New York Excelsior (34-6, 1-1 this week (1-1 in Stage Playoffs), no change)

The NYXL fell to both the Uprising during the first game of week five and then lost to the LA Valiant in the Stage Four playoffs. There is a difference between sandbagging and just losing, and it’s starting to get harder to tell the difference. The lack of practice the team has had might have killed the chemistry that the team had. Still considered the best team in the league, NYXL will have a lot to prove after the team’s worst stage (which by most standards was still pretty good). Just remember, they had the first seed locked up a  long time ago. In a few weeks time, this team could look unstoppable.

Los Angeles Valiant (27-13, 1-1 this week (2-0 in Stage Playoffs), no change)

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Scott “Custa” Kennedy celebrating the Valiant’s Stage Four title victory. Photo credit to Russian Machine Never Breaks.

You know what stinks? Losing your last game of the stage to the Fuel, failing to be the second team after Boston the complete a perfect stage.

You know what’s awesome? Beating NYXL in the Stage Four finals for the second time in the same stage and getting over 100,000 dollars extra in performance bonuses. While NYXL might be the best team in the league, the Valiant have proved they are a strong second best. If they can win both of their playoff games, they can prove they’re the best in the world.

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