Overwatch League: Playoff Implications in Every Match

2018-05-16 / Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

Day One of Week Two in this fourth and final Stage of the OWL’s inaugural season was a doozie. The surprises continue, as the Brigitte meta seems to be turning the OWL on its head. Dallas improved to 2-1, giving themselves their first over .500 stage record of the season. Los Angeles Valiant took down the Florida Mayhem to improve their lead over the Seoul Dynasty in the Pacific Division. To finish the night Los Angeles’s other team the Gladiators took down the Houston Outlaws, improving their playoff chances.

Match One – Boston Uprising vs. Dallas Fuel

Coming off a ‘Perfect Stage’ in Stage 3, Boston looked to be the team to beat. The Uprising were on the top of their game, and the rest of the league just couldn’t seem to figure their new look at DPS out. Those winning ways didn’t continue at all as Stage 4 kicked off last week, and in the first match of this week against the Fuel they hoped to rebound.

Dallas on the other hand sits comfortably this Stage at 7th with a 1-1 record, even if they’ve been eliminated from Grand Finals playoff contention. They are ahead of some big names like London Spitfire and Seoul Dynasty this Stage, but who knows how long that will last? My bet’s on ‘Unlikely to continue’.

 

Dallas Fuel Genjii

Courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment

 

Match Score – 3-0 Dallas Fuel

 

Going into the half this match was pretty shocking. Dallas held a 1-0 lead after taking Blizzard World and holding Boston to a Draw on Horizon. The Uprising weren’t quite in sync, continuing their unfortunate start to the Stage; meanwhile, the Fuel looked like a new team. Taimou and Seagull were a combination that finally started to look like the duo we knew they could be when the Dallas Fuel roster was announced. That surprising start continued as Dallas rolled Boston on Map 3 (Oasis), securing their second win of the Stage and improving to over .500 record for the first time this season.

 

Match Two – Florida Mayhem vs. Los Angeles Valiant

Florida is in full spoiler mode, as they’ve nothing to play for but their pride at this point. This didn’t help them much last week…as they continued their losing ways dropping both games with the worst map differential (-7) on the week.

The LA Valiant currently sit in 4th on the table, but 1st in the Pacific Division. If they’re able to maintain this rank, they’ll clinch a 1st round bye, even while multiple members of the Atlantic Division may finish above them.

Courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment

 

Match Score – 3-1 Los Angeles Valiant

 

Florida Mayhem came out firing to claim King’s Row, as they scored 5 points and change, the last 2+ coming in overtime of their second push attempt. The Valiant were having none of it though, and absolutely rolled the Mayhem on Hanamura. They took both objectives on their first push with 5 mins to spare, putting them in a virtually unloseable situation. Control was pretty even, with the objectives constantly switching hands. Both Florida and VAL seemed to be able to overrun their opponents defenses with ease, but VAL were able to win out. Valiant kept that momentum, taking Map 4 and the Match.

This entire match was close, as Florida continues to improve. I genuinely think Season 2 could see Florida as the “Most Improved Team”.

 

Match Three – Houston Outlaws vs. Los Angeles Gladiators

There’s been something missing for the Los Angeles Gladiators all year. They’ve been in the middle of the pack, but never truly threatened to break into the conversation as a top tier team. Adding Fissure definitely helped, but maybe now they’ve found someone else to fill that VOID. (Sorry not sorry)

Houston on the other hand remains near the top of everyone’s Power Rankings in OWL, even as they sit just outside the Playoffs at 7th on the table. The adopted “TEAM USA” since OWL’s inception, the Outlaws are a pretty feel good team. A win against the Gladiators might not be their highest profile win of the season, but could help to keep them in the playoff hunt.

This match could be a huge factor in who makes it into the Season Finals at the end of Stage 4.

 

Courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment

 

Match Score – 3-1 Los Angeles Gladiators

 

Houston started the match strong, as King’s Row was a rout. Houston is a master at composition changes, and Jake’s DPS abilities catapulted them above the Gladiators. Void’s lack of practice with the team may end up holding GLA back until he gets more comfortable with his teammates. After Map 1 Void was subbed out for Bischu, and that seemed to make all the difference. Fissure/Bischu is a prolific combination and currently the Gladiators best bet to win. Maps 2-4 were all GLA, as Fissure’s playmaking led the boys in purple past the Outlaws. Even as Houston was making their final hold on Dorado, with Overtime approaching, something about the way the Gladiators were playing put no doubt in my mind they would be able to push the Payload past Houston’s original mark.

 

That’s it, That’s All

With that, week 2 has begun. Every game today had huge playoff implications, and the ability to shape how the rest of the Stage will play out. This rising Los Angeles Gladiators team could clinch themselves a spot, giving LA two shots at the Grand Finals (barring some unlikely slippage on the Valiant’s part.

OverwatchScore Awards:

2018-05-16 / Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

 

Player of the day:

Fissure. Fissure the most handsome, best main tank, greatest in the world. who is better than Fissure?

Fissure is an aggressive player. Sometimes aggression translates to lots of deaths, sometimes that translates to lots of damage done, occasionally it translates to a mix of both. We saw a bit of both today, but most of the latter were due to a Map 1 with a new teammate (Void). Once the Fissure/Bishu combo was in full effect, Fissure’s playmaking abilities led the Gladiators to victory.

2018-05-17 / Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

1v11:

Jake. The prolific Outlaws DPS is always an X-factor when on stage. Even with the loss to Los Angeles, Houston remains in the playoff hunt. A well performing Jake will be the key to getting them in.

 

Austin White
Austin White is Overwatchscore’s senior beat writer, mostly covering the London Spitfire and Toronto Defiant. An avid esports fan and gamer, Austin spends his free time playing, watching, and writing about video games. You can find his articles both at Overwatchscore as well as EGF. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.
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