The fifth and final week of Stage 2 of the Overwatch League is happening, and it will have major playoff implications for many teams in the league. Five teams are currently in the hunt to make the playoffs: New York Excelsior, London Spitfire, LA Gladiators, Seoul Dynasty, Philadelphia Fusion. The New York Excelsior currently hold the number one spot in Stage 2 with a 7-1 record. There is then a three-way tie for second place between the London Spitfire, LA Gladiators, and Seoul Dynasty, all which have a record of 6-2. Following closely behind them is the Philadelphia Fusion with a record of 5-3. With matches being played against playoff contenders, every series win and map win matters. With only 3 spots available, who will make the Stage 2 Playoffs?
New York Excelsior
With a 7-1 record going into the last week, the New York Excelsior are in a safe position to make playoffs. Their Week 5 schedule is fairly easy, considering that both of the teams they play are struggling this stage. The NYXL face the Dallas Fuel followed by the Los Angeles Valiant. For the NYXL to make the playoffs they just need to handle business as normal: play their style, be consistent, and don’t make any lineup changes that could alter their success. The New York Excelsior have proven that they are one of the toughest opponents in the Overwatch League. They are in a prime position to claim first place and a spot in the Stage 2 Finals. With a bit of salt in their wounds from the Stage 1 Finals against the London Spitfire, the NYXL are looking to reclaim the title that they let slip away.
After a game 5 against the NYXL in the Stage 1 Finals, the reigning Stage 1 champions are looking to claim another title for their organization. With a current record of 6-2 the London Spitfire aren’t safe just yet; however, they do have excellent odds to make the playoffs. Their road to the playoffs is an easy one; in Week 5 the Spitfire take on two of the weakest teams in the league – the 0-8 Shanghai Dragons and 2-6 Dallas Fuel. Like the NYXL, if the Spitfire handle their business, they will make the playoffs. The Spitfire are a flexible and dominate team, who are successful when crafting strategies to counter their opponent. Will the Spitfire make the playoffs again, play spoiler to the other teams, and claim another title?
The LA Gladiators had an explosive start to Stage 2, which few were expecting. People expected them to be better, but not in contention against the best teams in the league. To their credit, the Gladiators have found themselves in a favorable position to make the Stage 2 Playoffs. With a 6-2 record alongside the Spitfire, they must finish out Week 5 strong if they want to make the playoffs. The Gladiators play two tough opponents in Week 5 – Philadelphia Fusion and Boston Uprising. If the LA Gladiators can keep up their high level of play that they’ve shown and finish strong, they could play spoiler to the Seoul Dynasty and Philadelphia Fusion’s playoff hopes. Will the LA Gladiators continue to march forward with their shields up in order to make the playoffs for the first time?
Since missing the Stage 1 Playoffs, the Seoul Dynasty are looking to reclaim what they think they deserve. It would be a shock to all if the Seoul Dynasty and Kings of Korea didn’t make the playoffs, again. Seoul is currently in the three-way tie with a 6-2 record alongside the London Spitfire and LA Gladiators. For the Dynasty to make it, they would need win their two matches against the Houston Outlaws and Florida Mayhem convincingly, while also having the Gladiators lose a game. The Seoul Dynasty have a high chance to make the playoffs, if the Gladiators lose a game. For Seoul to succeed they need to show their dominance and take as many map wins as possible. Will Seoul come roaring into the playoffs or will they fall short again?
The Philadelphia Fusion started out the season strong, but looked shaky against some of the stronger teams in the League. Nevertheless, the Fusion do have a chance to make the playoffs due to their 5-3 record and a high cumulative map win count. The road to the playoffs is tough for the Fusion considering that they play both Los Angeles teams – the LA Gladiators and Los Angeles Valiant. However, if they can win both of their matches, maintain a high map win count, and have either Seoul or London lose a game, they could make the playoffs. The Philadelphia Fusion have shown that they can play against the best teams, but can they be consistent?
Looking towards playoffs
With the fifth and final week of Stage 2 coming up, the results could drastically impact the playoff contenders. Will the majority of teams in the Stage 2 playoffs be the same as seen in Stage 1, or will we see some new blood? Five teams are looking at their shot to make the Stage 2 playoffs, but only three spots are available. Which teams will be in contention for their share of $125,000 and the Stage 2 Champion title? Will the NYXL claim what they lost in Stage 1 or will the London Spitfire claim back-to-back titles? Likewise, will the Gladiators march forward to make the playoffs or will Seoul surpass them? Finally, can the Philadelphia Fusion play spoiler and sneak their way into the playoffs? Tune into the Overwatch League Stage 2 to find out.
Featured Images Credit: Overwatch League/Liquipedia.net
Video Clip: Overwatch League