New York sits at the top of the league standings by finishing 7-0 in stage 3. They secure the number one seed and will square off against the Shanghai Dragons this Thursday. Being the top seed means that they will face the lowest seeded team all the way through to the finals. In other words, New York have a real chance to finally make it to a stage finals this season and dispel the “New York are playoff chokers” moniker.
Stage 3 Recap
The Excelsior wanted to come into stage 3 with a new face. Park “Saebyeolbe” Jong-ryeol earned his spot in the starting roster once again by putting his nose to the grindstone and learning Sombra. What seemed to be early stage fan service turned into New York’s predominate strategy throughout the stage.
Though it has been nice to see one of Overwatch League’s most positive figures take the stage again, New York have shown weakness that almost cost them games against London, Houston and Dallas. Those weaknesses being Saybyeolbe not quite matching other Sombras throughout the league and Kim “MekO” Tae-hong being subbed out, meaning other teams could run DPS. During their match against the Toronto Defiant, however, MekO was brought back in to the starting lineup and ensured that there was nothing internally happening that kept him from playing and reminding us why he is one of the best D.Va’s in the league.
Playoffs: Day 1
Shanghai Dragons (12-9)
Shanghai did not come out of the Atlanta Homestead as well as New York did. While they did take down the Philadelphia Fusion and take their spot for the playoffs, they also lost to the Guangzhou Charge. Ever since acquiring Lee “envy” Kang-jae, Shanghai look weaker every time he was in the lineup. This is because Jin “YOUNGJIN” Yong-Jin, Shangahi’s best Brigette player, gets subbed out and Yang “DDing” Jin-hyeok has to play Brigette and not Sombra. However, even with Shanghai opting into Sombra GOATs and triple DPS, the advantage should still go to New York given that they are better players on paper as well as having more experience in playoff situations.
Prediction: New York 3-2 Shanghai
Day 2 and After
New York have potentially three different opponents they could face off against in the semifinals. Seoul Dynasty, San Francisco Shock and L.A. Valiant could all wind up being New York’s next match. San Francisco has the most potential to move on and may actually be New York’s best match up. The Shock have shown struggles against Sombra and other DPS compositions. New York have a real chance to take it all the way to the finals and finally meet the Vancouver Titans before stage 4.
Player to Watch: Park “Saebyeolbe” Jong-ryeol
Saebyeolbe will have to prove he has learned how to play a consistent and competent Sombra if New York want to move forward in the playoffs. DDing and Bae “diem” Min-seong are one of the most fearsome DPS duos in the league. Saebyeolbe will have to match at least DDing in order for the rest of New York to overpower the Dragons. All eyes will be on NXYL and Saebyeolbe this Thursday to see if they can truly excel.
Follow Brad on Twitter @BradKillion for the latest opinions and musing about the world of esports.
Featured image courtesy of Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment.
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