The Overwatch League wrapped Week 5 of Stage 1 last week, and is now heading into the first playoffs of Season 2. Eight teams will be vying for glory this week, with two matches Thursday-Saturday before the Stage 1 championship Sunday. Will NYXL or the Vancouver Titans continue their undefeated dominance, or will another team steal it away like Season 1’s London Spitfire? Here’s how TGH ranked them heading into Stage 1 Playoffs.
(MPD= Map Differential and LW= Last Week’s Power Ranking Position)
T1. Vancouver Titans – Record: 7-0 MPD: +18 (LW: 2nd)
The Titans righted the ship after a shaky showing last week against Chengdu. In a rematch of their other near miss from Stage 1, Vancouver largely dominated the Charge. The DPS heavy setups that gave them so much trouble last week and in Week 2 were handled with ease this week. An undefeated stage and the best map differential in the league make the Titans the team to beat entering the playoffs. A showdown with the Excelsior in the Finals seems likely, but Vancouver cannot rest easy. For now though, they can revel in their early success and the silence of their doubters.
– Bradley Long
T1. New York Excelsior – Record 7-0 MPD: +16 (LW: 1st)
The New York Excelsior are heading into the Stage One playoffs with one major threat to worry about; the Vancouver Titans. The team’s map differential is two points higher than the Excelsior’s, but with the NYXL’s upwards trend in skill and clean execution, New York have a solid shot at the Stage 1 championships.
– Miranda Rodriguez
3. San Francisco Shock – Record: 4-3 MPD: +5 (LW: 3th)
The Shock will go into the stage playoffs for the first time in OWL history here, and it will be interesting to see what they can do. A really tough schedule in Stage One has left the Shock prepared for the inevitable competition that will follow, but two of their losses came at the hands of the NYXL and the Titans. The Shock could have an opportunity for some revenge here if things go right.
– Sam Putney
4. Philadelphia Fusion – Record: 5-2 MPD: +5 (LW: 4th)
For the Philadelphia Fusion, the first stage was a roller coaster. Inconsistency seems to be the Fusion’s cross to bear. Losing against the Florida Mayhem and barely defeating the Los Angeles Valiant have many doubting them going into playoffs. Philly had a lot of issues this stage, but if there’s one thing fans can count on, it’s their ability to turn things around at the last second. While the Fusion might not win stage playoffs, they’re a good contender to end things in the top three slot.
– Kate Shepard
5. Toronto Defiant – Record: 5-2 MPD: +5 (LW: 6th)
When the dust settled after an eventful Week 5, the Defiant sat tied with the Philadelphia Fusion in third place. Each team enters the playoffs with a map differential of +5, but the Fusion sit with a record of 17-12-1 while the Defiant follow close behind at 16-11-2. Toronto could potentially find themselves in a rematch with the NYXL or the Atlanta Reign next weekend. Each opponent managed to best the Defiant in their previous meetings. Toronto’s players are itching to make a statement when it really counts.
– Dave Grove
6. Atlanta Reign- Record: 4-3 MPD: +6 (High: 3. Low: 8. LW: 5th)
The Atlanta Reign have proven that, while fallible, they are able to step up and win when it matters the most. With an outstanding coaching staff behind them and plenty of game tape on the teams they’ll be facing, expect the Reign to come into the stage playoffs ready for whatever is thrown at them.
– Garrett “Norcetto” Golden
7. Seoul Dynasty – Record: 4-3 MPD: +5 (LW: T13th)
Seoul have been looking a lot better since Week 3 with wins over Washington and London. Now in their first stage playoffs, they will need everything within their arsenal. Fissure will have to control the tempo of the fights allowing Fleta and RyuJehong to find clean up while not getting picked off. If the brackets are in their favor, Seoul could have two potential rematches against Boston and New York. Both of which they lost in the regular season.
8. Boston Uprising – Record: 4-3 MPD: +3 (LW: 10th)
After a rough beginning, the Uprising have managed to come back and sneak their way into the Stage 1 Playoffs. Their first opponent is the terrifying Vancouver Titans. The Uprising are known to pull off some stunts in the final hour, so it’s not smart to completely count them out. Whether or not they can go all the way is up in the air, but they’ve got the fire to fight, and the energy to push themselves as far as they can. For a team that so many discredited due to an unknown roster, they’ve certainly bounced back and proved the League wrong.
– Mallory McMahon
Our voters for OWL Power Rankings: Preseason- Bradley Long, Kate Shepard, Felipe Labarca, Darby Joyce, Robert Hanes, Katie Gripne, Ethan Cowan-Kazmi, Mallory McMahon, Dalton Jewell, Zach Stenzel, Garrett “Norcetto” Golden, Ethan Seftor, Miranda Rodriguez, Dave Grove, Sam Putney, Aaron Gerr, Steven Bower, Rachael Yeak, Connor Knudsen, Jake Renie, Steven Zamora, Brandon Padilla, Eren “Kenobi” Erkey, Andy Nekrich