Overwatch League Logo and Teams

The Race to the Overwatch League Postseason Playoffs

With only a few weeks left in Stage 4, teams are competing for their bid into the Overwatch League Postseason Playoffs. The New York Excelsior have already clinched first place in the Atlantic Division. They’ve rightfully claimed their spot in the Postseason Playoffs due to their domination throughout the Overwatch League’s four stages.

With only five spots remaining for Season 1 of the Overwatch League, the race is close. Teams are looking towards the big picture in Stage 4, not caring so much about winning Stage 4, rather doing well to qualify for the Postseason Playoffs. The Atlantic Division leader has already been named, but who will win the Pacific Division? More importantly, what four other teams will join them in the postseason?

Pacific Contenders

The title for the Pacific Division has not been claimed yet and the race could not be closer. The Los Angeles Valiant, Seoul Dynasty and Los Angeles Gladiators are all trying to make their case for the best team in the Pacific Division. Only three games separate these teams. Whoever gets first place can breathe a huge sigh of relief, due to the automatic bid it gives that team to the Postseason Playoffs.

As of writing, the Los Angeles Valiant hold first place. The Valiant are one game ahead of the Seoul Dynasty, who are one game ahead of the Los Angeles Gladiators. With a strong surge in Stage 3, the Los Angeles Valiant look confident to take the division. However, in Stage 4, they still have to play the New York Excelsior, Boston Uprising, and London Spitfire. In addition, the Valiant must play the Los Angeles Gladiators. A difficult road lies before the Valiant. They must earn every win if they want to make the Postseason Playoffs.

With a roster switch midway through Stage 3, many were unsure about how successful the Seoul Dynasty could be. With their eyes set on the big picture, the Seoul Dynasty said that they were confident that they could make it into the Postseason. Like the Valiant, the road will not be easy. The Dynasty play New York and London in Week 2 of Stage 4, followed by Boston and Philadelphia in Week 4. If the Dynasty want to prove that they are worthy of making the Postseason, they must win two of these four big games.

The Los Angeles Gladiators need to have a streaky Stage 4 if they want to make the Postseason. The Gladiators are two games behind the Valiant – who currently sits atop of the Pacific Division. The Gladiators have a tough road to the Postseason. They must hope that the Valiant and Dynasty lose, while also winning games against big contenders such as the Excelsior and Spitfire. The Gladiators have a small chance to make the Postseason, but a chance, nonetheless. The Gladiators must take every opportunity that they get and turn it into a positive.

Overwatch League Overall Standings

Overwatch League Overall Standings – Week 2 of Stage 4

Atlantic Contenders

Since the Atlantic Division is already clinched by the New York Excelsior, the Atlantic teams are downright playing to make the Postseason.

Five out of the six Atlantic Division teams could make the Postseason. Currently, Boston and London have the best chance to make the Postseason Playoffs. Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Fusion and Houston Outlaws are also fighting for their spot. Depending on how things shake out, there is the potential that all five Atlantic teams mentioned could make the Postseason. For this to happen, it would require all of the Atlantic teams to dominate the Pacific teams in Stage 4. This would not only put some of the Atlantic teams ahead of the Pacific teams in the overall standings, but it would also lower the number of Pacific teams in the top six – guaranteeing more Atlantic teams.

Looking Towards the Postseason

There is no doubt that Stage 4 will be the most competitive stage of the Overwatch League. With the race so close between the Atlantic and Pacific teams, every win matters. Teams must play strong in all their matches if they want to make it to the Postseason.

The New York Excelsior have already clinched, but who will join them in the Postseason? To find out who makes it, tune into Stage 4 of the Overwatch League.

 

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Featured Image Credit: Blizzard Entertainment/Overwatch

Overwatch League

Overwatch League power rankings: Stage 4 Week 2

The first week of stage 4 was quite interesting as we saw some teams that were expected to be very good falter. We had five teams sweep the week and five teams get swept. If this continues we could see not only the stage playoffs but season playoffs come down to the wire in the coming weeks.

As a reminder, this is overall power rankings, not just for this stage.

Here are the power rankings heading into week 2:

12. Shanghai Dragons 0-2 (VS. Fusion & Excelsior)

Overwatch League Power RankingsThese Dragons are much more like Mushu than Drogon. Many people expected their match-up against the Fuel to be their time they would finally win a match. It was a new stage and they had time to finally practice and develop as a team. Then they lost, again.

Week 2 will not bring them any reprieve as they go up against two squads that are 2-0. There is one major positive though, they are not in last as their map record is better than both London’s and Florida’s.

11. Florida Mayhem 0-2 (VS. Valiant & Gladiators)

Overwatch League Power RankingsThis team is truthfully not much better than the Dragons at this point. They have had some moments but none really to talk about in week 1. Even though they were able to secure a tie against the Excelsior on one map they were then swept by the Fusion.

It will be a Los Angeles week for the Mayhem as they face the two hometown teams who are also sporting 2-0 records. This team has the ability to surprise and their entrances continue to be solid but, that might be the only thing they have going for them.

10. Dallas Fuel 1-1 (VS. Uprising & Fusion)

Overwatch League Power RankingsThe Fuel currently sit in 7th in the league for this stage and that’s great. But, let’s not forget that their win was against the Mushu’s, sorry Dragons. They were then promptly swept by the Gladiators in their next game. Seagull is finally seeming to learn D.Va and that should help this team going forward.

The runners-up last stage look a little like they do when they go into their slump. Boston could be beatable this coming week is Dallas is truly able to come together. As for the Valiant, it is likely not the same.

9. London Spitfire 0-2 (vs.  shock & Dynasty)

Overwatch League Power RankingsWho would have guessed this fall from grace? A team that made the first two playoffs (when only three teams did) has won five of their last 12 matches and were only able to win one map in week one. To be fair to them they played the Excelsior and the suddenly hot Outlaws but those are teams they should at least be able to look even against.

This is a really major week for the Spitfire. They are still sitting third in the season standings and are currently in the playoffs. But, if they have another terrible week against a rising Shock team and a hungry Dynasty squad they could fall right out of the playoffs by weeks end.

8. San Francisco Shock 1-1 (Vs. Spitfire & Outlaws)

Overwatch League Power RankingsAfter barely missing the playoffs in Stage 3 this team had a solid showing to start off Stage 4. After losing a close series against the Gladiators the Shock were able to beat a struggling Seoul Dynasty team. While Seoul has been pretty bad lately that doesn’t mean the Shock don’t deserve the credit. This team is vastly improved and could beat just about anyone at any time.

If the Shock want to show that they’re the real deal this week would be a good time to do so. London is coming off an atrocious week but is still a solid squad. A win back to back weeks against “Korean teams” would be huge for them. Also if they can cool off Houston then San Fran might be on Stage 4 playoff watch.

7. Seoul Dynasty 0-2 (vs. Excelsior & Spitfire)

Overwatch League Power RankingsSeoul might be the most disappointing team this entire season in the OWL. They have never made a playoff, are barely holding onto the sixth season playoff spot, and they went 0-2 in week 1. Their match against the Valiant was reminiscent of what they look like when they are playing their game even in a loss. Against the Shock, they went back to their average form.

Like their London counterparts, this is a nut up or shut-up week for the Dynasty. The Excelsior are (spoiler) easily the best team in the league and they always lose one game per stage. Seoul better hope it’s against them. As for their game against London, that team has fallen even further than them. If the Dynasty miss out on that game then they could be well on their way to finishing in the bottom third of the league.

6. Philadelphia Fusion 2-0 (vs. Dragons & Fuel)

Overwatch League Power RankingsAfter shocking the Uprising the Fusion cruised in their game against the Mayhem to start of the stage well. This team continues to surprise the league with their consistent play. They are in fifth for the season due to having the most games played because they can’t finish teams off. They are tied with third record-wise and if they win both this week they could be the only team in that spot by the end of the week.

With their week 2 schedule, it would not be surprising to see this team sitting at 4-0. While both the Dragons and Fuel are getting better they still are no match for the Fusion.

5. Los Angeles Gladiators 2-0 (vs. Outlaws & Mayhem)

Overwatch League Power RankingsTalk about a team on the rise. This team has been slowly climbing the ranks ever since they added Fissure and Silkthread. They are very consistent in their team-fights and after taking care of business against the Shock and Fuel the Gladiators will look to continue to climb.

This week features their toughest match of weeks 1 and 2, the Outlaws. This will be a test for both teams as they continue to push towards not just a stage playoff but, also the season playoffs. If the Gladiators cannot be upset by the Mayhem and take at least two maps against Houston, if not the match, then they could find themselves in the top six.

4. Houston Outlaws 2-0 (vs. Gladiators & Shock)

Overwatch League Power RankingsAfter a less than stellar Stage 3 it looks like Jake and the boys are back. They swept the Spitfire in convincing fashion and 3-1’d Boston. Is it possible that the meta this time around suits them better? Probably. What is more important is that they looked like they were back in a groove as a team. Last stage they seemed to struggle to find their cohesion that has made them so good.

The Outlaws sit right outside of a playoff spot currently but with six teams within two games of each other, everything can change week by week. They start off the week by playing a team that is scorching hot and only two map losses behind them. This could be an epic series and if the Outlaws can win it, even barely, then they are announcing to everyone to watch out.

3. Boston Uprising 0-2 (vs. fuel & Valiant)

Overwatch League Power RankingsOh Boston, what was up this week? After not losing a single game last stage they go out and lose both of their week 1 games 3-1. While the Fusion and Outlaws are very good teams, one would expect that Boston would win at least one of their match-ups. They are still sitting in second in the overall standings and would have to go into a huge slump to fall out of it.

Boston will face Dallas and the LA Valiant this week. Dallas can put up a fight but unless Boston throw, they should be able to handle this match-up. The Valiant and Boston are going to be going blow for blow. These teams match-up pretty well across the board and should have a very entertaining series.

2. Los Angeles Valiant 2-0 (vs. Mayhem & Uprising)

Overwatch League Power RankingsThis team continues to play very well at all positions, even after losing Silkthread. They were able to beat Seoul in overtime in an impressive series for them and then they handled Shanghai. This team is currently in the playoffs and it is unlikely that they will fall out as they currently sit in fourth.

This week they have the Mayhem and the Uprising. The Mayhem will more than likely take one map off of the Valiant but shouldn’t be much of a threat. The Uprising are a totally different story. While they had a rough week, they tend to do this at times. Boston and LA will absolutely be battling it out this week in what should be an excellent match.

1. New York Excelsior 2-0 (vs. Dragons & Dynasty)

Overwatch League Power RankingsIs anyone honestly even surprised at this point? They are 29-3 this season and continued their dominance by beating the Mayhem and Spitfire this week. The Excelsior do not seem to have any glaring weaknesses. If anything the announcement of new teams joining might be the only thing as they could potentially lose some players this offseason. Not saying they will win season one because anything can happen but, this team is incredibly good.

Focusing on this coming week, New York plays Shanghai and Seoul. The Shanghai game is a win 99 times out of 100. Seoul, on the other hand, might be like a starved tiger. If the Excelsior aren’t careful they could lose their one match a stage this week.

 

 

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“From Our Haus to Yours”

Here are the Odds of Your Team Winning Season 1 of the Overwatch League

Season 1 of the Overwatch League is nearly over. Only Stage 4 remains as teams battle it out to make the playoffs. As of now, the only team to have officially made it into the playoffs are the New York Excelsior. Their dominance has been well documented, as they have been to every stage final and won the last two.

Who can make the playoffs?

Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

Unlike the Stage playoffs, the Season playoffs will have six teams battling it out for the Season 1 title. As of now, the only team to clinch a spot is the aforementioned New York Excelsior. There are also three teams that have been eliminated. These teams include the Dallas Fuel, Florida Mayhem and the winless Shanghai Dragons. That leaves eight teams to battle it out for the five remaining playoff spots.

Stage 4 will feature many important match-ups as many of the teams will be playing for their season playoff lives.

You can keep up to date on Stage 4 as it starts next week on Twitch and the Overwatch League’s official website.

 

“Never tell me the odds”

You may be wondering to yourself: “what are the odds of my team winning it all?” Look no further, there are a bunch of trustworthy betting sites on sportsbettingdime.com that will provide you with the most up-to-date odds. Overwatch League is still a fairly new esports league, compared to others like Dota 2 and League of Legends so not all sportsbooks will have Overwatch League odds. Take your time to look over each site as they each have their own advantages. In this case, try to pick one that offers a sign-up bonus because if you’re planning on betting on a team that’s not the New York Excelsior and your team doesn’t win, at least you get some sort of compensation.

Here are the most recent odds:

Courtesy of: Overwatchleague.com

New York Excelsior (2/3)

London Spitfire (9/1)
Boston Uprising (9/1)
Seoul Dynasty (9/1)
Los Angeles Valiant (19/1)
Los Angeles Gladiators (50/1)
Philadelphia Fusion (100/1)
San Francisco Shock (100/1)
Houston Outlaws (100/1)
The most interesting odds are three of the last four teams. To start, the Gladiators having a better chance than two teams that have been ahead of them in the standings all year is surprising, to say the least. That also brings into question why the Outlaws and Fusions chances are so low.
Is it because of their below average performances in Stage 3? Or is it that all the teams above them are simply getting that much better? Either way, those might be odds worth betting on.
Another team of note is the Seoul Dynasty, as they have been slowly falling down the standings after having a very average Stage 3 with a 5-5 record.

Take ’em or Leave ’em

Leave ‘Em:

The Spitfire and the Dynasty.

Neither team has looked exceedingly strong as of late. This is due to teams finding their groove after a rough start, as teams have added talent either through pickups or players coming of age. Additionally, some of the talent that has been picked up has been at the expense of both of these teams.

Take ‘Em:

The Uprising and the Fusion.

Boston was the best team for most of Stage 3 and should be able to make the changes necessary to put up a fight against the Excelsior. As for the Fusion, they had a down Stage but have been consistent for most of the season. Look for them to make some adjustments as they push for the playoffs and could surprise a couple teams.

 

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Will the NYXL Complete the Three-Peat?

Stage 3 of the Overwatch League just finished this past week and the New York Excelsior took home a Stage Championship for the second time now. More impressively, the stage titles were back to back. And even though the Boston Uprising went an undefeated 10-0 in the Stage 3 regular season, the New York Excelsior got the best of them in the Stage 3 Finals. The NYXL have cemented that they are the best team in the Overwatch League. With only Stage 4 left and then the Playoffs, only one question remains: Will the New York Excelsior achieve the three-peat and win a third straight stage title?

Clear Favorites

As much as some teams are improving, no one can find a way stop the colossal NYXL. Even though Boston played well in the Stage 3 regular season, the NYXL took care of business and cleanly swept them in the Stage 3 Finals. The reasons are clear why the NYXL are the favorites to not only win the Stage 4 Championship title, but also the inaugural season of the Overwatch League. The NYXL have proven that they have talent, dedication, and team coordination to outplay any opponent that stands in their way.

The New York Excelsior’s track record since the start of the Overwatch League is astounding. In thirty regular season games – from Stage 1 until Stage 3 – the NYXL are 27-3 with a +68 map differential. Only three losses and huge map lead!

While all teams in the Overwatch League are highly skilled and consist of the best Overwatch players in the world, the NYXL prove to be a cut above the rest. Perhaps their most defining characteristic is the consistency of their domination over other teams. The NYXL have reigned victorious so often that the closest team in the overall standings, the Boston Uprising, are still five games behind. With only ten games left until the Playoffs, unless a drastic slip-up occurs, the NYXL will hold the top spot in the standings by the end of Stage 4.

Overwatch League Standings

Overwatch League Standings by the end of Stage 3

In addition to their amazing regular season play, the NYXL know how to adapt during high pressure series. Their ability to counter opponents is a big reason why they are successful during the Stage Playoffs. The NYXL have made it to all the Stage Finals so far. They have won Stage 2 and Stage 3, only losing their series in Stage 1 to a reverse sweep by the London Spitfire. Because of their continual dominance, one can expect the NYXL to make the Stage Finals again with little trouble.

The only question is – will they win it again?

Stage 4 Finals Prediction

With the final stage beginning this week, every map and win matters. Teams will be playing hard every game to secure their spot for the playoffs. Since the NYXL want to be sure that they are the number one seed, we can expect them to stay in form throughout Stage 4, eventually making it to the Stage 4 Finals as well. With Ji-Hyeok “Birdring” Kim back in the mix for the London Spitfire and the recent, streaky performance by the Boston Uprising, one of those two teams will likely play against the NYXL in the finals. However, the New York Excelsior are still the favorites and will take the series in the Stage 4 Finals 3-1.

Will anyone be able to slow the New York Excelsior or will they complete the three-peat? To find out, tune into Stage 4 of the Overwatch League.

 

For more esports news and coverage, follow The Game Haus on Facebook and Twitter. If you would like to keep up with my posts or myself, come check out my twitter:@J02Armstrong.

Featured Image Credit: Blizzard Entertainment/Overwatch

Boston Uprising release Crusty, joins San Fransisco Shock

Boston Uprising have released their head coach, Dae-hee “Crusty” Park. The team released their statement on their website and linked it via twitter. It appears this decision had already been made as Crusty will be joining the San Francisco Shock for stage four in just ten days.

Full Statement: Here

Possible reasons for release

The release statement is somewhat vague and says that ” it became apparent that a change was in the best interest of the team, as well as Crusty.” There is no telling what caused the departure for certain, However Rod “Slasher” Bresleau, eSports insider and games journalist. Pointed to some internal disputes among the Boston Uprising Organisation during stage two.

Slasher pointed to Crusty wanting to move towards an all western roster as the reasoning for the turmoil. As of just now, there really is no definitive reason for the departure.

a fresh start

Crusty has joined the San Francisco Shock who finished 5th in stage three but 9th in the overall standings. The Shock have shown great improvement since the start of stage 3 as they can now play many of the players who were underage in the first two stages. The team has released their head coach, Brad Rajan to make room for Crusty. Full statement: Here

Crusty has shown the full extent of his coaching talent at Boston Uprising and with Shock in their current state of having the pieces but not quite hitting their potential. The move can only benefit both parties.

 

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Featured Image Courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment.

Multi-Esport Cities

While the Esports industry is very young, franchising has allowed for it to mature much faster than its traditional sports counterpart. With franchising coming into play there are many different groups and people buying in, and these entities want esports teams in their cities.

This means that many fans will start to want to see their teams in person and thus esports arenas are the next step, you can check out why that is here.

The teams in League of Legends have not officially stated what cities they will be based in, so some of this is a bit of guessing as either they were founded in these cities or have major investments from them.

Now here is a list of US/NA cities that already have multiple teams in them:

Boston:

  • Boston Uprising (Overwatch League)
  • Celtics Crossover Gaming (NBA2k)

Cleveland:

  • 100 Thieves (League of Legends)
  • Cavs Legion (NBA2k)

Dallas:

  • Dallas Fuel (Overwatch League)
  • Mavs Gaming (NBA2k)

Houston:

  • Clutch City (League of Legends)
  • Houston Outlaws (Overwatch League)
  • OpTic Gaming (League of Legends)

Los Angeles:

  • LA Gladiators (Overwatch League)
  • LA Valiant (Overwatch League)
  • The Overwatch League
  • NALCS

Miami:

  • Florida Mayhem (Overwatch League)
  • Heat Check Gaming (NBA2k)

Milwaukee:

  • Bucks Gaming (NBA2k)
  • FlyQuest (League of Legends)

New York:

  • Counter Logic Gaming (League of Legends)
  • Echo Fox (League of Legends)
  • Knicks Gaming (NBA2k)
  • New York Excelsior (Overwatch League)

Oakland/San Francisco Bay Area:

  • Golden State Guardians (League of Legends)
  • San Francisco Shock (Overwatch League)
  • Warriors Gaming Squad (NBA2k)

Philadelphia:

  • 76ers GC (NBA2k)
  • Philadelphia Fusion (Overwatch League)

Toronto:

  • Raptors Uprising GC (NBA2k)
  • Team Solo Mid (League of Legends)

 

We will make sure to continue updating this list as more esports franchise, more teams commit to cities, and more teams join the already franchised leagues. An EU and Asia list will come out once a couple other franchising esports leagues finalize.

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“From Our Haus to Yours”

New York wins their second straight Stage

The Excelsior Shine

After going 9-1 for the second straight stage, the Excelsior walked their way to another stage win beating the Uprising 3-1-0.

Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

Boston came in without losing a single match in Stage 3 and they quickly handled the Gladiators earlier in the day. With that kind of momentum many thought that the Uprising would win or at least make this a tough series, they would be wrong. While Boston wasn’t bad they struggled in many areas during this series. They attempted a comeback after tying at Volskya and were close on Numbani but, they couldn’t finish off either map

Striker was easily their MVP of the series as he did just about everything in his power to try and keep Boston in this series. Mistakes had flashes but was clearly outmatched against the Excelsior’s DPS. The player who probably had the toughest match was Kellex as he struggled to get ult charge due to constantly being picked off.

As for New York, they proved that they are absolutely the team to beat for the season one finals, and there is still one whole stage left.

The DPS trio of Pine, Saebyeolbe, and Libero took over the series very early on. Saebyeolbe looked unstoppable throughout and made the case for why he is one of the top DPS in the league. JJonak was his usual self as he hit headshot after headshot keeping the Uprising on their heels.

New York has been one of the top teams since the beginning of the season. They were beat by London in the Stage 1 finals but now have back-to-back Stage final wins to go along with the best overall record in the league.

It will be interesting to see if they lose anyone or make any changes over the stage break. We saw London lose talented players in Rascal and Fissure as they wanted to play more. If the Excelsior lose any of their DPS or supports then their depth could be hurt.

The rest of the league have one stage to figure out New York or they will continue to dominate their way to a season 1 championship.

Boston Uprising

Boston Uprising are the First Team to Go Undefeated in an Overwatch League Stage

The Boston Uprising have become the first team to sweep through a stage in the Overwatch League. The New York Excelsior look poised for their third 9-1 record through OWL’s first season, but it was the scrappy Uprising who pulled off the feat first. They had gutsy game five wins across the board, and will look to carry their confidence in the stage finals. No matter who they go up against, they know they’ve beaten them before.

Boston Uprising Overcome Adversity

Stanislav "Mistakes" Danilov, a Boston Uprising competitor

Stanislav “Mistakes” Danilov Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

Early on in stage three of the Overwatch League, some disturbing news was reported about former Uprising member Jonathan “Dreamkazper” Sanchez. The team and League temporarily suspended Sanchez as they begun their investigations in to the matter. The very next day, another accusation went up, and Sanchez was formally cut from both the Uprising and League. It was a swift move, a deliberate move, and the correct move. Since then, many wondered how Stanislav “Mistakes” Danilov would excel. While some worried Danilov’s play would falter, this did not occur.

The Uprising took everyone by surprise, sweeping the next week’s matches with Danilov in for Sanchez. Danilov had guts to come in and perform like he did, and the whole team rallied around it. They had something to prove to the rest of the League, and they succeeded in doing so. Overwatch is a team sport, and no team is rolling more than the Boston Uprising.

Playoff Advantage

Boston Uprising

Courtesy of Overwatch League

There is no greater advantage in a do-or-die situation than confidence. The Boston Uprising are the one team that has loads of it. They seem to always pull out a win in a game five situation, and they even took down the League’s best while facing controversy. With the change to stage playoffs entering stage three, four teams will compete on Sunday for the title. Boston, going 10-0 in the stage, will be first overall. This gives them the advantage to choose whom they’ll play in a semi-final game. The other two teams that were not selected will face off in the other semi-final. With a selection imminent, the Uprising have an advantage that no other team has had before. Let’s dive in to who’s most likely to face the Uprising first.

An Uprising for the Valiant

Boston Uprising

2018-01-27 / Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

Even though the Boston Uprising had an easier time defeating the Los Angeles Gladiators this week, the Uprising are likely to target the Los Angeles Valiant as their opponent. The Gladiators had spurts of greatness playing the Uprising, and have overall been a consistent team this stage. The Valiant however, have not. They looked absolutely dominant in the first half of the stage and then began to fall apart against stiffer competition.

In their match earlier this week, the Uprising won a game five for a 3-2 score. The Valiant looked unable to do anything in the first two maps, then turned the heat to force a game five. This has been their nature against tougher competition. The Valiant look to be the most vulnerable team heading into the playoffs.

Meanwhile, the New York Excelsior tackle the Gladiators. If an upset happens in that series, all the better for the Boston Uprising.

All signs point to a clash between the Valiant and the Uprising, and, most likely, an Uprising versus Excelsior final. However, the playoffs are a tricky beast. For fans of the Overwatch League, these finals are sure to be fantastic.

 

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Overwatch League

Overwatch League stage three playoff odds

We have one final week remaining in Overwatch League’s third stage of play. Some teams have already booked their ticket to the playoffs, while others will be fighting hard in week five to get in. There’s even a team that has a shot at going undefeated throughout a stage. Here’s a look at teams’ odds of making it.

Overwatch League Stage Playoff tickets booked

Overwatch League

Boston Uprising Victory by Robert Paul

The Boston Uprising and New York Excelsior have booked their tickets to the stage three playoffs. There’s no doubt that these two teams have been dominant throughout this stage, and NYXL has been there all season. The Uprising have tough opponents in week five, going against both Los Angeles teams. These two teams are still fighting to maintain their spots in the playoffs, and could challenge Boston’s win-streak. In the end, there is no scenario where they can drop out of the stage playoffs.

The same is true for the NYXL. They’ll also be going up against the worst teams in the Overwatch League in week five, and should be able to pad their win total. Going against the lower tier teams may also allow the NYXL to practice and prepare more for the stage playoffs than other teams. Boston could be practicing potential opponents during their week five play as well. Whichever of these two top teams claims first place, they’ll have their pick of the three teams to play in the stage playoffs. This is a heavy advantage, so don’t look for NYXL or Boston to slack next week.

Stage Playoff Odds: Absolutely In

Valiantly to the Playoffs

Overwatch League

2018-04-11 / Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

A huge revamp of their roster seems to be paying off. Although the “honeymoon phase” is over and they’ve dropped a few maps, the Valiant are poised to enter the stage playoffs. They could’ve punched their ticket this week, had they beaten the Houston Outlaws, but they’re on the verge of doing so. If the Valiant take a win over Boston or Philadelphia in week five, they’ll make the playoffs in any capacity. As many hockey fans know, all you need is to get in to the playoffs to win.

Look for the Valiant to regroup and use the strong play and leadership of Custa and the Tracer skill of Bunny to carry them into the playoffs next week. If the Valiant drop both their games and miss the playoffs, it will be a disappointing end to stage three after such a strong start. For the team’s confidence heading in to stage four, they need to make it in.

Stage Playoff Odds: Strong

Gladiators Brawling their way through

Overwatch League

Courtesy of the LA Gladiators Twitter

The Los Angeles Gladiators are also on the verge of making the Overwatch League stage playoffs for the first time. With the revamped stage playoff look allowing four teams to get in, the Gladiators want nothing more than to be one of the four. To secure their place in the playoffs, they’ll need to win both their games next week. Playing a game against Boston hurts those odds, but a game against Florida could pick them up a win that could be the buffer against many of the currently 4-4 teams looking to make it. Regardless of both wins, the Gladiators will need to pick up at least a single win, as either Houston or San Francisco will pick up a win to tie the Gladiators record. If they tied, the Gladiators currently have the differential in their favor, but to feel comfortable they’ll need one.

Stage Playoff Odds: Moderate

The Battle over 50-50

Overwatch League

San Francisco Shock by Robert Paul

There are four teams sitting at 4-4 records heading into the final week. The San Francisco Shock, Houston Outlaws, Philadelphia Fusion and Seoul Dynasty. A win for each would have them tie (if Gladiators drop at least one) the Gladiators. The Outlaws or Shock are guaranteed a victory, as they’ll face each other. This means at least one of them will get to 5-4 in week five. This is also true for Seoul and Houston, as they will face each other on the last day of the stage. If Houston drops one of those, they’re most likely out. If the Shock win against the Outlaws, their chances look good, as they’ll play the Florida Mayhem after them.

Philadelphia will start the week with a good opportunity for a win against Dallas, but will have to battle the Valiant at the end. If the stars align and the right teams lose (every other 50-50 team and the Gladiators), then the Fusion may make the playoffs. Seoul has the toughest schedule of the three. They have to play against the London Spitfire, and then go against Houston the next day. Looking at the standings, it’s a tough road for all of them, but they’ll be closely watching both L.A. teams during week five and hoping their play falters so they can slide into the playoffs.

Stage Playoff Odds: Low

Strong Endings to carry into Final stage

Overwatch League

Shanghai vs Dallas by Robert Paul

The London Spitfire have looked completely different compared to the end of stage two. Being a top three team to end the stage, they lost out to the Fusion in the semi-finals. Unfortunately for them, they won’t have that chance again. They’ll join the Mayhem, Fuel and Dragons with no chance to enter the stage playoffs. Their play in the past few matches has looked great however. London is finally looking like London of old, and looked poised to have a run during stage four. They’re going to be in contention for the season playoffs if they’re able to be competitive during the final stage.

The other three teams however, are far removed from the season playoffs. The Mayhem have looked great since Sayaplayer and Awesomeguy have been regulars in the lineup, and it shows in the standings. They’ve jumped over the Dallas Fuel for 10th place. The Shanghai Dragons are still without their first win of the season, and everybody will be hoping they can pull one out during the final stage. For the Dallas Fuel, they’ve had quite the up-and-down season, with both players and management scandals constantly racking them. They’ll look to establish a winning culture during the final stage, and look to come out strong in season two.

Stage Playoff Odds: Impossible 

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Featured Image courtesy of Overwatch League and Blizzard

Overwatch

Doing it the Boston Way: Boston Uprising

As it currently stands in Week 3 of Stage 3 in the Overwatch League, the Boston Uprising are undefeated. Yeah, you heard that right; the Boston Uprising are undefeated and they are also in second place in the overall standings. Not even analysts nor fans could have predicted this. Almost everyone thought that Boston Uprising would be at the bottom of the standings. But here we are in Stage 3 and they look better than ever. Maybe it is the faith in the staff, faith in the players, or maybe it is just the Boston way.

 

Traditional Underdogs

Like most Boston sports teams, management seems to have a way to transform and elevate players. Boston teams don’t hesitate to pick up players that teams may overlook, rather they see potential in those players. Then when those players finally come to fruition and amazing feats occur, people are amazed as to how it even happened in the first place. What people don’t see is the hard work, faith and constant dedication to their craft. The same principles apply to the Boston Uprising Overwatch League team – a group of talented, but unlikely players that came together to create something more than just themselves.

 

Why Is Boston so Good?

Comparable to other Boston sports teams, the Boston Uprising are good because of their consistency. The team isn’t known for being flashy, rather consistent and adaptive when other teams throw something uncommon their way. They remain unchanged as a team week to week, the only change being their win column increasing in the standings. One player that helps add to this consistency is Nam-Ju “Striker” Won. Striker’s performance week in and week out is unparalleled by any other Overwatch League player. Striker consistently delivers high level DPS gameplay and works well with his teammates. Striker is just one player that was worth mentioning on the team; the Boston Uprising is truly a selfless team and when one person isn’t doing well another one always steps up.

Boston Uprising are Clutch

When it comes to crunch time, the Boston Uprising always perform well when it matters most. Out of the 11 game five maps that the Boston Uprising have gone to, they have a record of 8-3. All three of those losses also came during Stage 1, when the Uprising were still struggling to find their communication and team synergy. Simply, when it comes to Map 5 in the current stages, the Boston Uprising are undefeated. The Boston Uprising also know how to finish out series against strong teams. The Boston Uprising in Stage 3 have beat the New York Excelsior, London Spitfire and the Philadelphia Fusion. Not many teams can say that they have done that.

 

Potential Stage 3 Champions?

With an even wider margin of error to make the Stage 3 Playoffs (since the Stage playoffs expanded to four teams), the Boston Uprising have already secured themselves a spot. The Uprising also find themselves alongside the New York Excelsior, a team they narrowly beat in a five game series earlier in the stage. With two teams who have displayed their dominance in the Overwatch League, we could potentially see a rematch between these two dynamos in the Stage 3 Finals. Will the Boston Uprising be able to continue their hot streak into the rest of the season or will another team play spoiler to their perfect stage? Tune into the Overwatch League to find out.

 

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Featured Images Credit: Overwatch League

Videos Clips: Boston Uprising