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 & valiant)

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.

 

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Featured Image Credit: Blizzard Entertainment/Overwatch

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

Stage

Overwatch League stage three week four primer

The fourth week of Overwatch League’s stage three is upon us. Coming into this week, there are a lot of stories unfolding for different teams. Stage playoff spots are up for grabs to newly contending teams wanting a chance to be champions. Here’s what to look for throughout the week.

Overwatch League Stage Undefeated

Overwatch League

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

There have been no teams that have pulled off a perfect 10-0 throughout an Overwatch League stage. Currently, the Boston Uprising look to challenge that. They currently sit at 6-0 on the stage, and play against favorable teams this week. The Uprising will be tackling the Shanghai Dragons and Dallas Fuel, which are two of the weaker teams in the League. While the Uprising look to continue their impressive and purely dominant play since the release of Dreamkazper, they’ve taken down top tier teams. The New York Excelsior lost a game five thriller to the Uprising, while also beating the London Spitfire, Seoul Dynasty, and Houston Outlaws. No matter the team, Boston hasn’t had a problem.

One is all you need

Overwatch League

Now a dream, soon a reality by Robert Paul

On the other end of the spectrum from the Boston Uprising are the Shanghai Dragons. They are battling over halfway through stage three without a single win on the season. They’ve continued to impress as the roster adapts to playing together, and communication has steadily improved. However, they will have an incredibly tough time finding a win during this week. As stated above they’ll take on the on-fire Uprising, and then will have to battle the Philadelphia Fusion for their first win. All signs point to another disappointing loss for the Dragons, but all they need is to win one to boost their confidence.

London Spitfire hoping for takeoff

After a five map win against the Los Angeles Valiant, a previously undefeated team during stage three, the Spitfire are looking to turn this stage around. They currently sit at 2-4, but looked much more impressive than they had looked against the Valiant. Birdring was not in the lineup for the Spitfire, taking the week for a wrist injury. It all clicked for the Spitfire as they looked dominant in taking the first two maps against the Valiant, and dominant once again in the decisive map five. They’re hoping to translate that success against the other California based teams, the Los Angeles Gladiators and San Francisco Shock this week. For this stage, all three teams sit around the same level of play, and they’ll all be pushing for a spot come week five.

Valiant want to bounce back

After looking a little disconnected against the Spitfire, the Valiant will have to push back. They have games against the Outlaws and the Florida Mayhem this week. While one can usually write off the Mayhem, they’re always ready to take advantage of being looked down on. They have the talent and skill to take teams to the limit, and the Valiant can’t sleep on them this week. The other match against the Outlaws looks more difficult on paper. The Outlaws are one win back of a stage playoff spot, and only one win back from catching the Valiant in League standings. It should be a thrilling map that the Valiant will need to take to avoid possibly sliding out of the stage playoffs.

Two weeks left, who gets in?

Overwatch League

Overwatch League Inaugural Season Teams

There are four matches remaining in stage three, and there could be a few playoff spots ready to change teams. If the Valiant are unable to bounce back after their Spitfire loss, they could fall out of contention. Meanwhile, if the Shock can’t take their two matches this week, they’ll likely see one of the many teams one win under them surpass them. These teams include: Gladiators, Dynasty, Outlaws and Fusion. If the Spitfire pull off two straight wins in each remaining week, they could see themselves vault into the stage playoffs once again. Boston’s run of 6-0 should see them secure a spot, but if they have a major collapse, (unlikely), they could fall out as well.

For the first time, there are multiple spots in play for the stage championship. The previous two stages have seen teams battle for the third spot, since the Spitfire and NYXL had been locks for the other two. This time around, it’s anybodies game out there. This should be a great week for the Overwatch League and its fans, and set up an even more thrilling week five.

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Featured Image courtesy of Robert Paul

Overwatch League

Overwatch League: Have the Korean teams been figured out?

The Overwatch League is currently halfway through its third stage. For the majority of the season, the Korean teams have displayed a dominance that other teams were constantly trying to match. As the stages have progressed, more and more teams have been able to grab wins against these near unstoppable teams. With constant play and recordings available to the other teams, have the Korean teams been figured out?

Overwatch League Prediction: Seoul Dominates

As the inaugural season for the Overwatch League kicked off, many pegged the Seoul Dynasty to be the top team. Currently they sit in second place to the New York Excelsior. However, they kicked off the first season with a bang. They’ve gone 7-3 in both stages, going 0-4 against the other Korean teams.

Overwatch League

Seoul Dynasty by Robert Paul

Stage three has seen Seoul look much weaker than before. They opened the stage swept by a resurgent Los Angeles Valiant, and then dropped another game to the Los Angeles Gladiators. As of this writing they’ve yet to face the other Korean teams in stage three, but their diminishing dominance leads to a likely loss against both. Many believe that the Seoul Dynasty have dropped maps due to deploying a “b-team” during matches against weaker opponents, and they’ve been chastised for it.

They missed both stage one and stage two playoffs simply from map differential, and winning a few more against weaker teams could’ve pushed them into a higher tier of play. As the stages have continued, the Dynasty have looked less and less like the dominant team they were in the beginning. Many teams have figured out who the key players on the squad are, and make quick work on them during play. As their strategies and style of play is shown more and more, teams are able to study and counter it efficiently.

Spitfire Losing Altitude

The London Spitfire were another top projected team at the beginning of the season. Over the first two stages, they backed that prediction up. They managed to play three matches on the final day of stage one to win the championship. They followed that up with a one win better record in stage two, and fell in the semi-finals. Birdring has been one of the most consistently impressive DPS players over the course of the season. His teammates always find a way to make the right plays.

Overwatch League

London Spitfire from Overwatch League

Unfortunately, this dominance has come to a screeching halt in stage three. Going 7-3, then 8-2 over the first two stages, the Spitfire are close to doubling their losses. Midway through stage three, they’re at a paltry 2-4. Their wins have come from the Florida Mayhem and Valiant. They’ve lost to top teams in this stage, and their recent play seems to be a combination of factors.

First is the fact that many of the teams have been playing for a decent period of time now, and work more cohesively. Another is that teams have adjusted their rosters and styles to be more competitive. The Valiant aggressively retooled before the start of stage three, and are at the top of stage three. The Boston Uprising have overcome adversity and meshed new players seamlessly into their lineup. The San Francisco Shock had one of the most well-known Tracer player’s finally reach the age limit to play.

The Spitfire have added a single player since the season started, and bid farewell to two of them. Rascal went to Dallas, (since released), and Fissure has been the main-tank the Gladiators needed to be competitive. While those teams have had their ups and downs, they both look more impressive in stage three than the Spitfire have.

NYXL Reigning Champs

Overwatch League

NYXL from Overwatch League

The New York Excelsior have had their way with the Overwatch League. They lost one game in the first two stages, losing an extra in the first stage playoffs. They then came back with a vengeance in stage two, capturing the championship. They’ve been dominant, and they continue to look so, but the cracks are starting to appear.

In stage three, the NYXL have already lost a game. In a surprising upset, the Boston Uprising, (on the first match without released Dreamkazper), defeated NYXL. Without their top DPS, recently adjusting, the Uprising delivered a statement to the rest of the league. They exploited the NYXL by consistently targeting and removing Jjonak from the play, who has been an absolute game changer for the NYXL.

With a surprise upset handing the NYXL their first loss of stage three, and a close match against the Philadelphia Fusion almost doubling their loss total, the NYXL no longer look impenetrable. Teams have realized just how valuable Jjonak is to the team and their style, and the quicker he’s removed from a fight, the greater the chance to win the fight is.

South Korean Dominance End in Sight

Overwatch League

Top Six Team Stage Standing Comparison

These three teams were the apex model of teamwork at the start of the Overwatch League. Two of them have taken stage championships. Their dominance lasted through the first half of the season, but looks to be over. Seoul has had an ever-so-slightly decrease in play throughout each stage. London suddenly is close to doubling their total losses from two stages during stage three. The NYXL lost to a team that had just lost one of their best players, and couldn’t capitalize.

Meanwhile, the revitalized Valiant and Boston Uprising sit 5-1 and 6-0 in stage three, and look unstoppable. Boston has taken out both the NYXL and Seoul Dynasty, while Valiant swept Seoul and face London next. A passing of the torch to the teams that have figured out and studied their Korean opponents may be happening before our very eyes in stage three, and it has made the Overwatch League all the better for it.

You can like The Game Haus on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other great TGH writers along with Dalton!

Featured Image courtesy of Robert Paul

Fusion

Almost a Great Team: Philadelphia Fusion

Week 3 of Stage 3 kicked off in the Overwatch League and there were many exciting matches to look forward to. One of those being the Stage 2 Finals rematch: Philadelphia Fusion vs New York Excelsior. After Philadelphia failed to take a third map, leading to their reverse sweep by the NYXL in the Stage 2 Finals, Philadelphia hoped to even the playing field in their rematch. Since the last time they met, both teams have continued to play well, taking care of business as usual and improving in the downtime. With their constant improvement, the Philadelphia Fusion were looking poised to beat the New York Excelsior in a rematch. But to no avail, the Fusion again found themselves in the same position.

So Close

Philadelphia Fusion

Pine of the NYXL

After a dominating Map 1 on Temple of Anubis and Map 2 on Numbani, the New York Excelsior looked like they didn’t have any answers for the Philadelphia Fusion. However, after a halftime break, the NYXL were able to regroup and it all came crumbling down for the Fusion. New York made key player substitutions in the tank and DPS roles, most notably they put in the big boss himself, Do-Hyeon “Pine” Kim. The final three maps – Ilios, Junkertown, Oasis – favored Pine heavily, due to his exceptional play on Widowmaker and McCree. Pine helped elevate his team’s play and lead the reverse sweep of the Philadelphia Fusion. Fusion players and supporters were in disbelief again, as they let another victory against the NYXL slip away.

NYXL Is the Best Overwatch League Team

To the NYXL’s credit, they had many clutch moments and stepped up when they needed to. The New York Excelsior are at the top for a reason, they either dominate teams or take games to a close map five. When teams play against the New York Excelsior they know that nothing comes free, it is earned. If the Philadelphia Fusion want to be known as a top tier team or even the best team they must close out series, against teams like the New York Excelsior. This game in Week 3 of Stage 3 proved two things: the NYXL are the best team in the Overwatch League, no questions, and the Philadelphia Fusion have the potential to be a great team like the NYXL. The clip below is from Map 4 on Junkertown in overtime and it show just how close these teams are.

All the Pieces

Philadelphia Fusion has all the pieces to be a great team. The Fusion have the raw talent such as Carpe and Eqo, they have great communication and they also have very good strategical awareness as a team. However, they need to finish out series. Just think, if they closed out the series in the Stage 2 Finals and in this rematch, beating New York Excelsior twice, we could argue that they are the best team in the Overwatch League.

Looking Ahead

We have a clear answer that the New York Excelsior are the best team in the Overwatch League, but if the Philadelphia Fusion continue to play well we can confidently say that they are a high tier team as well. The Philadelphia Fusion have shown that they can strategize and play against the best, they just need to convincingly finish out the series against strong teams, to be considered great. Depending on how the latter half of Stage 3 goes, there is a possibility that the Philadelphia Fusion and New York Excelsior can play each other again in the Stage 3 Playoffs. Stay tuned to the Overwatch League to find out if the Philadelphia Fusion can make the Stage Playoffs again and have another chance to beat the New York Excelsior.

 

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Featured Images Credit: Blizzard Entertainment/Overwatch League

Videos Clips: Overwatch League