The Overwatch League’s third stage has reached its play-offs with eight teams now battling it out for glory.
York, Vancouver and San Francisco once again appear to be the teams to beat –
no great surprise given they fill the first three positions of the standings
across the season as a whole.
New York still unbeaten
New York Excelsior are the top seeds in the play-offs after finishing the regular season with a 7-0 mark. However, there will always be concern for how well this team can perform in the play-offs given their struggles in that regard throughout 2019.
One of the primary changes for New York has been their swap to having Libero, Saebyeolbe and Nenne in the starting roster, with all capable on DPS heroes.
New York have, at times, adopted the triple DPS composition, with Pine and Fl0w3R still on their bench if required. This gives New York superb depth in terms of their talent and hero pool, but they will have to prove they can handle the pressure of the play-offs, starting against Shanghai Dragons.
New York are 1.210 for victory, with the Dragons 4.510 underdogs.
Titans tough to beat
Second seeds Vancouver are looking to improve on their second-place finish in Stage 2.
The Titans have had a bit of an odd habit of losing a game to multiple different teams when, before, they were able to quickly dispatch their competition in sweeps.
Vancouver’s only regular-season loss came at the hands of the resurgent Los Angeles Valiant, who face Hangzhou Spark in their play-off opener, but overall the Titans have still been as good as advertised.
Even bringing out a quad DPS composition against the Gladiators, the Titans have a line-up with both versatility and skill, with the primary engage and focus falling on Bumper, who remains a high-risk, high-reward player.
will be squaring off with the Houston Outlaws’ Muma, a solid Main Tank who will
be searching for an opening to take advantage of, in the same manner that San
Francisco Shock did in the Stage 2 Finals.
Outlaws a team to watch
Houston Outlaws are finally showing the promise that many had seen in them for some time.
With the aforementioned triple DPS composition being right in the wheelhouse of this team, the Outlaws have a shot at making some play-off noise after struggling for so long.
The addition of Danteh from the Shock has been paying off thanks to his supremacy on Sombra, a hero that has continued to rise and rise in popularity throughout this stage.
JAKE has been one of the passionate leaders of this Houston team for some time now, and his shot-calling and ability to keep the energy high will be key if the Outlaws struggle early on.
While multiple players on this squad have played in international events, their play-off experience is limited, and this sets up a massive mis-match in the first round of the play-offs against the Titans, who have been in the finals in both of their first stages within the Overwatch League.
That is reflected in the odds which have Vancouver as 1.100 favourites to progress to the semi-finals. The Outlaws are 7.220 to cause the upset.
Shock need to step up
San Francisco Shock have not been in the same form that they demonstrated in Stage 2, only claiming the fourth seeding after a 5-2 showing in the current stage.
The Shock’s loss to the Outlaws was fairly understandable, with Houston finally utilising a composition that fits them. However, for the Shock to lose to the Chengdu Hunters, who finished at 3-4, is astonishing and unacceptable for a team that has back-to-back championships on their mind.
The Shock will be up against the Seoul Dynasty in the opening round, a team with high variations in their play that could lead to a potential upset.
sinatraa will always be one of the key members for the Shock, given his seemingly relentless aggression that the team plays around, which to be fair has led to an enormous amount of success this year.