We only have one more week to go before the Stage 3 playoffs of the Overwatch League, and it’s also time to start thinking about which teams are going to make it to the final season playoffs. As always, New York is at the top of the leaderboard, but many of the other western rosters are catching up, and the top four might not be as clear cut as we thought.
Stage 3 Playoffs
At the moment, our top four teams are: New York Excelsior, Boston Uprising, Los Angeles Valiant, and Los Angeles Gladiators. New York came in with a dominant performance as usual, only dropping one game to the Uprising, who have been on a tear all Stage. Boston has yet to lose a game in this Stage, and they crushed the Dragons and Fuel this past week to increase their map differential.
Similarly, New York dominated Seoul and San Francisco, and they’re currently in second position for the Stage playoffs. The Valiant and the Gladiators have a good chance of maintaining their third and second spots right now, but they need to be flawless in the upcoming week. Dropping a game, or dropping unnecessary maps, could very well open the door for Philadelphia and Houston, who are just outside the playoffs window.
Not Really Shocking the World
We all knew from the start of the Overwatch League that it was going to take some time for the San Francisco Shock to get their team together. Most of their players were underage, and were only able to start playing by the time Stage 3 rolled around. However, we’re at the end of the Stage, and they haven’t been able to improve their position in the standings by a whole lot.
Architect has been a real standout player for the team so far, coming in as a clutch Widow player for when the team needs it most. However, their tank line still seems to be a bit of a problem, with Super not having as much impact on the game as the team would like.
The Shock is in it for the long haul, and while they’re pretty much out of the playoffs at this point, hopefully we’ll see better showings from them in Stage 4.
We Got a Torbjorn!
One of the most entertaining highlights of this past week was the attack Torbjorn pick by the Houston Outlaws while playing against the Gladiators on Numbani. After capping the first point, Jake busted out Torb and set up a turret on the payload in an attempt to throw off their opponents.
It didn’t work, of course. The Gladiators responded swiftly by having Surefour’s Zarya take out the turret, right before Torb himself got blown up by Bischu’s Self-Destruct. The Outlaws still managed to take the second point, but it was largely due to Linkzr getting key picks with Widow, while Coolmatt and Muma made space for him.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Torbjorn get played in the Overwatch League – Taimou ran him on defense on Numbani back in Stage 1 – but it is the first time we’ve seen him played on attack, which is a pretty crucial difference. It was a pretty bad play, but hey, it was still entertaining.
No One Practiced Attacking
Another really weird moment from this week was the match-up between the Seoul Dynasty and Philadelphia Fusion. As the analysts noted, it was one of the lowest scoring matches that went to a map five, and it mostly consisted of full holds and shockingly bad attack attempts.
Seoul messed up their point B attack on Anubis, but proceeded to full hold the Fusion as they retaliated with a pretty sloppy attack on their part. The Fusion went on to full hold Seoul on Blizzard World, then Seoul did the same to them on Route 66. At the end of the day, Seoul managed to eke out a victory on Oasis, but it was an incredibly and uncharacteristically sloppy effort from both of these teams. It’s still entertaining as hell, though, and it’s probably the one match you should watch if you missed everything else.
Our Favorite Play of the Week
No, it’s not Houston’s attack Torb. Instead, it’s this incredible Primal Rage execution from Fearless during Shanghai’s match against Philadelphia on Nepal. Fearless was able to zone out Fragi’s Reinhardt and basically the rest of his team from the point by pushing them away, and then securing four kills to basically close out the map.
It was a pretty incredible week for tanks in the Overwatch League, as we also got notable performances from Fissure, Gesture, Bischu, Geguri, and Muma.