That’s it. Stage 3 of the Overwatch League is officially behind us, and we’ve crowned a Stage playoffs champion once again. Perhaps to the surprise of absolutely no one, the dominant New York Excelsior took home the win for the second time in a row, cementing the fact that they really are the team to beat right now.
New York Wins the Playoffs
As exciting as it is to see New York crush their competitors in such a dominant fashion, we have to say, the Stage 3 playoffs have been the least interesting to watch in the Overwatch League so far. Now that the playoffs allow for four teams to get into the mix, both Los Angeles squads had the opportunity to make a run for the prize money. However, the Boston Uprising managed to defeat the Gladiators in a resounding 3-0 victory. Similarly, in the second match, the Excelsior also crushed the Valiant in another quick 3-0 victory. It wasn’t terribly riveting, if we’re being completely honest.
In the Stage 3 finals, we expected New York and Boston to go the distance and take things to game five. But that didn’t happen. New York managed to win on the first two maps, and even forced a tie on Volskaya Industries, which Boston was undefeated on till now. Things looked close on Numbani, but finally, the Excelsior managed to hold them back and secure the 3-0 win, thanks in no small part to the clutch plays and coordination from the whole team. Seriously, we saw playtime for every single player on NYXL and they all shined.
At the end, Saebyeolbe proudly proclaimed that he was the best Tracer in the world. And you know what? We believe him.
Boston Goes (Almost) Flawless
Right now, Boston Uprising are at the number two spot in the overall standings of the Overwatch League. Their dominant performance in Stage 3 played a large part in getting them there, as they didn’t drop a single game to any of their opposing teams. Sure, they did lose the title match to New York in the playoffs, but as far as the map count goes, they haven’t officially lost a game this Stage.
Despite the loss in the finals, Boston still proved that they were a terrifying force to reckon with. Mistakes was able to stand up to Pine in the Widow duels, and Striker continued to tear up the back lines as Tracer. The disparity between Boston and New York was only made obvious when it came to how flexible NYXL’s players could be, and their support line. JJoNak continued to shine as Zenyatta, and when you have support players (shout out to Anamo here as well) who can deal damage to the enemy team while still staying alive and healing their teammates, there’s just no way you can outclass New York unless you have strong support players yourself.
Even so, we’re looking forward to what Boston brings to the table in Stage 4, once Brigitte is introduced to the meta. It’s going to be a big shakeup, and anything can happen.
Seoul Dynasty Has a New Main Tank
The Seoul Dynasty had been spiraling for a while now. They came out strong at the beginning of Stage 1 and 2, but faltered towards the end and failed to make playoffs both times. In Stage 3, they just looked like a hot mess, and it was difficult to understand just what was going on with all the different lineups they were fielding.
For now, at least, it looks like they’re starting to stabilize yet again. Ryujehong, formally their star support player, has now taken on the mantle of the team’s main tank, and he made his Winston, Orisa, and Reinhardt debuts this week. In Seoul’s match against the London Spitfire, they looked well-coordinated and even managed to push things to a game five. Prior to this, the Lunatic-Hai core of the Dynasty had never been able to take a single map off the GC Busan players on London Spitfire, and they even suffered two crushing 4-0 defeats in the past two Stages. This time, the Dynasty still fell short, but they broke the curse and managed to win two maps.
And, to London’s credit, they actually eked out a narrow victory on Oasis, which is their worst map by far. Seoul went on to dominate the Houston Outlaws in a 4-0 victory later that week as well. We also want to give a shout out to Gambler, who’s been a huge Mercy upgrade for the team, and he definitely helped in keeping the Dynasty together.
Both Seoul and London are starting to look pretty good again, and they might have what it takes to become dominant forces in Stage 4 of the Overwatch League.
Our Favorite Play of the Week
Fans in Twitch chat are always so harsh on Janus because he has a lower win rate than Mano. But today, he definitely turned up for the team. During the finals, New York went up against Boston on Numbani, and just when it looked like they were going to get stalled out before completing the map, Janus pops Primal Rage to keep the Uprising at bay. This allowed the rest of his team to push the payload to the end, and Janus even got a couple of kills to seal the deal.
Similarly, when New York was defending point C on Numbani, Saebyeolbe went absolutely crazy on Tracer to stop Boston dead in their tracks. He tore into the back lines, decimated them, then went back to the payload to Pulse Bomb Gamsu, and then ended his highlight reel with a cool kill on Strike, because why not?
He had the support of his team of course (Pine for the win), but being able to survive for that long while shredding everyone on the opposing side was a sight to behold. Saebyeolbe has definitely cemented his position as the best Tracer player in the Overwatch League right now.