With week 5 behind us, the Overwatch League stage 1 playoffs are set. Eight teams qualified for the single-elimination playoff with a $200,000 prize for the first place team, $100,ooo for second, $50,000 for third and fourth and $25,000 for fifth through eighth.
There are seven games in total and we’re going to try to predict them all. Let’s start with the first round, and a surprising 1 versus 8 matchup; and then we’ll dive into the semifinal and final rounds. We’re feeling pretty confident, but don’t bet the house please.
#1 Vancouver Titans vs #8 Boston Uprising
Winner: Vancouver Titans
The Uprising are a scrappy group that will rise up just when you think they are down. Just look at the reverse-sweep they pulled on Dallas to make the playoffs.
That being said, it’s probably not going to be enough to best Vancouver, especially while the three tank, three healer G.O.A.T.S. meta dominates Overwatch.
Boston is a great team that could probably handle most teams in this playoff, but we struggle to see them being the first team to finally best Vancouver.
A close match wouldn’t be surprising as the Titans have been taken to map 5 twice. However, we expect Bumper and company to clean up and move on to the semifinals.
#2 New York Excelsior vs #7 Seoul Dynasty
Winner: New York Excelsior
Similar to Vancouver, New York has been unstoppable so far this year. If you follow Overwatch analyst Ben Trautmen on Twitter (which you should) you’ve seen that New York is among the top teams by just about any measure you could want to use.
It’s worth noting that some of the stats we’re using are a little old, but still valuable to analyze.
The Dynasty have been steadily improving as the season has gone on, but we expect New York to simply be too strong of an opponent. Unlucky seeding for the Tigers.
#3 Toronto Defiant vs. #6 San Francisco Shock
Winner: San Francisco Shock
This should be a good one. Both Toronto and San Francisco are strong teams that have gone a little under the radar with New York and Vancouver drawing everyone’s attention.
Both teams have generally cleaned up against weaker opponents and both have lost to New York. No shame there.
While the Shock have three losses over the Defiant’s two, it’s important to note that two of these were to New York and Vancouver and the other was in week one against the Gladiators.
Also, outside of the Titans and Excelsior games, they have been fairly dominant, putting up two 4-0 victories on Washington and Dallas.
Meanwhile, Toronto have given up more lost or tied maps than they should against weaker teams like the Valiant and the Outlaws.
Also, it’s hard to argue with some of the individual numbers for Shock players, such as Sinatraa’s 1st place damage stat and Sleepy’s 3rd place in healing and 10th place in deaths.
Our Toronto complaints might seem like nitpicks, but that’s what has to happen with a match-up this close. It could go either way, but we feel slightly better about the Shock in this one, especially coming off their 3-0 victory over Seoul in order to avoid playing New York.
#4 Philadelphia Fusion vs. #5 Atlanta Reign
Winner: Atlanta Reign
When Philadelphia and Atlanta played in week 1 of this season, Philadelphia just barely edged out a win in map five. It was about as close as you could get, and it felt like both squads were on their way to greatness. However, since then both teams have had ups and downs.
Also, both teams are somewhat lacking in quality wins, with both facing some of the league’s worst teams. In other words, it’s difficult to know how good either team truly is.
At the end of the day, we believe that Atlanta has looked slightly more dominant overall than Philadelphia, who have never seemed completely comfortable in the G.O.A.T.S. meta. We expect them to shine more when Carpe can play Tracer rather than Zarya.