NYXL vs Titans: semifinal showdown at Overwatch League Playoffs
After Round Two of Overwatch League playoff gauntlet now behind us, only six teams remain eligible for competition en route to the Grand Finals at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at the end of the month. New York Excelsior had some impressive series over the likes of London Spitfire and Atlanta Reign this week to ensure their passage in the winners bracket. On the other side of the division, Vancouver Titans overcame Seoul Dynasty and Los Angeles Gladiators to set up this mouthwatering winner decider next week between the two heavyweights of Overwatch League.
For fans of the fallen teams that have taken losses this playoffs, the chances for San Francisco Shock, Hangzhou Spark, LA Gladiators or Atlanta Reign to make a run for Grand Finals is still on the table as all four teams will rematch on Thursday for their chance at redemption.
NYXL vs Titans
Heading into last week’s round of playoff action, many pundits and fans alike already had their doubts about NYXL fitting into this new, faster paced 2-2-2 meta. London Spitfire were turning heads with their gameplay the week prior, and their ability to synergize with Guard on Doomfist and Fury and Gesture back to their best form on shield tanks seemed to give them the boost they needed. In this series, London continued with the same blueprint but it would be NYXL beating them at their own game in the five game series.
NYXL’s Yeon-oh “Fl0w3R” Hwang gave them an extra dimension with his suffocating Doomfist play. The tactics would continue for the rest of the maps as NYXL continuously found ways to innovate to great effect with Saebyeolbe, Libero and Mano all having their moments of dominance in what became a lopsided series. After criticising NYXL for their lack of killer instinct during Stage Playoffs this year, they have seemingly fixed their playoff jitters once and for all with the commanding displays they have shown thus far.
Vancouver Titans on the other hand have been a beacon of stability for the league in more ways than one and their dominance was once again put on front street. After putting away a resilient Seoul Dynasty last Thursday, the Titans continued their heroics with a back-and-forth series against LA Gladiators on Sunday that would secure their passage into the Winners Finals.
Haksal has been the prodigal son of Vancouver Titans since their introduction into the Overwatch League, but their Gladiators series was all about Min-soo “SeoMinSoo” Seo as he turned heads with a litany of big plays on Reaper throughout the series. The synergy between DPS and Supports on Vancouver must also be highlighted as the synchronicity on this team is just too powerful to overlook. When it comes to teamwork in the OWL, few teams are as selfless as the Titans even in the playoffs, and that might be the difference maker over the course of seven games against New York Excelsior.
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Down, but not out
For the rest of the teams still battling from the brink of elimination, LA Gladiators, Hangzhou Spark and San Francisco Shock seem to have the most upside of the teams climbing back from the Losers bracket, but Atlanta Reign have proven frustrating in the face of supposedly ‘better’ competition during these playoffs too. Hangzhou Spark are the consensus favorite against Atlanta Reign, but that doesn’t mean they will run away with the series on stage.
Likewise, San Francisco Shock have a long and arduous road ahead of them even if they dismantle Los Angeles Gladiators with relative ease in their series on Thursday. In order to win the whole thing, San Francisco potentially face a legitimate murderers row of high level competition as they will have to see off LA Gladiators, Hangzhou Spark, NYXL and Titans (in varying order) to win it all. While the chips are stacked against them, there is a chance Sinatraa and co. go on a rampage for the ages and live up to their Stage Playoff winning potential.
As of right now, we can quantify their loss to Atlanta Reign as an unfortunate flash in the pan. Regardless of whoever wins or loses the stakes in these Overwatch League playoffs are at an all-time high, and with this playoff format, only the strongest shall survive.
The NYXL vs Titans match, which will decide the first grand finalist, will take place September 14, 2019 at 01:00 CEST. See below the live streaming of the OWL Playoffs. Awaiting the NYXL vs Titans game, stay tuned with our Esports news and do not miss the following matches:
- Atlanta Reign vs. Hangzhou Spark (September 13 – 01:00 CEST)
- Los Angeles Gladiators vs. San Francisco Shock (September 13 – 04:00 CEST)