OWL Playoff Primer: Vancouver Titans and LA Gladiators secure next round
The second week of Overwatch League Playoffs is well underway as both opening rounds of the winners bracket has played out rather predictably. The slower paced meta with the playoff map pool alongside Sigma’s release has changed the 2-2-2 playstyle drastically since Stage Four. Because of these changes, the balance of power has shifted for certain teams as the final playoff spots for semi finals are decided.
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New meta, same storylines?
The first half of quarter finals officially got underway this weekend and Vancouver Titans once again showed their poise when it matters most. Seoul Dynasty came into this round of playoffs with a bit extra hype after their opening round performance, but it wasn’t enough to topple the winning formula of Vancouver Titans over a seven game series.
In the end, it took only six games for Vancouver to dismantle their compatriots in the quarter final stage, and they now move on to a scintillating matchup against a scrappy Los Angeles Gladiators side. The LA Gladiators once again had their work cut out for them against the Hangzhou Spark, but their playmaking ability from Tank and Support lines pulled them over the threshold.
Regardless of their push, the road to the promised land for the Gladiators will be a long and arduous one as they take on a Vancouver Titans team that is really only just getting started. Sunday’s match will be an interesting one if Gladiators can spin the narrative a different direction, but Vancouver have every tool in their wheelhouse to ensure victory once again.
Tale of two brackets
No matter the results in this weekend’s round of action, every team that loses in the quarter final stage will be granted an opportunity for redemption through the Losers bracket. London Spitfire facing off against New York Excelsior will be a most intriguing clash that could very well decide the fate of losers bracket depending on which team makes it out of their series.
NYXL’s lack of faith from their own fans and pundits alike have raised some alarms as their disappointing run in playoff games has not improved at all this season. London on the other hand look well adjusted to this Sigma meta as Gesture and Fury have really developed a different layer to their game and the rest of London has followed accordingly. The synergy, team coordination and star potential is all there for London to succeed, but they are no means the world beaters they once were just a season prior.
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The other series going on today should be much more predictable as Atlanta host the star studded San Francisco Shock in the last quarter final leg. While ATL have shown some promise last week, the behemoth that is San Francisco will not be taken down that easily. Quite frankly, SF Shock have enough talent to beat Atlanta with more than one line up and you can expect a more straight forward series to come out of this game when it’s all said and done.
Next week, the semifinals and Losers brackets will continue to play out in a manner that will most accurately bring us the absolute best Overwatch League action this esport has to offer. Vancouver, San Francisco and London are all vying for their chance at dominance, but which team is strong enough to win it all? And will this newly added bracket be a difference maker for the unfortunate teams that drop a series early in the race?
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