Overwatch League stage 3 week 1 preview: New York, San Francisco and Vancouver jostle for dominance
With the second half of the Overwatch League underway this week, the top four teams have begun to establish their dominance as the middle of the pack teams look to orchestrate their own playoff pushes. At the moment, San Francisco Shock, Vancouver Titans and NYXL have put a monopoly over their regular season OWL games as they look virtually unstoppable against lower tier opponents, and that trend will most likely be continued as none of the top four teams face off against each other this stage.
In lieu of that fact, middle tier teams like Dallas, London and Seoul will look to establish themselves as new forces to be reckoned with in the league en route to the second ever homestand weekend in Atlanta during Week Five. This week we countdown some of the most mouthwatering matchups of the week as Overwatch League returns from their All-star break.
Boston Uprising vs London Spitfire – Day 2
In our first featured matchup of the week, a newly revamped Boston Uprising look to continue their playoff aspirations with a renewed rivalry against the London Spitfire. London have been the quintessential ‘win when our backs are against the wall’ team, and there is a chance that London may be entering panic mode as they are continuously overlooked as a powerhouse within the league although they sit 4th in the season league standings at the moment.
The problems for London have come from their inability to shine in this GOATS meta, but as Overwatch continues to shift away from triple tank triple healer, there is a high chance London can resurge as an elite team once their best players are enabled to do damage in spades. However, Boston Uprising have done well to refute the strengths of team typically ‘better’ than them on paper with their stellar team play. And they have only continued to improve since the addition of Richard “rCk” Kanerva into their main roster. Whichever team gets the W, expect a well fought match on both sides as Boston and London both need to secure important wins this Stage.
Hangzhou Spark vs Philadelphia Fusion – Day 3
Similar to the London and Boston matchup, Hangzhou Spark vs. Philadelphia Fusion is another stellar mid-table match that will show where these teams are at this stage of their development this season. After some intense hype heading into the season, Hangzhou have tempered their expectations as they have looked abysmally average in some bitter losses this season.
Philadelphia Fusion are facing a similar identity crisis to London Spitfire as last year’s finalists are still finding their footing as a DPS centric team in this GOATS meta. This time around, with the meta continuously shifting, it seems like Philadelphia Fusion are in pole position to pick up the win this weekend and once again put themselves in contention with the more dominant squads this season. With Carpe and Eqo itching to show off their credentials, it’s only a matter of time before Philadelphia kick into form, and Hangzhou Spark may just become a victim en route to that goal.
Vancouver Titans vs Los Angeles Gladiators – Day 4
Easily the most anticipated matchup of the weekend, the very last game of S3W1 will culminate with Vancouver Titans hosting the LA Gladiators in what will surely be a Stage Playoff preview when Stage Three is all said and done. Vancouver Titans got their first taste of humble pie as they were ousted by San Francisco Shock in the Stage Two playoff Finals, but the road is nowhere near ending for Vancouver as the Korean juggernauts are set on redemption. The only thing standing in their way is a stellar LA Gladiators lineup that is looking to claim their first top tier scalp with a win this weekend.
Los Angeles Gladiators were ousted pretty easily in their match against NYXL during Stage Two, but there is no denying the upward trajectory of this roster as they have shown improvements in many realms over the course of the season. At this moment, LA Gladiators might not be at the caliber necessary to upset Vancouver, but this test so early in the stage will be a great barometer for how far this team can go down the stretch. LA Gladiators have more than a few impact players that can turn the tide of this series if Vancouver Titans aren’t fully on the ball this weekend.