Best Bets: Overwatch League Stage 1 Week 5
With playoff implications in the crosshairs for a few teams, Week Five brings another round of opportunities for those on the rise. Los Angeles Gladiators really came into their own as a cohesive unit for the first time last week. Chengdu Hunters looked impressive even in losses to their opponents, and Shanghai Dragons bounced back with a 3-2 win over London Spitfire after being closed out by Dallas Fuel just one day prior.
Boston Uprising, Seoul Dynasty, London Spitfire and Paris Eternal all have aspirations to break into the playoff picture if they can string together some wins in Week Five. Can the middle of the pack teams overcome the odds? Or will the solidified OWL playoff teams keep their ground heading into the final week of Stage One?
London Spitfire vs Seoul Dynasty – Day 1
The second fixture of Day One features a tantalizing Korean matchup with fabled rosters. The once powerhouses of APEX are now finding themselves in a new era as middle of the pack Overwatch League talent with Seoul Dynasty and London Spitfire getting off to a tough start.
While the matchup is basically a toss up, London Spitfire is slightly favored to win on map differential. Overall, London Spitfire have been more clinical than Seoul Dynasty when it comes to control, and that starting tempo will prove vital in a matchup that is so close on paper. This will by no means be an easy win by either team, but London Spitfire should walk away the victor at a 3-1, 3-2 margin.
Boston Uprising vs Dallas Fuel – Day 1
Dallas Fuel vs. Boston Uprising has all the makings to be the most hotly contested match of Day One. Both teams have good strengths and unnerving weaknesses at different points of the game, and the possibility for an upset remains high even though Dallas are favoured to win. If Boston Uprising can go even within the first two maps, there is a very real chance Boston can take two, and possibly three maps off of Dallas Fuel if they are not careful with their advantages.
On Assault maps, Dallas Fuel are an astounding 0-5 during this stage, and Boston Uprising have shown their prowess on both Assault and Hybrid maps this year. Even though Boston Uprising don’t have the same talent player for player, they have a knack for hitting their opponents when it matters and they could easily take this series to five games.
Philadelphia Fusion vs Paris Eternal – Day 2
Paris Eternal have a big task ahead of them this week as they look to clinch back to back wins in order to possibly secure a playoff position. Assuming their series against Washington Justice go well, Paris have a chance to make a coupe for the ages if they can secure a win over the Philadelphia Fusion. While a win may not be entirely feasible at this stage, Paris Eternal may possibly be a candidate for stage playoffs with a map win in this series.
Apart from their dismal Week Two outing, Philadelphia Fusion have remained solid this year and have carried over their strengths rather well. Even still, their ability in this GOATS meta hasn’t looked as polished compared to Paris Eternal at their best. If Paris want to put a stamp on their first Stage in the Overwatch League, the goal will be to once again prove the doubters wrong and will their way to victory.
Guangzhou Charge vs Vancouver Titans – Day 2
There is no question Vancouver Titans are the favorites in this matchup, but Guangzhou’s performance in this series will more than likely determine their seeding in the playoffs which is what makes their wins here so crucial. Surprisingly, Guangzhou is on par with Vancouver with just about every single map differential apart from Hybrid. Guangzhou Charge need two map wins in this series to make their playoff efforts secure. If they get swept, there’s a good chance they could get bumped out at the last minute by other teams playing two games in this final week of action.
Vancouver Titans have been solid as of late, but some pundits have questioned the playmaking bloopers of Bumper in certain situations for his team. In every sense of the word, Bumper has become the life force of this team both from a leadership and emotional standpoint. With that responsibility, sometimes the onus to make a play can forces errors in ways that can seem ‘uncharacteristic’ for a player of his caliber. To truly outclass the Charge and win over the fans before playoffs, Bumper will need to be at his absolute best and try to sweep their opposition.