Welcome to the OWL W5 D2 Recap! Stage 1 has finally come to an end, with only the Stage Playoffs left to happen at the end of the week to determine the Stage 1 Champion. With every stage playoff spot now locked up, here is what happened during the final day of Stage 1.
Philadelphia Fusion versus Paris Eternal
The first of the four matches to take place was between the Philadelphia Fusion and the Paris Eternal. Playoff spots were on the line for both teams, both of which were fighting to either boost their chances or secure a spot. Unfortunately for Paris, the Fusion weren’t going down without a fight, and they took the win with a final score of 3-1.
Philadelphia is now locked in for the Stage 1 Playoffs. The match itself wasn’t particularly exciting, but the Fusion had the edge over the Eternal for most of the game. Both teams played the 3/3 ‘GOATS’ composition for the whole match, but Philadelphia looked more coordinated than Paris. Philadelphia now has a shot at becoming the Stage 1 Champions, but with two undefeated teams standing in their way, it may be tougher than they first thought.
Fans of the Eternal will be disappointed to know that Paris have been eliminated from the Stage Playoff race. The team has looked uncoordinated as of recently, and they keep switching between DPS players SoOn and Shadowburn. Paris can now spend the break between Stage 1 and Stage 2 figuring out what went wrong during their matches and how they can rectify these issues in time to boost themselves back into the running for future stage playoffs.
Washington Justice versus Florida Mayhem
If you listened hard enough, you could hear the ever so faint sound of circus music playing as the Washington Justice faced off against the Florida Mayhem. This match was the scrappiest match of the night, and it went the entire distance all the way to the third round on map five. Fans of the Justice were delighted as they took the win over the Mayhem, ending the match with a final score of 3-2.
Washington have finally done it. After spending the whole stage without winning a match, they pick up their first Overwatch League match victory. This game was also special for DPS player Ado, who used to play for the Shanghai Dragons in Season One. This is now Ado’s first Overwatch League win as well as the Justice’s first win, as the fans were cheering Ado’s name during the final round. Overall though, both teams were very sloppy and uncoordinated, but the Justice got their win in the end.
Florida managed to take Washington to a fifth map and the third round on said final map. But the Mayhem were just as sloppy and uncoordinated as the Justice. They did, however, give the Justice a hard time as DPS player BQB ran Sombra to counter Washington. In the end, though, it didn’t work out. Florida is now 1-6 with their match record, so it’s time for them to go back to the drawing board and see what went wrong in time for Stage 2.
Houston Outlaws versus Atlanta Reign
The third match of the night was between the Houston Outlaws and the Atlanta Reign, both of whom were searching for Stage Playoff spots when it came to this match. Unfortunately for Houston, Atlanta was not going to go down so easily, and the Reign took the win over the Outlaws to secure their stage playoffs spot. The final score was 3-1 in favour of Atlanta.
Atlanta has now locked up their playoff spot, and they worked very hard to get it. From main tank Pokpo wiping out half of Houston with one swing as Reinhardt, to Atlanta deciding to forgo the GOATS composition and play with Bastion on Horizon Lunar Colony, they gave the fans something to get hyped over. Depending on who Atlanta is facing in the stage playoffs, they could go very far or not far at all if they go up against teams like the NYXL and the Vancouver Titans. That said, they are looking strong, and that is good news for their fans.
It’s not the same story for Houston, though. They did manage to take Kings Row off of the Reign, but Atlanta simply looked more coordinated than the Outlaws. Their teamwork wasn’t as sharp as it could’ve been, and they were picked off often. Although they did please the fans by also not running GOATS on Horizon Lunar Colony, they were unable to take the map. The Houston Outlaws finished Stage 1 in 12th place overall, with a final map differential of 3-4 and a map differential of -3. It’s back to the drawing board for the Green Wall. They need to figure out their flaws and make improvements.
Vancouver Titans versus Guangzhou Charge
The final match of the night was between the indomitable Vancouver Titans and the Guangzhou Charge. The Titans had already locked up their stage playoff spot, but the Charge were looking to keep their stage playoff dreams alive in this match. However, the Titans were searching for an undefeated record, and they made that dream a reality as they took down Guangzhou with a clean sweep. Vancouver took the game with a final score of 4-0.
Vancouver are dominating the league. They are now sitting in first place overall above the NYXL and they have now gone undefeated throughout the whole stage. They finished with a staggering 7-0 record and a +18-map differential. Vancouver aren’t slacking, and this match was no different. The Titans thrashed the Charge at every corner, with the Charge only picking up a total of four points across every map played. That’s one checkpoint on Dorado, one round on Ilios, one checkpoint on Numbani and one point on Volskaya Industries.
The Charge are considered to be a middle of the pack team right now, as they’ve won games they’ve been expected to win, but also lost some games that they were expected to win too. The team did entertain the crowd with Hotba eliminating several members of the Titans on Dorado, as well as Shu playing Ana and nanoboosting Chara as Lucio to keep him alive through Haksal’s Dragonblade as Genji. Guangzhou now needs to figure out where they need to improve for Stage 2, and work out their mistakes in order to become one of the top-tier teams in the league.
It’s Stage Playoff time! And while we don’t know exactly who will be playing who, here is the schedule for the playoffs.
Thursday 21st March
9pm EST – Quarter Finals Match 1
11pm EST – Quarter Finals Match 2
Friday 22nd March
9pm EST – Quarter Finals Match 3
11pm EST – Quarter Finals Match 4
Saturday 23rd March
3pm EST – Semi Finals Match 1
6pm EST – Semi Finals Match 2
Sunday 24th March
3pm EST – Grand Finals Match
Additionally, the OWL have announced signing sessions for the Overwatch Ultimate Weekend! Check them out here!
Images via the Philadelphia Fusion and the Overwatch League