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Overwatch League: Stage 1 Week 5 Preview

As we head into the final stretch of Stage 1 of the inaugural season of the Overwatch League,  we look back at the teams’ performances and what remain of their schedule in Stage 1. We are also going to analyze the relative difficulty of their remaining ties and how it affects their potential finish in the league along with each team’s chances of heading into Stage 1 Title Matches as well. Difficulty rating will be based on assumed strength of opponents + form. Each rating will be between 1 (easy) to 5 (hardest)

London Spitfire

  • vs Outlaws (Feb 9, 10am)
  • vs NYXL (Feb 11, 3am)

Difficulty Rating:  4/5

Projected Stage 1 Finish: 1st

Spitfire’s dismantling of Seoul Dynasty in Week 4 opened the road which sent them to the top of the league by win difference. They have a tough schedule in Week 5 and the match result vs NYXL will be the decider on which team emerge as winners of Stage 1 of the inaugural season of the Overwatch League.

New York Excelsior

  • vs Mayhem (Feb 9, 8am)
  • vs Spitfire (Feb 11, 3am)

Barring that shock result against Fusion in Week 3, we don’t see NYXL dropping the ball during the final stretch of Stage 1. With at least second place pretty much secured, the match against Mayhem is a perfect warm-up before they meet Spitfire in what will be the Stage 1 decider.

Difficulty Rating:  3/5

Projected Stage 1 Finish: 2nd

Seoul Dynasty 

  • vs Valiant (Feb 8, 12pm)
  • vs Shock (Feb 10, 10am)

Their late season ‘collapse’ in the hands of NYXL and Spitfire may have sent some alarm bells ringing but these boys know how to bounce back from a bad patch. Expect them to bounce back and resume normal programming when they face Valiant and Shock.

Difficulty Rating: 2/5

Projected Stage 1 Finish: 3rd


Houston Outlaws

  • vs Spitfire (Feb 9, 10am)
  • vs Uprising (Feb 11, 5am)

A team on a hot streak, the Outlaws has risen to the heights expected of them during the pre-season following a rough start. Their match against Spitfire may be their toughest yet and following their loss to Dynasty last week, 3rd is pretty much out of the question. Plus, Uprising may pull a surprise considering their current form but regardless of the result, Outlaws will still finish Stage 1 as the best Western team in the tournament.

Difficulty Rating: 4/5

Projected Stage 1 Finish: 4th

Boston Uprising

  • vs Fusion (Feb 9, 6am)
  • vs Outlaws (Feb 11, 5am)

Who would have thought that this rag tag team of relatively unknowns to turn out to be the surprise package of the season. They impressed everyone week-in, week-out and were impressive even in defeat. As mentioned by Dreamkazper during an interview with Soe, their element of surprise and the fact that other teams underestimating them may have played a part in their string of positive results but don’t let his humility overshadow the fact that these kids are pretty good. They have a very interesting week up ahead as they face two other teams also vying for that ‘Best of the West’ title, which is currently held by Houston Outlaws.

Difficulty Rating: 4/5

Projected Stage 1 Finish: 5th

LA Valiant

  • vs Dynasty (Feb 8, 12pm)
  • vs Dragons (Feb 10, 12pm)

The better of the Los Angeles-based teams, the Valiant are perfect examples of a team that although they have not done anything bad or performed poorly, haven’t achieved anything noteworthy as well. They won in matches they were expected to win, and toeing the script, lose when they are expected to. Their loss to Boston was indeed a surprising one albeit not totally unexpected. Uninspiring in their recent wins, we foresee the Valiant occupying the middle of the pack come end of Stage 2 and possibly even lose out on a playoff spot come end of the season.

Difficulty Rating: 3/5

Projected Stage 1 Finish: 6th

Philadelphia Fusion

  • vs Uprising (Feb 9, 6am)
  • vs Mayhem (Feb 11, 7am)

The Fusion’s biggest enemy is their inconsistencies throughout. They managed huge wins against the likes of Outlaws and NYXL but struggle when playing against weaker teams such the Dragons, and even lose in five sets against the Gladiators. Their inability to take their chances against weaker teams will consign them to mediocrity for the rest of the season, regardless of the sporadic big wins over top-tier ones.

Difficulty Rating: 3/5

Projected Stage 1 Finish: 7th

San Francisco Shock

  • vs Gladiators (Feb 8, 10am)
  • vs Dynasty (Feb 10, 10am)

The Shock have a favorable start to Week 5 as they face the Gladiators which *should* guarantee a win and secure them 8th place in the league. They then face Dynasty who are definitely on the path to recovery following their losses to NYXL and Spitfire. A team in desperate need of a beef up in the personnel department.

Difficulty Rating: 4/5

Projected Stage 1 Finish: 8th

Dallas Fuel 

  • vs Dragons (Feb 8, 8am)
  • vs Gladiators (Feb 10, 8am)

The Stage 1 schedule hasn’t been kind to the Dallas Fuel but hopefully it will change, starting with this week’s two totally winnable matches. The Dragons are currently the weakest team in the league and the Gladiators are definitely beatable considering their current form. Two wins will propel them off the foot of the table and should send them to as high as 9th in the standings. A small consolation following a disastrous Stage 1.

Difficulty Rating: 2/5

Projected Stage 1 Finish: 9th

Los Angeles Gladiators 

  • vs Shock (Feb 8, 10am)
  • vs Fuel (Feb 10, 8am)

The big match this week is surely against the Shock, as it will determine which team finishes 8th at the close of Stage 1. After a strong start to the season, the Gladiators, expectedly dropped out of the Top-6 and now occupy the lower third of the league standings. Their over-reliance on Surefour is starting to bite them back as once he’s contained, the team appears to be powerless to avoid defeat. A potential loss to the Fuel may send them to 10th as well. Additions to the DPS department would definitely help in adding variety to their tactics and we expect some movement during the break.

Difficulty Rating: 4/5

Projected Stage 1 Finish: 10th


Florida Mayhem

  • vs NYXL (Feb 9, 8am)
  • vs Fusion (Feb 11, 7am)

We don’t see Florida Mayhem leaving the 11th spot come end of the week, and we definitely do not see them winning any of their matches either. Another team that’s been figured out by the rest of the league and unless they do anything to address this issue during the break, will find themselves contesting for the 12th spot with Shanghai Dragons who are rapidly improving by the week.

Difficulty Rating: 5/5

Projected Stage 1 Finish: 11th

Shanghai Dragons 

  • vs Fuel (Feb 8, 8am)
  • vs Valiant (Feb 10, 12pm)

No other team in the league is happier to see the end of Stage 1 than the Shanghai Dragons. Aiming to put the disastrous Stage 1 campaign behind them as soon as possible, the Dragons would be wise to treat their final two matches as avenues to experiment their approaches and strats rather than using their tried, tested and proven to fail approaches.

Difficulty Rating: 5/5

Projected Stage 1 Finish: 12th

So here’s a quick recap of Week 5 matches. Time listed are according to local, Malaysia/ Singapore/ Hong Kong times.

Screen Shot 2018-02-06 at 10.39.16 amScreen Shot 2018-02-06 at 10.39.28 am

Stage 2 of the Overwatch League Inaugural Season resume February 22nd.


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