Olivia R. March 21, 2019
The Overwatch League Stage 1 playoffs are upon us, and the winner will be crowned come March 24. OWL analysts have unanimously predicted that the New York Excelsior will continue to dominate and emerge as Stage 1 champions.
The seven analysts also predicted that the final match for the NYXL will be against expansion team Vancouver Titans. This leaves the Philadelphia Fusion, Toronto Defiant, Atlanta Reign, and San Francisco Shock on the outs.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that we will see both undefeated teams in the Stage 1 Finals. No teams have been able to match their power level yet,” Wolf “Wolf” Schroder said.
All of the analysts commented on the two dominating teams’ clashing playstyles, making it a highly anticipated matchup. NYXL are known as perfecting GOATS meta, making them “positioning gods and masters of the bait,” Josh “Sideshow” Wilkinson said.
On the other hand, Vancouver are known for their extra aggressive playstyle, always charging forward as they rally behind their star tank main Sang-beom “Bumper” Park. While this chaotic strategy has served them well, Matt “Mr. X” Morello believes that the NYXL can easily take advantage of the new team’s sometimes overly aggressive plays. But Morello thinks that there’s more on the line than just the Stage 1 championship.
“New York is defending their turf as the best team in the world, and Vancouver are newcomers trying to make a statement - that the old guard aren’t unbeatable,” Mr. X said.
The only other team on any of the analysts’ radar was San Francisco Shock, who currently have a 4-3 record. But even that squad was eventually brushed off.
“Due to the reseeding of the bracket for the semifinals, even a potential dark horse like the San Francisco Shock face significant difficulties in reaching the Stage Finals,” Christopher “MonteCristo” Mykles said.
While all seven of the analysts appeared quite confident that NYXL will mow Vancouver over in the Finals, it's worth noting that they have been wrong before.
The analysts weren’t alone in making their playoff predictions. About 11,500 OWL fans took part in a Twitter poll asking which of the four top seeds teams will come out on top. Almost half of the votes went to NYXL. The Vancouver Titans weren’t far behind with a healthy 36 percent vote share.