Last weekend, Round 1 of the Overwatch League Playoffs took place, and it was full of unexpected surprises, twists, and turns. It was two days of intense action for the Overwatch competitive scenario. All 20 teams participating in the OWL, played several games with intensity.
The global pandemic caused Blizzard to change its dispute format. The company thought it fair to include all the teams in the playoffs regardless of their classification. However, the teams that performed better during the season had more advantages, which included the choice of opponents, high seeding, the first choice of map, and byes.
Overwatch League Playoffs Round 1
OWL was divided into two different leagues:
Each team had an uphill struggle to qualify for the League finals. Unfortunately, Boston Uprising, Dallas Fuel, Houston Outlaws, Toronto Defiant, and Vancouver Titans failed to pass.
Another unfortunate team that put up a subpar performance was Washington Justice who failed to beat OWL 2019 champions, San Francisco Shock. They will now face Los Angeles Valiant in the losers’ bracket on September 12th.
On the other hand, Philadelphia Fusion, with an outstanding performance by Mirror, won to Los Angeles Gladiators 3-0.
Several other games in the losers’ bracket came to a 3-0 result: LA Gladiators lost to Florida Mayhem and had to bid the competition farewell; Paris Eternal are also out after suffering a 3-0 loss against Washington Justice.
Two interesting games that were exciting to watch were Philadelphia Fusion overwhelming Los Angeles Valiant at 3-0 and San Francisco Shock defeating Atlanta Reign at 3-1.
This Saturday (Sep. 12th), Philadelphia Fusion and San Francisco Shock will go head to head to dispute their spot in the grand final of the Overwatch League 2020.
Whilst, on Friday 11th, it will be the last chance for the four teams in the loser bracket: Atlanta Reign vs. Florida Mayhem and Los Angeles Valiant vs. Washington Justice. None of these teams can afford to stumble if they want to reach the final.
In the APAC region, seven teams started out in the playoffs. London Spitfire were immediately eliminated in Round 1.
Other miserable performances, witnessed on Saturday (Sept. 5th), were by Chengdu Hunter who lost at 3-2 against New York Excelsior, and Hangzhou Spark who lost at 3-0 against the mightly Seoul Dynasty. Both defeated teams have had to bid farewell to the competition.
On Sunday (Sept. 6th), Shanghai Dragons won 3-1 against New York Excelsior, whilst Seoul Dynasty, led by Junyoung “Profit” Park, took their win against Guangzhou Charge with stealth.
This Saturday (Sept. 12th), Seoul Dynasty and Shanghai Dragons will compete for the first slot in the Grand Final. Also on Saturday, Guangzhou Charge and the New York Excelsior will want to stay alive in the dispute for the second slot in the final. Only four Asia Pacific teams are in contention for the OWL 2020 title.
Across the Esports scene around the world, the pandemic had a negative impact on the championships. However, Blizzard’s decision to have all teams contend for the Overwatch League has had a great effect. This was a great weekend for Overwatch fans with great games. Of the 20 teams that started OWL, only 10 are still in contention for the finals. Anything can happen, and on Sept. 11th the next round of playoff games will begin.
Featured Image Credits: Blizzard Entertainment