The Qualifiers for the Overwatch League Countdown Cup have been underway for a week, and there are just under three days to go. There are five matches on Friday, two of the East Division and three of the West.
The stakes are high; the top six seeds from the West and top two of the East will qualify directly for the season’s playoffs, while the six through ten and two through four respectively will make it to the play-ins. The San Francisco Shock and Seoul Dynasty currently top their group after dominating so far. Let’s take a look at how the four Eastern teams shape up ahead of their games on Friday.
Chengdu Hunters vs Seoul Dynasty
Dynasty is the pretty obvious pick here, considering how they’ve outclassed the rest of their group so far. Midnite offers excellent odds of 1.30 on Dynasty to win, while the odds on Hunters are very high at 4.30. Still neither team has lost a series so far in these qualifiers, so the one walking away with the win tomorrow should be confident of securing the playoff spot.
Predictions: Seoul Dynasty to win
Betting Site: Odds provided by Midnite
When: Friday, September 30 – 12:00 CEST
The Hunters might have won both of their matches in the qualifiers so far, but their 9-11 record in the league so far doesn’t make for inspiring reading. They’ve struggled to move above their fifth placed position in the qualifiers throughout the start of the league, as a result never making it to the main tournament.
A 2-4 record in the Kickoff Clash was followed by 5-7 in the Midseason Madness, then rounded it out with another 2-4 in the Summer Showdown. They do seem to be turning things around somewhat now, if the last couple of games are anything to go by. Hangzhou Spark were defeated 3-1, with the Hunters managing to win Nepal, Junkertown and Colosseo.
Their game against Guangzhou Charge was a tougher fight, but in the end they scraped through 3-2 winning the first two maps Lijang Tower and King’s row, and then the decider Oasis.
Dynasty have been a cut above this rest this year, boasting a jaw-dropping 16-4 record over the course of the league. They won the Kickoff Clash in June, defeating Philadelphia Fusion 4-0 in the final and won $50,000. The Midseason Madness didn’t go too well, but they took home $35,000 after becoming runners-up in the Summer Showdown.
Dynasty’s campaign in the Countdown Cup qualifiers has been flawless so far, having defeated Los Angeles Valiant and Shanghai Dragons 3-0 without breaking a sweat. They top both the current qualifier standings and the overall league standings, and hopefully this time they’ll be able to go the distance all the way up to the Grand Final.
Shanghai Dragons vs Philadelphia Fusion
The Dragons have been a little under-par in the qualifiers this past week, but that really shouldn’t take anything away from how they’ve been all season.
They haven’t won either of their matches over the last week, while Fusion have won one; but beating them is going to be a tough challenge, and Fusion would be foolish to forget it. The odds on Midnite are 1.30 in favour of Shanghai.
Predictions: Shanghai Dragons to win
Betting Site: Odds provided by Midnite
When: Friday, September 30 – 13:30 CEST
The Dragons have been a bit off-color in the countdown cup qualifiers, having lost their first game 0-3 to Seoul and then going down 2-3 to Guangzhou Charge. They won the Eastern Division Summer Showdown in early September, knocking Seoul out of the way 4-2 in the grand final and winning $50,000, and in June stood third in the Kickoff clash.
While they’re unfortunately at last place in the current qualifiers, their overall record of 15-5 in the league is outstanding. If they buck up a little and win their remaining matches, they should still qualify for the playoffs.
Fusion have been among the most consistent of the Eastern Division teams, but it hasn’t translated into titles or prize money yet. They were runners-up in the Kickoff Clash and stood at 4th place in the Midseason Madness, the highest position by any Overwatch team in the East category. Earlier this month they finished third in the Summer Showdown.
So far in the current qualifiers they’ve won and lost one series each. They went down 2-3 to Los Angeles Valiant, a tough scrap that went down to the decider, then defeated Guangzhou Charge quite easily 3-1. Philadelphia have turned in good performances, but so far have lacked the killer instinct required to take them to the top.