Some Things to Think About as we Head Into the Final Stage

It’s a little sad to think about it, but the first season of the Overwatch League is nearly over.  Three of the four stages are in the books and only ten regular season matches remain for each team.  Only ten matches left for Shanghai to get a win.  Only ten matches for NYXL to defend their position at the top.  Only ten matches to get to the top of your favorite pick’em league.  But don’t be sad, that’s still ten exciting matches we get to talk about, discuss, and enjoy.  And Dallas is still a team in the league so you can bet that they’ll be some drama.  Before the first games of Stage Four on Wednesday here’s some things to think over.  

New Meta

Brigitte is going to be in Stage Four.  It’s happening.  On the plus side, having the casters say her name will give the community a consensus on how to pronounce it.  On the minus side, this new character is not only coming into the final and most important stage, but coming in her pre-nerf version.  Armed with a powerful stun ability the character is boosting an above 50% win rate.  It’s possible that, like Mercy post rework, Brigitte may become a necessary pick if only to counter the opponents Brigitte.  If this occurs then how will she be played at the highest level?  As a support?  Possibly since she does provide healing, spot armor and a pretty good group ultimate.  Maybe she will be run as an off tank though.  After all, she needs to attack to heal so maybe we will see her run with triple tank.  Whatever happens, you can bet the meta is going to shift.  

It’s the Last Chance for Some Teams

Some teams have a more-or-less guaranteed spot in the playoffs based on their record.  New York and Boston are sitting in very safe positions at the top.  Not even a loss every game this stage could keep them out of the playoffs.  Conversely, teams like the Dragons, Fuel, and Mayhem have no chance to be the inaugural season champions.  For everyone else though, every win will matter.  Five of the teams have only a three win difference between them.  Expect scrappy, five map games from these teams as they give it everything they have to get into the playoffs.  While the Stage Four finals could go to any team, it’ll be the overall record that decides who goes to the first season playoffs.  For the players and teams with a chance to go there, that has be some serious motivation.  

 

Look how Things Have Changed

The Overwatch League will likely look much different next season than it has this year.  There’s talk of expansion teams, the chance of further localization, and probably some time changes.  Just look how much things have changed since Stage One.  The Stage Finals have changed in a big way.  From London’s incredible 14 maps in the saturday Stage One Final to the now four team set up we just enjoyed last Sunday.  The Overwatch League has refined their production, and continues to do so.  

It’s not just the broadcasts that have improved, but the players too.  As the league has progressed every team has improved.  Some more than others for sure, but all of the teams look better now than when they started in preseason.  This makes for more exciting, fun games to watch.  More and more it’s becoming the norm for league games to go to a map five.  This highlights how close in skill these teams have become.  The bar was high for these players, and they have all  risen to the challenge.  

 

Overwatch League Stage Four will start on Wednesday, May 16th at 4 PM PST.  Make sure to tune in for all the action on Twitch, the Official site, or through the game client itself.  There’s only ten matches left for each team, and your going to want to see them all.  

 

 

About The Author

James Verzuh was a real corporal once. Now he's an archaeologist and writes about esports.