All is as I Have Foreseen…
Despite a week of exciting Overwatch action the table and Stage Playoff picture didn’t actually change at all. Although the four teams were not officially locked in until the last match of the week tonight, for it to be any other four was a long shot. Boston and NYXL started off the week with a guaranteed playoff slot, but it was only after the Uprisings 10th stage win (for a perfect stage) that they locked in the number one seed. With the Los Angeles Valiant taking a map in their series tonight against the Philadelphia Fusion, before going on to win that series 3-2, the Gladiators were locked into the number four playoff slot. As it stands now the Boston Uprising, New York Excelsior, Los Angeles Valiant, and Los Angeles Gladiators will be playing on Sunday for $125,000 and the title of Stage Three Champions.
Boston Uprising vs. Los Angeles Gladiators
Boston has not one, but really two unique advantages going into the playoffs. First, as the top seed they get to choose their opponent. As of 7:06 this evening the Uprising have posted a short video on their twitter announcing their selection of the Los Angeles Gladiators as their opponent.
— Boston Uprising (@BostonUprising) May 6, 2018
The schedule on the Official Site confirms that the first match of the day is Uprising vs. Gladiators. This is perhaps the safest choice for Boston. This is the lower ranked of the LA teams, and NYXL still only has three losses this season. The second advantage Boston has is that they just played the Gladiators. In fact, they played against all of their potential opponents this stage and won. Their selection of the Gladiators may be a calculated move based on what they’ve seen from not only them, but all of their playoff competitors in their matches this stage.
The Gladiators will need to have more than their shields up if they want to take on this Boston squad. That said, their recent match against the Uprising, even being a loss, may be to their benefit rather than Boston. Hardly a day has passed since their last match. This means that unless Boston has been saving some special plays or tactics the Gladiators will know exactly what to expect from them. If so, it’s up the the Gladiators to capitalize on it.
New York Excelsior vs. Los Angeles Valiant
This makes the second match of the day between the NYXL and Valiant. While more evenly matched than the Gladiators and Uprising, these teams still have a bit of a gap between them. New York is on top of the league, no two ways about it. Even with their defeat by the Uprising this stage they are still the best team in the league.
On the Los Angeles side, this is the best that the Valiant has looked this season. Their participation in a stage final has been a long time coming. They were just outside finals in stage one and currently sit at number 5 overall. If they play like they did against Philadelphia tonight then they’re going to give the NYXL a run for their money.
The Final (predictions)
With all of the talent on these teams anything could happen. Really. We saw the Stage One Finals where London reverse swept New York to win it all. We saw the stars align to get Philadelphia into the Stage 2 Finals and upset the Spitfire-NYXL Stage Finals rematch. So with this in mind I’ll roll out some predictions. Given their performance there’s very good chance that we see a NYXL vs. Uprising Final. These two are on top of the league not just in wins but in game play, execution, and skill as well. Their meeting this stage was explosive and had to leave New York wanting revenge. Boston, if they can beat NYXL a second time, have a good case to be the best team in the league.
The action all begins at 1 PM PST tomorrow. The Boston Uprising will face off against the Los Angeles Gladiators. Following this at 3 PM PST the Los Angeles Valiant battle against the New York Excelsior. Then the finals match, staring whoever fought their way through their first match, is at 5 PM PST. The best teams and players will be playing Sunday, make sure your watching.