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Stage 1 of the Playoffs

The Stage 1 Playoffs for the Overwatch League had some unexpected results. The first match on the 21st, between Seoul Dynasty and New York Excelsior, ended in a 3-1 victory for Dynasty. As someone who highly believed the Excelsior was going to win the Playoffs, I was already surprised by the day’s events. The following games would prove to be just as unpredictable.

The next game went to the Vancouver Titans with a 0-3 lead against Boston Uprising. Philadelphia Fusion and San Francisco Shock both won their matches on Friday. Saturday determined who would go up against each other in the semi-finals of the Playoffs. Both San Francisco Shock and the Vancouver Titans won 4-0.

The Deciding Map

These previous matches all lead to the battle between the Shock and Titans. The games went back and forth and predicting a victor was understandably difficult. Both teams won three maps, and the deciding battle took place on the streets of Rialto.

Rialto is a difficult map, especially for the attackers. At the start of the game, it seemed as if the Shock had their victory set in stone. They sailed through the problematic choke points on the map and consistently beat the Titans during team fights. Unfortunately, the Shock’s victory was not meant to be, as the Titans beat the map faster than any team in the League. There wasn’t even any time for the Shock to get their footing.

San Francisco Shock’s Moment of Defeat Courtesy of the Overwatch League

While teamwork is essential in a game like this, it’s necessary to recognize the individuals that played above and beyond. I specifically want to mention how impressive Bumper and Super’s Reinhardt plays were. These guys were amassing ridiculous amounts of damage and eliminations, while also landing some insane shatters.

The Playoffs faced great teams head to head in a battle to win the $500,000 prize pool. While most of the matches had clear victors, the battle between the Shock and the Titans was intense to the very end. Hopefully, we’ll see some similarly matched games in the near future, but for now, I’m looking forward to seeing where the Titans’ victory will take them.