Traditionally, playoffs are seeded in a way to heavily advantage the teams who play better in the playoffs, but this playoff is absolutely stacked. If not for some weird unexpected losses, the Shanghai Dragons and Houston Outlaws should also be 6-1. In our first playoff primer, we took a look at the favourites, but now it’s time to look at the underdogs.
#5: Seoul Dynasty
The Seoul Dynasty is the only team in the league to have two full 6 man rosters that rotate so you really have no idea what their plan is. They also have a history of playoff upsets. In the stage 1 playoffs the Dynasty used Sombra goats to upset the New York Excelsior, the playoff favourites. They used Sombra before it was cool and this time they’re playing the San Francisco Shock, another team who are woefully underprepared to play against EMP. One of their main tanks Fissure just retired so this could really inspire them to come out big in the playoffs. It would be no surprise to see this team really bring it to the Shock and give them a run for their money. This is, on paper, one of the best Sombra teams playing against one of the least flexible teams in the league.
#6: Los Angeles Valiant
The LA Valiant are finally on the come up. They were a top tier team last season but their inability to play effectively as a unit as well as a very tough schedule in Stage 1 left them with a lot of work to do moving on with the season. They opted to do what a lot of these midtable teams teams did, subbed out their D.va player and added Sombra. Their weakness as a team has to be Agilities. While he is a great DPS player, he’s very mediocre on the Brigitte role. The Hangzhou Spark, their first round opponent, are very good at hunting down teams that don’t play tight like the Valiant. While a very good team, the Valiant aren’t coordinated like the Shock, Titans and NYXL so they need to be careful of the Spark.
#7: Houston Outlaws
At the start of stage 2, the Titans beat the Outlaws 3-1 which started the whole “just play DPS” controversy among lower tier teams. We already know teams like the Justice, Mayhem, Defiant can’t play GOATS to the level of the elite teams so why not try something completely different? Well, during the stage 2 break the only team who would scrim with the Outlaws was the Hunters and after getting destroyed by 3DPS comps, they just decided to have fun with it and it led to a team resurgence. The Outlaws went from an 0-7 stage to a 5-2 stage that should have arguably been 6-1. The most key pieces for them this stage have been Linkzr and Danteh, both of whom have been playing out of their minds. The Titans need to keep Danteh under control or this series can go sideways.
#8: Shanghai Dragons
The Shanghai Dragons are an insanely skilled team who might be posed for the biggest upset in Overwatch League history. Diem is maybe the best Widowmaker player in the world and the team has done a great job enabling him. If NYXL plays too passive then the Dragons will pick them apart. We already have a ton of evidence about how NYXL can’t play optimally against aggressive teams and if the Dragons get in their face an upset is a very real possibility. I would bet a lot that this is going to be the most exciting match in the first round and having NYXL/Dragons and Titans/Outlaws in the same day is going to be amazing to watch.