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The Final Boss

It seems like everything has already been said about these two teams. They were truly the elite teams and they deserve to have made it to the Grand Finals. The key match-up to look out for is the battle of the MVPs. Haksal, the Rookie of the Year and Sinatraa, the league MVP will be going head to head in the grand finals. Let’s get right into the stats.

Titans RecordTitans W%Shock RecordShock W%
Lijiang Tower10-283%6-275%

In this years season playoffs, the Titans have been specialists on control. The Titans are 6-0 so far, but are yet to play on Ilios. The Shock on the other hand lost both control games against the Atlanta Reign in the winners quarterfinals. In every round, the Shock have chosen Busan for the first map, which has paid off. The Titans should be favored on every map, but keeping the Shock out of their comfort zone will be key.

Titans RecordTitans W%Shock RecordShock W%
King’s Row11-285%8-562%

The Shock are really good on hybrid and the Titans are the worst they’ve ever been on this game mode. The only way I see the Titans winning is through pure clutch factor. I’m not really sure what’s changed with the Titans play style, but they haven’t been stellar and the Shock have so many lines of attack. In the Shock’s match against Atlanta, they lost the control map and then opted to play Numbani, they will likely do the same again against the Titans. The worst case scenario is the Titans losing on control then having to waste a map pick on an unwinnable game mode.

Titans RecordTitans W%Shock RecordShock W%
Temple of Anubis10-471%9-0100%
Horizon: Lunar Colony3-260%8-373%

Shock are insane, the Titans might be able to squeeze out a win on Horizon: Lunar Colony but the Shock are just so good. If the Titans take Control and the Shock take Hybrid, Horizon: Lunar Colony could be a key map in the Titans victory plans.

Titans RecordTitans W%Shock RecordShock W%
Watchpoint: Gibraltar7-188%9-0100%

Dorado makes escort a toss up but as the 4th game, it opens up the Shock to picking Busan. The Titans are certainly good there, but this will be a grind.

If the Titans can take the control maps and Dorado, they will only need to clutch a single map from the Shock. Clutch factor is the teams biggest strength but with such a good opponent, they just need to win.

Titans Announce Call of Duty Team

On September 13th the Vancouver Titans announced via twitter that they have acquired a team for Activision/Blizzard’s geolocated Call of Duty league. At the same time, teams were also announced for Chicago, owned by the same group as the San Francisco Shock, and London, owned by Rogue Gaming. They will join the already announced Toronto team, who will be ran by the Toronto Defiant’s ownership group.

There isn’t much information out there yet, but this kind of rapid expansion bodes well for the future of Vancouver’s esports scene. With the Aquilini’s willingness to double down on esports on full display, we may see more team announcements over the next year.

New York Excelsior: A Playoff Primer

The NYXL have benefited from their easy schedule this year and only 4 of 12 playoff teams came from the Eastern Division. On paper, their regular season was about as successful as the Shock and Titans, but how much of that success came from the backs of beating up sub-par teams? While the NYXL have a lot of talent on their roster, they haven’t been able to get the job done in the postseason this year.

According to this article on, the NYXL had the easiest schedule in the league and the third easiest when including playoff matches. While the Titans did have the 7th easiest raw strength of schedule, they fall to 3rd hardest with playoff matches. The Overwatch League even put out their own graphic on the subject.

NYXLWins over EastWins over WestLosses over EastLosses over West
Stage 14300
Stage 24120
Stage 36100
Stage 42104
Stage Playoffs0103
Season Playoffs2000

To get the specifics, I broke down each stage, each stage playoffs and what we’ve seen in the season playoffs so far. There isn’t a single stage where the New York Excelsior won more games against a Western Team than an Eastern Team. They also managed to lose twice the amount of games against Western Teams than Eastern Teams, while facing Eastern Teams twice as much. To put it into perspective, the only team from the East that beat the NYXL this year is the Atlanta Reign, and it happened twice in Stage 2. By comparison, in stage 4, the Excelsior lost to the Gladiators, the Charge, the Titans, and the Hunters. New York’s sad showing could be sandbagging, or they took some time to get used to the new 2-2-2 meta, but they didn’t even look very good in any of their matches.

When you add their playoff matches into the mix, they come out with an even record of 3W 3L. Their wins came over two teams from the Atlantic division and a 3-0 sweep of the Gladiators, a team who didn’t have a good grasp of the meta. The NYXL got embarrassed by the Western Teams they lost to, two crushing upsets and a close match against the Titans. You may have missed it, but if you check above, the teams that NYXL managed to beat in the season playoffs were #2 and #3 in easiest schedule. The Philadelphia Fusion also had the 4th easiest schedule among teams, and they are the 4th Eastern Team to make the playoffs. The Titans beat a team in a three-way tie for 4th and 7th hardest. Scrubasaurus’ article on backs that up too. He has the Spitfire as the 3rd easiest and the Reign at 6th easiest. Adjusted strength of schedule, including the playoffs, puts the Spitfire at 2nd easiest and the Reign at 8th easiest. An interesting outlier, Scrubasaurus has the Gladiators as the 3rd easiest.

Based on the opponent strength of schedule metric that the Overwatch League used, the 4 Atlantic teams to make the playoffs had the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th easiest schedules in the league. Now compare this to the schedule difficulty of the 8 Pacific teams who made the top 12: #3 (Dragons), #4T (Hunters), #4T (Charge), #4T (Dynasty), #7 (Gladiators), #8 (Spark), #9 (Shock), #10 (Titans). Is it just a coincidence that the 8 Western teams to make the top 12 had the 3rd, 4thx3, 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th hardest schedules while the 4 East teams had the 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th hardest?

Titans RecordTitans W%XL RecordXL W%
Lijiang Tower9-282%4-640%

Round one will start on Lijiang Tower guaranteed. The Titans dominated the Gladiators on Control and they hadn’t won on Lijiang Tower in four months. The NYXL record on Lijiang is abysmal as well, 1-4 over the last 3 months.

Titans RecordTitans W%XL RecordXL W%
King’s Row11-192%6-367%

NYXL hasn’t lost a control map yet this post-season, against both London and Atlanta, they’ve picked Busan and won. There isn’t a ton of info here, but with a perfect score on Eichenwalde this year, it’s tough to bet against that. Both teams have great records on Eichenwalde, so the real goal for the Titans is to last long enough for their opponents to use up their best maps. If this goes to 6, that’s where we will see the Titans’ advantage open up on King’s Row or Numbani. Much like what we saw when they played the Dynasty and the Gladiators, their strength comes with patience.

Titans RecordTitans W%XL RecordXL W%
Temple of Anubis10-377%5-456%
Horizon: Lunar Colony3-260%3-1-170%

If New York takes Eichenwalde then the Titans will pick Temple of Anubis. They dumpstered the Dynasty on Anubis and the NYXL aren’t particularly good there with only one win in the last 3 months. Unless there’s a tie, they will only play one Assault map, but having Hanamura in their back pocket will be a benefit if the game goes long.

Titans RecordTitans W%XL RecordXL W%
Watchpoint: Gibraltar6-186%4-267%

The NYXL aren’t very good on Dorado, which means it could be the game 7 deciding map. If the Titans do pick Temple of Anubis and dominate on it, like we’ve seen them do this year, then the Excelsior will likely pick Rialto or Watchpoint: Gibraltar. New York is far better on those two maps, but the Titans own the world record on both of them. Escort is the Excelsior’s best game mode, but not having either of Junkertown (5-0) or Havana (4-1) in the pool is a disaster for them.

The Titans do look favored again because of their beneficial map pool, but NYXL is a skilled team. This match will come down to the clutch factor. With two quicker games this post-season (a 4-1 and 4-2 win), the NYXL will have to win on not only their best maps, but their worst maps. Neither of the opponents they’ve faced so far have had a map pool so tilted in their opponents favor. This will be a close match, but it’s exactly the kind of preparation the Titans need if they expect to win in Philadelphia’s Grand Finals.

LA Gladiators: A Playoff Primer

The LA Gladiators are coming off their first playoff win of the year. Despite their almost choke against the Spark, this is a team with lots of quality players. The Titans are fresh off a match where they showed that they know how to pivot and change their plan of attack. Against a team like the Gladiators that will be key.

This year the Titans are 2-0, 7-1 in direct head to head matchups with the Gladiators. We also saw them run the iconic 4 spam heroes against the Gladiators double main tank defense on Horizon: Lunar Colony.

Titans RecordTitans W%Gladiators RecordGlads W%
Lijiang Tower8-280%3-538%

While the Titans get their 3 best maps on Control, the Gladiators are stuck with their 3 worst. It’s also worth noting that in the last three months the Gladiators are 0-4 on Lijiang Tower and 1-4 on Ilios. The Gladiators lots both Control maps against the Hangzhou Spark in their matchup and the Spark are a much worse team on Control than the Titans. The Spark only had a 55% winrate on Control, compared to the Titans 72% and they aren’t a good team on Lijiang Tower (3-5). Control is a map that we will see twice almost guaranteed, so having such a massive disparity in favor of the Titans is a boon for them.

Titans RecordTitans W%Gladiators RecordGlads W%
King’s Row11-0100%8-280%

Hybrid is a head to head comparison of both teams best map types. The Titans’ record is a little better. It’s close, especially by watching the teams play, but there is a distinct skill difference. In the matchup against the Spark, after losing on Control, they picked King’s Row first. King’s Row is the Gladiators’ best Hybrid map, but the Titans are a staggering 11-0 there this year. It’s also worth noting that after the Gladiators lost on Control the second time, they picked Eichenwalde and lost there. While Hybrid does favor the Titans, it’s not as clear-cut as Control is. The Gladiators will try King’s Row again as they aren’t as confident on Numbani and they lost on Eichenwalde.

Titans RecordTitans W%Gladiators RecordGlads W%
Horizon: Lunar Colony3-260%3-260%
Temple of Anubis9-375%6-3-165%

Assault is the Titans worst map type but even though it’s the Gladiators 2nd best. Despite that, they still aren’t particularly impressive here by comparison. If the Gladiators do take Hybrid, the Titans should pick Hanamura, the Gladiators are terrible there. Much like the Titans seem to get their best maps in the map pool the Gladiators get their worst. These are their three worst maps to play on and it shows. The Gladiators’ win percentages improve from Paris and Volskaya Industries, where they are 4-0 and 4-2.

Titans RecordTitans W%Gladiators RecordGlads W%
Watchpoint: Gibraltar6-186%3-350%

This is another instance of the Gladiators worst being the Titans best. These three are the worst maps for the Gladiators while they are 2-4 for Vancouver. Not only that, but the two maps the Gladiators are even on are both maps that the Titans own the world record on, one of which being against the Gladiators. It is worth noting that the Gladiators won on both Rialto and Watchpoint: Gibraltar against the Spark, but the Titans are a much better team.

The Gladiators are a good team, but the head to head match-up seems tilted too far in Vancouver’s favor. Every game type contains the best maps for Vancouver and the worst maps for the Gladiators. Gladiators have the potential to steal a map or two, especially as they should be picking more of the maps to play on, but this should be another Titans win.

Seoul Dynasty: A Playoff Primer

The Guangzhou Charge came into the wildcard tournament as the hottest team in the league, then they got dismantled by the Seoul Dynasty. The Dynasty had a very good Stage 1, but haven’t lived up to that same level of play in any other stage this year. Seoul looks revitalized with Sigma and we’re seeing them play at their peak.

That aside, the Titans have a 3-0 record against the Dynasty this year with a record of 10-1 in map score. Let’s go to the maps to see how this match will play out – remember that this is format is first to four wins with loser choosing the next map, so they won’t only get their best maps.

Titans RecordTitans W%Dynasty RecordDynasty W%
Lijiang Tower7-278%4-450%

This looks good for the Titans. Lijiang Tower and Ilios are the Titans 2 best Control maps. They may be able to dodge Busan, but the biggest factor is Oasis being out of the map pool. Oasis is the only control map that the Dynasty are elite on (7-1). Keep the fights to Ilios or Lijiang Tower and the Titans can walk away with wins on the control maps. It’s also worth noting that despite the very mediocre numbers, control is the best map type for the Dynasty.

Titans RecordTitans W%Dynasty RecordDynasty W%

Here’s where things may start to go off the rails for the Dynasty. Assault is the Titans worst map type, but the map pool consists of their three best places to play. Horizon: Lunar Colony is the Dynasty’s best Assault map, but they would have benefited from having Paris in the rotation.

Titans RecordTitans W%Dynasty RecordDynasty W%
King’s Row11-0100%3-443%

Well that doesn’t look very fair for the Dynasty. Not only is Hybrid the Titans best map type, but two of the maps house perfect records this year. This wouldn’t be a Titans blog without mentioning Numbani loss-free going back to 2017, even Eichenwalde is a wash.

Titans RecordTitans W%Dynasty RecordDynasty W%
Watchpoint: Gibraltar5-183%3-175%

The Dynasty are an awful team on Escort. Watchpoint: Gibraltar is the only map that they have more than a 50% winrate on. The Titans again have 3/4 of their best Escort maps in the map pool but this is the Dynasty’s worst map type by a lot. Rialto is the only map they lost to the Charge on, during their 6 map 4-1 win.

Judging by the numbers, the Titans should make it a clean 4-0 among matches with the Dynasty this year. There are too many one off maps where the Dynasty have a fighting chance though. Due to the loser choosing, they will likely take a map or two. My best guess would be a 4-1 win for the Titans, but the Dynasty, led by Fleta, are a dangerous looking team. The Titans can’t afford to start slow.

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