The second week of the playoffs have concluded and with it we have a bunch more teams eliminated leaving us with the illustrious four who have now made it to the grand finals bracket. Let’s talk about the various story lines that happened this week, the ones that came to an end and the ones that we will see conclude in October.
Soe rejoined the Watchpoint desk from Switzerland and it led to quite possible the best iteration of the OWL desk ever.
I would love to see this iteration of the desk be a thing from now on, its really damn good!
Also we had the return of Danny doing interviews, welcome back Danny!
The playoffs meta continue to be divided between teams that prefer to play the Roadhog/Zarya composition with various DPS and teams that prefer to play a more dive oriented composition with the Winston/D.Va/Sombra.
The Philadelphia Fusion demonstrated to us that the Roadhog/Zarya composition was eminently beatable with their losers bracket match against the Washington Justice. They figured it out. What this means for teams that have relied heavily on the Roadhog/Zarya like the Seoul Dynasty remains to be seen. Will Seoul be able to adapt their compositions in time for the grand finals weekend?
It seems the key going forward into the grand finals weekend is roster and composition flexibility which to me is not surprising as the best of the best in Overwatch is usually determined by which team is successfully able to make on the fly adaptations to compositions.
The Story Lines
This week I’m going to try something a little bit different. Instead of talking about specific games like I usually do I want to talk about the various story lines that have formed through the last two weeks of the playoffs!
Cinderella No More
This one is perhaps the biggest story line that formed this playoffs. This story is about the Washington Justice, a team that performed poorly throughout the regular season. A team that only recently signed former Dallas DPS player Decay to their roster. Nobody expected them to make a Cinderella run through the playoffs but here we are. With Decay’s Zarya at the helm, the team was energized into a new scary form that after losing 3-2 to the San Francisco Shock in the winners bracket started terrorizing teams in the losers bracket. They eliminated three teams, Paris Eternal, Los Angeles Valiant, Florida Mayhem.
They were finally bested by the Philadelphia Fusion who after dropping from the winners bracket were hungry for that grand finals weekend spot and eliminated them in a 3-0 series where the Justice struggled and eventually failed to adapt to what the Fusion were throwing at them.
While they have been eliminated from the playoffs they remain in my heart as the most memorable story line of the playoffs so far.
The Philadelphia Fusion. A team that came so close in the inaugural season to winning it all but yet so far. Since then this team has not been able to come close to tasting championship victory until now. From the original team in 2018 only Sado and Carpe remain. This time Sado has a fearsome squad around him with which to challenge the other teams in the grand finals bracket.
Will this be the year of the Philadelphia champion? Or will they yet again come so close but yet so far? It will not be an easy path, their opponents are no slouches and are equally hungry for that championship trophy.
Nobody is Shocked
The San Francisco Shock. The defending champions from 2019. They have continued to be an extremely strong team throughout the 2020 season with a roster that is seemingly infinitely flexible and able to make quick adaptations in the middle of matches.
Will they be able to secure the championship again? This time around there are more teams that seem likely to snatch the crown from them. Teams that have redemption arcs of their own that they want to complete. The Shock are mortal as teams like the Fusion have demonstrated before but can they fell the beast long enough to take the trophy from it?
Rise of the Dynasty
The Seoul Dynasty. A team that has always had extremely high expectations placed on them which they have been unable to meet over the last two iterations. Will this be the year that they will be able to meet those expectations and silence the naysayers? With star DPS players like Profit and star tank players like Gesture this is the most fearsome the Dynasty have ever looked.
Will this year be the year that the Dynasty rule? Or will they again be a mixed squad of star players and top tier rookies that are unable to meet the high expectations of their fans?
The Fearless Dragons
The Shanghai Dragons. A team with quite possibly the longest redemption arc. From going 0-40 in the inaugural season to being in the grand finals brackets this year.
The Dragons have looked their most fearsome this season. It has been a redemption arc for returning Dragons players like Fearless whose tank play has led to many a victory throughout the season. This time around they also have OWL 2020 MVP Fleta on their side. As is commonly said, Fleta is meta.
Will the Dragons complete their redemption arc and hold the trophy high? As a Dragons fan, I’m hoping that is what is going to be happen. If it doesn’t I’ll be sad but I am also content with the incredible season that the Dragons had. Y’all remember the incredible May Melee finals series between Seoul and Shanghai? I still have Bren’s voice going “headshot after headshot after headshot” echoing in my head. In my mind that is still the best series this year.
Show the rest of the grand finals bracket why the Dragons are to be feared. I believe.
Now We Rest Before The Next Storm
The grand finals weekend don’t start till October 8, so we have about a month or so without any further Overwatch League matches. It will give me time to reflect on the season and how I feel about it overall. I’m planning to eventually write a 2020 retrospective post after its all done and dusted.
For now I’ll leave y’all with this:
See y’all in October for the grand finals bracket!