The first ever Playoffs in the history of the Overwatch League has already given fans a lot to talk about. The London Spitfire were looking like they were on the ropes, only to counter right back and upset the Los Angeles Gladiators. The Philadelphia Fusion and the Boston Uprising gave an entertaining first round to the fans as well. However, the New York Excelsior and the Los Angeles Valiant await their challengers in the next round.
The Excelsior and the Valiant both look like two of the best teams in the playoffs. The Spitfire and the Fusion both have their work cut out for them, as they face off against their toughest opposition yet.
Now, as we look forward to the semifinals, let’s look at the matchups and see who could possibly come out on top.
#2 Los Angeles Valiant vs. #5 London Spitfire
If we look at the London Spitfire, they are looking to use the momentum from their upset win over the Gladiators. However, it all depends on which team takes the stage in the coming days. Will we get the regular season London Spitfire, who did not look strong at all? Or will we get the playoff-form Spitfire, who was able to make the Valiant’s city counterparts look easy? Ultimately, it all depends on them.
On the other hand, the Los Angeles Valiant is one of the most consistent teams in the playoffs. Their play in the regular season is telling me that they are the no-brainer pick for this matchup. Their teamwork and ability usage can be better than the New York Excelsior at times. Also, when they’re at their best, they are one of the only teams that could challenge NYXL for the championship.
Matchups to Watch
Watch for the sniping ability on each team; for London, it’s Ji-Hyeok “Birdring” Kim, and on the Valiant, it’s Terence “SoOn” Tarlier. However, I do think that if they are both playing their best, I give the edge to Birdring. He was very impactful in the Spitfire’s game against the Gladiators and should bring the same fire to their semifinals matchup.
Overall Edge: Los Angeles Valiant
I need to follow my brain over my heart for this one. Even though the Spitfire are coming off of a great series win against a strong team in the Gladiators, they are still way too inconsistent. I have a hard time putting any faith in a team that ended their Stage Four the way London did. The Los Angeles Valiant were consistent throughout most of the stages. Also, they have the best tank line in the Overwatch League with Pan-Seung “Fate” Koo and Indy “Space” Halpern. They could be the deciding factor against the London Spitfire.
#1 New York Excelsior vs. #6 Philadelphia Fusion
A true David vs. Goliath matchup here in the semifinals. New York has been able to solidify themselves as the best team in Overwatch. They boast one of the most talent-laden rosters in the league, with league MVP Seong-Hyun “Jjonak” Bang in the backlines. It is obvious who has the upper hand coming into this semifinals matchup, but could the Philadelphia Fusion mount some kind of miraculous upset?
Spoiler alert: not likely.
Matchups to Watch
The DPS matchup is possibly the only area where the Philadelphia Fusion may have a chance with. Jae-Hyeok “Carpe” Lee and Josue “Eqo” Corona have proven time and time again that they are able to carry their team when they need it the most. However, New York’s DPS players, Hae-Seong “Libero” Kim, Jong-Ryeol “Saebyeolbe” Park, and Do-Hyeon “Pine” Kim, have all shown they are able to perform on the big stage and may be even better. Additionally, their experience and composure under pressure may help push them past the Fusion’s great DPS duo.
Unfortunately for Philly, in the other roles, the matchups heavily favor the New York Excelsior. Newly crowned Overwatch League MVP Jjonak will be pumping out damage from the backlines as usual, and their always-reliable tank line of Tae-Hong “Meko” Kim, Dong-Gyu “Mano” Kim, and Jun-Hwa “Janus” Song will keep their stars alive and kicking throughout the series. I do not think that the Fusion will make it easy for New York, but…
Overall Edge: New York Excelsior
Ultimately, New York simply has too much firepower and synergy for anyone to vote against them. Don’t get me wrong, the Philadelphia Fusion have shown great lineup flexibility and insane talent throughout their roster. They were able to show heart and perseverance in their series against Boston. For example, their support player Alberto “neptuNo” González had to play with tonsillitis, just for the win.
However, they are up against the best team in the league. It is pretty obvious that the Excelsior were taking it pretty easy during the second half of Stage Four, but I have no doubt that when the Playoffs begin, the fireworks will go off. Will this be a sweep? No. I do think that Philly will provide Excelsior a great challenge but in the long run, New York should be able to win this with ease.
If everything goes according to plan, the best team in the Overwatch League should face off against the second best team in the league. That matchup between the Los Angeles Valiant and the New York Excelsior will be exhilarating. The Valiant are fresh off of defeating New York in the Stage Four finals in a pretty strong fashion, 3-1. However, like we said, it seemed like the New York Excelsior had taken off the gas pedal at the end of Stage Four. A New York Excelsior in full Playoff mode will be a scary sight to see.
On the other hand, never count out a good underdog story. We could see an upset on either side of the semifinals, and everything I have said so far would be for naught. However, that is the whole fun of the league. Anything could happen because it’s the Playoffs!
What do you think of our Overwatch League Playoff semifinals predictions? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! If you want more Overwatch content, check us out here!