With the Overwatch League 2022 Countdown Cup qualifiers over, the postseason is already underway. The Eastern division play-ins are already over, with one team making it to the playoffs alongside the East’s top three. However, the Western division play-ins are about to start, with the Florida Mayhem, Toronto Defiant, Washington Justice and Boston Uprising fighting for the only two playoff spots remaining.
Next Stop: #OWLGrandFinals Playoffs 🚏
We've almost come to the end of the #OWL2022 season and the 5th year of the Overwatch League. As we head into the West Playins and finally Playoffs, here's a recap of what you missed last week 👇https://t.co/BUcONGSAmd pic.twitter.com/GOVk46Xpbn
— Overwatch League (@overwatchleague) October 18, 2022
Already qualified playoff teams
To start, here are the teams from both divisions who have already qualified for the Overwatch League 2022 postseason.
- San Francisco Shock (20-4)
- Dallas Fuel (20-4)
- Los Angeles Gladiators (18-6)
- Houston Outlaws (16-8)
- London Spitfire (14-10)
- Atlanta Reign (13-11)
Looking back to the start of the season, most of these teams were expected to auto-qualify for the playoffs. Out of the top three, the Los Angeles Gladiators had a horrid Summer Showdown after winning back-to-back titles and still finished third seed.
However, the biggest riser from the beginning of the season to the end was the London Spitfire. With little expectations, the team used their coordination and smart coaching to beat teams like the Toronto Defiant and Florida Mayhem and get into a top-six seed. In fact, they even beat the Atlanta Reign to get the five seed for the playoffs.
Due to the different number of teams per division, the seeding for the playoffs matters more. The top three seeds in the West get a bye to the quarterfinals, along with the best team in the East. That leaves the rest to fight in the first round in a big double-elimination bracket.
- Seoul Dynasty (19-5)
- Shanghai Dragons (18-6)
- Philadelphia Fusion (11-13)
- Hangzhou Spark (11-13)
— Seoul Dynasty 🐯 (@SeoulDynasty) October 9, 2022
After winning it all the previous season, the Shanghai Dragons seem to be facing a bit of a sophomore slump. They remain one of the best teams in the East, but the Seoul Dynasty have taken their spot at the top of the division. Seoul’s resurgence in the East started early, winning the Kickoff Clash after Shanghai was defeated earlier than fans expected. Both teams didn’t perform well at the Midseason Madness tournament, and Shanghai got their title as the best Summer Showdown team in the East. So, for the season playoffs, it’ll be a matter of which team steps up to the pressure.
As for the Philadelphia Fusion, they are the only current playoff team with a losing regular season record. Thanks to their second-place finish in the Kickoff Clash and a recent victory over the Shanghai Dragons, they’ve remained a contender despite having a rollercoaster of a season.
Last but not least, the Eastern play-ins started with an upset. The Chengdu Hunters beat the Guangzhou Charge 3-2, eliminating them from playoff contention. Next up for Chengdu was the Hangzhou Spark, with the winner going to playoffs. However, this match wasn’t close as the Spark swept the Hunters 3-0, making it to the postseason. For a team that beat the Seoul Dynasty in the Countdown Cup qualifiers, the Spark could be a dark horse in the playoffs.
Western play-ins remain, two more spots
While the Eastern play-ins finished up last weekend, the Western play-ins are coming soon. Unlike the East, there are two spots up for grabs. So, with the four teams remaining, here are the upcoming matches and how they’ll work out.
- Florida Mayhem versus Boston Uprising (Oct. 21 – 3 PM EST)
- Toronto Defiant versus Washington Justice (Oct. 21 – 5:30 PM EST)
To start, we have the 7th seed versus the 10th seed and the 8th versus the 9th. But, this is a double-elimination bracket. So, the losers of these starting matches will have another chance to make it to the playoffs. The two winners of the above matches will face off to see which team makes it to playoffs first. Then, the two losers will face off to see who is eliminated first. The upper bracket final loser will then face the lower bracket semifinal victor, to see who is the second team to make it to the playoffs.
Starting on Oct. 21 and stretching to the 22, the Western play-ins will decide who are the final two teams in the Overwatch League 2022 postseason.