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Overwatch League- Stage 1 Review

23 February 2018 12:17

The Overwatch league has witnessed an excellent start to its inaugural season, with all 12 teams putting on a great show in every week of Stage 1. New York Excelsior are already starting to show their dominance whilst Shanghai Dragons are looking for their first win, as the first major global eSports league with city-based teams sets a precedent that other major eSports will likely follow.

The league was originally split into Atlantic and Pacific leagues, with the majority of teams being based in major US cities before other international teams such as London Spitfire, Seoul Dynasty and Shanghai dragons were added to make it a truly global league. For more information on the league, visit our dedicated Overwatch page.

Regular Season

New York Excelsior set the tone in Stage 1, winning nine of their ten league games to start the year. New York, made up of an all-Korean team, only lost 10 maps out of 43 to post both the best winning record and map differential in both the Atlantic and Pacific leagues. As the top team, New York automatically qualified for the Stage 1 Grand Finals and $25,000 even if they win or lose.

The teams that came second and third would qualify for the finals, and at the end of Stage 1 there was a four-way tie for second place between Houston Outlaws, London Spitfire, Los Angeles Valiant and Seoul Dynasty. As per the tiebreaker rules, the overall map differential would come into play should multiple teams finish on the same record. As a result, Houston came through in second with a +17 differential and London third with +15. Houston had a remarkable run to finish second after they started off with two straight defeats, but then won four consecutive matches in a row 4-0 to really boost their differential.


Houston Outlaws would take on London Spitfire in the first round of the playoffs, with the winners playing New York in the Grand final for $100,000. Houston took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-5 round but ultimately fell 3-1 with Joon-Yeong “Profit” Park taking MVP honours for the round, sending London Spitfire through.

The best-of-5 Grand Final started with New York winning the first two maps despite a close 4-3 Escort win on Junkertown and then a 2-0 Control win on Oasis. Staring defeat in the face, London Spitfire rallied to win the next two maps in a close 3-2 Assault victory on Horizon Lunar Colony and a 1-0 Hybrid win on Numbani.

It all came down to one final Escort round on Dorado, and it was London Spitfire that took the round to win the Grand Final and scoop a $100,000 payday. Ji-hyeok “birdring” Kim was the MVP of the round for London Spitfire playing in the DPS role.

Stage 2

The second stage of the Overwatch league is now underway again for five more weeks until the Stage 2 title matches in the playoffs get underway again for another shot at $100,000. The Shanghai Dragons will be looking to wipe their winless Stage 1 from their minds, and in a roster change have added Kim "Geguri" Se-Yeon to their team, making her the first female player in Overwatch league history. The news comes off the back of Sasha 'Scarlett' Hostyn being the first female competitor to win a Starcraft major, showing women in top eSports is a growing commodity.

Published on: 2018-02-23

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