For the first time in almost a month, the Overwatch League will be back in action this week. The teams have had a while to prepare for the end of season finals, and now everyone is battling it out for the inaugural championship. The stakes are pretty large. Whichever team wins the championship will pick up $1 million in prize money, while teams that are bounced this week will only take home $50,000.
The New York Excelsior and the Los Angeles Valiant earned automatic byes into the semifinals due to their strong regular season performances, and both teams will be watching to see who their opponents will be next week.
2018 Overwatch League Week 1 Playoffs Betting Odds (Courtesy of BetDSI)
Boston Uprising -133
Philadelphia Fusion -101
The Uprising have looked like world-beaters at times through the first season. In certain metas and with certain map sets, Boston appeared to be even better than NYXL, and the Uprising have been the only team to finish a stage undefeated so far.
However, at other times, the Uprising have looked completely lost. They went 4-6 in Stage 4, and one of their star players, Striker, has been neutralized with the addition of Brigitte to the cast of characters. To make matters worse, there is a question over whether or not they will be able to strategize like they have in the past. Their former coach Crusty left after Boston finished Stage 3 undefeated, and they have been unable to achieve close to the same success without him.
Philadelphia has been known for its playmaking. The Fusion have a great collection of DPS talent, and they are not afraid to take chances. Carpe and ShadowBurn are seen as two of the top DPS players in the world, and Carpe has performed great on both Tracer and WidowMaker.
We’ll know early on which side has the advantage. Boston will probably have the upper hand early because of their emphasis on strategy, but the talent of Philadelphia might win out if the Uprising don’t have multiple strategies ready to go.
Los Angeles Gladiators -233
London Spitfire +166
This is the match-up that Fissure has wanted for months now. Fissure was traded from the Spitfire to the Gladiators after Stage 1, and he has spent his time in LA proving that this decision was a mistake. The Gladiators’ fortunes changed immensely after acquiring Fissure, and they have been able to knock off the Spitfire in all three of their meetings since the trade. He might be the best Winston in the world, and his Reinhardt has been pretty strong too.
Of course, tank play has been what has held London back since Fissure’s departure. Neither Gesture or Fury have been able to achieve the same amount of success, and that has somewhat limited the effectiveness of their DPS players. Birdring and Profit are one of the top pairs around, but they have been stressed a bit because of the average tank play.
The Gladiators are going to get a relatively comfortable win here thanks to Fissure and their strong tank play. London won’t be able to win the prolonged teamfights they need to, and that will led to Los Angeles advancing to the Overwatch League Semifinals.
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