The Dark Horse of The Overwatch League North America Playoffs

OWL North America Playoffs is down to 6 teams. And some of the strongest participants are not among them.... Radu M. | 11. September 2020

OWL North America Playoffs is down to 6 teams. And some of the strongest participants are not among them.

Remaining Teams

The remaining teams of this Playoffs Stage of The Overwatch League are the following:

  • Philadelphia Fusion: 1st place (in the Group Stage)
  • San Francisco Shock: 2nd place
  • Atlanta Reign: 7th place
  • Florida Mayhem: 4th place
  • Los Angeles Valiant: 5th place
  • Washington Justice: 12th place

If everything had gone according to plan, Paris Eternal (3rd in the Group Stage) and Los Angeles Gladiators (6th) would have replaced Atlanta Reign and Washington Justice on this list of remaining participants. But the reality of high pressure matches is often different from that indicated by the statistics. Still, the best two teams, and these were by far the strongest competitors in North America, are still in the race. Furthermore, they will be facing each other in the Winners’ Finals.

Results So Far

So far, the results of the Playoffs Stage have been, for the most part, the ones we were anticipating. I still find it hard to believe that both Atlanta Reign and Washington Justice defeated Paris Eternal and knocked them out of the race. But other than that, no big surprises. At least, not among the favorites.

There was one big surprise though, among the lower-ranked teams. Washington Justice came out of nowhere and was close to beating even San Francisco Shock (2 – 3). In the Lower Bracket, they simply demolished Paris Eternal, a team that was regarded as being much stronger than them. So it’s no wonder that people can’t wait to see WJ’s next match, against Los Angeles Valiant. Based on everything we’ve seen so far, the LA squad should lose this dispute.

Next Matches

As I mentioned before, we will have some important matches in the next round, both in the Upper Bracket as well as the Lower Bracket. These matches are the following:

Philadelphia Fusion vs. San Francisco Shock


These two teams are of roughly the same strength, but Philadelphia Fusion’s current form is much better than San Francisco Shock’s. And that’s why I’m convinced they will win. It’s enough to look at PF’s results to notice this: 3 – 0 against LA Gladiators and 3 – 0 against LA Valiant. By contrast, SFS struggled to win against Washington Justice and then lost a map against Atlanta Reign. Both of these teams are much weaker than PF, so I’m a bit worried about SFS’s chances here.

Atlanta Reign vs. Florida Mayhem

Florida Mayhem is a much stronger team than Atlanta Reign. So I don’t see how AR could beat them. However, if we think contextually, then we must notice that Atlanta defeated Paris Eternal recently and managed to steal a map from San Francisco Shock. This could potentially mean they’re much stronger than the overall stats indicate.

Los Angeles Valiant vs. Washington Justice

As I said before, Washington Justice’s performance during this Playoffs Stage clearly proves that it’s stronger than LA Valiant. I expect to see a 1 – 3 score in this match.