With one final week remaining in Stage 2 of the Overwatch League, three teams remain undefeated. Which of these teams will finish the Stage undefeated?
The Final Week
Starting Thursday, teams will compete in the final week of Stage 2 of the Overwatch League. With only three spots remaining in the Stage 2 Playoffs, competition will be fierce between the eleven teams that still have a shot at playoffs. However, this does not mean teams at the top of the table have nothing to fight for. As things stand, three teams remain undefeated: the Los Angeles Gladiators, the San Francisco Shock, and the Vancouver Titans. All three of these times have a shot at finishing Stage 2 with a perfect record. Such a feat would not only give them a major confidence boost heading into playoffs, but it will also ensure they have the easiest possible opponents in the first round. The question still remains, which of these three teams have the best chance of finishing the Stage undefeated?
Los Angeles Gladiators
Of the undefeated teams in Stage 2, the Los Angeles Gladiators are by far the most surprising. After a disappointing Stage 1 performance, where they barely missed playoffs, the Gladiators have returned with a vengeance. As the only team currently 6-0, they sit atop the standings heading into the final week. However, their 6-0 record is a little deceiving. While certainly being no small feat, the Gladiators have not had the most difficult schedules this Stage.
While having several victories against teams that are contenders for a playoff spot, such as the Chengdu Hunters and the Shanghai Dragons, they have also had several easy wins against teams like their cross-town rivals, the Los Angeles Valiant. Most importantly, they have been able to dodge matches against Vancouver, London, and New York, who are typically considered the strongest teams in the league.
Despite not necessarily being challenged thus far in Stage 2, the Gladiators have a rather simple path to an undefeated season. The only opponent standing in their way is the Boston Uprising. The Uprising’s season can be described in one word: inconsistent. After barely making it into the playoffs for Stage 1, Boston has struggled in Stage 2. Early in the split they were able to win in a couple of reverse sweeps, though since their performance has been less than impressive. While certainly not an easy game for the Gladiators, Boston is not necessarily a major threat in preventing Los Angeles from finishing the Stage undefeated.
San Francisco Shock
The San Francisco Shock are less of a surprise when it comes to the remaining undefeated teams in Stage 2. After finishing Stage 1 in sixth, they have an impressive run through the Stage Playoffs, falling only to the Vancouver Titans in the final. They have continued to ride this success into Stage 2, with an impressive 5-0 record. Even more impressive is their 20-0 map score. Not only have they won every match, but they have done so with perfect 4-0 every time. With the team looking literally flawless so far in the Stage, it is hard to bet against them not continuing their performance.
Our biggest WATCH PARTY yet is coming to Berkeley for the final game of Stage 2 on May 5th!
— San Francisco Shock⚡ (@SFShock) April 19, 2019
Despite looking red-hot coming into the final week of Stage 2, they Shock’s week will be anything but easy. They have two remaining matches against the Philadelphia Fusion and the Shanghai Dragons. Both these teams are currently just out of playoff position, and a win against San Francisco could propel them into the playoffs. This means two things. First, San Francisco’s opponents are not bad teams. Secondly, and more importantly, both Philadelphia and Shanghai have more to fight for than San Francisco, meaning it is realistic that one of them would be able to hand the Shock their first loss of the Stage.
Last, but certainly not least, is the Vancouver Titans. Seeing the Titans in third place feels a little weird. After all, they dominated Stage 1, going undefeated and wining the playoffs. This success has continued through Stage 2 and Vancouver currently sits at 5-0. Unlike the other undefeated teams, most of Vancouver’s wins have come against teams that are still in the running for the playoffs. This shows that the Titans are continuing to perform well against respectable opponents.
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For their final opponents, Vancouver face off against the Seoul Dynasty and the Toronto Defiant. The later of these teams, who are currently sitting at 1-4 in Stage 2, should not be much of a problem for Vancouver. Seoul, on the other hand, could prove problematic. Currently in eighth place, Seoul must win if they wish to defend their spot in the playoffs. However, Vancouver and Seoul already played this Stage, and Vancouver came away with a dominant victory. The Titans have faced much stronger teams and come away unscathed. It is unlikely that the Dynasty will be the team to hand Vancouver their first loss.
In conclusion, any of the three undefeated teams could finish Stage 2 with a perfect record. The Titans seems to be the most likely, considering they have not slowed down their dominate performance in the slightest. The Gladiators also seem likely since they only have one match against a struggling Boston. The Shock have two respectable opponents the following week and it will surely be a challenge to hold onto their perfect record. However, Chengdu Hunter’s defeat of the London Spitfire last week proved that just because a team is undefeated, does not mean they are unbeatable.
Be sure to catch all the action for the final weekend of Stage 2, starting this Thursday.