This past weekend saw the closing of Stage 1 of the OWL 2019 Season at the Blizzard Arena Los Angeles with an abundance of drama, upsets and clutches.
Eight teams secured their participation in the playoffs with two (Excelsior, Titans) going entirely undefeated in Stage 1. The last spot after last week’s photo-finish was claimed by the Boston Uprising who defied expectations and beat the Dallas Fuel for the spot in the Playoffs.
Two tiebreakers were also played for seeding. First off, the Philadelphia Fusion and the Toronto Defiant 5W2L played a tiebreaker for the 3rd seed spot, which the Defiant squad won. The second tiebreaker was between the San Francisco Shock and the Seoul Dynasty for the 6th seed which went the way of the SF squad.
And the stage was set playoffs to commence.
Straight out the gate the brackets were shattered with the New York Excelsior faltering and getting eliminated by the Seoul Dynasty on match 1. There was a buzz on social media during the scrim period that Dynasty was over performing and having great scrims but most of it was ignored when observing they had to face NYXL in their first match.
It seems all that hard did pay off as they took down the opponents 3-1 eliminating them in the first round of the stage playoffs. FITS, Fissure and Michelle all played their hearts out to bring the Seoul forward in the bracket, unfortunately it was the Vancouver Titans they had to face right after.
On the opposite side of the bracket, the Boston Uprising squad had the titanic task to take down the first seed from Vancouver. They went about it, trying different DPS champs, even Junkrat, but nothing was enough to come close to contesting the Titans. They got sweeped 3-0, but nevertheless it was an amazing experience for the Boston Squad who from the entire roster seemed the ones “least” deserving to be there.
After the initial upset the playoff bracket took a U-turn and played out as expected.
In setting up for the final we cannot forget an amazingly clean run by the San Francisco Shock all the way to finals. From winning their tiebreaker with a 3-0 score, they continued the undefeated trend all the way to finals where the Vancouver Titans were lying in wait. The Titans had a similar but expected path to the finals without dropping a game to either opponent. And finally the two undefeated teams in playoffs seeded at 1st and 6th before it all began were set to clash.
Maps 1, 3 and 5 (also the ones SF Shock won) were arguably the most intense matches of the entire playoffs, but eventually after 7 games of back and forth action and massive plays by almost every individual on both rosters, the Titans prevailed and were crowned winners of the Stage 1 Playoffs with Min-soo “SeoMinSoo” Seo the 2017 Tracer god and DPS of the Titans being crowned MVP of the matchup.
With this victory the Vancouver Titans cement their position as the best team in the OWL, something that comes as a confirmation of our prediction prowess after we banged on about the former RunAway now Titans squad for the past 5 articles and the OWL power rankings.
All the teams are now on a deserved one week “vacation” until Stage 2 commences Thursday, April 4th 2019.
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