After a break of a few weeks, the Overwatch League returns to our screens tonight as the 12 teams battle it out in the final stage before the playoffs and the grand finals. Just 5 weeks of action stand in our way of the climax – so let’s take a look at some of the teams and players going into stage 4.
Let’s first discuss the meta and patch which we’ll be on for the entire stage; firstly we know that Brigitte will now be available in the OWL, however she will be pre-nerf due to a bug that exists in the nerf patch. Details about the bug are fairly sketchy but we know due to a Tweet by the Overwatch Leagues Commissioner, Nate Nanzer, that it involves a way to resume a paused game.
An update on Overwatch League Stage 4 pic.twitter.com/CREJEA13Vq
— Nate Nanzer (@natenanzer) May 15, 2018
For anyone wondering, this patch is not in action anymore so this does not affect out gameplay. Apart from that, the “New Hanzo” will also NOT be in play, as he arrived with the Brigitte nerf – so we shouldn’t see too much of our favourite Shimada brother in this stage. But with Brigitte in the game, it’s very likely that we’ll see far less Tracer played – and the death of dive-composition as the Swedish Engineer shuts it down – we hope. We’re still very likely to see a ton of Widowmaker as pick-off potential always changes the game. All-in-all it should be a great stage with a lot of amazing plays – maybe we’ll see some big upsets too.
Now let’s get to the teams – looking at only a few of the bigger (and smaller) teams and the players who should be seen showing their talent over and above the rest.
New York Excelsior
Starting off at the top, the New York Excelsior have dominated the Overwatch League from its onset and with a 27-3 record at the moment, it will take some massive outplays to knock the team off their perch. In stage 3 we saw the Boston Uprising give NYXL a great run for their money, but when it came to the end-of-stage playoffs, Uprisings were dismantled by the likes of Do-Hyeon ‘Pine’ Kim’s Widowmaker and Jong-Ryeol ‘Saebyeolbe’ Park’s Tracer. We may even see more of Tae-Sung ‘Anamo’ Jung make another appearance in the support role. The NYXL are still completely unbeaten on both Hanamura and King’s Row, both maps which will be appearing in Stage 4.
Another team unbeaten on 2 maps is London Spitfire, remaining without a loss on both Watchpoint Gibraltar and Horizon Lunar Colony, but the fell very short of the top 4 spots in the previous stage, finishing in 6th place after 2nd and 3rd in stage 2 and 3 respectively. With players such as Jae-Hui ‘Gesture’ Hong in the tank spot and Ji-Hyeok ‘birdring’ Kim dropping damage on his enemies, the Spitfire are always a threat and shouldn’t be forgotten as they still sit in the top 3 of overall OWL rankings, not far behind Boston.
— London Spitfire (@Spitfire) May 14, 2018
Speaking of Boston Uprisings, they had a magnificent run through Stage 3, winning every series before they stumbled in the finals. Stanislav ‘Mistakes’ Danilov and YoungJin ‘Gamsu’ Noh came up massive for the squad as they dominated everyone in their path and they’d be hoping to continue their form moving into Stage 4 and forget their loss in the playoffs.
— Boston Uprising (@BostonUprising) May 15, 2018
Shanghai Dragons and Dallas Fuel
Now that we’ve looked at the top of the standings, let’s move our attention to the bottom, the Shanghai Dragons. Coming into Stage 3, the Dragons made a lot of changes and it showed throughout the stage, as they made some brilliant performances. Even so, they were unable to secure any series victory and slumped to a 0-30 record throughout the League. But the team were looking more and more promising week in and week out, always cheerful and ready to give it their all in each and every match-up. Seyeon ‘Geguri’ Kim’s stalwart performances have definitely brought the team together and with both Weida ‘Diya’ Lu and Gihyeon ‘Ado’ Chon giving breathtaking performances too, there’s a high chance that we’ll see them claim a victory very soon – most likely over the team 2nd last, Dallas Fuel. While the Fuel’s roster is filled with some of the biggest names in Overwatch, they just do not have the best showings on stage and this may be the time that they feel themselves slip away.
A special mention
Now these aren’t the only teams to look out for – special mention to Seoul Dynasty who made a massive change by switching one of the most well-known and possibly best supports, Je-Hong ‘ryujehong’ Ryu into a tank role, and it worked wonders for them. We’re also bound to see more Seok-Woo ‘Wekeed’ Choi and Byung-Sun ‘FLETA’ Kim action coming out for the team – while they still remain unbeaten on Horizon Lunar Colony too.
Tonight, we’ll see the Los Angeles Gladiators start things off as they take on the San Francisco Shock, followed by Seoul Dynasty and Los Angeles Valiant and finally the Dallas Fuel will take on Shanghai Dragons.
Let the battle begin
I am most hyped about that final series and I really do hope that the Dragons can break the loss-streak that they are on and make an amazing showing in Stage 4 – but either way, the meta-shift is intriguing. And just as a little extra – Overwatch have just announced this skin for everyone’s favourite “dad” Soldier 76.
We’re just a week away from Overwatch Anniversary 2018! Join us in the celebration as we count down with TWO new skin reveals.
Our FIRST reveal: VENOM SOLDIER: 76! (Epic) pic.twitter.com/w7BlRUYHiI
— Overwatch (@OverwatchEU) May 16, 2018