Thursday saw the kickoff of the Overwatch League Playoffs for 2019 and two mouth-watering match-ups. The Vancouver Titans took on the Seoul Dynasty, and the Los Angeles Gladiators faced the Hangzhou Spark. Both games were tightly fought affairs and produced some extreme gameplay, ultimately the Titans and Gladiators coming out on top.
Thursday saw the Vancouver Titans and the Los Angeles Gladiators each prevail in what were close fought matches, held in Burbank, California. Victories in the quarter-finals have set up a meeting between both victors in the upper-bracket semifinals in the Overwatch League Playoffs for Season 2.
The Titans came into the quarter finals as the top overall seed and were faced with a tough match up against a resurgent Seoul Dynasty. The Titans fell 2 – 1 behind before finding the strength to turn the tides and rallying for a 4-2 victory over the Dynasty.
For the Gladiators, it was also not a straight-forward path to the semi finals. The LA team nearly managed to blow a 3 – 1 lead against the Hangzhou Spark who clawed the match-up back to 3 – 3. The Gladiators however hung on to win the Bo7 quarter final series in the final map or the round.
Vancouver opened their quarter final game with a 2 – 1 victory over Seoul on Lijiang Tower. The Dynasty however, who reached the playoffs through last week’s play-in tournament, took down Numbani (3 – 1) and Horizon Lunar Colony (1 – 0) to gain a 2 – 1 edge on the series. The Titans steadied from there however, closing out the series with 3 – 1 and 2 – 1 victories on Watchpoint: Gibraltar and Busan respectively. A final 1 – 0 win on Eichenwalde sealed their place in the semi finals and secured their win over the Korean team, setting up an exciting match-up in the semi finals.
The Gladiators came into the playoff rounds seeded fifth overall. They started relatively inconspicuously, dropping Busan 2 – 1 and falling behind the fourth-seeded LA Spark. They went on to win the next three maps however, 2 – 0 on King’s Row, 4 – 3 on Temple of Anubis and 2 – 1 on Rialto, bringing the series to 3 & 1. Hangzhou rallied with victories of 2 – 1 on Lijiang Tower and 4 – 3 on Eichenwalde to tie the series at 3-a-piece, but LA eventually prevailed after a 3 – 1 victory on Watchpoint: Gibraltar in the deciding match.
The semi final match-up between the Titans and the Gladiators will take place on Sunday, with the victor moving within a single win of the Overwatch League 2019 Grand Finals.
Vancouver won both regular-season match-ups between the two sides, winning 3 – 1 and 4 – 0 respectively, making them our outright favourites. This result also means that the Dynasty and the Spark will meet in the lower bracket round of the double-elimination tournament, on Saturday. Hangzhou previously took the two regular-season match-ups 3 – 1 and 3 – 2.
The other upper-bracket quarterfinals are taking place today (Friday), and will see the second-seeded New York Excelsior battling it out against the other play-in entrant, the London Spitfire in the first quarter final match-up of the day. The third-seeded San Francisco Shock will take on sixth-seeded Atlanta Reign later in the day. Both the Shock and Reign went unbeaten during Stage 4, and enter Friday riding winning streaks of eight and nine games, respectively. Who will make it to the semi finals? Overwatch fans, keep your eyes here on Esportsnow to find out!
The Overwatch League 2019 Grand Finals will take place on September 29th at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. The eventual champions will take home a whopping $1.5 million USD as well as the crown of Overwatch World Champions for 2019.
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