Having spent last week in Wisconsin on vacation not writing, I figure instead of doing a weekly recap like I usually do right now the thing that makes the most sense is a preview/predictions article, in this case for the upcoming midseason madness tournament.
Upper Round 1
Atlanta Reign vs London Spitfire
In their last matchup, London used Hadi’s Rein to roll over Atlanta in a 3-0 sweep. Atlanta, however, seems like a better team this time around, so I don’t think this will be quite as easy for London. Ultimately, this will come down to Venom’s ability to disrupt the London backline.
Prediction: LDN 3-2 ATL
Toronto Defiant vs Shanghai Dragons
An incredibly bizarre choice for the first cross-region matchup of the season. Dragons’ DPS should be able to dominate if Muze doesn’t go supernova again. The resurgence of Leejaegon’s Brig should give Shanghai the edge, but with this being a matchup between two teams that have never even scrimmed, anything’s possible.
Prediction: SHD 3-0 TOR
Houston Outlaws vs Florida Mayhem
Houston has not looked amazing lately, but the team has been incredibly clutch when they’ve needed to be. On paper, Houston should have the advantage in terms of player talent and flexibility, but going to map 5 vs NYXL is never a good sign. Danteh has been extremely good.
Prediction: HOU 3-2 FLA
Philly Fusion vs Hangzhou Spark
Hangzhou are 1-2 against Philly this season, with their last meeting being a 3-2 win for Philly in week 9. Both teams have been improving lately, and this could come down to which team’s DPS pop off harder. MN3 looked scary against Dynasty, but AlphaYi has been consistently one of the best rookies this season.
Prediction: HZS 3-2 PHI
Upper Round 2
San Francisco Shock vs London Spitfire/Atlanta Reign
Shock is 12-0 for a reason, and should be favored against either team they might face. A meta that lets them run Viol2t and Finn on comfort picks gives Shock the best chance they’ll get to win a tourney this season. Proper is a difference maker as well, though Shock shouldn’t need him to go crazy to handle either of these teams.
Prediction: SFS 3-1 LDN
Dallas Fuel vs Shanghai Dragons/Toronto Defiant
In what will most likely be a rematch between last season’s two most consistent teams, each keeping a relatively stable roster, Shanghai figures to have the advantage here with Lip winning a hitscan duel against any of Dallas’ DPS. Dallas looked good in their recent 3-1 win over London, but Shanghai would be a different sort of beast.
Prediction: SHD 3-1 DAL
LA Gladiators vs Houston Outlaws/Florida Mayhem
Whichever team Gladiators face here, they should have a pretty clear advantage. Gladiators have faced Houston twice and Florida once (very recently) this season and have yet to drop a single map to either team. Houston would probably put up a better fight, but Gladiators just seem like a better team than both of their potential opponents.
Prediction: LAG 3-1 HOU
Seoul Dynasty vs Hangzhou Spark/Philly Fusion
Dynasty suddenly looks mortal after their 3-1 loss to Fusion, but there is one key difference between that match and this one: it’s now the playoffs, and that means Profit is activated. Hangzhou and Philly both lack the firepower to keep up with Profit and Smurf if those two play their best.
Prediction: SEO 3-1 HZS
Upper Round 3
Note: from here on out, I’m just looking at my predicted bracket instead of possible permutations. For the same reason, I’m not going to make predictions for the lower bracket because there’s too many possible matchups for any prediction to be meaningful. All I’ll say about the lower bracket is that of the teams I have being eliminated so far Dallas is the most likely to make a run.
San Francisco Shock vs Shanghai Dragons
If Zen were not broken beyond belief, I would have no trouble picking the winner of this matchup. Without Zen, Dragons are simply the superior team in every way. Of course, Zen is broken beyond belief and that lets Shock play Viol2t on one of his best heroes instead of a traditional main support. Dragons will have to overcome a serious compositional disadvantage with smart play and a large DPS gap to win, but Fleta and Lip have pulled off harder feats in the past.
Prediction: SHD 3-2 SFS
LA Gladiators vs Seoul Dynasty
This match should be a treat to watch if it ends up happening. Both of these teams are loaded with firepower and play the meta very well. Profit will need to be at his best for Seoul to win, but again, this is the playoffs, so that could very well happen. There’s a decent argument that the two best MVP candidates (Profit and Kevster) and the two best ROTY candidates (Vindaim and Reiner) would be facing off here.
Prediction: LAG 3-2 SEO
Upper Finals: Shanghai Dragons vs LA Gladiators
Shu vs Izayaki. Patiphan vs Lip. Reiner vs Fate. Skewed vs Leejaegon. Fleta vs Kevster. It’s tough to imagine a better matchup across the board than these two teams. Should they reach the upper bracket finals, I expect fireworks to go off all match as the Dragons and Gladiators slug it out across a 5 map series. Ultimately, Skewed’s ability to play both Zen and Brig could make the difference, giving Gladiators the edge.
Prediction: LAG 3-2 SHD
Grand Finals: LA Gladiators vs Seoul Dynasty
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say there’s no way Playoffs Profit loses twice before reaching the finals. He’s just too good under pressure to not go on a run. His sheer Chad energy combined with Smurf’s championship experience could turn the tide and propel another magical run to a trophy for Overwatch’s GOAT.
Prediction: SEO 4-2 LAG
Champion: Seoul Dynasty
Tournament/Finals MVP: Profit (Damage, SEO)
Power Rankings (Combined)
- Seoul Dynasty
- LA Gladiators
- Shanghai Dragons
- SF Shock
- Dallas Fuel
- Hangzhou Spark
- Philly Fusion
- Houston Outlaws
- London Spitfire
- Atlanta Reign
- Florida Mayhem
- Chengdu Hunters
- Toronto Defiant
- LA Valiant
- Washington Justice
- Boston Uprising
- Vancouver Titans
- Guangzhou Charge
- Paris Eternal
Season MVP: Profit
ROTY: Reiner (Tank, LAG)