As we go into the final week in Europe two teams are already confirmed for the LAN playoffs; Misfits and Gigantti. It’s a three horse race for the final two spots between Cloud9 EU, 123 and GamersOrigin. To add to the excitement they all play each other at various points over these last six games. Team Singularity can still mathematically qualify but would need a very particular set of results, while unlikely they could still play spoiler for Cloud9 EU. As we approach this final set of games it’s worth noting the tiebreaker rules:
4.8.1 Standings Tiebreakers. In the event that two (2) teams are tied in Standings at the end of the Regular Season, the first Tiebreaker will be total Maps Wins (the team with the higher number of Map Wins during the Regular Season will break the tie). If total Maps Wins is tied between the two(2) teams, the tied teams will play a Best of 3 on Ilios to break the tie.
A strong week was had by all in the prediction games with everyone scoring a 9-1 record in correct predictions. It was the perfects that separated the pack, with Mert racking up an impressive seven. Giving him a total of 19 so far out of a possible 38. He’ll need his hot streak to continue to hold onto his two-point lead. Scrubasaurus and I are also still competing.
Friday 22nd September 18:00 CEST/ 12:00 EDT / 01:00 KST
Both teams sit on a 3-2 record currently occupying the third and fourth spots. With GamersOrigin hot on their heels a win will be crucial for both sides, in what is sure to be one of the best matches in this final weekend.
The teams are fairly evenly matched. 123 have the better tank like, while Cloud9 have the better supports. In the DPS they are evenly matched again. While Finnsi has been better than Nevix so far, MikeyA is probably playing better than snillo in this moment. The margins are slim in both cases. While I expect both teams to qualify I think Cloud9 will edge this one.
A crucial match for both teams, with their qualification for playoffs still undetermined. 123 have lost two straight to the top of the table after a relatively easy start, which could lead to the conclusion that they'll fall to Cloud9. Especially given the quality of C9, they might not be KongDoo but they're still a talented squad with some tier one talent. However, I think 123 will take this opportunity to bounce back after two rough games. They may have been a tad over-rated after their hot start but there is no doubt that they're a formidable opponent when working in unison.
I think 123 is a much better team than C9 and the results should reflect that. C9 is good enough to take a map, but not good enough to threaten 123 beyond that.
Cloud9 is likely demoralized but still hungry for a chance to prove themselves at LAN, while 123 must cope with the loss of their coach, presumably to an OWL organization. I expect 123 to come out with the narrowest of victories, as they've been the stronger team all season, but I do think Cloud9 is actually a strong team and has potential to upset in this matchup.
Friday 22nd September 20:00 CEST/ 14:00 EDT / 03:00 KST
The second game of the week will be much less impactful for standings. Gigantti have secured qualification and second seed while Bazooka Puppiez sits at the bottom of the pack, winless with a meager three map wins.
Gigantti have been consistently strong, while Bazooka Pupz has been consistently weak. Don’t expect any surprises here.
Gigantti are the second best team in the European side of Contenders, the Puppiez are the worst. You do the math.
It has been a rough season for the Bazooka Puppiez and I don't see this match being any easier for them. Gigantti has played stellar all season and will be a team to look out for in the playoffs.
This should be one of the more straightforward matches as Gigantti looks to lock up the second seed in EU to attempt a rematch with Misfits in the finals, and Bazooka Puppiez presents a prime opportunity to feast on a lesser team. They have only three map victories, and shouldn't be able to snag another off of a hungry Finnish squad.
Saturday 23rd September 19:00 CEST/ 13:00 EDT / 02:00 KST
Another match that will be critical in the playoff race. eUnited look down and out after their Overwatch League plans fell through. This is perfect timing for GamersOrigin, however, as they look to put themselves in pole position going into their Sunday game against 123.
Normally I would expect this game to be closer but eUnited have nothing left to play for while GamersOrigin desperately needs a win. eUnited will put up a bit of a fight but if GamersOrigin’s playoff run is going to end, it won't be here.
eUnited's situation is fairly well known at this point, as the team is no longer practicing as a squad as they will disband at the end of the season. Whilst you can still see signs of the old eUnited now and again when they play, I do not expect them to string together successive map wins against a quality GamersOrigin squad.
I wanted to go with the upset here, but couldn't bring myself to pick an eUnited team that doesn't really have anything to play for. eUnited is the better team deep down, despite their performance this season, and should be able to take a map just because of that.
GamersOrigin has to be motivated to 2-0 this week, while eUnited honestly has no reason to care about this tournament anymore. While I might not expect them to make the playoffs, I think GamersOrigin will take a victory here against a slumping eUnited who have not shown any resistance to Doomfist comps in the past.
Saturday 23rd September 21:00 CEST / 15:00 EDT / 04:00 KST
If Singularity wins here and Cloud9 EU and GamersOrigin lose both their other games with minimal map wins there is a chance they can sneak into playoffs. While they only have the slimmest chance of all those stars aligning, they have a much better chance at playing spoiler for Cloud9 EU. The revitalised Singularity will make sure it is no walk in the park for Cloud9
It’s not the easiest game for Cloud9 to finish on, they come up against the almighty team UK tank line. While the Brits are arguably one of the best tank pairs in Europe, giving their team a significant advantage, Cloud9 have more quality across the rest of the roles and this should enable them to win. It won’t be easy though but if MikeyA keeps playing the way he has been playing they should overpower Singularity.
I'm nervous about predicting against Singularity, they've proven me wrong in the past. However, a playoffs spot should be motivation enough for Cloud9 to win this one.
C9 should get into the playoffs as the fourth seed off the back of this game. Singularity's mix roster can push them to the edge, but I think C9 can hold out for the win in an effort to prove themselves after their organization's most recent acquisition.
Singularity is quite a good team for a simple mix, but Cloud9's structure should point to a result more similar to the Misfits series than the eUnited one. They definitely have potential to grab a map which is why I leave the single map victory up, but that is more based on gut feeling rather than any conceivable map pool strength.
Sunday 24th September 19:00 CEST/ 13:00 EDT / 02:00 KST
By the time this match starts both teams will know where they stand and what results they need to qualify. 123 will come into this game favourites but it will be far from easy with everything on the line. This will be a must watch.
GamersOrigin have looked great in fits and bursts across the season while 123 have been more consistent. As it comes to crunch time I think 123 are more cohesive as a unit and with this game potentially being decisive in three teams playoff fates, this cohesion will help them through the high-pressure situations.
Leaf has shown that he can still run Doomfist to a high degree of effectiveness on the new patch but a drop-off was still noticeable when the patch went live in Contenders. 123 should take this match without too much trouble.
This should be the match that locks 123 into the third seed and knocks GamersOrigin out of playoff contention. Lookout for a rematch between 123 and Gigantti in the first round now that 123 has their full lineup again. As for the match itself, I think 123 handles GO fairly easily, although GamersOrigin sneaks a map as they have made a habit of doing in their losing efforts this season.
123's play around the Doomfist showcases that they actually have one of the better understandings in utilizing the hero, and they should be able to use that knowledge against GamersOrigin who have relied so heavily on the hero. While GamersOrigin started the season out strong, I think their "one trick pony" nature will cost them come the end of the season.
Sunday 24th September 21:00 CEST / 15:00 EDT / 04:00 KST
The European group stage ends with a mismatch. At the start of the season there would have been a lot of hype around this game but now the seasons have played out, Misfits are set to finish in first place while it looks likely this could be eUnited’s last game as a team.
I expect nothing less than a 4-0 to complete Misfits’ perfect season and make them the team to beat going into the LAN finals.
The top dogs playing the ghost of eUnited, this one should pan out in predictable fashion.
Misfits has looked OWL ready with their performance this season. An eUnited team that never found their footing this season shouldn't be much of a problem for them.
eUnited will likely be unfocused given their recent announcements, and while Misfits has in theory locked up the first place spot, I doubt they'd like to give up any momentum going into playoffs. I expect this series to be a straightforward victory for the best team in Europe.