Overwatch League Season 1 Stage 4 Week 5 Review

Overwatch League Season 1 Stage 4 Week 5 Review
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The Los Angeles Valiant became Stage 4 champions after victories over both the Los Angeles Gladiators and the New York Excelsior following a riveting Week 5 of action in the inaugural season of the Overwatch League.

Valiant fail to claim perfect stage

The Valiant had something of an odd opening to the week, resting some of their starters against the San Francisco Shock before inserting their usual players against the Fuel in an attempt to keep both their perfect stage alive and secure top spot too.

They were able to do neither, falling to the Fuel for their first loss of Stage 4 and losing first place on map differential to the Gladiators, who subsequently picked their rivals for the Playoff match-up.

Consistency pays off

However, Valiant performed well during the Playoffs, narrowly edging the Gladiators 3-2 before an excellent display of defense helped them overcome Excelsior 3-1.

Entering the Postseason, suddenly Valiant appear to be top dogs, with Excelsior continuing their surprising slide from untouchable status. The Valiant are the team that play the most consistent brand of Overwatch, relying on the fundamentals more so than individual skill that can fluctuate from map to map.

New York may have issues

Excelsior suddenly have major questions hanging over them heading into the Postseason.

Many attributed their losses during Stage 4 to them already clinching a Postseason spot, allowing them to take the final few weeks easy, yet New York struggled to defeat the Dallas Fuel in the Stage 4 Playoffs before falling to the Valiant while looking incredibly poor on their offence. On what would be the closing map of Blizzard World, somehow the Excelsior only gathered a single kill during their entire offensive effort.

The next four weeks will be key for Excelsior as they look to rediscover their old form, with hopes of rekindling the brilliance that saw them rise to become one of the most dominant forces in recent memory.

Fusion fall short in the stage

The Philadelphia Fusion fell just a single map win short of a Stage 4 Playoff appearance, although they did claim the sixth and final Playoff spot in the overall standings, thus qualifying for the Postseason.

In the final map against the London Spitfire, the Fusion narrowly lost on Watchpoint: Gibraltar, giving away the final Stage 4 Playoff spot to the Dallas Fuel. That followed an earlier 1-3 loss to the Houston Outlaws that also could have allowed them into the stage Playoffs, with their sights now firmly set on the Postseason.

The Fusion will need to shake off this week and begin preparing, with hopes they can return to the Stage 2 form that saw them make a run to the Grand Final.

Dragons end winless

The Shanghai Dragons were unable to achieve a single map victory this week, let alone a series victory. This gives the Dragons the dubious honour of being completely winless for the entire season, setting the mark at 0-40.

At this point all Shanghai can do is figure out which players they will look to keep for Season 2. A major roster overhaul is most certainly imminent, with the Support position in particular long overdue for a change.

Boston recover down the stretch

After dropping their first six games of Stage 4, the Boston Uprising closed by winning their final four matches, including over both the New York Excelsior and the Florida Mayhem this week.

Boston have all of a sudden become a dangerous team entering the Postseason after initially looking dead in the water after their disastrous start to Stage 4. The team have taken time to adjust to the meta, but a victory over New York at any point in time remains impressive.

Now that Boston have their roles figured out, they have a chance to make an impact come the Postseason.

Conclusion

Both Los Angeles teams, the Valiant and the Gladiators, would appear to have momentum heading into the Championship Playoffs in July. The issue now is the time off between the end of Stage 4 and the Postseason, which opens on 11 July at the Blizzard Arena in Los Angeles. With a $1,000,000 first place prize on the line, the six teams will have little rest between now and then.