Starting the Playoffs right.
The very first match of the first playoffs are between two teams that were considered bottom tier at the beginning of the season. Boston showed poorly in the preseason and had no meaningful stars to speak of when the league started. Philadelphia had a very different problem. They did not even participate in the preseason. The team did not play any games and gave no real indicators as to how they looked together as a team. But, fortunately for their fanbases, they have overcome quite possibly the most odds of any of the playoff teams respectively, and both look ready to make a serious playoff push this year.
Boston started the season as a team in the middle of the pack, winning 6 of their 10 games in stage 1. This trend continued into the second stage as they finished with the exact same record as the first stage, missing both stage finals by just a few wins. Stage three however, was when the Boston Uprising made people take notice of who they were. Scoring the first perfect stage in the overwatch league, finishing the stage with only one loss to New York in the grand finals of the stage playoffs. The uprising struggled with stage four, winning only 4 of their games, ending the last stage with a losing record and skidding in to that third place spot. After a season of turmoil, losing players, coaches, and just about anything else going wrong, they are still here and stand strong as the 3 seed in these playoffs.
Philadelphia likes to show flashes of what they are capable of, in small doses. The Fusion started out their season at the exact same record as Boston. A solid 6-4 record, but due to map differentials they found themselves below the Uprising in 7th to start. The second stage Philadelphia put it all together by the end, recording a 7-3 stage record and squeaking their way into the stage playoffs just past Seoul. They then took the surprise a step further and won their first round match against the London Spitfire in dramatic fashion. The team couldn’t really put together a record like the second stage, however. With both stages floating around a .500 record. This team has shown that it is capable of doing great things, their biggest drawback is their consistency, if they can play together and communicate effectively, there is almost nothing stopping this 6th ranked team.
The map pool seems to play fairly evenly for the teams, Boston has some maps where they are really good and have a near perfect percentage,(Volskya Industries) but also have some maps where they have definitely struggled in the past, especially Hanamura, where they only won 2 of their 10 matches. However, if there is an edge in map selection it goes to the Uprising. Many of these maps play to their favor and they have a very positive record on many of the maps selected. The Fusion on the other hand, were the worst team, per-record, on these maps. The differences for some of the maps are not a noticeable difference but there are some maps than feel like they can be counted one way or the other right now.
More importantly than the maps, however, is the patch that they are playing on. The patch for the playoffs will be the last patch before this one, meaning there is no scatter arrow anymore. And, more importantly the Hanzo-Zarya meta that dominated season 10 will finally be shown off on stage. However, it is important to note that the Symmetra rework will not show up in this patch. Symmetra will still have her old abilities, such as the lock-on beam and her 6 turrets instead of 3. The big question on this patch is who’s double sniper combination will work better. Widowmaker is a must pick at the top levels and can be counted on to be a regular appearance, and Hanzo’s rework makes him the strongest damage dealer in the game, making him a must pick as well. While neither team ran much for double snipers or these team compositions in general, the edge has to be given to Philadelphia for this category. Carpe and assumingly ShaDowBurn make an extremely deadly sniper line. The big challenge for Boston will be their tank play, if their tanks can get enough value to the supports they may be able to survive long enough to win.
Why Boston Will Win.
Boston has been one of the most consistent teams in the league throughout the season, through all the controversies, losing a player, having a coach leave, everything that has been thrown at them. They came into the season being called possibly the worst team in the league and they have fought and clawed their way to not only a playoff spot, but the number 3 spot behind New York and Los Angeles (Valiant). This is a team worthy of their bid to this post season and the map pool gives them a decent edge, if their strategies can overcome the raw firepower coming from the other side, and they can keep calm and play their game, they can definitely have a great chance at winning this series.
Why Philadelphia Will Win.
This is a team that when they get hot they are one of the toughest teams to beat in the league. Carpe and ShaDowBurn combined is one of the best DPS duos in the league, and in this potential sniper’s duel this is the duo I want on my side. The only problem is if they are going to be consistent enough to finish the series off. I have no doubt that the Fusion will give Boston a run for their money. The biggest concern is if they can put it all together twice, which may be a huge problem for them against the comparative consistency of who they are playing against.
This is honestly one of the match-ups I am most excited for because of how far they have come. Neither team would have been considered playoff contenders before the season. They both have played extremely well and shown flashes of being able to win the entire league if the stars align. Only one can win though, and while it is a very tough call to make, I think the Philadelphia Fusion are going to come out on top in this matchup. Consistency has been a huge issue for them all year but when the lights are brightest they have stepped up and done amazing things. So indeed, the Philadelphia Fusion will upset the Boston Uprising in 3 matches. Philly doesn’t have to be consistent for 10 games, they only need to win two, and I think the current patch they are playing on overcomes the map statistics.
What do you think? Is it crazy to not pick Boston? Do you agree that Philadelphia could actually pull the upset and do the impossible? Let me know down in the comments down below!