New Patch, Same Goats?
Florida lost to Washington in the very last week of stage 1. This is a contenders team compared to the higher end talent in the league. Expect this team to continue their mediocrity into Stage 2.
19.Los Angeles Valiant
With a fresh Meta and brand new coach, the reset button has been hit with this team and this is their chance to make a statement starting with this stage. Los Angeles is riding a very thin line between eliminating themselves super early from the playoffs and finding massive success. If this stage goes poorly, Los Angeles could find themselves out of playoff spot before the All-Star break.
This team competes and wound up on the wrong side of the scoreboard more than their fair share of times in Stage 1. However with the addition of Ark, and a potentially more open meta approaching, there is a good chance Washington gets a win more than once this Stage, they aren’t necessarily stage playoffs ready yet, but with a full stage under their belt, it may just happen sooner than expected.
The Eternal started strong but fell flat towards the end of the stage. Only managing to pick up one win in the last 3 weeks of competition, this team looks to get out to another fast start and actually maintain their momentum this time. They suffered from a tough schedule in Stage 1 and Stage 2 looks to be just as brutal. If they can survive this Stage, maybe they can survive any stage.
Houston was in the playoff hunt all the way until the end and that should be noted. However, they just can’t seem to string together a good stage anymore. It has been a year since the Outlaws have been in any sort of post season tournament and with no changes made whatsoever, it is hard to not see the trend continuing. The meta does favor them though, so there is definetly room to improve for the Outlaws, a buffed Junkrat with an already overpowered Sombra make the DPS duo of Jake and Danteh scary. If they can’t make the stage playoffs in this meta, it may be time to start seriously thinking about moving some players and preparing for next season.
The Spark struggled down the stretch. Another team that started quick, they won their first week handily and looked to be a highly skilled team, then they crumbled and only won 1 game after the first week. That’s not an encouraging sign for a brand new team. Their GOATS composition may have just been weaker than other teams’ but it still is very discouraging to see such a beloved team struggle the way that they have.
Chengdu worked all stage to fight against the grain and make compositions work that just didn’t have the strength required to make it happen, and they were still highly competitive. Seeing them in a new DPS focused meta is an extremely exciting thought because we will be seeing a new, unleashed Chengdu that will be on the hunt this stage.
Guangzhou is a very quiet team that is solidly in the middle of the pack compared to the rest of the teams in the league. Not standing out too much one way or another, the team has yet to really make a statement on the league like so many other of the new teams have this season. The charge look to change that and take control of their destiny in stage two.
London just didn’t give themselves enough games to work with in stage 1. The largely inconsistent team has obvious championship potential, but so many matches are lost that getting there is often times tougher than actually winning in the playoffs. The DPS talent of Profit and his squad could be a dangerous threat moving forward though, if they can make the stage playoffs, they can win, and win big, but they need to put in the work to get there.
11. Los Angeles Gladiators
The Gladiators got off to a slow start but finished very strong in the last part of the season. The problems that plagued them at the beginning of the season seem to have worked themselves out, if they can consistently play at the same level in Stage 2 as they did at the end of Stage 1, they will definitely be a team to watch out for in the future.
10. Shanghai Dragons
This may be an optimistic spot for the Dragons but they made serious improvements over the course of Stage 1 and look to build on a stage where they almost made the playoffs. Diem and Gamsu could blossom into a beautiful relationship over the course of the stage as new strategies are tried and the team experiments together on stage. Gamsu is finally comfortable with his new team and can continue to shine with his new teammates as the leader of the team. Shanghai could very well make the Stage 2 playoffs if the schedule and meta ends up working in their favor.
Boston squeaked into the very last playoff spot in Stage 1 and were brushed aside by Vancouver in the first round. Boston is doing about as well as anyone could have hoped for at this point, after trading big names like Gamsu and Neko away in the offseason, not much was expected from this team. Seeing them in the playoffs at all was a huge success and major vindication on the end of Puck and the rest of his team. However, they just haven’t shown an elite level of play yet. This stage will be the proving ground to see if they can take that next step and be a real shot at reattaining the legacy of last season, but that doesn’t seem likely with a crowded leader board around them.
Dallas was the “bubble-boy” team of stage 1, being the last eliminated from the playoffs and landing just outside of contention. However, ZachaREEE is itching to play DPS heroes and now is his best chance. If he can pop off and win some games for the fuel they easily could be a top tier team and have major success moving forward.
It’s a hard sell putting Atlanta any higher than this after the way their stage ended. Losing to the Fusion again means that they can be figured out. Losing star DPS Dafran also hurts the team in a major way. His retirement means there is a major hole that needs to be filled immediately. This is a team trending downward and may even miss the stage playoffs entirely at this point.
Philly has the clutch gene written into them. This team has gained so much confidence and benefited from their past experience that they can pull out a win against almost anyone now. If they find themselves in a playoff situation, or a tight game, the odds swing wildly in their favor. The Fusion looks like they are continuing their tight play into this season, proving analysts wrong. Don’t sleep in Philly, because they may just have the talent to go all the way again.
Seoul had the major upset over New York in the Stage playoffs that took them to the second round. That is a major accomplishment in and of itself. Being able to take down one of the best teams in Overwatch by far orives that the team put together this year is rock solid and can perform in clutch situations. With a huge confidence boost like that, Seoul looks to be a top contender in the Stage 2 race.
Toronto was embarrassed by the Shock in the playoffs, although that may mean more about the Shock than Toronto. The Defiant played well against San Francisco but were out-classed by their opponents in the end. Proving that while they are one of the better teams in the league, they aren’t quite at the same level as the last three teams on this list. With the new meta there is a chance that Toronto swings wildly one way or another, but it seems like a safe bet to assume that they will be tough to beat in any match.
3.New York Excelsior
New York are the kings of choking. They can put together a great stage but let it all fall apart in the end. First last year’s grand finals and now this stage, this is not a good trend for the Excelsior to be on. While a legacy last season, a passive, defensive style can be easy to overcome is planned for right, and that was shown in the playoffs. New York looks human again and very well may drop matches in this stage.
2.San Francisco Shock
San Francisco pushed Vancouver to the absolute limits in the Stage 1 Finals. Having statistically one of the toughest schedules in the first stage, the record can be deceiving with a team this good. The Shock took a major risk investing so heavily in a young team that couldn’t play for the majority of the first season. And after getting as close to winning as they did, they look to be ready to come back for more because they are hungrier than ever and they have the talent to take on whatever meta is thrown at them. The Shock look like they could possibly be the best team in Overwatch by the end of the stage.
Vancouver are the originators and the kings of the GOATs composition. They proved as much in the stage playoffs, going largely uncontested for the majority of the stage, with the only real test being the Shock’s final with them. Even though the new meta is trying to demolish the overbearing presence of Triple-Triple, there is no way that Vancouver isn’t good enough to make any composition work that they want. Vancouver has been tested, but they remain undefeated so far, they look to keep the streak alive heading into Stage 2.
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