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OWL Stage 3 Playoffs: Twice as Nice for NYXL

by - 3 years ago

On Sunday, May 6 the New York Excelsior wrapped up Overwatch League’s third stage with their second consecutive Stage Playoff win. After sweeping the Valiant and, surprisingly enough, the upstart Uprising to cement themselves as the best team in the Overwatch League’s Inaugural Season. As the teams take a break to get ready for Stage 4, lets take a look at how New York became the best OWL team in the land for a second straight stage.

Boston Uprising 3 — 0 Los Angeles Gladiators

In the first match of the Stage 3 playoffs the Boston Uprising, who have been undefeated this stage so far, swept aside the Los Angeles Gladiators to make it to the Stage Finals.

Junkertown (3-2 BOS) was the first map in the best-of-five series. Things started out well for the Gladiators and they quickly moved the payload through the first 2 stages. The L.A. push would stall just before the final point and Boston would hold on for more than 5 minutes to keep the Gladiators at 2 points on attack. The Gladiators would put up a fight, but not enough to stop the Uprising from pushing through to take the first map.

Ilios (2-0 BOS) came next and saw another Boston win. Ruins was back and forth, but the Uprising eventually came out on top. Next, The Gladiators would take the point first on Lighthouse. They would get up to 29 percent before Boston came and retook the point. They would hold onto it and go one game away from the Stage 3 Finals.

Anubis (1-0 BOS) was much more decisive. After a full hold on defense, the Uprising fought through the Gladiator’s shield wall to lock up their finals spot.

New York Excelsior 3 — 0 Los Angeles Valiant

Another sweep, these two teams had been scrimmage partners throughout Stage 3 so it was good to finally get to see them play one another. The Valiant made things close on Junkertown (3-2 NYXL) but weren’t able to match NY’s intensity.

Ilios (2-0 NYXL) was more domination by the Excelsior. Even though the Valiant would put up a fight on both Lighthouse and Well it wouldn’t be enough to get past Libero’s Pharah.

Finally, Temple of Anubis (1-0 NYXL) would end with a full hold by New York. Saebyeolbe was getting warmed up on Widow and it was pretty fun to watch.

New York Excelsior 3 — 0 Boston Uprising

Finally, the teams had made it. The last match of Stage 3 would be an absolute battle between Boston, who came almost out of nowhere to light Stage 3 on fire and the always intimidating New York Excelsior.

Route 66 (3-2 NYXL) was crazy close, but Boston wouldn’t be able to match New York’s 3 points on attack.

Nepal (2-0 NYXL) saw two close maps, but Boston weren’t able to finish either one. Mistakes put on quite the show with McCree though, and it looked like Boston might be able to hang around after all.

It looked like Boston might be turning the tide after forcing a tie on Volskaya (3-3 TIE) but New York were out for glory and were hungry.

Stage 3 of the Overwatch League would come to and end on Numbani (3-2 NYXL). After getting 3 points on attack, the Excelsior held Boston in the third stage to win their second consecutive OWL Stage Championship.

New York has now won 2 of the last 3 Stage Finals in Overwatch League and have shown they are the best team in the League – by far. But, the emergence of Boston has caused a bit of a shake-up in the League standings. This graph, courtesy Reddit user Lasnax, shows the League and Stage standings for each OWL team so far:

Looking at Boston’s line in the Stage Standings table shows the dramatic upswing the Uprising experienced over Stage 3. It also shows the drop that teams like London (your Stage 1 champs) and Seoul have taken as the Inaugural Season has gone on.

This further demarcation of teams will continue into Stage 4. London, Seoul and other teams that have been stagnant will continue to linger in mediocrity in the middle of the table. On the other hand, teams like Boston, the Valiant, the Gladiators, the Fusion and to a lesser extent the Shock will continue to improve and could be the only hope to dethrone New York come the end of Stage 4 and the OWL Grand Finals.

Time really does fly when your having fun and the final Stage of the Overwatch League’s Inaugural Season starts on May 16 when the Los Angeles Gladiators take on the San Francisco Shock.

See you next week!


Bill Cooney, aka: RedRhino, is a writer, editor and has been a loyal Blizzard acolyte ever since he installed StarCraft on his parent's Gateway. He mainly covers Overwatch and Overwatch League for Blizzpro.

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