Atlanta Reign vs New York Excelsior
The June Joust playoffs are finally here and, needless to say, we'll have the pleasure of witnessing some mighty exciting match-ups! 2021 has so far been quite an exciting ride as far as competitive Overwatch is concerned and, if the last couple of weeks are anything to go by, this craziness won't subdue any time soon! (definitely a plus as far as we're concerned)
Moreover, no one could've foreseen the way in which the June Joust qualifiers unraveled. The sheer fact that Atlanta Reign made it through -- after clean sweeping the defending champions San Francisco Shock -- is about as surprising as it gets. The most recent meta shift (jumpstarted by the re-introduction of hero pools) definitely turned things upside down, and some teams adapted better than others. Altanta's might and power came out of left field, and the same can be said for the New York Excelsior as well. This perennial (and most stylish) organization didn't really impress all that much over the last couple of months, but we always knew they had the potential for greatness -- as is so often the case with NYXL. They do, however, falter when it comes to execution, and we're afraid that history will once again repeat itself.
Our heart leans towards New York, but our minds scream Atlanta. The fashion in which they've steamrolled through their opposition recently erased all doubt: they really are one of the best teams in the world right now. The grunt of their power comes from the highly specific June Joust meta, but they've all stepped up immensely regardless of what's vogue and what isn't. Pelican, in particular, has been truly exceptional and is already being touted as an MVP candidate (not to mention Rookie of the Year). He's amongst the very best DPS players in the Overwatch League right now which, given whom he's competing against, tells you a lot about his inherent talent and ability to perform in high-pressure situations. He's so darn aggressive it doesn't even make sense and is one of the biggest reasons why Atlanta have been so successful (despite facing some fairly grim odds).
All in all, it's impossible not to side against Atlanta right now. NYXL have been solid but far from amazing. Their 3-1 win over the Philadelphia Fusion a couple of weeks ago was a phenomenal start, but they were unable to carry over that momentum into their matches with Guangzhou and Seoul, both of which were lost in 1-3 fashion. They did, however, rebound at the expense of the Los Angeles Valiant and the Huangzhou Spark, but it's fair to say that the boys in black and blue are lacking hype and momentum coming into the June Joust playoffs.
In any case, we're bound to be entertained beyond measure regardless of the way things ultimately unfold!