Los Angeles Gladiators vs New York Excelsior
We are at the brink of Stage 4 of the sophomore Overwatch League season. With it, comes immense change, one of which is "role lock".
But what does it really mean?
Every team composition will have to consist of two supports, two tanks and two DPS players. This is basically Blizzard's thought-out response to the current GOATS meta. To say that GOATS failed to entertain would be an understatement. Certain teams had the ability to make the current meta somewhat entertaining, but those clashes were few and far between. Without a consistent DPS line-up and more diverse team comps at play, the game simply isn't entertaining. Perhaps that's even an understatement. Watching two turtle formations duke it out is never that exciting, regardless of the map.
Standardizing the way the game is played is for the best, and it'll positively impact both Overwatch as well as its competitive side.
All of this begs the question -- how will this affect the twenty teams that are comepting? How are players going to adapt, and more importantly — will they be able to adapt? No one's doubting their innate talent, but this is a huge shock meta-wise and it will surely leave a momentous mark.
But seeing how this is the pinnacle of competitive Overwatch, players definitely need to have the ability to adapt, and to assimilate any role and game plan. A top tier team needs to adapt to different situations. Fortunately, all twenty teams signed up for a 2-2-2 meta and should be more than able to deliver in the final and perhaps most important stage of the season.
For the first match of the Stage we have a clash between the New York Excelsior and the Los Angeles Gladiators. As far as stage openers go, this is a good one. Really good, even.
Throughout the third Stage we could see that the New York Excelsior, while dominant regardless of the opponent put against them, still haven't fixed their biggest core issues -- their mental game. The fact that they failed to leave a mark in the playoffs is nothing new for the New York Excelsior. It is a constant state of being. It is expected. It's the overarching OWL narrative: dominate when it's least important and then implode when everything's on the line. And the reasons don't matter that much either. Bad tactics, picks, team comps, not being able to synergize and get on the same page, bad positioning -- you name it. There are many excuses, but one one really cares at this point in time.
Despite their fail in the playoffs, the NYXL are one of the division leaders and their positive forty-six map differential tells us a very concrete thing -- this is a team worthy of being at the top. They are a towering giant. A flawed one, but a giant nonetheless.
As for the Lost Angeles Gladiators, they weren't even able to qualify for stage playoffs and are currently fifth on the overall score board with a commendable 13-8 win-loss tally. Will they finally be able to step up their game and show us what they've got? Or will they fail once again and as a result go home and practice more for 2020? They are still in the running for the season playoffs but they don't have the luxury of dropping any more games. Gladiators are an incredibly flexible challenger but they need to keep a consistent level of play if they want to retain their chances of reaching the final season playoffs.
In the end, we simply have to side with the New York Excelsior. A 2-2-2 meta heavily favors their star DPS players and they should, by all means, be able to emerge victorious in this one. It might not be one-sided, but they shold be able to get the job done.
|New York Excelsior||1.56||5||Loss|