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 Outfox recaps the Overwatch League, an esports upstart that aims to bring competitive gaming to the level of mainstream sports.

Overwatch League Stage One Recap

By: Andrew Harmon, UI and Marketing Designer 

Where to begin? So much has happened since our last recap that it hardly feels like the same Overwatch League we saw in the first few weeks. Every win became more important in the last two weeks as teams were jockeying for position to get into the stage one playoffs. For those of you less familiar with how OWL works, the season is split up into 5 five-week stages which function as mini-seasons within themselves - including a 3-team playoff for the $100,000 stage championship prize. The total win/loss records for each stage carry over through the whole season to determine the teams competing for the $1,000,000 grand finals prize.

Fighting for the Playoffs

By week five, the NYXL and the London Spitfire had locked up playoff spots, but the last spot was up for grabs among the Houston Outlaws, Seoul Dynasty, LA Valiant, and Boston Uprising. This couldn’t have been a more exciting week as four of the games featured these teams playing against each other. The Valiant knocked out Seoul with a (maybe not so surprising) 3-0 victory. Houston defeated London 3-1 to remain in control of the last playoff spot, and NYXL continued their dominant run with a 3-2 victory against London.

Outside of the playoffs, the game of the week was between the Outlaws and Uprising. The Outlaws were in the playoffs with a win, and out with a loss - meanwhile, the Uprising were in with a win by at least two points - but the Valiant would make the playoffs if Boston only won by one. This game was a thrilling back and forth affair that went down to the wire - Houston did what they had to do and secured the last playoff spot with a 3-2 victory.

A Champion Emerges

Since the NYXL finished first overall in the stage, they got a bit of a break with a bye as the Outlaws and Spitfire duked it out in game one of the playoffs. Houston coasted to a win in the first map and looked to repeat their dominant performance versus London earlier in the week, but London had other plans. The Spitfire won the next three maps to the shock and dismay of the Outlaws, and advanced to face the NYXL for $100,000. London went down 0-2 to begin the game, but again shocked everyone by winning the next three maps in a row to win the stage one championship - no small feat for a team that played three games in one day and defeated two teams that they lost to the very same week.

It was a thrilling end to Overwatch League’s first stage that just seemed to keep getting better with each passing week. Even though London took the top prize for stage one, things are just getting started - stage two begins this Wednesday at 6PM CST.

Upcoming Games To Watch

The first week of stage two features four rematches from the previous week - don’t miss these games!

  • Seoul Dynasty vs Los Angeles Valiant - Wednesday, 2/21 @ 6PM CST
  • Houston Outlaws vs London Spitfire - Thursday, 2/22 @ 6PM CST
  • London Spitfire vs New York Excelsior - Friday, 2/23 @ 6PM CST
  • Boston Uprising vs Houston Outlaws - Saturday, 2/24 @ 5PM CST

We’ll be back every two weeks to provide a recap and keep you up to date with the latest developments in the Overwatch League.