The playoff bracket for stage three of the Overwatch League is set after the Boston Uprising selected their opponent: the Los Angeles Gladiators.
In previous stages of the OWL, only three teams reached the stage playoffs. As the top seed, Uprising would have received a bye into the final match. But stage three features a new playoff format. Four teams reach the playoffs, and instead of a bye, the top-seeded team gets to pick their opening round foe.
Boston had to choose between New York Excelsior—an unlikely choice, considering they’re the top team in the league—Los Angeles Valiant, and Gladiators. They chose the fourth-seeded Gladiators, who finished stage three with a 6-4 record.
“Well, we don’t have a warmup tomorrow so we wanted to pick an easy opponent: Picking LA Gladiators.” Boston’s president of gaming Chris “HuK” Loranger said during the selection.
All Gladiators’ representative, João Pedro “Hydration” Goes Telles, had to say in response was, “I’ll see you tomorrow.”
Sunday’s opening playoff bout will be a rematch of Friday’s regular season tilt. On Friday, Uprising bested Gladiators in a 3-1 series, making history with their 14th straight victory to finish the stage undefeated at 10-0. While that should give Uprising even more confidence heading into Sunday, the Gladiators still put up a solid fight and nearly took the series to a fifth map in a close Route 66 battle.
Uprising’s selection means Los Angeles Valiant will have a rough matchup against the 27-3 New York Excelsior. While they seemed to have a bit of a down stage compared to Uprising, they’re still the league’s de facto best team. It’d be an upset if either LA team reaches the final.
The action starts at 4pm ET. Excelsior takes on Valiant at 6pm ET, and the winners play for a $100,000 top prize at 8pm ET.