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One week remains in the Overwatch League regular season and the league is hitting the road—kind of. Eight teams are heading to downtown Los Angeles for the Kit Kat Rivalry Weekend. Hosted by the Los Angeles Valiant, the final “homestand” of the season involves quite a few teams who will use their time to secure their season playoff seeding.
Only one slot of playoff contention remains, however. The Los Angeles Valiant and the Chengdu Hunters are both putting their hopes on the mistakes of their peers to net their last chance at making the season playoffs.
Here’s where all of the teams are ranked as of the end of week four.
Week four was a bloodbath for teams looking to make the playoffs. In week three, nine teams kept their playoff hopes alive. By the end of week four and the league’s longest pause in history, all but two teams had their fates decided.
The Boston Uprising were the first team eliminated in week four with a loss to the Florida Mayhem. The Paris Eternal took a win against the stage three champions Shanghai Dragons and, after a lackluster season, kept their playoff hopes alive for the larger part of the Aug. 17 games. But their dreams were dashed by a win from the Los Angeles Valiant later that day. Both the Dallas Fuel and the Paris Eternal were knocked out by the Valiant’s win.
Four teams made their way into playoff slots during week four. With two wins during the week, the Atlanta Reign boosted themselves from 11th to seventh in the league standings. If the Reign win both of their matches during the Kit Kat Rivalry Weekend, they’ll likely overtake the London Spitfire in sixth place. That means the Reign wouldn’t have to participate in the play-in tournament, giving them a straight course to the season playoffs.
The Shanghai Dragons, Guangzhou Charge, and Philadelphia Fusion all made it into the play-in tournament with their map scores. If the Dragons win their final match of the season against the fifth-seeded Hangzhou Spark, they’ll bump themselves up to ninth place, which would be more beneficial for the play-in tournament.
For actual playoff contention, the stakes couldn’t be higher for the Los Angeles Valiant. They have two matches during their homestand, facing the Los Angeles Gladiators and San Francisco Shock. While the Valiant have won a significant amount of matches this stage, they’re still competing with the Chengdu Hunters for that 12th-place finish, the final cutoff for the play-in tournament. With a 3-2 win against the Houston Outlaws last week, the Hunters stayed in playoff contention.
If the Valiant win one of their matches, they’ll make it into the play-in tournament. Even a loss during one of the other matches will put them ahead in map count against the Hunters. If the Valiant lose both of their matches against two of the toughest teams in the league, the Chengdu Hunters will automatically make it into the play-in tournament. No weekend has ever been more important for the Valiant.
For the other teams playing at the Kit Kit Rivalry Weekend, it’s all about playoff seeding. The seventh through 12th-ranked teams will face off in a play-in tournament that begins on Aug. 30. The Shanghai Dragons, for example, are trying to make it beyond their current 11th-place rank to gain seeding advantage. The Los Angeles Gladiators have a chance to surpass the Hangzhou Spark with a win against the Valiant.
Meanwhile, the San Francisco Shock will be fighting for their pride as they maintain their third seed. While the New York Excelsior could technically remain below them by way of wins and losses, the Excelsior have already captured the Atlantic Division title. That’s an automatic second seed. The Vancouver Titans also have two games this weekend, but even if they lose both of them, they’ll still maintain their top seed.
The Kit Kat Rivalry Weekend kicks off on Aug. 24 at 4pm CT when the Atlanta Reign take on the Dallas Fuel.