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The Overwatch League has some teams that seem to make no sense. In one stage, they’re struggling to find their form, dropping maps or entire games to opponents that are considerably weaker at a glance. And then that same team, with minimal roster movements, will go on to dominate the entire stage, taking down almost all squads with relative ease and grace.
Three teams have made remarkable comebacks in the Overwatch League stage three over the last month. These squads are either already in the playoffs or are expected to make an appearance.
Los Angeles Valiant
The Los Angeles Valiant are the first team to clinch a playoff spot this stage, and they did so handily, minimizing their losses and finishing with five wins and two losses. The introduction of Russell “FCTFCTN” Campbell to the active roster and the extended use of players like Kyle “KSF” Frandanisa and Park “Kariv” Young-seo has taken a roster that went winless in stage one to defeating the Vancouver Titans and being in the conversation for making the stage three finals. With a weakening San Francisco Shock and a vulnerable Vancouver Titans, the chances of the L.A. Valiant taking home their second stage victory has never seemed more attainable than now.
Although they haven’t solidified a playoff spot just yet, the Houston Outlaws are one game away from qualifying alongside the Valiant. But with that game being against a weak Toronto Defiant, it seems almost confirmed that they’ll make the playoffs (if you forget the loss against the Florida Mayhem).
The difference between Houston and the California representatives is that the reason for the Outlaws’ success is a bit more singular. That reason is Dante “Danteh” Cruz and his Sombra mastery. The Outlaws, OpTic Gaming’s team at inception, were under pressure from a winless stage two and internal struggles. But the team seems to have rallied and found themselves once again with a chance for post-stage contention.
New York Excelsior
The NYXL have always been a good team. The New York representatives have either dominated or been in the top three and never really left that spot. Many fans, however, started to believe that their team wasn’t necessarily falling behind, but that other squads were starting to catch up.
The Excelsior have never been invincible, and their post-season play has been questionable since the LW Blue days. But their claim to fame was regular season dominance, and this season proved it. Although it hasn’t been clean, the NYXL are the only undefeated team left this stage. And after looking at their schedule, it very well could stay that way.