OWL’s Western Play-Ins Teams Preparing for Action

The end of the 2023 Overwatch League Season is quickly approaching, with the Playoffs starting in just under three weeks.

However, there is still plenty of Overwatch to be played before the biggest tournament of the year can begin. While the East continues to wrap up its Knockouts, the West prepares to find out who the last two teams representing the West in the Playoffs.

The New York Excelsior, Washington Justice, San Francisco Shock, London Spitfire, Toronto Defiant, Boston Uprising, and Vancouver Titans will battle it out for the two last spots in the Playoffs.

New York Excelsior vs. Washington Justice

  • When: Saturday, September 9th – 3 PM ET
  • Odds: New York Excelsior (-130) vs. Washington Justice (+100)

The first match of the Western Play-Ins will be between the 9th and 10th seeds in the tournament, the New York Excelsior and Washington Justice, respectively.

New York has not had a spectacular year so far in 2023, consistently at the bottom of the standings for all of the events they participated in this year.

They started with a 13-16th finish in the Pro-Am before getting 9th in both the Spring and Summer Stage Qualifiers. They are going to need to play like a completely different team if they want to make a run in this tournament.

Washington Justice hasn’t had a fantastic season but has shown glimmers of hope throughout. Spring was good for them as they ended the Spring Stage Qualifiers in 5th before claiming 4th in the Spring Stage Knockouts.

However, they took a massive step backward, barely making the Play-Ins after tying for 10th, only making the cut due to tiebreakers. Though Summer wasn’t great, they’ve proven to be competitive this year; now is the time to show it.

The winner of these two will face off with the Toronto Defiant after the San Francisco vs. London match on Saturday. So, both teams will have to come into Saturday prepared for two different teams if they want to continue a Upper Bracket run.

San Francisco Shock vs. London Spitfire

  • When: Saturday, September 9th – 4:30 PM ET
  • Odds: San Francisco Shock (-225) vs. London Spitfire (+170)

On the other side of the bracket, the San Francisco Shock and the London Spitfire will compete in the Upper Bracket Quarterfinals. The San Francisco Shock are one of the most successful franchises in the Overwatch League since its inception. With multiple world titles and multiple Grand Finals appearances, the Shock has consistently been one of the top teams in the scene. Up until this year, that is.

The Shock had a rough Spring Stage, ending the qualifiers in 10th place and only placing in the 5th-6th spot in the Spring Stage Knockouts. Summer saw some improvement. The team was able to finish with an 8-8 record, securing the 7th seed in Play-Ins.

They’ll be facing off against another historied team in the Overwatch scene since the beginning of the League in the London Spitfire. The team won the Inaugural Season Title, becoming the first-ever Overwatch League Champions back in 2018.

Much has changed since then, and the team has never been able to rise to the same level of competitiveness since. This is a team that missed out on the Spring Stage Knockouts after placing 11th in the Spring Stage Qualifier.

The team is definitely happy to have snagged the 8th seed in the Summer Knockout stage, but whether they’ll be able to compete with the other teams is very much in question.