Week five of the Overwatch League is upon us. Some clear favourites are starting to stand out from the rest of the crowd as we move into the business end of the tournament. We take a look at the teams to back during this weekend’s games.
Vancouver Titans (2.44)
The San Francisco Shock are in the middle of a fine run of form, having won four of their previous five matches. Their only loss in this period was a tight 4-3 defeat to the Shanghai Dragons last month. The Titans, on the other hand, have lost two of their last five games, including a 4-0 drubbing at the hands of the Washington Justice two weeks ago.
Why then have we chosen Titans? For one, form is temporary. Since their inception, the Titans have a sensational record. In 40 matches, they have lost just six. That translates into confidence, possibly the most influential factor in sport. These two teams have split two match-ups against each other. Not much separates them in this encounter too.
Hangzhou Spark (1.39)
The Shanghai Dragons have just not been a very successful Overwatch franchise. A record of 16 wins in 58 matches attests to that. The Hangzhou Spark don’t lie diametrically opposite (18 wins in 31 matches, win rate of 58%), but credit to them for finding their feet quickly in a highly competitive tournament.
The Spark crushed the Dragons 3-1 in their only head-to-head to date, and the Dragons are in woeful form, having lost their last four matches in the OWL. All the signs point to another Spark victory.
New York Excelsior (1.15)
It is going to take something special for the Boston Uprising to upset the might of the New York Excelsior. Why? Let’s look at the match-ups.
Excelsior have won 45 of their 65 matches, while Uprising have won half (36 of 72). Experience, check. The Uprising have lost each of their last five matches, while Excelsior have won three of five. Form and confidence, check. In their previous match against each other, Excelsior closed out a tight game to win 2-1. History, check. Excelsior, check?
Los Angeles Valiant (2.10)
The Los Angeles derby has always been evenly contested. On paper, gamer for gamer, the Gladiators have a slight edge, but there are several other facets at play here. When a game is this tight and the odds are skewed considerably in one team’s favour, as it is for the Gladiators (1.60), it’s always an opportunity to back the slight underdog to take the bigger payout.
The Valiant have prevailed in two of the last three encounters between these two teams. They’ve also won three of their last four matches, whereas the Gladiators have lost three of their previous five.