We started with 12 teams in the inaugural season, but we are now down to six.
The first playoff matches start this Wednesday night in the Blizzard Arena in Los Angeles, California with the No. 3 seeded Boston Uprising (26-14) against the No. 6 seeded Philadelphia Fusion (24-16) at 8pm (EST), and the No. 4 seeded Los Angeles Gladiators (25-15) against the No. 5 seeded London Spitfire (26-14).
The winner of the two matches with the highest seed will go against the No. 2 team, Los Angeles Valiant (27-13), while the remaining lowest seed will go against the overall No. 1 team, New York Excelsior (34-6).
The schedule of the first-round matches is as followed:
No. 3 Boston Uprising vs. No. 6 Philadelphia Fusion
Wednesday, July 11th: 8:00pm (EST)
Friday July 13th: 8:00pm (EST)
Friday July 13th: 10:00pm (EST) If Necessary
No. 4 Los Angeles Gladiators vs. No. 5 London Spitfire
Wednesday, July 11th: 10:00pm (EST)
Saturday, July 14th: 4:00pm (EST)
Saturday July 14th: 6:00pm (EST) If Necessary
The format of the playoffs is simple, the six qualified teams were assigned seeds based on their overall Regular Season records. Each series is a best of three matches (each match is a best of five maps). The first team to win two matches win the series.
Prize Pool for the Playoffs:
World Champions: $1,000,000
Runner Up: $400,000
3rdPlace and 4thPlace: $100,000
5thPlace and 6thPlace: $50,000
Boston and Philadelphia will be the best series out of the two. If Nam-Ju “STRIKER” Gwon and Stansilav “Mistakes” Danilov find that sweet spot with the double sniper duo (Widowmaker-Hanzo), that could help shift the advantage to the Boston Uprising. With Philadelphia they just need to stick with the game plan they have done all year, Fusion’s strength is impeccable against the Uprising. Especially with the DPS (Damage-per-second) play from Philadelphia.
The next match will be the London Spitfire and Los Angeles Gladiators, the Gladiators took the regular series, 3-0.
The Gladiators are riding in the playoffs as one of the hottest teams. They can also count on the fanbase being adamant in the Blizzard Arena as well. London is a team that can overcome any adversity on their best day. They just need to master the playoff meta and they can easily overwhelm the Gladiators through raw skill and execution.
My predictions: Philadelphia wins 2-1, London wins 2-0.