Summer is finally beginning to heat up and with it, so is the intensity of esports action. Since we last checked in the OverWatch League concluded its final stage of regular season play, the Call of Duty World League made a stop in Anaheim and NHL held its world championship. With so many big events to talk about let’s dive right in!
The final stage of the Overwatch League’s first regular season came to a thrilling conclusion with the LA Valiant emerging as the stage champions for the first time all season long. This victory was especially impressive due to the ease with which they dispatched New York in the finals. As the Excelsior entered this stage having won the previous two, they were the again considered the favourite entering these finals regular season matches.
The Valiant would not let this phase them however and after defeating their fellow Gladiators in the semi finals in an epic 5 game series, only lost one match against the New York team so many considered the strongest team in this opening season.
These finals were an incredible primer for the season playoffs that lie ahead creating new questions and story lines entering the most climactic event in Overwatch’s young competitive history to date. Will the Gladiators be able to get revenge on the Valiant for their narrow defeat in the Stage 4 Playoffs? Can New York bounce back and reclaim their crown?
We have to wait a full month for the season playoffs to begin and answer these questions, culminating in the grand finals at the Barclays Center in New York on July 27th and 28th. Check out the full detailed playoff schedule on the official Overwatch League Website.
The Call of Duty World League held its sixth major event of the season in Anaheim June 15th – 17th and due to some high-profile roster changes between Seattle, the last major open, and Anaheim it proved to be one of the most anticipated events of the season to date.
Rise Nation continues to prove they are the team to beat in this World War II iteration of Call of Duty, winning their third major consecutive open tournament. After emerging victorious in both Atlanta and Seattle they again found themselves facing Red Reserve in the finals, and again were able to emerge as champions after some incredible intense series. The two teams found themselves in the Winner’s Bracket finals and Rise Nation was able to gain the early advantage winning an incredible close series in the final game.
This mean that Red Reserve had to win two series in the Grand Finals to cinch the tournament victory. It appeared it just might happen when they got off to a great start and were able to beat Rise Nation 3-1 in the first series, forcing one final best of five. Here Rise Nation was able to recompose themselves however, and ultimately they would win the series that mattered most 3-1 in response.
The other two teams under an intense microscope this event were OpTic Gaming and Luminosity Gaming after the blockbuster trade that sent Octane to the Green Wall in place of Formal. Both teams improved their placing over their last event which is an early sign that the trade worked out for both parties.
Luminosity has gained the early advantage though as they made it all the way to third place in their inaugural event with the new lineup. While OpTic was able to crack the top 6 it is still a long way from the championship expectations this organization and its fans have. Only time will tell if this roster will be able to fulfill those expectations, or if more changes will be necessary.
EA held the NHL World Finals and the European champion Erik “Eki” Tammenpää was able to defeat American David “JrPens” Roebuck in the grand finals for the $50 000. After going through the entire tournament, online and offline, undefeated it was no surprise that Eki found himself in the finals. JrPens lost to Eki 7-1 in Round 4 of the Grand Finals foreshadowing what was to come in the final matchup.
JrPens was able to get on the board first in the final game, although it took him until the 3rd period to do so. Eki demonstrated his championship poise immediately responding with a goal of his own however to even things up immediately. From there it was all Eki and he was able to close out the first game of the finals before taking the second game as well to earn himself the victory and a handshake from NHL commissioner Gary Bettman himself.