OWL Playoffs Round 1 Recap
Welcome back to our Overwatch Player of the Week series! With the end of regular season play, this weekend kicked off the first round of playoff competition. In the North American bracket, lower-seeded teams faced off in a single-elimination bracket to win entry into the higher-seeded double-elimination bracket. Given this system, several teams have already been eliminated from contention for a shot at the championship.
In the single-elimination bracket, the Toronto Defiant, Boston Uprising, Dallas Fuel, Vancouver Titans, and Houston Outlaws were all eliminated from play. These matches allowed the Washington Justice, Atlanta Reign, and LA Gladiators to enter the double-elimination bracket. After two more rounds, The LA Gladiators and Paris Eternal similarly lost. This week, our Player of the Week is a player from the Washington Justice who helped secure their entry into the upper bracket.
Player of the Week – Decay
The Player of the Week is Gui-un “Decay” Jang. Over the course of the Washington Justice’s lengthy 4 matches, Decay scored 421 eliminations, 166 final blows, and 151k hero damage dealt. Across all of their games, Decay stuck almost entirely to Zarya. As a former DPS player, Zarya seemed to be a perfect fit for Decay, who continued to rack up huge amounts of damage playing the off-tank role.
At the start of this OWL season, Decay was the starting DPS player for the Dallas Fuel. In fact, we featured him in our very first Player of the Week edition, where we described him as a star hitscan for the Fuel. Since then, the Fuel traded to the Washington Justice and he has found a new niche. Given the current tank meta, Decay emerged as a Zarya specialist where he is also able to apply his DPS skills.
In many ways, Zarya perfectly plays into Decay’s strengths as a player. When fully charged, Zarya’s beam fire is able to output large amounts of damage when utilized correctly. Decay’s expert tracking essentially turns Zarya into a damage machine with the health of a tank. For many teams the Justice faced, this proved to be extremely problematic. Decay’s Zarya strongly influenced the Justice’s bracket run this weekend.
Starting in the single-elimination bracket, the Washington Justice faced a gruelling gauntlet to make it into the higher bracket. First, the Justice eliminated the Vancouver Titans and Dallas Fuel in dominant 3-0 fashion. Then, they played a thrilling set versus the top-ranked San Francisco Shock that ended in a 2-3 loss. Finally, they knocked out the Paris Eternal in the losers bracket.
Next week, the Justice continue their losers-bracket run against the Los Angeles Valiant. If they continue to play hot with help from players like Decay, expect them to be a strong Overwatch bet in the final rounds of playoff competition. Additionally, the Shock will play the Fusion in a long awaited match for a spot in Grand Finals. As always, check back here next week for our pick for Overwatch Player of the Week!