What team will come out on top in the OWL Pro-Am West finals? Here’s our picks and predictions for the week three, single-elim bracket.
Twenty teams, four groups, and two weeks of pool play. After a fortnight of stringent competition comes the crescendo to the first OWL event of the 2023 season. The OWL Pro-Am West finals and its third week of play will see the eight surviving teams from groups face off in single-elimination. Four of those teams are undefeated and could be sent home on a single loss starting this Saturday.
Who are the favorites sitting atop the Pro-Am? Here's our picks and predictions on what team will come out on top at the OWL Pro-Am West event.
Owl Pro-Am: London Spitfire vs Florida Mayhem
The London Spitfire's sole loss in group play came against the elite Atlanta Reign. While this is a glass half-empty/half-full situation, it could be construed that London isn't in the top tiers of OWL squads. The undefeated Florida Mayhem will test this theory, as the Mayhem arguably faced a much tougher group. Florida looks like a cohesive unit that matches up well against the other undefeated squads. Don't expect a miracle run through the OWL Pro-Am finals bracket for the Spitfire.
Toronto Defiant versus Boston Uprising
Boston looks like the ultimate Overwatch League team. Featuring a roster of proven winners and supreme talent, it will take a squad of high caliber and a little bit of luck to beat the Uprising. However, the Defiant just don't look like that team, espite an impressive showing in a mostly weak block. Toronto gave the Houston Outlaws a scare but, past that, it's unproven if the team in the North has what it takes to hang in the Owl Pro-Am finals.
San Francisco Shock vs Houston Outlaws
Houstonable? Maybe. If ever there was a trap game in the single-elimination bracket this would be it. The Houston Outlaws look like the strongest team on paper. Yet, they're also a squad that struggled against Toronto and played three gimmies. Meanwhile, the Shock look to wipe the slate clean from their loss against a Contenders team in week one and prove that high ping doesn't melt tournament wins. Houston has had the Shock's number as a franchise in the past, but will that continue in 2023? We think so.
LA Gladiators vs Atlanta Reign
We hate to discount a player the caliber of Dante "Danteh" Cruz, but one man doesn't make a team. The Atlanta Reign are a more complete squad than the scrappy Los Angeles team, but scrappy doesn't win events. While this match could be another trap on-paper and the Glads might steal a win, it feels unlikely against an Atlanta roster ready to prove its worth.
OWL Pro-Am: Florida vs Boston
We think Boston has the advantage in the first matchup of undefeated teams. The Uprising looked dominate in their group pool and has a roster of players that have been to the mountain. This isn't to discount a fantastic Florida team, but the OWL Pro-Am isn't their time. In a double-elimination situation the Mayhem may have stood a chance, but, alas.
Houston Outlaws vs Atlanta Reign
Our first bold prediction: If the Outlaws can survive the Shock then they'll eke out a win against Atlanta. It's hard to discount the absolutely mad roster of Houston, second only to Boston in terms of talent. The Happy/Pelican DPS matchup against LIP will be the tipping point in this contest. Whichever damage line can dominate will be the one to get their team to the OWL Pro-Am finals.
OWL Pro-Am Finals: Houston vs Boston
Admittedly, I am a Houston Outlaws homer. However, I know a lost fight when I see it. Boston has the advantage in the battle of the two most stacked rosters in Overwatch League. The Uprising squad reads like an OWL all-star team from past seasons, all of which are still playing their best Overwatch to date. Houston is an impressive team with a ton of talent and synergy, but we think they need more time to gel before they can claim the top of the OWL mountain.
Stay tuned to esports.gg for esports news and OWL info.