New York Excelsior is the First Team Confirmed for the Overwatch League Season 1 Playoffs - Dexerto

New York Excelsior is the First Team Confirmed for the Overwatch League Season 1 Playoffs

Published: 8/May/2018 5:15 Updated: 11/Mar/2019 12:49

by Joe O'Brien


New York Excelsior is the first team confirmed for the Overwatch League end-of-season playoffs.

The Excelsior have been so successful throughout the regular season that they are guaranteed a spot in the end-of-season playoffs before the final stage of the regular season even begins.


NYXL has lost only a single match per stage, three consecutive 9-1 finishes to put them at a massive 27-3 in the overall season standings.

That record currently puts New York five wins clear at the top of the league, a huge lead considering that only six wins separate second-place Boston Uprising from eighth-place LA Gladiators.


While New York has looked assured of a playoff spot – and likely the top seed at that – for some time, by the end of Stage 3 they are so far ahead of the pack that the team could literally lose every single map in Stage 4 and it would still be impossible for them not to qualify for the playoffs.

Though they’re already assured of a playoff spot, there’s still reason for New York not to get too complacent. $1.3million of the league’s total prize pool will be distributed based on the final standings at the end of the regular season, with a $300,000 prize for first place – $100,000 more than second.

Meanwhile, the top team from each division at the end of the regular season will secure direct passage to the semi-finals of the $1.7million playoffs. With current second-place team Boston Uprising in the Atlantic Division along with New York, the Excelsior will want to hold onto the number one spot for playoff seeding.


The Excelsior continue to look in dominant form going into the final stage of the regular season, having won the Stage 3 playoffs without losing a single map. As the inaugural season comes to a crescendo, New York are the clear favorites for the Season 1 title.


Jeff Kaplan reveals his ideal competitive Overwatch meta

Published: 8/Oct/2020 3:13

by Theo Salaun


Blizzard Entertainment’s Vice President and Overwatch’s beloved Game Director Jeff Kaplan has revealed what he thinks is the ideal competitive meta for the expansive title.

Overwatch exists in many forms, from its highest ranks to its lowest, but the game’s competitive meta at the professional level has also varied greatly since the original release back in May 2016. 


In the olden days, teams prioritized dive compositions led by Winston’s jumps and Tracer’s blinks. Then, in 2019, fans around the world either groaned or cheered as the divisive GOATS meta took center-stage, featuring a hefty squad built entirely with tanks and supports. 

Now, Kaplan is explaining his perspective on the game’s ideal state, following criticisms he levied back in July against the game’s double-shield reliance. Examining the game’s departure from a static, Orisa and Sigma-dependent environment, he dissects his compository ideology. 

Brigitte stuns Junkrat on Volskaya
Blizzard Entertainment
Barriers have held an uncomfortably powerful role in Overwatch for a long time.

As discussed in an interview with the Loadout, Kaplan is both aware of the professional scene’s interests and the casual base’s tendencies. Coupling those factors, he believes the game is at its best when there is some blend of high skill caps and diverse team compositions.

“The most ideal, healthiest state of the game is when the meta is somewhat fluid, when the meta is more map dependent or team match up dependent than it is static. We’ve all seen those moments when the meta has been completely static and all six players will just play the same six heroes every time. I think that’s fun from a mastery standpoint, but I think it’s a lot more exciting for viewers when creativity and curiosity come into play,” he said.

When Kaplan refers to a “static” meta, the simplest example is 2019’s GOATS, where three healers (Brigitte, Lucio, and Moira) were coupled with three tanks (D.Va, Reinhardt, and Zarya) and would barrel into opponents.


It took tremendous teamwork to be pulled off successfully against other professional teams, but many fans considered it more tedious than entertaining after months of gameplay.

In its current state, Overwatch is not completely balanced, but there is a degree of variety to it. That diversity seen in the Overwatch League spans downward into the casual ranks. Kaplan indicates that this is in line with his department’s hopes.

“I think most of our players would say in the ideal meta, all our heroes would be viable in some way competitively. I think as a competitive goal from a game designing and game balancing perspective that is extremely challenging, but it’s obviously what we strive to achieve.”


While he assures that Overwatch would be completely balanced in an ideal world, in the meantime, his team would at least like to push toward a game that varies to some extent based on coaching, player preference, and map.

It remains to be seen if current and upcoming patches can accomplish that, but Kaplan’s emphasis on “fluidity” is a welcome driving force.