The Los Angeles Gladiators have officially booked a spot in the Overwatch League playoffs.
With a 4-0 sweep of the Shanghai Dragons in their penultimate game of the regular season, the Gladiators have guaranteed a top-six finish, and progression to the quarter-finals of the $1.7 million season playoffs.
The Gladiator’s exact final placement is still yet to be decided, but at a 24-15 record with one match still to play, they can no longer be knocked out of the top-six. Neither can they steal the top spot in the Pacific Division, with the LA Valiant having already secured it and the semi-final place it offers.
The Gladiators have gradually improved their standing throughout the course of the season. After finishing eighth in Stage 1, the addition of main tank Baek ‘Fissure’ Chan-hyung has helped to transform them into a top-tier contender.
A fifth-place Stage 2 was followed by a fourth-place Stage 3, their first appearance in a stage playoff, and the team has locked in a minimum second-place finish in Stage 4 at an 8-1 record.
As well as securing a spot in the overall playoffs, the Gladiators will also compete in the lesser Stage 4 playoffs. They still have the chance to clinch the top seed there, which would grant them a choice of opponent in the semi-finals, but to do so they rely on the LA Valiant, currently undefeated in the stage, losing to the Dallas Fuel in their final match.
Two spots in the season playoffs remain up for grabs. The London Spitfire and Philadelphia Fusion currently hold them, with the former very likely to maintain their position given that doing so will only require them to beat the Florida Mayhem.
It is the final spot that remains in greatest contention. Both the Seoul Dynasty and Houston Outlaws could yet steal it from Philadelphia, and the Fusion will need to beat at least one of the two directly in the final week to lock in their place.