Shanghai Dragons Overwatch League Stage 3 Playoffs win shows big turnaround for struggling team

The Shanghai Dragons have always been the underdog of the Overwatch League since the inaugural season began last year. However, with the Shanghai Dragons Overwatch League Stage 3 Playoffs win, that underdog moniker might not be indicative of the team anymore as the team pulled off a huge win in third stage of the current OWL playoffs.

The Dragons just managed to just make the cutoff, winning five out of the seven matches during Stage 3 of the regular season (each stage culminates in its own round of playoffs). This record isn’t dissimilar from the other teams who made the Playoffs, but with a +5 map differential, they could have been left behind if the Los Angeles Gladiators had picked up a win during the Stage. As such, they were hardly the favorites to win in the playoffs.

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Despite that, the Dragons were able to defeat both New York Excelsior and Vancouver Titans — the two best teams in the league right now — to secure a spot in the Stage 3 Finals with the San Francisco Shock. Everything was looking great for the Dragons as they won the first three maps. However, the Shock made an impressive comeback winning three maps in a row, lining themselves up to get the reverse sweep. Surprisingly, that did not happen as the Dragons won the last map at Dorado.

This is a massive milestone for the Dragons. During the inaugural season last year, the China-based Overwatch League team had the worst record in the league. Not winning a single match throughout the entire season, the Dragons had to make some changes to its lineup. While the beginning of this season didn’t look too hot for them, they still managed to get their first Overwatch League win in Stage 1.

The Shanghai Dragons did make it to the Stage 2 Playoffs. Similarly to this weekend’s ordeal, they just managed to make the cutoff. Unfortunately, the Dragons were eliminated quickly in the first round by the Shock, who inevitably won the Stage 2 Playoffs. In a way, this makes the Dragons’ win over the Shock more bittersweet, getting “revenge” on the team that knocked them out during Stage 2 Playoffs.

Currently, the Dragons are in eighth with a 12-9 record and a +1 map differential. This puts them right between the London Spitfire and the Philadelphia Fusion, the two teams to make it all the way to the Overwatch League Finals last year. It also puts them right below the post-season cutoff. So, unless the Seoul Dynasty and Spitfire make some pretty drastic mistakes, the Dragons’ will more than likely not make it to the postseason playoffs.

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