New and unexpected stories have formed around the first ever Overwatch League playoffs.
Arguably the biggest story is New York Excelsior’s spectacular defeat at the hands of the Fusion, with the sudden resurgence of the Spitfire not far behind.
London Spitfire won Stage 1, but had a poor second half of the season, but now they’re back
Simply put, New York Excelsior dominated the regular season of the inaugural Overwatch League.
With a record of 34 wins and 6 losses, they were far ahead of the closest team, Los Angeles Valiant on 27 wins and 13 losses.
Even in terms of map differential, NYXL were in a class of their own, with a differential of +83 compared to Valiant’s +36.
But now, after losing their playoff match to Philadelphia Fusion 2-0 (with results of 3-0 and 3-2 across two games), NYXL’s season has suddenly gone from crushing dominance to crushing defeat.
Of course, NYXL were not unbeatable. They lost a handful of matches in the regular season, and although they made it to every single Stage Title match, they only won two of them.
The players on the team, many of them formerly of LW Blue, have a history of choking in big matches. It seems that shadow is still hanging over their heads, and now, they’re going to have to wait until January to start over again.
Most expected New York Excelsior would walk away with the title but they’re out of the running
History will remember either London Spitfire or Philadelphia Fusion as the winners of the first ever Overwatch League trophy. Will anyone remember how close New York Excelsior came?
Speaking of London Spitfire, not many people, perhaps even on the team itself, believed they’d make it this far into the playoffs.
After winning the first Stage Title in a hard fought victory against NYXL, Spitfire stalled. Particularly in the second half of the season, London were losing matches they simply shouldn’t have been.
In the end, it was only their good performances in the first half of the season which kept them hanging onto a playoff spot.
Yet here we are, with 5th seed Spitfire having beaten both Los Angeles teams on the way to a final against 6th feed Philadelphia Fusion.
Fusion, incidentally, had an almost mirror season of the Spitfire. After a rocky start where they’d scrape wins against bad teams, they turned things around, and actually competed for the Stage 2 title. Now, they’re competing for the grandest prize of them all.
6th seed Philadelphia Fusion are through to the Overwatch League Grand Final next week
The Grand Final will be played at the Barclays Center in New York in front of a sold out crowd next week.
Match one begins in the UK at midnight BST on Friday night, with match two following on Saturday at 9pm BST. If a third match is required, it will take place straight after at 11pm BST.
The winner will get $1 million and the Overwatch League trophy, while second place will get $400,000.
You can watch live on the Overwatch League Twitch channel, or on ESPN or Disney XD.
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