Overwatch League crowns London Spitfire as inaugural season champions
The all-Korean team lived up to its potential by dominating Grand Finals series against Philadelphia Fusion
It was an incredible moment for London Spitfire. They have forever marked their place in Overwatch history by shooting through the ranks to become the first ever Overwatch League Champions, winning the trophy and US$1 million.
Fans, players and analysts all thought it was going to be a close finals between London Spitfire and Philadelphia Fusion -- but Spitfire proved that they can last much longer, handle the punches better, and never, ever ease up on their aggression.
On Friday, Fusion managed to win the first map, keeping Spitfire from escorting the payload to its final destination by mere inches. But that first blood was the only victory they were allowed to take. Spitfire then proceeded to win six maps in a row, steamrolling Fusion 3-1 first series, and 3-0 on the second one.
Fusion appeared shaken after their defeat on Oasis (Map 2) on Friday, and struggled to find their footing for the rest of the day.
On Saturday, the team seemed determined to start fresh, and led a valiant effort on Junkertown (Map 1). They managed to capitalize on Spitfire’s over-aggressive play before the second checkpoint. But Fury’s D.Va zoning and a well-placed dragonstrike from Profit’s Hanzo wiped out five members in one devastating blow.
To their credit, Fusion gave it their all on King’s Row -- their last chance to launch a reverse sweep -- but it wasn’t enough to pull off a miracle. They managed to get to a tie on the map, but in the crucial tie-breaker, Fusion’s main tank Sado was caught out, and Spitfire captured the point and the victory.
Spitfire played well as a whole, with their “duo teams” making it hard for Fusion to get a definite edge over them. On Saturday, Gesture, Fury and at times Bdosin’s frontline coordination kept teamfights in favor of Spitfire and allowed Profit and Birdring to freely roam and pump out continuous damage against Fusion.
This was an amazing performance by a team that’s been so inconsistent all year, and had been at a dismal number nine for the season’s Stage Four.
After losing several members of their original roster, and struggling to keep the high-level of gameplay that was expected of them, this was a truly emotional win for Spitfire.
And in a celebration of the team’s performance, Profit was named the first ever Overwatch League Grand Finals MVP. His triumphant tweet on Saturday night wasn’t hyperbole. It was the truth, and a well-deserved title. His plays during the Grand Finals were spectacular.
Take this Tracer five player kill streak for example. It was a jaw-dropping taste of how skilled he is with his positioning and timing.
Overall the weekend was a showcase in not only player skill, but also a demonstration of how much Overwatch has grown.
Barclays Center was packed, with fans of all 12 teams there to cheer on the finalists. Tracer and Mercy cosplayers were around every corner.
This was also a victory for esports itself. On top of the usual live Twitch stream, ESPN, Disney XD aired the grand finals live on TV, and ABC aired the re-run on Sunday. Watch parties and gaming bars around the world were also packed for the event.
It was definitely a successful end for the Overwatch League inaugural season. Next year we’re expecting to see more teams from around the world join.
But for fans still riding the high of watching the competitive scene right now -- don’t worry, Overwatch World Cup group stages and Overwatch League All-Star weekend are happening in August to fulfill that esports craving.