Vengeance is sweet—even if it isn’t exacted on the same team that wronged you.
At the end of Stage 1 of the Overwatch League’s inaugural season, the New York Excelsior were two games up on the London Spitfire in the best-of-five final series. However, London came out swinging after halftime, and NYXL—who were and still are considered to be the best Overwatch team on the planet—fell victim to a vicious reverse sweep, ceding victory and a full cash bonus, and finishing in second place.
During the Stage 2 finals yesterday, NYXL watched from the top seed as the Philadelphia Fusion, up to this point seen as simply an above-average team, took a convincing and bewildering victory over the Spitfire in the semi-finals. Two games into the final match, the underdog Fusion found themselves up 2-0 over a New York team desperate to show that they are indeed the best.
But just like the Spitfire before them, NYXL ascended in the second half.
On the backs of mind-boggling performances by JJonak on Zenyatta and Saebyeolbe’s now world-famous Tracer, New York trounced the Fusion for two straight maps, and then won a hard-fought victory on the final map to take the stage finals, exorcise their demons, and cement their place as the class of the Overwatch League.
“I think there’s no words to express this one,” said New York’s beloved support player, ArK. “We were really depressed when we got reverse-swept in Stage 1, and now we did it.”
“And some of them are crying,” he added, wiping away his own tears.
Stage 3 of the Overwatch League begins on Wednesday, April 4, and will bring five more weeks of competition. While the overall standings will carry over and determine playoff seeding at the end of Stage 4, the individual stage standings will be reset to 0-0 for all teams, meaning everyone is on equal playing field for the stage playoffs. With a new map pool that includes the recently added Blizzard World and updated player rosters that will see some of the league’s most anticipated players making their debuts—chief among them Geguri, the league’s first female player who will attempt to help turn around the winless Shanghai Dragons—Stage 3 should continue the thrilling ride that has been the first season of the Overwatch League.