For nearly 8 months, 12 Overwatch teams have played in the first ever season of the Overwatch League in the hopes of reaching the top to claim not only the $1,000,000 first place prize, but to also have the right to call their team the best Overwatch team in the world. Just today, the grand finals were played in New York City, and after a grueling series, one team managed to triumph where 11 others have tried.
The playoffs, although ending today, started two weeks ago on July 11. During the quarter finals, Philadelphia Fusion managed to take their quarter finals series to the edge and took it 2 – 1 against Boston Uprising, and London Spitfire made an impressive reverse 2 – 0 comeback against the LA Gladiators after losing their first series. In the semi-finals, Philadelphia Fusion and London Spitfire went up against the fan favorites to win the tournament as well as the division champions, LA Valiant and New York Excelsior. In an amazing display of skill, both Philadelphia Fusion and London Spitfire managed to win their series 2 – 0 to move on to the grand finals.
With both projected winners out of the running, it was all high stakes for both the Philadelphia and London teams. Yesterday, the two teams played their first of three potential series to an exhilarating start. On the first map, Dorado, Philadelphia managed to just barely get by with their 3 – 2 victory over London. The next map, however, London Spitfire showed off their skill by taking a dominant 2 – 0 win on Oasis. Their next map, Echienwalde, Philadelphia tried their hardest to defend from another London match point, but were unfruitful in their efforts and were defeated 1 – 2. The next map also proved to be the last map, for London inched by on a 2 – 1 victory on Volskaya Industries. At the end of the day, London gained a 1 – 0 lead in the Grand Finals series.
Licking their wounds, Philadelphia Fusion came back to try and even things out to bring the series to a tie. The first map of the day, Junkertown, just escaped Philadelphia Fusion, for they lost 2 – 3 against some amazing plays all around from London. The next map seemed to show steam being lost from Philadelphia, for they were rolled over in a 0 – 2 loss on Lijiang Tower. This proved to not be the case, however, as game 3 on King’s Row could arguably be considered the biggest nail bitter of the series.
After what seemed to be a loss after the first point, Philadelphia Fusion managed to clutch things out in overtime to bring the payload all the way to the finish line. Needing to play perfectly to keep their tournament life going, Philadelphia tried their hardest to stop the London advances, but failed to close out game 3, leading to a draw on King’s Row with London having over a minute left in the bank. With only one tick standing in the way of London and winning the Overwatch League, they went all out with a high-pressure strat, and the defenses of Philadelphia Fusion crumbled, causing London to end the map 4 – 3, and winning the Grand Finals series in an impressive 2 – 0 display.
During the awards ceremony, London Spitfire were given an incredible trophy to not only commemorate their victory, but to also acknowledge the completion of the first ever Overwatch League. With such a dedicated fan base, as well as a reliable esports structure, we will certainly be seeing an even more high production value, highly competitive season 2 once it begins.
Finally, there was a special trophy awarded to the MVP of the Grand Finals. After voting from the fans, the MVP was non-other than London’s amazing DPS player, Profit. He was excited to receive the award, and was asked how it felt to win the first ever Overwatch League championship, and the nearly speechless Profit stated that it was an “indescribable feeling. It feels great. Thank you guys so much.”
You can catch the beginning of the Grand Finals series over on Twitch below: