London Spitfire emerged as inaugural champions of the Overwatch League, defeating Philadelphia Fusion to claim the $1million top prize.
London live up to expectations
The Spitfire entered the pre-season as one of the favourites to win the title, with their all-Korean line-up expected to compete with the likes of New York Excelsior, Seoul Dynasty and Houston Outlaws.
However, what then developed was a pattern of inconsistency from the Spitfire. Their highs saw them win Stage 1, but their lows made them appear to be one of the worst teams in the league during a late-season struggle.
Always a danger
London still entered the play-offs as a dangerous team, given their highest highs were on par with the likes of the Excelsior.
Initially things looked grim in their match-up against the Los Angeles Gladiators, falling 3-0 in the first set to the Gladiators, who without their traditional star Main Tank in Fissure. However, London were able to recover and find success, mounting the beginning of their run through the play-offs.
Valiant no match
In their semi-final against Los Angeles Valiant, the Spitfire dominated, dropping a single map during the two best-of-fives, with the combination of London appearing to peak and the Valiant’s lacklustre showing leading to the blowout.
That brought London into the Grand Final against an incredibly-similar opponent, Philadelphia Fusion.
The Fusion, much like the Spitfire, had appeared to peak and then teeter off during the regular season, with Philadelphia falling just short in the Stage 3 final to New York Excelsior.
Both squads came in with a buzz around their star DPS duos. The highlight match-up lived up to the hype, with the Spitfire’s birdring and Profit in constant duels with the Fusion’s Carpe and Eqo, with each finding their own momentum to shine.
The first map in the opening best-of-five clash was Dorado, with the Fusion being able to fully cap on their offensive push.
London came out of the gates on fire, but they were eventually halted towards the end of the map and unable to capture the final point, giving the Fusion the first map of the final.
However, London were quickly able to bounce back with a clean victory on Oasis to head into half time knotted at 1-1.
In the third map of Eichenwalde, the Fusion were stalled early, only able to capture a single point, with London continuing to evolve and adapt.
London pulled out a strategy previously run by the Fusion, having their Support position instead pick up the Tracer for the first point for a potent dive composition with three DPS and one Support as opposed to the standard 2-2 set-up.
The Fusion were on the cusp of holding London on Volskaya Industries before the Spitfire’s Fury picked off neptuNo with his D.Va ultimate, giving London the pick they needed to take the first point.
London again appeared to be stalled out, with this time the late heroics coming from the ever-consistent Profit, who killed five of the six Fusion members to give London the map and the 1-0 series lead.
London on a roll
The second series began on Junkertown, with London utilising a triple Tank composition to great effect. Gesture looked incredible on Orisa, with London absolutely crushing the Fusion on map one.
The second map of Lijiang Tower was much of the same as London came out all guns blazing, routing the Fusion on their way to a 2-0 lead and championship point.
King’s Row would be the final map of the season – and the most hotly-contested of the night.
London were nearly full held on the first point. However, once they got going they showed no signs of slowing down. The Spitfire fully capped on their offensive push but with time in the time bank, meaning at worst they would tie, and at best they could win it all right there.
They wasted no time on their extra offensive push, picking off the main Tank of SADO and easily capturing the point, giving them the title.
Overall, London still remain a mystery in terms of what can be achieved long-term, given the team’s inconsistency and patch-to-patch form.
However, should the team stay together moving forward, they will remain one of the best in the league.
The off-season should be a fascinating one for all involved with the expectation being that there will be more teams added to the Overwatch League.