Philadelphia Fusion closed out the New York Excelsior 2-0 in their semi-final series and will now face London Spitfire in the Overwatch League final.
The Fusion followed up an initial 3-0 win with a narrow 3-2 victory to progress, while London were also 2-0 victors over Los Angeles Valiant.
DPS duo deliver
Philadelphia flew out of the gates off the back of their hyped-up DPS duo of Carpe and Eqo, a partnership which remains one of the best 1-2 punches in the league.
While throughout the year they have shown an ability to have flexibility and diversity, having Carpe primarily on Widowmaker and Eqo piloting Hanzo is now the core composition for Philadelphia.
Lost in the sheer brilliance of the DPS players is the rise in the play of the Tank line, with Philadelphia finally showing a willingness to change around their Tank duos – and they did so to great success.
The most surprising display for the Fusion was their performance on Junkertown, a map on which prior to the semi-final they had a 2-10 win-loss record. A nice late-round adjustment to a dive composition gave Philadelphia the edge they needed for the full capture on offence before a solid defence effort sealed the deal for the crucial map-one victory.
New York stumble
The obvious question for Philadelphia is whether or not their performance was predicated on their quality play or the continued struggle of New York.
After tailing off towards the end of Stage 4 of the regular season, the general consensus was that New York’s poor performances were primarily due to them losing interest after clinching the number one overall seeding for the play-offs.
While that may have been true at the time, the meta shift that occurred between the end of Stage 4 and the beginning of the play-offs played a major role, with MVP JJoNak now forced to play more than just Zenyatta on which he had been almost exclusively during the regular season.
Meanwhile, London Spitfire dropped just a single map during a one-sided beat-down of the previously surging Valiant.
London actually showed improvement throughout their match-up with the Valiant, sweeping them after being forced to a fourth game first up.
The Spitfire have ended up looking like a very similar team to the Fusion in terms of their strengths, with an incredible DPS duo peaking at the right time.
birdring finally appears back in the form that helped assist London to their Stage 1 title, with his Widowmaker appearing to be the most deadly in the league.
Coupled with birdring is the continued ascension of Profit, who while absolutely dominant on the likes of Hanzo, has also proven to be one of the better Brigette players in the league.
However, London also have a dominant frontline with the likes of Gesture and Fury creating space for the rest of the team should at any point the incredible DPS somehow falter.
London have long been this way, feared during their peaks as one of the most impressive teams in the world, yet unpredictable at times due to their inconsistent nature.
Remember that the Spitfire did get swept in the opening clash of the quarter-final against the Los Angeles Gladiators when LA were without their best player, Fissure, before they were able to find themselves.
There is now an incredible final match-up to look forward to, with the hopes of each team resting primarily on the backs of the DPS players. Which set will be able to find the edge?
With such brilliance in terms of sniping on each side, the abilities of the Supports to survive will also play an important part in finding the eventual winner.
The opening clash takes place on Friday (July 27).