Overwatch League Season One Recap - Playoffs Part 2

Overwatch-Wallpaper-1-700x401 Overwatch League Season One Recap - Playoffs Part 2

This is it. The apex of the Overwatch League’s inaugural season, what it’s all been building up to and where it will all end. It’s the playoff finals, with the Philadelphia Fusion facing off against the London Spitfire after each had stomped the highest ranked teams in the league.

Game 1

The first map was Dorado, where Fusion began their offensive by giving a very consistent push that Spitfire could barely interrupt. Once they passed the second point, though, things were a bit different, as noted by a hype hold courtesy of London that had Fusion reaching the final point with only seconds to spare. Undeterred by the close finish, Philadelphia managed to beat Spitfire at their own game on defense, stalling them out on the cusp of the final terminus to scrape a win on the first map.

Fusion clearly wanted to make this a trend moving into the next map, especially their D.Va player Hotba. We haven’t mentioned him much in this retrospective because he (like most of Fusion) was often upstaged by EQO and especially Carpe, but the finals saw him soar. In the first map, he was able to flow seamlessly between grouping up with his team and protecting them and staying in Spitfire’s faces, but now he was almost a carry for his team. Not only was he making insane plays left and right, but the rest of the finals would see him play D.Va, Roadhog, Tracer, and even Zenyatta and he was showing nothing less than mastery with each one. Hell, he was a better Zenyatta player than Boombox, Philadelphia’s main Zenyatta player.

If it sounds like we’re more interested in talking about Hotba than the rest of Fusion, that’s because not much about them stood out. They weren’t making obvious mistakes or anything, but with Spitfire constantly pressuring their DPS line and keeping the previously mentioned star players Carpe and EQO out of the fight, Sado, Neptuno, and Boombox couldn’t contend with the likes of Birdring and Profit, so Spitfire received an easy second map win.

The next map was mostly more of the same. Fusion was still looking like a finalist team should, but they simply couldn’t wrestle control of the game away from London. When we said that everyone on Spitfire was playing like a star in part 1 of the playoffs, we meant it. Birdring, Profit (who had killed 5 players at once during this game) and Bdosin were all going nuts with their damage, the latter of which also formed a support team with Nus that kept the team unkillable, letting Spitfire win the requisite 3 maps to take the first game.

Game 2

Looking back, it’s easy to forget that the hero Hammond wasn’t playable at the time because London’s momentum had become an absolute wrecking ball. It seemed as though they covered all the choke points, pushed through all the holds, won all the team fights. Gesture and Profit were unstoppable as Tank and DPS respectively, Fury had found his groove as D.Va and was instrumental in keeping the enemy at bay and Birdring cleaned up any players who were left. Really, we could talk about any single player on this team since they were all playing like champions. Not only were there no bad players on this team, but there weren’t even any average players.

Spitfire steamrolled the first 2 maps before heading to King’s Row, where they hoped to take the championship, while Fusion was determined not to be beaten so easily. And to their credit, it’s not like they played badly. Neptuno had bloomed into a pretty great Mercy and Carpe and EQO were still powerhouses in their own right, but the tanks and supports still weren’t able to create openings in Spitfire’s awesome defense consistently enough to let them flex their skills. They also substituted Poko for Hotba, who was not nearly as skilled with D.Va. Philadelphia had an awesome run this season.

The first part of this retrospective said that they were a disorganised team with strong individual players that would need to work on their teamwork if they wanted to make something of themselves, and their performance in the finals proved that they were entirely capable of doing so. They didn’t win. In fact, they weren’t even close, but if Rocky taught us anything, it’s that going the distance and pushing yourself to your limits is just as commendable as pulling a victory, and who better to remind us of that message than Philadelphia?


Final Thoughts

So that was it. The entire first season of the Overwatch League, come and gone. A lot of teams fell into obscurity, but many more rose up to show us true mettle. There were blowouts, upsets, and even controversies, but it all led to a finals match that showcased such skill on both sides that its one-sidedness never stopped it from being exciting.

But how did the league do overall? Well, we don’t have exact monetary information, but we know that it was enough to pay each player an annual salary of at least $50 000 a year and still enough to add a whole 8 expansion teams for season 2, so safe to say it was a firm success for Activision-Blizzard. But the real boon was not to a corporation’s finances, but to us, the Overwatch community. For the first time, we had a consistent international stage that showed us the highest skilled players in the world, a beacon for all of us to rally to in hopes of seeing our favorite teams and players come on top, and the whole season has let the community’s passion burn brighter than ever before as a result. We are invigorated, we are competitive, we are united. We are Overwatch.

Overwatch-Wallpaper-1-700x401 Overwatch League Season One Recap - Playoffs Part 2

Writer

Author: Will Bertazzo Lambert

I’m a 21 year old writer from Winnipeg, Manitoba who does fiction, media critique and everything in between, currently studying English and rhetoric. I have influences ranging all the way from Henry James, to Stephen Greenblatt to Nintendo Power and after years of fanatical devotion to the coverage of anime and video games, I've finally tossed my hat into the ring and decided to give writing a try for myself. Will this be the dawn of a lifelong career or a small footnote on an otherwise unrelated life? Only time will tell, but I would like nothing more than to have you join me on the journey to discovering the answer.

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