The final series of the Overwatch league Season 1 will field two of the strongest teams against each other. London Spitfire and Philadelphia Fusion have adapted to the current meta and are rightfully the appropriate teams to reach the finals.

The Finals take place at the iconic Barclays Arena in New York. The title of the season 1 Overwatch League champions is a very special one. The Overwatch League is envisioned to follow in the footsteps of regular sports in North America. The first season has already seen many investors from regular sports. Winning the first ever season is a dream for each and every player involved in Overwatch league.

The London Spitfire and Philadelphia Fusion Grand finals will follow a similar format to the playoffs. The series consists of three matches spread across two days. Each match has 5 maps in total, with an additional map in case of a tie. The team with 2 match wins will be crowned the eventual champions of Overwatch League Season 1.

The absence of NYXL should not be a surprise


New York Excelsior is the most dominant team and has been in every Stage playoffs. They had a huge lead over the other teams in the Group stage. Indeed, they already qualified for the Season Playoffs in Stage 3 itself. They looked unstoppable, although they did suffer the occasional match loss.

However, Overwatch is a very meta-dependent game. Across the four stages, we have seen multiple types of playstyles and different metas. The ‘Dive meta’ was a prominent feature in the initial part of the season. It transitioned into a Widowmaker and a more tank heavy meta later. The teams which were able to adapt to the new meta moved through the rankings and qualified for the Season Playoffs.

However, New York Excelsior did not truly adapt well to the new meta. Their individual skill and communication is probably still better than other teams. However, their team was lacking in hero composition and counter picks. Despite not being present in the Season Playoffs, NYXL was by far, the most dominant team in Season 1. Reaching the semifinals of Overwatch league is no minor feat, but in order to defeat the best teams, adaptation is key.

London Spitfire


The London Spitfire’s original roster comprised of twelve players of the highest caliber. Indeed their roster was so stacked, that the benched players could easily form another OWL team. However, this also meant that their players got limited playtime and did not have enough practice.

With subsequent stages, London Spitfire made sweeping changes to their roster. Most of it revolved around trading players to other teams and maintaining a specific core roster. They also changed their coach mid-season. The London Spitfire has always seemed as the younger and new Korean team. The other ‘Fully Korean teams’ in the League have a lot more experience and fame associated with them. London Spitfire was also the Stage 1 winners in the League. The win was accompanied by a grueling schedule which forced them to play 14 maps consecutively. Blizzard did change the schedule later to a more relaxed one, but the London Spitfire established themselves as a force to be reckoned with.

However, due to a change in the meta, London Spitfire did not perform as well in Stage 3 and 4. Their dominance in the first two stages was enough to propel them into the Season Playoffs. Coming into the playoffs, very few expected London to be able to defeat Los Angeles Gladiators as well as the Valiants. The two Los Angeles teams looked much better and fluent in Stage 4. The playoffs started as expected with the Gladiators winning Match 1 with a 3-0 scoreline. But London was prepared for the next day, they clean swept Gladiators with a 6-0 score line across two matches. Their next match against Valiant was also on a similar pattern, the Spitfire seems to turn its engines on.

The individual performance of their DPS players was also visibly absent during this time. While London Spitfire does have the talent, a lot depends on whether their players can play to their full potential or not. They do seem to have adapted to the new meta and are playing really well in the Playoffs.

Philadelphia Fusion


Philadelphia Fusion did not attend the Overwatch league Pre-Season. The team which is stacked with players from different nationalities just could not acquire the visas in time. So when they started in Stage 1 of the Overwatch League, not much was expected of them. After all, they had no synergy as a team and had very little time to practice as a team. They did show up elements of brilliance with wins over New York Excelsior in Stage 1.

They have only one appearance in the Stage 1 Title matches. The team has consistently been in the middle of the pack. Their consistency bore fruit as they qualified for the Season playoffs. Coming into the playoffs, Philadelphia showed their strength at adapting to the new meta. The Philadelphia Fusion victory over New York Excelsior was shocking, but it twas purely based on merit. The Fusion had a very aggressive and constantly changing lineup, which threw the Excelsior off-balance. It was difficult to counter the Fusion who were able to read NYXL thoroughly.

The team is aptly called the kings of the current meta. They have a very DPS heavy lineup, which gets individual picks. A notable mention to their support player Neptuno, who is probably the most aggressive Mercy at the top of the Overwatch professional scene. But he is an able leader and a valuable addition to the team in skill and motivation.

Key Matchups in the finals


Carpe vs Birdring


Carpe has been the star performer on the Philadelphia Fusion for quite some time. He played Tracer for the team when the meta

Carpe : One of the best DPS players in OW

demanded a good Tracer player. He was proficient on the hero constantly proving to be a worry for the opponents’ support. But throughout the Overwatch league, we have seen him perform well on the Widowmaker. He mostly picked the Widowmaker as a counter for the enemy Widowmaker. However, the current meta is a dual sniper meta and demands a good Widowmaker on almost any map. Carpe has been extremely consistent with his Widowmaker getting important kills and picks. The player usually plays a very singular style of Widowmaker, wherein he does not require much help from the rest of his team. It is effective and sometimes even if he does not get a kill, his presence on the map can push the opponents into an awkward positioning.

Birdring is one of the superstars of the Overwatch league in its first two stages. However, with the change in the meta, there was a very unexpected and sudden drop in his form. This coincided with one of the worst dips in form for the London Spitfire. Ofcourse their dominance early in the season meant that they could easily make it to the Season playoffs. However, the team did suffer a setback when they could not make an impact towards the latter half of the season. The team’s performance was accompanied by Birdring’s drop in form. He was not getting key frags, which was resulting in the enemy gaining an advantage. The Player, is one of the highest skilled players in the League. Recently in the playoffs, we have seen him back in form and that is one of the reasons for London’s surprising success.

EQO vs Profit 


Profit holds Key to London’s chances to adapt to Philadelphia

The Birdring vs Carpe battle will obviously be exciting to watch, but the DPS battle with the potential for most impact on the game will be between EQO and Profit. The two DPS players are known for being extremely versatile in their hero picks. EQO is a very self-sufficient DPS player often relying on health packs and minimal resources from his team. He has a knack for charging his ultimate very fast, often creating an imbalance when compared with the opponent support ultimates. Ofcourse his usage of the ultimate and it’s timing could be improved, but the potential for a quick wipe is always present. He mostly plays the projectile heroes such as Pharah and Genji, but he can also double up as the secondary sniper when needed. We have seen him on a Sniper type hero in the playoffs as well.

Profit, on the other hand, has great synergy with Gesture. The duo has a very precise dive on the enemy support, which enables them to gain a huge advantage very early into the team fight. Profit relies heavily on the rest of the team to decide his movement and course of action. It is drastically different from that of EQO who can be largely self-sufficient. Profit’s ultimates on his heroes have a huge impact on the game. He often gets multiple kills in a team fight severely altering the final outcome. His ability to be extremely flexible with his hero picks is what makes Profit a strong contender to turn the tide of the match. We have seen Philadelphia Fusion make very efficient hero changes in their match against NYXL. In this match, Profit can be the one to challenge every Fusion Counter pick.

Neptuno vs NUS


NUS is not really the ‘in your face’ type support. He hardly features on the killfeed except when he dies. His hero pool ofcourse has a lot to do with this as he seems to be the designated Mercy player on London Spitfire.

However, as we have seen from Neptuno being a designated mercy player does not always mean that you cannot get frags. He is the most aggressive Mercy player in the Overwatch League, often attempting resurrects in almost impossible situations. The audacity of the player, however, often surprises his opponents. This is one of the reasons why Neptuno is the X-factor coming into this match-up. His positioning and resurrections are extremely risky with a high reward when he is able to complete the same.

Final Thoughts


The London Spitfire and Philadelphia Fusion matchup can be seen through some key matchups. While we might not see some direct matchups in the game, the performance of the players in their said roles forms a crucial part of how the team performs. While London has a more team-oriented playstyle, Fusion is not so tight-knit.

The first match of the Overwatch league finals takes place at the Barclays Arena on July 27th, 2018.


The author

Esports journalist. An esports fan, former wannabe pro and occasional angry young man. You can find him trying to climb the Dota 2 MMR or just chilling in Rocket League. Or maybe building an entire city in Cities: Skylines. The current mood is always a surprise.

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