The Overwatch League Finals

The OWL Grand Finals have come and gone, but it was such an incredible ride to experience. Who walked away the champions? How salty were the NY fans that the favorite to win didn’t even make it to the finals? (I won’t even address this; they probably were very salty.) This recaps the event for you.

Due to the sale on Overwatch League merch, I invested in a simple t-shirt to show my support for the Spitfire. Sure, I was bummed that the Uprising didn’t make it. But they couldn’t have done that bad considering Fusion destroy NYXL as well. That led people to believe that the Spitfire would follow the same fate. The London Spitfire had a rough go for a while after winning the inaugural season’s first Stage championship. No one expected anything from them but what they got was an incredible show that no one saw coming.

Carpe and Eqo are amazing players… when they are hot. The problem is that they can be a streaky pair. Fortunately for them, they were hot during every other round of the playoffs. Unfortunately for them, the streakiness showed in the one set of matches that actually mattered: the finals. The problem may not have been entirely their fault: the Spitfire knew that to win, they needed to shut down this DPS pair and show Neptuno that aggressive Mercy play doesn’t always pay off. In the finals, it certainly didn’t.

This should not diminish the excellent games that the Spitfire played. After just the first round in the first match, I called Profit the MVP for the finals. On Friday, he was there for his team. On Saturday, he showed up again and caused utter destruction. In fact, calling it destruction doesn’t even do what he did any service. Between him and Birdring, the DPS was really unstoppable. But what really was impressive during the matches was the amazing abilities that the Spitfire has to play as a team. This can be seen in the Dragonstrike play heard ’round the world. Gesture Halted, Profit used his Dragonstrike. If anyone thought that they could jump down to avoid it, Fury jumped up and pushed them back into it. Profit may have gotten the kills, but it was a team effort on that play and the entire match.

Also, not surprisingly, Profit did walk away with the Grand Finals MVP trophy and the Spitfire climbed back to the top as Grand Finals champions.

Now that it’s all over, what’s next? Free agency and hopefully some new teams coming into the mix. Reports are saying that a team in Atlanta is being backed by Cox Communications, but nothing official has been announced by OWL at this point. It would be great to have some new teams mix it up. I also hope they change the format of the playoffs. Teams were fatigued, playing back to back matches. It should be broken up or at least give them a much longer break in between matches.

As for the Boston Uprising, they really need to pick up some DPS. We have plenty of supports and Mistakes and Striker could use a break here and there. Someone with a larger character pool can also be very helpful for us. I hope that the entire team comes back. I hope that if they keep Kellex, they figure out how to keep him alive better (or what he could do to stay alive better). The core team that they have are laid-back and talented. I have high hopes that they can pull it together and be even more successful next year.

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The Overwatch League Semi-Finals

Could anyone be more shocked at the outcome of these semi-final matches? The last seed Philadelphia Fusion faced off against the NYXL, the favorites to win it all since Stage 2. (Depending on who you asked, they said all along that XL would take the Grand Champion title.) The London Spitfire, the other favorite to win it all since the pre-season and their win at the first stage championships, slumped and people had little confidence that anything would come from this team. The Spitfire went against the favorites and hometown team the LA Valiant. Who won? What are my predictions for the Grand Finals? Let’s get to this.

To be clear, I was spiteful and went against my Boston roots to cheer on the NYXL against the Fusion. They beat my team, so naturally I wanted them gone. However, the only place they are going is the Grand Finals. Much to everyone’s surprise, NYXL lost 2-0 to the Fusion. If Jjonak (MVP!!!) was responsible for getting Zenyatta nerfed, then Eqo is going to be the reason Hanzo gets nerfed. Between Carpe’s Widow and Eqo’s Hanzo, Fusion was once again unstoppable. The second match in the semi-finals between these two teams was a nailbiter, but some questionable mistakes on the XL side cost them the game. Instead of full on aggression, someone should have been pushing the payload so there was progress made. That could’ve easily have given them the win that they needed to walk to the finals but it certainly wasn’t their only questionable move. They had weaknesses that Eqo and Carpe easily exploited and destroyed them with.

As for the Valiant and Spitfire, again full disclosure I was rooting for the Spitfire to win. They are my second favorite team and since the OWL is having a ridiculous sale on merch I finally scored myself a Spitfire shirt. (As well as 2 Uprising hoodies since everything was still cheaper than 1 hoodie would normally cost.) Unlike the Fusion, the Spitfire had seemingly no issue taking on the Valiant. Going 3-1 in the first match, they went for the full sweep in the second to get their ticket to the Grand Finals. They pulled out some interesting tricks that the Valiant just couldn’t seem to handle. Such as my 2nd favorite D.Va in the league Fury playing Soldier: 76 in a triple DPS comp on Oasis. Going super aggressive with a Reaper, Soldier, and Tracer combo was the right call and they did jaw-droppingly well. I couldn’t even believe what I was seeing. Their performance in the semi-finals reminded everyone why they were the original team to beat going into the pre-season. The biggest criticism people had was that this was not an aggressive team. All that has changed now, when it counts the most.

What happens next? On Friday, the Grand Finals start with one match then Saturday there are 2 matches. Spitfire is considered the home team since they have the higher seed. The same playoff rules apply.

Now, who’s going to win it all? The way both of these teams played in the semi-finals, it really could go either way. I’m rooting for the Spitfire because I feel as though they are the more consistent team. Carpe and Eqo have the tendency of being a bit streaky and despite having a strong showing the playoffs so far, there is a chance that their streakiness will come back to bite them soon. As long as Spitfire plays flawlessly, they should be able to take this one home. I’m sure they have some more surprises up their sleeves as well, which could be very helpful against a team that may not be the best at adapting when they need to.

Overwatch- Stage 1, Week 5 and Finals

Normally this is posted on Mondays, but this week I fell behind. Next week, the gaming post will be on time and focused on the Allied Races of the new World of Warcraft Expansion. Now, read on to learn more about the exciting conclusion to the first stage of the Overwatch League.

That was a thrilling week of the Overwatch League. If you are not already paying attention to this new eSports league, you really need to. It’s a lot more thrilling than baseball or basketball, with such a high level of intensity and sportsmanship that is so great to watch. The night started off with the top 2 teams in the league playing. New York Excelsior took on the London Spitfire. Whenever Boston Uprising isn’t on, I’m an avid supporter of London. (As a D.Va main, Fury is a person I admire and try my hardest to emulate). Plus they were going against a New York team and as much as I love watching Jjonak and Pine play, they needed to go down. They didn’t go down in this first match-up, eventually winning in the tiebreaker map. This secured New York’s spot in the finals that night.

The next match-up, the Houston Outlaws and the Boston Uprising, was not just critical to both of these teams but to the Los Angeles Valiant. Outlaws needed to win 2 games to make it in the Stage 1 playoffs. Boston Uprising needed to win the match 3-1 to upset everyone and earn a spot in the playoffs. (Not bad for a team that practically everyone had in 12th in the power rankings before the season started. So Boston of them.) Outlaws took the first map, Boston took the next 2. It seemed like Uprising was going to make it, until the 4th map where they just couldn’t make that last point. The game was tied up, but Boston had lost its shot at the playoffs. Still, the tiebreaker in this game was crucial. If they were to take the tiebreaker map, Valiant would get the spot over Houston. Despite a hard-fought battle, Boston Uprising ultimately lost the match and Houston was in the playoffs.

That meant the first game of the playoffs would be London Spitfire facing off against the Houston Outlaws. Both were strong teams, with Houston coming away with the first map of the match. However, London swept the last 3 maps and knocked Houston out of the playoffs. That led to a rematch between New York Excelsior and London Spitfire. Would the outcome be the same as it was earlier in the night?

As the first match of the night went, it was an intense and tough battle for both teams that ended up back in the tiebreaker round. New York was the favorite going into the match, but walked away in second place. London Spitfire won the first stage and the $100,000 prize. New York still walked away with $25,000, so don’t feel too bad for them.

This final match sets up for an exciting Stage 2 of the Overwatch League, which will start back up on February 21st. If you are interested in catching up, you can check out the Overwatch League Twitch channel for all the matches. If you are addicted to the league like I am, you can spend your time checking out the Twitch channels of some of the stars. Here are some choices that I personally enjoy:

  • DreamKazper
  • JAKE
  • Muma
  • LiNkzr
  • tf2PINE

These are just a few of the Overwatch League pros that stream, but they are my go-to Twitch streams. Here’s to an even more intense Stage 2.