A win that was a long time coming…
The Second stage of the Overwatch League is in the books and the winners are none other than the New York Excelsior. The team grabbed a well deserved win yesterday against the Philadelphia Fusion. The NYXL have been looking for this win for a long time. The team was at the top of the table at the Stage One Finals before losing to the Spitfire 3-2. Since then they have consistently been ranked at the top and backed up this position with game play to match. With only one loss this entire stage, they were ready for another go at the stage championship.
Following the Overwatch League format for stage finals the day started out with the number two team, London Spitfire, facing off against the number three team, Philadelphia Fusion. Fans of the Overwatch League will remember that the Spitfire won the Stage One Finals. The team played no less than 14 maps on that Saturday to take the win against the NYXL. As before they were poised to face-off against another team before tackling NYXL for the $100,000 bonus. Against expectations however the orange and white pulled off an impressive victory and denied London the change to be back to back Stage Champions
The series started off with a fast London victory on Gilbrator. The Spitfire kept Philadelphia from gaining a single point on the payload map. Philly came back hard shutting out London on Nepal and Hanamura to make to the series 2-1. Things got exciting on Kings Row where both teams had a hard fight. This map in particular is worth a watch if you missed it as it really shows what Overwatch looks like when played at the highest level. London secured the victory winning the map 4-3 and taking the series to a game five. The last map, Route 66 was all Fusion. The team looked incredible and truly earned their victory over the Spitfire along with the right to move on to the final.
The Final Match
Riding the wave of momentum they’d built up against London the Fusion came into the final series swinging. They nabbed an impressive and early lead over the NYXL going into the half. The first two maps, Route 66 and Lijiang Tower, both went to Philadelphia. Two maps in and the Fusion were about to become the Stage Two Champions. After the half, however, things started to change. The NYXL completely shut the Fusion down on Volskaya Industries winning that map 1-0. Next on Hollywood the story was similar. Despite a great performance Philadelphia was defeated here 2-1. It all came down to map five, Watchpoint: Gibraltar. This is another game I want to highlight as all the players involved were playing their absolute best. In an already fast game the action was quick, the ultimates were decisive, and every player was completely dialed in. After a hard fought battle the NYXL emerged victorious, pulling off the reverse sweep and becoming the Stage Two Champions.
Congratulations to the New York Excelsior. You have consistently played at the top of this league and your win this last weekend was a long time coming. The Overwatch League is now halfway through the inaugural season. The League will take a week off before the start of Stage Three on Wednesday, April 4th. There’s still a lot of games left to be played, and any team could still be crowned the first Overwatch League Champions.