Outplayed. Outmatched. Outclassed.
These were the themes of Saturday’s contests.
The London Spitfire waltzed into the Barclays Center Saturday afternoon with the swagger of champions, hours before the OWL trophy was even in their arms. Yet when they walked out, they emerged as heroes.
All afternoon, the Spitfire graced the stage with presence, poise, and power. They were the stronger team all weekend, and after posting a 6-1 scoreline throughout the course of two incredibly convincing days, it’s safe to say London was simply on a different level.
Even though it seemed like the Philadelphia Fusion would be able to carry over a reasonable amount of momentum into the Grand Finals after winning the first map, Dorado, on Friday evening, London made quick work of their counterparts immediately afterwards. The Spitfire would win 6 consecutive maps, not even taking their foot off the gas for a second, effectively capping off a championship caliber season.
And although the Spitfire roster looked shaky throughout the majority of the regular season, the squad’s top talents certainly showed up when it mattered. Most notably, Jae-hee “Gesture” Hong and Jun-Young “Profit” Park performed at an outstanding level throughout the entirety of the weekend, leading London to an OWL title.
After Profit was able to find 5 kills in quick succession on Volskaya Industries to cap off Friday’s best of 5, Saturday’s match seemed to bode well for the eventual Finals MVP as well, as he would find game-changing play after game-changing play throughout the course of the afternoon.
To kick off Saturday’s festivities, Philadelphia had mounted a solid charge on Junkertown, once again finding early success on a payload map. However, with a little over 90 seconds to go, and the Fusion approaching Point C, Profit, playing Hanzo, stopped the opposition dead in their tracks, landing a 5-man Dragonstrike in combination with a Halt from Gesture’s Orisa, subsequently stopping any chance of a Philly push. London would go on to win the map just a few moments later, as the squad would never relent and never look back.
If there was any one play from the OWL Grand Finals that could be used to summarize the event as a whole, it was that one. Profit and Gesture’s teamwork-enabled Dragonstrike combo serves as a perfect metaphor for exactly how the Spitfire was able to capture history. Through a deadly combination of mechanical skill, raw talent, and effective teamwork, Profit and Co. were able to bring home a coveted OWL title.
And while it’s obvious that solid mechanics can take you a long way in Overwatch, London’s roster just looked more coordinated this weekend. Teamwork is truly the core, fundamental driving force behind the competitive side of the game, and the way the London roster was able to move as one, cohesive unit during these Grand Finals was truly a thing of beauty.
All weekend long, any chance the Fusion got at mounting even a little bit of momentum, London’s star players were there to strike them down almost instantly. No matter how ahead Philadelphia had seemed to get, or how much momentum the squad seemed to muster, the Spitfire was ready and waiting to respond around every single corner.
Their roster was polished, graceful, and sleek throughout all seven maps. Each player had a purpose, and each purpose was fulfilled. And now, after a year that had seen trials, failures, struggles, victories, and challenges, the London Spitfire finally has a title to show for it all.
Photo Credit: Blizzard Entertainment, The Overwatch League