London Spitfire Continue To Fight For A Second Overwatch League Championship Title
Overwatch League had a historic play-in weekend, with a match between the Spitfire and Dragons that went down to the absolute wire.
It took over three hours, and a historic eight maps, but the London Spitfire finally toppled the hopeful Shanghai Dragons to claim the first play-in slot in the Overwatch League’s 2019 Playoffs.
It was shocking to London and their fans that they were even in this position. They had played alright during the season, maybe taking a little dip in Stages 3 and 4, losing some matches they shouldn’t have. The Inaugural Season Champions would oddly struggle against lower tier teams, eventually falling from their place in the top six, losing their buy week and automatic playoff spot to the Atlanta Reign.
On the other side of the stage sat a team that had started at the very bottom. In the Inaugural season, the Shanghai Dragons had a legendary season–legendary in that they went 0-40. And now here they were, a completely new and revitalized team, going up against the previous champions, a fight between last season’s best and worst.
But that was all in the past… or so it seemed. London took the first two maps with ease, going into the first break with a cool, confident lead. The analysts at the break, all who had predicted London to win, spoke about how Shanghai needed to step up their game, or risk losing far too quickly to the Spitfire.
And Shanghai did start to turn it around. On map 3, they held London, winning the map, despite a master performance on Tracer by London’s Junyoung “Profit” Park. On map 4, they pushed London to their limit, forcing extra rounds, though London pulled through, moving up to match point.
They went into map 5 confident, and came out defeated and surprised. Map 6 they managed to force a draw, keeping the score at 2-3 Shanghai-London. And the surprise just kept building on the faces of the London players as Shanghai pulled out all stops on the defense of the last escort map to win it, tying the game at match point.
And for the first time in Overwatch League history, they played a map 8. The first to win 4 maps would win the series, and a tie on King’s Row earlier forced the need for another control map. Shanghai took the first point, but London came back to claim the second, leaving the map and the match to be decided on the last point of the last map. They fought hard, back and forth, but in the end, London edged away with the victory.
The Seoul Dynasty won against the Guangzhou Charge in the second match of the day, joining the previous champions in the line up with the top six teams in the playoffs. The remainder of the playoffs, unlike the playins, will be in double elimination format, the matches taking place at the Blizzard Arena in LA, with the Grand Finals playing in the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on September 29.
Will London find their way onto the Grand Finals stage once more, and claim the championship once again? It’s possible, but they have some very talented and difficult teams to face in the playoffs ahead.
You can catch all of the playoff matches on the Overwatch League’s Twitch page.
Source: overwatchleague.com, twitch.tv