Overwatch League Grand Finals predictions: how will Philadelphia and London matchup?
With the Grand Finals to the inaugural season of Overwatch League on the horizon, Philadelphia Fusion and London Spitfire are set to do battle after overcoming the first seed teams in both of their divisions during the Semi finals. After a miracle run for both London and Philly in the playoffs, they find themselves just one series away from eternal Overwatch League glory as they battle for the ultimate prize.
When it comes to 180 turnarounds within the Overwatch League, no team can claim a change of fortune quite like the London Spitfire. After exploding onto the scene in Stage One and upsetting the consensus #1 team in the Stage Finals, the dip in form for London was lamentable to say the least. After an injury to one of their main players, and several high profile departures, the forecast for London seemed gloomy as they lacked that killer instinct heading into playoffs.
Going into the postseason, it was no stretch to consider London Spitfire one of the weaker teams of the top six. Their quarterfinal match against the Los Angeles Gladiators was expected to be a loss given their 0-4 record against LAG in the regular season. Instead, London Spitfire came back from a first match loss and won the series with six consecutive map victories to seal the comeback victory.
Against the Los Angeles Valiant, London expected a bigger challenge given the consistent performances the Valiant had en route to their second place finish. LA Valiant looked impressive heading into playoffs with their cohesive team oriented playstyle, but the consistent DPS threats didn’t always show up over the course of the season, especially if they were overmatched.
In London’s case, their biggest anchor on the team was always the DPS core of Birdring and Profit as they established their infamous status early in the season. In any playoff competition, the star players on either side must rise to the occasion in order to seek out the result and it was Profit, Birdring, Fury and Gesture that rose to the occasion yet again, crushing the LA Valiant in convincing fashion
Taking down a titan
In the Atlantic division, Philadelphia Fusion faced an uphill battle the entire playoffs with New York Excelsior looming in the distance. But first Philly would have to battle back in a regional classic that made for the most competitive series in the playoffs against the Boston Uprising.
Even with Boston’s turbulent road to the playoffs, there was no doubting their rosters potency from all positions as the team rallied back from a high profile player departure. Stage Three was a revelation for the Boston Uprising as they turned the meta into their own and dominated the Stage with a perfect 10-0 record.
Philadelphia on the other hand, have fluctuated with form as they licked their wounds after a Stage Two finals loss to NYXL. Even with their ups and downs, the star player acumen was always there for Philadelphia as Carpe, Sado, Eqo and Hotba all gained confidence over the course of the season. In their series against Boston, it was Carpe once again to bail out Philly from a difficult situation, and their prospects suddenly started to get brighter on their way to battling NYXL.
In their semi finals series against New York, Philadelphia once again utilized their strength in numbers as they forced SBB and Pine into disadvantageous spots and cut off their ability to get any kind of counter attack going for NYXL. More than that, Philadelphia exposed an important weak spot the NYXL have done so well at hiding over the course of the season in Ark.
For NYXL to succeed at the highest level, having their main healer go untouched became a luxury of convenience. In their series against Philadelphia, the mobility for Ark completely changed as he became the focus of an unrelenting attack from the Fusion the entire series. Taking out the healing made the MVP of the entire Overwatch League vulnerable. Without JJoNak getting picks, the rhythm of the game never got going in NYXL’s favor and with that interruption, the secret formula of Excelsior’s dominance came crashing to an end.
Grand Finals preview and predictions
At this stage of the Playoffs, the name of the game is momentum for both teams as they look to capitalize off of little mistakes in order to come away with a win. The highly anticipated DPS showdown between Philadelphia’s Carpe and Eqo vs. London’s Profit and Birdring will no doubt be the biggest storyline heading into the weekend.
In many respects, Carpe and Profit could be considered dark horse picks for the unofficial MVP of the playoffs so far with their consistency and dominance. Profit’s flexibility on virtually all Damage heroes makes him a force to be reckoned with on any given map set. Carpe’s hero pool is a bit less flexible but his cold blooded demeanor in team fights have made him a hero for all Philadelphia fans as he continues to compete with Ben Simmons for the crown of ‘Fresh Prince’ of his city.
But going down the line, the checkmarks continue to tick for London Spitfire as they have far more depth within the rankings. The Tank core for London have been menacing for the entirety of the season as Fury and Gesture have asserted themselves as a dominant force within the team. Even though Philadelphia have commendable tanks and healers with Hotba and Sado, the difference in class leans London given the championship caliber components on their side.
Regardless of victor, the Final series between Philadelphia Fusion and London Spitfire is sure to be a fiery one. The quality of opposition is there, the star power between both teams is well established, and the question marks are begging to be answered as the Grand Finals get set to take place this weekend. The first match takes place Friday, July 27 as the final two matches will occur the following day on July 28.
Official esports.net Prediction: London Spitfire win series 2-1