Over the course of its inaugural season, Overwatch League has shown solid growth throughout the 200+ games played since its debut. While Blizzard’s esport experiment has seen its fair share of ups and downs–resulting in some unexpected roster shakeups, changes to the flow of the schedule, and some controversies surrounding players–the league’s success with turning the hero shooter Overwatch into an event game has been a sight to behold. The tournament will culminate in a battle between fan-favorite teams the London Spitfire and Philadelphia Fusion. And with plans to expand further in the next season, including two new teams in Paris and Guangzhou, along with a substantial distribution deal with ESPN, the future looks bright for Overwatch League.
Spanning July 27-28, the Grand Finals will see the London Spitfire and Philadelphia Fusion compete in several games, with the champion crowned after a best two of three matches contest. While the first day will only have one match, the second day of the Grand Finals will decide the winner.
While both teams are fan-favorites and the best the season had to offer, they each faced many challenges that nearly kept them out of the finals. The 2017 pre-season provided ample opportunity for the teams to get their footing ahead of the official start in Season 1. However, the Fusion unfortunately missed out due to issues with scheduling and visa clearance for its roster. When they debuted at the open of Season 1 in January, they had a particularly poor showing during Stage 1 and 2. Eventually, the Fusion found their footing thanks to a roster change and solid performance from key players Georgii “Shadowburn” Gushcha, Josue “Eqo” Corona, and Alberto “Nepturo” Gonzalez Molinillo. Currently, the Fusion have a 24 win and 16 loss match record under their belt.
In the latter half of the season, the London Spitfire have become one of the league’s most popular teams. With a strong start in Stage 1, they quickly made themselves known as the team to watch out for. But they struggled to maintain momentum, resulting in several disappointing games in Stages 2 and 3. After an unsuccessful start in the first week of Stage 4, the team management made the surprising move to remove four players from its active roster–Hyeon-woo “HaGoPeun” Jo, Jang-hyeon “TiZi” Hwang, Seung-hyun “WooHyaL” Sung, and Seong Dong-eun “Hooreg” Lee. The reason for they stated in a press release was to craft a smaller, “championship-caliber” team. Amazingly enough, this allowed the team to regain the same buzz they had in the pre-season, leading to some memorable matches against the Fusion, and the Spitfire’s rivals, the Los Angeles Gladiators–whom they were able to knock out in the playoffs. Much like the Fusion, the Spitfire also has an identical match record of 24 wins and 16 losses.
Overwatch League: Blizzard's Big Gamble
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