The Overwatch League Grand Finals kicked off last night in front of a sold out crowd at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. It was an underdog matchup between the Stage One champions: the London Spitfire, and the red hot Philadelphia Fusion. What we got was four incredible maps, with London pulling ahead in the best of three series after a win on Volskaya Industries.
Map 1 - Dorado - Battle for Point C
A lot of the best Overwatch from the quarter and semifinals came on point C of Dorado, and that carried over into the Grand Finals. With time running out on the clock, the London Spitfire finally found some traction after a perfect Dragonstrike by Ji-hyeok "Birdring" Kim. It forced the Fusion out of position which led to a few easy kills:
As the payload advanced closer to the capture point, Philadelphia regained composure while London began to slip. Seung-tae "Bdosin" Choi had a particularly bad error by using Transcendence far too late in the final seconds of the map:
After the match, Bdosin told press that he did have a lot of jitters playing in the Grand Finals on a brand new stage which led to uncharacteristic mistakes. Profit said the same, and it definitely showed on point C of Dorado. Philadelphia hung on to take the first map of the series.
Map 2 - Oasis Gardens - London picks up steam
Whatever difficulties the Spitfire were having adjusting to the stage were gone by the time the second map started. Oasis was a steamroll from beginning to end in favor of London. Their questionable positioning and ultimate usage from the prior map were gone, as evidenced by this tremendous ultimate by Bdosin:
Josue "Eqo" Corona was about to execute his trademark flank which would have been devastating, but Bdosin reacted perfectly and absorbed the Barrage with Transcendence.
Philadelphia's woes continued on the next big attack. Hong-jun "Hotba" Choi led the charge with an amazing D.Va bomb that killed the enemy Winston and Mercy. They followed up with a kill on D.Va, leaving only three members of the Spitfire on the point:
Maybe it was Brigitte, or maybe it was an issue of shot-calling, but the Fusion could not put London away. The Spitfire recovered and pushed Philadelphia from the point, evening the series up at one point a piece.
Map 3 - Eichenwalde - Bdosin flexes to Tracer
Fans and analysts raised some eyebrows at Philadelphia's choice to sub D.Va player Gael "Poko" Gouzerch in for flex support star Isaac "Boombox" Charles. In a tie game with momentum not on their side, it seemed like the least effective substitution they could have made. Indeed, after being held to just one point, the Fusion struggled to get much going with a single healer.
Since they had some time to play with, the Spitfire pulled a semifinal move out of the playbook and put Bdosin on Tracer. Once again, it paid off:
Bdosin advances way forward to deny Jae-Hyeok "Carpe" Lee the sniper perch, eventually killing him in the process. It was a demoralizing way to end an embarrassing map for the Fusion, who fell behind in the series.
Map 4 - Volskaya Industries - Philly's wombo combo and London's Mei
The Fusion opted for a triple tank, triple support push to open up Volskaya Industries. Things were looking pretty sad until they approached the 60-second mark. Eqo opened up London with a Graviton in the back corner, and Poko began the self-destruct sequence for a glorious wombo combo that had the crowd going ballistic:
If nothing else, at least Philadelphia weren't full-held to end the game. They managed to look threatening a couple of times during the point B assault, but they were stifled by everyone's favorite environmentalist—Mei. Jun-young "Profit" Park decided that it was time to carve up the capture point with some Ice Walls, and it worked beautifully:
With Philadelphia out of options and time, London responded with an overwhelming push that ended the game. They will enter today up one match in the series as Philadelphia spends some time in the dugout to gather their thoughts and attempt to even things up.