The New York Excelsior won Overwatch League stage two in a stunning reverse-sweep

On Sunday, March 25, the stage two finals for Overwatch League played out at the Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California. $100,000 was up for grabs between the Philadelphia Fusion and New York Excelsior (NYXL) after a very exciting five weeks of Overwatch esports action. It took the entire five map set for them to do it, but in the end, NYXL walked away with the cash and bragging rights.

Coming off a massive upset against the London Spitfire in the semi-finals, Philadelphia started out the set against NYXL in much the same way—dictating the pace of the match with unorthodox tanking and aggressive DPS. It was good enough to hold NYXL to just one point on Route 66, and they had no answers for Josue "Eqo" Corona's Pharah on Gardens of Lijiang Tower. With confidence and two maps on their side, Philadelphia strolled into the second half with a chip on their shoulder.

NYXL seemed like a completely different team after the half. They full-held Philadelphia on Volskaya Industries with an amazing Tracer-Widow battery from Jong-Ryeol "Saebyeolbe" Park and Hae-Seong "Libero" Kim, then only gave up one point on Hollywood. At this point, fatigue seemed to set in for Philadelphia, as some of their players started making questionable positioning errors that gave them problems. Jae-Hyeok "Carpe" Lee, for example, kept losing Widowmaker duels to Libero in situations where he could have been more patient with his shots. 

Watchpoint: Gibraltar was the fifth and final map of the set. Philadelphia's push appeared to lose gas right on point B, but they worked some overtime magic with a clutch Dragonblade to capture the point and move the payload up the ramp before running out of time. NYXL responded with a much more efficient push of their own, creating spawn staggers that ended up getting the best of the Philly Fusion, and giving us a final score of three maps to two in favor of NYXL.

In a postgame press conference, the NYXL were very vocal about Philadelphia's ability to hide tanks during their match, which is something they weren't anticipating given Joona "Fragi" Laine's aggressive style. They changed things up after halftime by using more relaxed strategies that played to the individual strengths of their roster, and it paid off.