Overwatch League Season 2 Playoffs kicked off last weekend during the play-in matches. All of the teams fought hard in an intense weekend of Overwatch. There was one match, however, that made Overwatch League history, culminating in an epic 8-map series.
The Shanghai Dragons and the London Spitfire were both in the running for playoffs – but first, one of them had to fall. The Dragons were moving towards playoffs with a chip on their shoulder and a chance to prove that they could make it in from a dead season. On the other hand, former Overwatch League champions, the London Spitfire, had to show up if they wanted an opportunity to reclaim their title for a second year. The revitalized Dragons versus the fallen Spitfire, the failure of Season 1 up against former champions.
Unfortunately for the Shanghai Dragons, they still have a ways to go if they want to be dominant in this meta. Map 1 took place on Busan, and while Shanghai did an exceptional job at picking off solo members of the Spitfire, they failed to string their eliminations together and make map progress. Map 2 was a one-sided affair on Numbani, as the Dragons failed to gain a single tick on the board when attacking. London Spitfire constantly outplayed Shanghai and Joon-yeong “Profit“ Park played Pharah on defense commanding the momentum of the game and forcing the Dragons to play at their pace. At this point, the London Spitfire had been playing aggressive and precise, not a true return to form but slowly getting there.
Map 3 on Hanamura was quite stale, but the Shanghai Dragons finally showed life in their roster. The London Spitfire’s attack on Hanamura was lackluster and scattered, allowing the Dragons to harass members with little to no repercussions. Watchpoint: Gibraltar was Map 4, and it is when things came alive in this face-off, as both teams decided to show up and play. Yong-Jin “YOUNGJIN“ Jin popped off on Doomfist and even added a little spice with a Bastion pick. Jae-hee “Gesture“ Hong pulled off some clutch moments and was the resident sleeper of the match if you can forgive his Sigma ultimates.
The Shanghai Dragons seemed to get a second wind after half-time with Youngjin and DDing popping off on Map 5. Lijang Tower was an intense back and forth but the followup from the Spitfire wasn’t good enough to secure the win. Battle continued onto Map 6 – King’s Row, with the London Spitfire failing to find momentum until the final moments. Failed push after failed push left them looking weak, until Profit was able to land a clutch barrage. Immediately after, Fury landed a sweet 2-kill D.Va bomb that allowed the Spitfire to tie up the series that eventually ended in a draw.
Shanghai rolled through Dorado with ease, in part due to Ji-hyeok “birdring“ Kim’s less than ideal performance on McCree. The London Spitfire struggled on Map 7, and all they could do was accept the loss and look toward to the next fight. In Map 8, it would be unfair to say that the London Spitfire came alive and seized their spot in the playoffs because, in actuality, it was all Profit. It’s as if he suddenly woke up and decided that he wanted the opportunity to reclaim his title after all:
This 8-map series and the narrative surrounding the match-up made it highly satisfying to watch. The London Spitfire will now take on the New York Excelsior if they want to keep moving forward in the playoffs. This match will come down to which team has the better follow up and ultimate management.
This weekend the official playoffs bracket gets underway with 8 teams fighting for the title of Overwatch League Season 2 Champion. You can tune in to Overwatch League’s Twitch channel, or their main page.