New York Excelsior (16-2) vs London Spitfire (11-7)
It was the clash of the titans as the day started. The NYXL vs London Spitfire was a rematch that allowed London to get revenge for the last time these two teams met. However, New York wasn’t ready to hand London a victory so easily. These two teams clashed in the best ways, with fights being gritty, long and down to the finest detail of which player had which ability off of cool down. In the end, New York showed why they’re still one of the best in the League. However, London’s performance was nothing to laugh at, as they went all the way to a map five.
Nepal (New York 2-1 London)
The game started at the Sanctum, in Nepal. Both teams chose a more DPS-centric composition, with Jong-ryeol “Saebyeolbe” Park on Sombra and Hae-seong “Libero” Kim on Doomfirst. London also had their off tank player, Jun-ho “Fury” Kim, on Pharah, and Ji-hyeok “birdring” Kim on Widowmaker. London’s choices favored the fight in the beginning, and their spacing let them take the point first. They held their control there until 75%. Jjonak got his chance to strike, getting an early pick on Mercy player Ji-hoon “Quatermain” Song. From there, New York was free to claim the point. Saebyeolbe kept London at bay with a well timed EMP, and despite a last minute back cap, NYXL had the kills to render it useless. The first round was theirs.
At the Nepal Village, NYXL tried their hand at a Mei GOATs composition. This allowed them to take the point first. However, Fury was waiting in the wings. With three picks on Pharah, as well as birdring clicking heads from a distance, London took the point on their own. From there, Saebyeoble flexed back onto Sombra, and put his hacking skills to good use. With Dong-gyu “Mano” Kim leading the dive onto birdring, New York made their way back onto the point, taking it away at 97%. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough, and London winning one fight allowed them to hold their ground, and win the round.
It all came down to the Temple. New York started with a more dive friendly composition, and their quick evasiveness allowed them to take the point first. They held strong, keeping London on their toes and working together to keep them back. Despite a brief flip in London’s favor, Mano blocked Jae-hee “Gesture” Hong’s shatter with his shield. To follow up, Saebyeoble scored a massive 4-man EMP in overtime, allowing NYXL to establish dominance. They won the map, 2-1.
Paris (New York 3-4 London)
Looking to keep their hot streak, NYXL chose more interesting picks. With Sung-hyeon “JJoNak” Bang flexing onto Roadhog for their attack, they were poised to strike. London threw a lot of resources into holding the point, but it didn’t help them. Saebyeolbe was in their backline, getting the picks that New York needed to win the fight. Libero cleaned up shop on Hanzo for them to win the first point. A quick switch to a GOATs composition had them ready for their second push. Saebyeolbe also gave fans a treat by flexing onto his signature Tracer. Taesung “Anamo” Jung led the push with a well timed Sound Barrier, and Saebyeoble poked around to get the kills. Yeon-kwan “Nenne” Jeong finished London off, and New York claimed the second point.
Sticking to tradition, NYXL chose to defend with Sombra GOATs. London was quick to attack and earn their first tick, but Saebyeolbe kept them at bay. Joon-yeong “Profit” Park came back to show them why he’s one of the best, and a massive EMP wiped New York away. The Spitfire were then free to take the first point. Their second point attack was a steamroll, with coordination on their side. London ended up finishing the second point, with more time in their bank to boot.
New York’s second attack started off slowly. With DPS-centric play, Nenne’s Widowmaker only got picks when the stars aligned. An early pick onto Quatermain was stalled when Fury clapped back on his Rocket Barrage. Luckily, the Spitfire’s focus on NYXL’s poke damage allowed Mano to turn the curb and steal a tick of progress. With Saebyeolbe to back him up, Profit’s Tracer was wiped away, and NYXL completed the point. Sadly, their time bank (and quick damage switch to McCree) didn’t allow them the plays they needed, and no progress was made on the second point.
On the defensive once more, New York looked strong and poised to earn another map win. With just over a minute left, Nenne sucked the Spitfire into a graviton surge. However, London was resilient. They wiped New York away, surviving and getting the kills to push forward. After a quick cap of the first point, they steamrolled through to earn the one tick of progress they needed. New York lost the map, 3-4.
Eichenwalde (New York 3-2 London)
Looking to fight back after the half, NYXL chose a standard Sombra GOATs composition for their defensive hold. London’s more DPS heavy composition had them slow to start in their point progress. However, a tick was earned by pushing Mano away from the point. From there, Fury’s Pharah earned the picks they needed to cap the point, and get the payload moving. Fury continued to show dominance through the second point, picking players left and right from the skies. NYXL managed to stave them off just outside of the gates of the castle, however, and delayed their second checkpoint capture. Once inside the castle, NYXL held them off, denying them a map completion.
On their attack, the Excelsior were also slow to start. The brawl for the point was nothing less that scrappy, with NYXL pulling through by the power of their support line. Nenne then showed dominance through the second point with a switch onto McCree. A casual quadruple kill allowed NYXL to progress the payload straight to the gates. From behind, Saebyeoble waited, getting the hack and kill onto Ana player Seung-tae “Bdosin” Choi. From there, Mano swung the fight with a massive Earth Shatter. The cart progress to the checkpoint, and New York won the map, 3-2.
Dorado (New York 3-4 London)
New York were ready to close out the series on Dorado, where they attacked first. Another DPS heavy composition led the way, with Nenne on Widowmaker. Their initial attack went swiftly, with the first checkpoint being picked up easily. With a Mercy in the mix, London’s picks didn’t earn enough value. Nenne and Libero on a DPS duo streak consistently wiped London off the map, and NYXL easily finished their run with 3 minutes to spare.
When the roles were reversed, London channeled their own angry energy. Putting Fury on Pharah once more, London broke through New York’s GOATs heavy defense instantly. Profit also chose to flex onto DPS, settling into a double sniper scenario on Hanzo. His arrows found their marks as the Spitfire rolled through the streets of Dorado uncontested. With Gesture handling the payload, Fury and Profit collected kills, and earned their own map completion.
New York defended again, due to their larger time bank. Trying to stabilize after a hungry London attack was hard, and the Spitfire earned the first point once more. With Fury in the skies doing his thing, London managed to push the payload just beyond the courthouse. On the steps, NYXL came back, and sent them packing back to spawn in overtime.
The Excelsior’s second attack seemed strong, with more time to get more progress. It was an all out brawl from start to finish. Overtime ticked away as Nenne and Profit engaged in a Tracer duel in the back lines. Fury and Gesture held the payload as Libero and Mano fell, and Anamo couldn’t sustain on his own. New York ended up losing the map, 4-3.
Ilios (New York 2-0 London)
It all came down to Ilios. In a map five brawl for the win, they visited the Lighthouse, first. New York was quick to take the point first, staving off a hungry London Spitfire. Saebyeoble flexing onto Sombra once more meant his ability to hack left London in shambles. A well timed EMP sent them packing, and despite a flip from the Spitfire, NYXL fought back. Mano slapped them away with a Flame Strike, holding strong at 99%. However, a failed EMP from Saebyeolbe let London take advantage of their shortcomings. It came down to a fight in overtime, at 99% to 99%. Nenne stayed alive, giving him the chance to use his graviton surge successfully. Saebyeolbe and Mano were there to clean up the rest, and New York won the round.
The Ruins gave NYXL a chance to seal the deal. Things looked good for London in the beginning, with the Spitfire taking the point and holding onto it. A massive EMP from Saebyeolbe hit four of them, however, and allowed New York to take the point for their own. When London came back, Gesture gave them a taste of their own medicine. Flipping the point in their favor, they held on until 99%. A graviton and EMP combination from Saebyeolbe and Nenne destroyed London’s stronghold, however, and New York flipped the point back in their favor. Another overtime brawl decided the Excelsior’s fate, as both teams fought hungrily for their win. Nenne had enough time to build another graviton, and Mano was quick to dispose of the Spitfire once and for all. New York won the map, 2-0.
This match was one for the history books. These two teams are some of the best in the League, and the last time they faced off, New York won decisively and quickly. This time around, London showed massive improvements, as well as new compositions. Choosing to let their off tank play DPS for most of the game, and play it well, shows how flexible the roster of the London Spitfire truly is. While New York did walk away with the win, these map deciding fights were gritty and hungry. London wants a chance for revenge, and New York has to work hard to make sure they don’t get it.
Featured image courtesy of the Overwatch League