The inaugural season of the Overwatch League was a tremendous success. The biggest winner from the first season of the Overwatch League was the London Spitfire. The Spitfire won the Season playoffs, beating the Philadelphia Fusion. Additionally, they won the Stage 1 playoffs, where they played four games in one day. After some difficulties throughout the middle of the season, the team pulled together for a first place finish in the finals.
Looking forward to the second season of the Overwatch League, the London Spitfire will look to defend their title. To do this, they will have some difficult matchups. Here are five of the most important matchups that the defending champions will have to play during the regular season.
Philadelphia Fusion (Stage 1, Week 1)
London and Philadelphia have faced off in a few key matches. The first of these intense matchups was the Stage 2 playoffs semifinals, where the Fusion took the victory. The second of these important meetings occurred in the Season finals, where London took the victory. This game is the opening game of the second season of the Overwatch League. The rivalry between London and Philadelphia will be reignited to kick off the season.
The highlight of this matchup will be between the star DPS players for each team. For London, their star is Joon-yeong “Profit” Park. His opposite is Jae-hyeok “Carpe” Lee. With the meta lacking DPS talent, the players who play in those positions are forced to flex. Carpe has been known to flex onto the Zarya on various occasions, even before the GOATS meta set in.
Paris Eternal (Stage 1, Week 1)
This is the first meeting between the two European giants in the Overwatch League. Paris was welcomed into the league, and boast an all-European roster. The beginnings of a rivalry are sparked simply by proximity, and the Eternal will look to make a statement against their neighbors to the North. However, the London Spitfire should be able to make quick work of the Paris franchise.
One bold move that the Spitfire might pull is giving the start to their two newest players against this untested opponent. Their newest DPS player Hee-dong “Guard” Lee might seek out his first start against this new opponent. The more interesting move for the Spitfire would be the introduction of the formerly unknown support player, Yung-hoon “Krillin” Jung. Krillin previously played in the Open Division in Korea. A brand new expansion team could be the perfect opponent to see him in action for the first time.
Los Angeles Gladiators (Stage 1, Week 3)
The last time that the Spitfire played the Gladiators was in the quarterfinals of the Season One playoffs. What happened was a reverse sweep by London, knocking the Gladiators out of contention for the finals. This victory gave the Spitfire the momentum they needed to continue through their various opponents. The LA Gladiators will be looking for revenge in Season 2, and quite early on in the season. The London Spitfire will be looking to deal with tough opponents early on, and cement themselves as contenders again. Expect a tough fight between the reigning champions and hometown heroes.
Paris Eternal (Stage 2, Week 4)
This second meeting between the two European teams will be held away from Los Angeles. The first round of away games will be held in Dallas, TX. Chengdu Hunters, Hangzhou Spark, Houston Outlaws, London Spitfire, Paris Eternal, Los Angeles Valiant and Seoul Dynasty will all feature in this away series. This first round of the away series is very important for the future of away games in the Overwatch League.
The second round of the European War will be extremely interesting. By the end of Stage 4, teams will have a better idea of what their starting roster will be. Also, each team will be able to tweak their whole roster, with the ability to bring in players they know will help them for the rest of the season. While London has their lineup already figured out, Paris does not. There are eight weeks from the start of the season between the first and second meeting between the two teams. Expect this game to be slightly tighter, but having London come away victorious once again.
New York Excelsior (Stage 3, Week 1)
Finally, one of the biggest games of the year will be in the middle of Stage 3. London are the team to beat coming into Season 2. However, the New York Excelsior are widely considered the best team in the League. They won two different Stage Playoffs, and featured in an additional two. The NYXL had the best record throughout the regular season, resulting in a first-placed seed for the Season playoffs.
This will be the second time the all-Korean rosters will be pitted against each other in two weeks. The second game will be in Stage 3, Week 1. The result of the first game will have a huge impact on the second series, for both teams. The winner will have the confidence going forward, feeling ready to face the tough opponent again. However, the loser will be able to look at what they did wrong, and come back with vengeance. Expect the two giants of the Overwatch League to clash in a hard-fought battle, that will take all five maps to complete.
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Featured Image Courtesy of Sky Sports
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