Wow. That’s all I can say after this match. The Boston Uprising were doing well early in the stage… and then Dreamkazper happened. Without their offensive linchpin, plenty of people had their doubts (myself included) about the Uprising’s chances in their next game against New York. New York! How cruel! A team that looked like it could be falling apart, forced up against the most dominant force in the Overwatch League?
Things looked grim, to say the least. Turns out, we needn’t worry. Montecristo said it best- the New England Patriots’ “next man up” philosophy is alive and well in Boston, and the Uprising have proven that they have the depth to make their mark no matter who they put on stage.
London Spitfire had a lot to prove moving into Stage 2 of the Overwatch League. They were the returning champions of Stage 1, but a disappointing 3rd place finish in the regular league lead many fans to be skeptical of their skill. Many still believed NYXL to be the top dog of the league. Their return to the main stage after a week off began with a disappointing loss against Houston Outlaws. Their next match was the aforementioned NYXL, who they had both defeated and lost to last week. So the title of greatest team in the league was riding on the results of NYXL vs London Spitfire.
NYXL vs London Spitfire
London wins the first map decisively with a full hold on Volskaya Industries, but they let their lead slip with back to back wins by New York. Control point has always been known as both a week point for London and a strength for New York. This held true as London falls 0-2 on Lijiang Tower. On the Hybrid Map “King’s Row” NYXL stop London from capturing the second point. Spitfire bring it back capping all three points of Watchpoint: Gibraltar with over two minutes to spare, and deny New York of even finishing the map. This pushes them to a tie breaker, landing them on another control point, Ilios, a map New York player Kim “Pine” Do-hyeon dominates. However New York was unable to bring their A-game to Ilios and they went down 2-0 finishing of the series at 3-2 London.
These two teams are the titans of the Overwatch League. With Seoul falling behind at the end of stage 1, London and New York are the teams everyone is watching. Both teams have full South Korean rosters, and are undoubtedly the two best teams in the league. London has faltered a few times, losing to both Boston Uprising and twice to Houston Outlaws. New York however have proven they are dominant in the league losing only to Philadelphia Fusion prior to today (excluding stage 1 playoff matches). Going in New York were already at a disadvantage with their main support player Yeoon-joon “Ark” Hong rendered unable to play due to a wrist injury, so tank player Dong-gyu “Mano” Kim filled in the role.
London Spitfire and New York Excelsior after the match. Courtesy of Twitch and Blizzard Entertainment
Today all eyes were on the Widowmaker duel between Ji-hyuk “Birdring” Kim for London and Pine for New York. Many of the team fights are decided by which of these two players are able to land their head shots. Birdring barely edged out Pine, leading his team to victory. Of course the rest of London’s amazing line-up is also to thank for this, including Jae-hee “Gesture” Hong’s phenomenal Winston play and Joon-yeong “Profit” Park’s stellar performance including an unbelievable 1v4 scenario at the end of round 2 Ilios.
Unfortunately for us, this is the last time these two teams are scheduled to face off until April. Unless they meet in the stage 2 title matches (which is very likely). Who is the better team, NYXL or London Spitfire?