Back when the Overwatch League regular season began, the London Spitfire was looked at as a potential championship contender. Signing over the rights to the season four Apex champions, GC Busan, and securing a team with scary potential. The ups-and-downs of a full regular season played a toll on a still growing Spitfire roster but sitting one game out of a spot in the finals, that potential if coming into form.
For myself, I had the London Spitfire as the odds-on favorite to take the championship from the pre-season. It was the same GC Busan team that ran through all of South Korea’s best talent entering the Overwatch League season. It seemed obvious that the level of skill would translate over to the OWL.
Now, the thinking that bringing in an established team would automatically translate to cohesiveness throughout the organization up from the players, to the coaches, to the owners, was ideal. But, there came difficult times for the organization, as many players were moved to keep the starting six happy in a tumultuous ending to the season. Losing the entire lower half of the roster was a dramatic shift in thinking for the organization
Early on, the Spitfire management knew that tough decision had to be made in order to keep players happy and leave the team balanced. The decision to move Chan-hyung ‘Fissure’ Baek came off as an odd move at the time, but watching this team now keeping Fissure on the bench wouldn’t have been beneficial for anybody. This team knows that they can only rely on themselves and no number of substitutions will get them a win.
Watching this team overcome the Los Angeles Gladiators in three games showed that same level of attack and confidence as the Spitfire showed in stage one. It was Jae-hui ‘Gesture’ Hong being a monster on Winston, making their snipers uncomfortable, alongside Jun-ho ‘Fury’ Kim who did a nice job following up on callouts. Those two are carving up the front-line of the Valiant, making it a lot easier on Ji-hyeok ‘birdring’ Kim, who’s had his best week since stage one.
The return to prominence and a shot at silencing the doubters for the Spitfire after they looked spooked in game one of the Gladiators series. It looked over and the world was calling them dead, but in one of the more inspiring moments of the season summoned that level of cohesion and dominated six straight maps. A win to make it to the finals as the five seed will be one of the better stories all season.
On the other hand, the Los Angeles Valiant don’t want to see their season end in two short games. No, they are still eyeing the title and despite the game one loss, the Valiant is not a team to shy away from a challenge. It comes down to one magical set of Overwatch. Can they shut down Jun-young ‘Profit’ Park or outduel birdring in the sniper matchup.
The main matchup I’ll be focusing on is Indy ‘SPACE’ Halpern facing off against Fury. Space didn’t have his standard impact on game one as Fury was able to contribute both offensively and defensively. The net-win in damage and objective time for Fury seemed to be a small difference that ended up making a big impact. Fury also finished second in kills, and if the Valiant want to win tonight, slowing him down is the first step.
Valiant also need Terence ‘SoOn’ Tarlier to have a stronger game on the Widowmaker to give them a chance. At the very least, keep the margins of picks within range, as Profit was able to find a staggering amount of final-blows in game one. The difference in that category alone made up for a lot of the Spitfire’s win. Whichever Widowmaker gets more space to tonight will make all the difference.