The Philadelphia Fusion and the London Spitfire both scored semifinal upsets in order to reach the finals of the first season of the Overwatch League.

Overwatch League Grand Finals
The Philadelphia Fusion will meet the London Spitfire in the first Overwatch League Grand Finals. (Image: Overwatch League/Twitter)

The two Esports teams will meet on Friday and Saturday for the Grand Finals, which will be played at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Bottom Seeds Advance to Finals

London and Philadelphia came into the playoffs as the No. 5 and No. 6 seeds, respectively. The Fusion reached the semifinals with a 2-1 victory over the Boston Uprising, while the Spitfire advanced on a 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Gladiators.

That meant that the two lowest-seeded teams in the playoffs would take on the two squads that enjoyed a first-round bye.

London had little trouble against the favored Los Angeles Valiant in the first semifinal. The Spitfire scored a 3-1 win in the first match of the semifinal on Wednesday, then swept LA 3-0 in the second match to clinch a 2-0 series victory. Time after time, the Valiant would get into team fights that were seemingly in their favor, only to watch the Spitfire gain the advantage, a trend that never allowed the Valiant to find their footing in either match.

If Londons victories over the two Los Angeles teams could be classified as upsets, they were nothing compared to Philadelphias stunning semifinal triumph over the New York Excelsior.

While Philadelphia had been one of the more intriguing teams in Overwatch League capable of beating the best teams on any given night, but failing to put together runs that would put them near the top of the standings New York was the consensus team to beat. The Excelsior finished the regular season with a 34-6 record, seven games ahead of the Valiant, and their +83 map differential was 47 better than the next best squad.

And yet the Fusion took control of the series from the very start, stunning New York 3-0 in their first match. The Excelsior put up much more of a fight on the second match, taking it all the way to Game 5 before the Fusion were able to put the match away with a win on the Dorado map.

Philadelphia became the first team to beat New York three times in matches this season. Theyve become known as perhaps the most aggressive team in Overwatch League, with DPS players Lee Carpe Jae-hyeok and Josh Eqo Corona providing flexibility that has made the Fusion a difficult matchup for any opponent to prepare for.

Oddsmakers See Grand Finals as Toss-Up

Heading into the final, its difficult to pick a favorite. Both London and Philadelphia finished the year with 24-16 records, and split the season series 2-2, though the Fusion did win an additional meeting between the teams in the Stage 2 playoffs.

London features one of the three all-Korean rosters (along with New York and the Seoul Dynasty, who ultimately failed to make the playoffs) that dominated the early going of the season, while Philadelphia has been consistently hanging just below the leaders in every stage. With little to choose between the two squads, CrownBet has declined to choose a favorite, offering 9/10 odds on either team to win the series.

Thanks to a recent multi-season broadcast deal, the Grand Finals will be broadcast live on ESPN on Friday, and on ESPN 3 on Saturday. Philadelphia and London will compete for a $1.4 million prize pool, with $1 million going to the winning team.


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