July 22, 2018 / 1:12 PM / a year ago

Fusion sweep Excelsior, to face Spitfire in OWL Grand Finals

Members of the New York Excelsior stand for fans after winning the Stage 3 title match of the Overwatch League at the Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California, U.S., May 6, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen

The Philadelphia Fusion fought hard to earn a spot in the Grand Finals of the Overwatch League inaugural season by defeating the New York Excelsior 3-2 on Saturday.

The Fusion will face the London Spitfire in the best-of-three Grand Finals, which begin Friday. The Spitfire advanced with a sweep of the Los Angeles Valiant.

Philadelphia claimed victory over New York in two series. After winning the first clash, 3-0, on Wednesday, the showdown Saturday brought the best out of the two teams, with the Fusion proving to be the better on the day.

The first map, Junkertown, saw the Fusion advance the payload through the map before reaching the end with time to spare. Though New York fought hard to replicate the results, it was held up before reaching the final checkpoint by a strong Fusion defense, handing the first map to Philadelphia.

The second map, Lijiang Tower, was a tense showdown. The first round went to New York, as the Fusion only managed to claim 29 percent of the point. The second round went back to Philadelphia, despite New York reaching 99 percent capture percentage. The third and final round went back in favor of New York as it stopped the Fusion from capping the point despite reaching 99 percent.

The third map, King’s Row, saw the Fusion capture and advance the payload through the entire map to finish with plenty of time to spare. The attack from New York was woeful, and it failed to secure the initial payload in the face of the Fusion defense. With the map victory, the Fusion were on match point for both the series and overall semifinal.

The fourth map, Hanamura, was a chance for New York to bounce back and keep its hopes alive. After successfully holding Point B, New York was in excellent position to extend the series and potentially fight for the spot in the Grand Finals. The attack from New York was swift and deadly, despite some initial resistance from the Fusion defense. Ultimately, the Fusion could not keep New York from reaching the required capture percentage, forcing a Game 5 showdown.

The fifth and final map, Dorado, was the final nail in the coffin for New York’s hopes of a hometown Grand Final. Unfortunately, despite New York’s defense stopping the Fusion from reaching the final checkpoint, when it came time for the Excelsior to launch their own attack they found themselves similarly blocked, and their increasingly desperate attempts at pushing the payload came short of the mark in the end.

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