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NYXL Reverse Sweeps Philadelphia, Wins Dramatic Stage 2 Playoffs And 100K

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The OWL stage 2 playoffs ended with a bang - including an epic reverse sweep, a historic upset, and new players coming up big for their teams in the clutch.

100,000 bucks and a playoff title were on the line for the Philadelphia Fusion, New York Excelsior, and London Spitfire in the OWL stage 2 playoffs. Both London and New York returned to the playoffs after facing off in the finals of stage one, while Philadelphia replaced Houston from the stage 1 playoffs by edging out the Seoul Dynasty on tiebreakers for the 3 seed.

London and New York entered the stage 2 playoffs as the heavy favorites with their star-studded, all-Korean rosters. Both teams have enjoyed consistent results throughout the OWL from their consistent starters, having rarely needed to make substitutions for reasons outside of rest or injury.

Philadelphia, on the other hand, has been on a team on the rise thanks recent shake-ups in their roster. They have one of the top DPS players in the world in Carpe and an incredible tank duo in Poko and Fragi, but were a few pieces short of a complete roster during stage 1. It's safe to say that they found those missing pieces in Eqo and Snillo, a pair of teenage DPS players from Isreal and Sweden, the later of whom only became eligible to play in OWL after turning 18 earlier this month.


Semifinal Recap: Fusion vs. Spitfire


The fusion was the team with all the momentum coming into the playoffs, but to reach the finals they would have to defeat a London squad they had previously never won a map against. The series began on Watchpoint Gibraltar, a map that the Spitfire have never lost in OWL, and they began the series with a commanding full hold on point A to take a quick 1-0 lead.

The second map didn't bode much better the city of brotherly love, as Nepal had been Philly's Achilles heel in stage 2 and one of London's best maps. The Fusion would need some incredible play from their DPS to beat London's gruesome twosome of Birdring and Profit, which is exactly what they got out of Carpe's Tracer and Eqo's Genji in a full dive vs. dive matchup. The fusion 2-0'd the map to even up the score game score, then rolled out the same composition on Hanamura to similar success and a 2-1 series lead.

The next map was King's Row, the Fusion's best map in stage 2, which started out brilliantly for the fusion with a sneaky Hanzo play by Carpe. However, the Spitfire weren't going down without a fight, and steamrolled the Fusion from there on out on the back of some strong Reinhardt play from Gesture. King's Row is known as a Reinhardt map, and Fragi's shield was under constant pressure from Birdring's Junkrat while Gesture was able to keep more consistently protect his team and control space with a healthy shield.


Teenager was subbed out for teenager on the deciding map 5, as Snillo came in for Eqo to play his fearsome Tracer on Route 66. They would need some incredible play from the Swedish Sensation and Carpe's Widowmaker to beat the Widow/Tracer duo of Profit and Birdring, and incredibly play is exactly what they got. Carpe did an excellent job of avoiding Widow duels against Birdring and was able to apply a ton of pressure on London's supports as a result. Meanwhile, Snillo's Tracer wreaked so much havoc on London's backline that Birdring was forced to swap off his Widow onto McCree. Route 66 was all about Snillo, who went 24-1 on attack and played "one of the best Tracer runs" that OWL had ever seen. Game, set, and match went to the Fusion, and the OWL was delivered its first ever playoff upset.


Finals Recap: Fusion vs. Excelsior


A Philadephia roster with no Eqo and no Snillo dealt New York their only loss in stage 1, but NYXL would still enter the finals as the heavy favorites. Saebyeolbe's Tracer and Jjonak's Zenyatta have been (arguably) the two best players in the entire league, and their "other" DPS, Libero, would be best player on half of the rosters in OWL. The Fusion would boast the better tank duo against most teams in the league, but not against NYXL's Meko and Mano. Philli did have some advantages of their own coming into finals - they benefited tremendously from the fact that NYXL had spent most of their practice and preparation time on London and Seoul, and were more warmed up than NYXL were having just finished a 5 map series against London.

Game one took us to Route 66, where NYXL rolled out their typical starting roster and the Fusion stuck with Snillo after his dominant play on map 5 of the previous series. After getting the better of London's DPS on Route 66 in the previous game, Snillo once again could not be stopped as he and Carpe handled NYXL's fearsome DPS duo. Neptuno also came up huge on Mercy, getting a key kill on Jjonak while using his Valkyrie. He was also able to stay alive and keep his team nice and healthy much better than the supports from NYXL were able to. Though Philadephia couldn't quite take point C on their initial attack, they held New York on point B and took map one for an early series lead.

Map two took us to Lijiang Tower, where Snillo's Tracer was subbed out for the stronger control point player in Eqo. The entire map was a back and forth chess match of hero swaps, with Saebyelobe hitting three huge hooks on Roadhog and Libero's Pharah controlling space to take the first stage. Phili went triple tank on stage two with Eqo on D.Va and got a huge graviton from Fragi's Zarya to flip the point and take stage 2. The final stage saw a Libero v. Eqo Pharah duel, but the game was controlled from start to finish by Carpe's seven pulse bomb kills. Eqo and Carpe were able to get the better of Seabyeolbe and Libero when all was said and done, and Poko's D.Va out-dueled Meko's. Map two went to Philli, and the NYXL was shocked to be down 2-0 going into halftime.

NYXL's star players, Saebyeolbe and Jjonak, would need to be a much bigger factor going forward to give NYXL a chance of the reverse sweep. The next map was Volskaya, typically a Sombra map, but both teams opted to go for dive compositions with Widowmaker. The DPS for NYXL were out for blood after the break, and dominated their respective matchups. Libero crushed Carpe in the Widow v Widow duel, Saebyeolbe roamed the map with impunity as Tracer, and the tanks for New York completely outmatched the tanks for Philadelphia. NYXL full held the Fusion on Volskaya's point A without giving up a single tick on attack, then Libero bagged an impressive 2k as Widow to cap point A in the blink of an eye and take the third map decisively.


NYXL made a rare substitution in map 4, swapping tank for tank in Mano for Janus. Another Widowmaker map, Libero rode his wave of domination on Volskaya all the way to Hollywood and manhandled Carpe once again. New York got a rare and impressive hold half way through Hollywood's point B, which put immense pressure on Philadelphia to put up a solid defense on the notoriously difficult to hold point A. They went triple tank with Eqo on Roadhog and Poko on D.Va, but they were no match for the substitute Janus and his Winston. Both he and Saebyeolbe's Tracer brought the pain to the Fusion's backline and steamrolled through the payload to a victory.

The deciding map 5 of the playoffs went to Watchpoint Gibraltar, where the Fusion opted to stay with Eqo's Genji in a dive vs. dive match and keep the red-hot Snillo on the bench, while Mano came back in for Janus. Philly quickly took point A by pressuring New York's tanks, and rode their pressure all the way to 1.8 meters from the checkpoint of Point B with more than 3 minutes on the clock. Jjonak and Libero nailed a couple of key picks to stall things out, and as the point crawled further and further away from the checkpoint, Jjonak continued to reign in the frags and prove to the world why he's regarded as one of the best Zens on the planet. Right as overtime was about to trigger, Eqo hit Q and nailed a massive Dragon Blade on both of NYXL's supports to kick off a prolonged OT fight over a contested payload, which the Fusion ultimately pushed through to Point B. With just a 1:30 left on the clock to finish the map, NYXL buckled down on point C and Saebyeolbe's Tracer decimated the healers for Philly as the Excelsior made a statement while holding point C.

The playoffs, 100,000 dollars, and the stage 2 title would all come down to New York's next attack. They predictably took the notoriously difficult to defend point A, but got stalled out on point B by a clutch Nano-Blade from Eqo. Unphased, New York stayed the course and applied massive pressure to Philly's supports with their diving Tanks and DPS, taking point B with plenty of time to spare. From there, it was a cake walk to push the cart to where the Fusion had left left it, and NYXL was able the cruise through Philly's defenses to a stage 2 title.


New to OWL? Now's a great time to start!


With two stages and three months of practice to iron out the kinks, OWL is quickly becoming a must-watch event for any fan of Overwatch. The league was initially criticized for being a bit too hard to follow from a broadcasting standpoint, but the production team has stepped up their game just as much as the players have over the past two months, and some of the most recent OWL matches have been as fun to watch as the game is to play.

Coming in to stage 3, the level of play is continuing to escalate along with the casting, analysis, and behind the scenes work. Several highly anticipated players, including the aforementioned Snillo and Sinatraa, have also recently joined the league to further elevate the level of play. With OWL returning for stage 3 on April 4th on twitch.tv, now is as good a time as ever to start rooting for a team and join in on the action.

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1) NYXL roster is pretty much a cheat. SBB, Libero and Mano is already national player, Jjonak will definitely be there this time around and for the season 2, they are adding Flower too. Koreans respresent the top in this game and these guys get the best of them. I think the remaining Korean NT roster is in Seoul.

2) Why not Shadowburn after Eqo kinda choked except some shiny moments? Most of the crowd agrees on SB being the best Genji in the league. So if you wanna go classic Tracer-Genji dps line, who does it better than Carpe and SB? Snillo was great though.

3) Philly needs some supports. Apparently trying to get Jehong on Jjonak is not an option. Maybe acquire Custa at least, or Sleepy? If it is all  possible to transfer players from other teams.

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8 hours ago, FanOfValeera said:

3) Philly needs some supports. Apparently trying to get Jehong on Jjonak is not an option. Maybe acquire Custa at least, or Sleepy? If it is all  possible to transfer players from other teams.

Boombox and Neptuno are typically pretty "quiet" as far as big plays go, but I think Philly has to be pretty happy with what they got out of those players against London and NY. That said, support feels like the weak side of that team with the DPS and Tanks they have.

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