Overwatch Leagues first season ended in the weekend, with London Spitfire dominating the Philadelphia Fusion in two rounds of competition to earn the first league league. This ended an impressive race for the brand new esport that has managed to capture mainstream attention and even aired on ESPN.
If you happened to hit ESPN over the weekend, you were likely to see Overwatch League coverage as a regular selection of baseball, football and golf. That is because on top of the usual streaming capabilities, the big television network actually sends the first season-end tournament to the league, which seems to be a big success.
Over on Polygon, they have played down the last round between the newly-crowned championship London Spitfire and Philadelphia Fusion. The former managed to muscle past the latter 3-1 in the first series of matches before taking full control today two, going 3-0. Three days of competition are scheduled in case of a second round tie, but obviously, it was not necessary. Along with a championship trophy and a MVP prize for Spitfires Jun-Young "Profit" Park, the team went away with a cool million dollar in prize money. Players will see a large proportion of these revenues, giving young people the world of mass ammunition to use against parents who believe that video games will "get nothing in life."
While esports have been around for many years on this point, they have never known the kind of mainstream success earned in the first season of the Overwatch League. League still got together as late as the fall of 2017, with a dozen teams that make up the world in time to compete in the initial 2018 season. The result was a professional production that included well-paid athletes, high quality exhibitions and arenas that were stuffed with screaming fans. Heck, the league even handled its first big controversies well and acted quickly and fairly to prioritize and prevent negative behavior from hamstringing all OWL before it could get full.
Even cooler is the fact that the season and closing tournament was as action packed as many standard sports, with many turns, turns and unexpected outcomes, peppered along the way. While the Shanghai Dragons led an impressive 0-40 race through the first season, seven of the league's 12 current teams wrapped things with a victory spread of just five points. In other words, the number two Los Angeles Valiant ended 27-13 while the number 8 Seoul dynasty ended the season at. 22-18. It shows that there was some fairly evenly matched competition, with the New York Excelsior proving to be a dominant force with its 34-6 final position.
For Spitfire they finished the regular season in fifth position, but managed to play strong through the tournament to claim their crown.
We expect the competition to only be more interesting next season, as several teams appear to be in time for the 2019 race.