During its initial season, Overwatch League has shown solid growth through the 200+ games played since the debut. Although Blizzard's esport experiment has seen its fair share of ups and downs – resulting in some unexpected roster shakeups, changes in schedule flow and some controversies around the players – the league's success in striking the hero shooting game Overwatch into an event game has been a look to see. The tournament will culminate in a battle between the fan-favorite teams London Spitfire and Philadelphia Fusion. And with plans to expand further in the next season, including two new teams in Paris and Guangzhou, along with a significant distribution agreement with ESPN, the future looks bright for Overwatch League.
During July 27-28, the Grand Final will see London Spitfire and Philadelphia Fusion compete in multiple games, with the champion crowned after a top two of three matches. The first day will only have a fight, the second day of the Grand Finals will decide the winner.
While both teams are fan favorites and the best season had to offer, they met each other with many challenges that almost held them out of the finals. The Prince of 2017 gave good opportunity for the teams to get their feet before the official start of season 1. But, unfortunately, Fusion missed due to problems with planning and visa clearance for its list. When they debuted at the opening of Season 1 in January, they had a particularly bad view during stages 1 and 2. Finally, the Merger found its footrest thanks to a roster change and solid performance from key players Georgii "Shadowburn" Gushcha, Josue "Eqo "Corona, and Alberto" Nepturo "Gonzalez Molinillo. Fusion currently has a 24-winner and 16 defeats during the belt.
In the last half of the season, London Spitfire has become one of the league's most popular teams. With a strong start in Step 1, they quickly became known as the team to watch. But they struggled to maintain momentum, resulting in more disappointing games in Stages 2 and 3. After a failed start in the first week of Stage 4, the team management made the surprising move to remove four players from their active roster – Hyeon-woo "HaGoPeun" Jo, Jang-hyeon "TiZi" Hwang, Seung-hyun "WooHyaL" Sung, and Seong Dong-eun "Hooreg" Lee. The reason they stated in a press release was to create a smaller "championship-caliber" team. Amazingly, this team got to regain the same buzzen they had in the season, which led to some memorable battles against the merger, and Spitfires rivals, Los Angeles Gladiators – who they managed to play in playoffs. Like the merger, Spitfire also has an identical match game of 24 wins and 16 losses.
London Spitfire owner Jack Etienne was sincere about the team's challenges during the season, including their important decision to make changes to the router.
"To me personally the biggest challenge this season was to understand that you can not only put the best 12 players on a team and expect it to go well," he said. "The thing is that when you only have six of these players on stage, the other six will not be happy to be a backup. I've always thought the teams that win at playoffs are the teams that tops right When we were down and out, as after the third leg and did not work well and then went into step 4 and did not work well and sent players back home – my players were miserable. We talked about it and I told them, "Hi, this decline hurts to be here right now, but it's time, the best time, to figure out what's wrong with us, and come back strong. "Other teams who have these slums later do not have time to fix we actually have time to fix what goes wrong. "
" In particular, the merger has played strong against us, they are a very solid team, "he continued. "And through our [earlier games] they are by far the best. We are the best two teams in the league. I have great respect for them and it is very good that things ended as they did in the bracket because it would be a shame if we had to play each other in quarter finals or semifinals and one of us just lost from the other teams would have sucked. It would have been a bad final but the way that ended with brackets, ended with the two best teams , peaked at the right times, to be here. "
With the Grand Finals, Overwatch League will increase the scope of the event. Along with the change in place from the Blizzard Arena in Burbank to the Barclays Center, the increased range that Blizzard has planned for their final games has given the viewers more ways to see the crucial fighting between Spitfire and Fusion. In addition to its online audience on Twitch and other streaming platforms, the league will also be broadcast on the ESPN and Disney Channel in North America. The exposure of the last games of the season gets a clear payout in the gamblers Blizzard has taken to create their own Esport league, and this will probably give an indication of how it will expand in the years to come.
Jon Spector, OWL Director of Franchising and Competition, talked about what he wanted to do with the league's reach, and the goal of expanding the OWL audience even further.
"We've always wanted our content to be as accessible as possible for the fans," said Spector. "That meant watching the Overwatch League at Twitch, you can see it on our website, you can see it on the app, We do it now with the ESPN Partnership, you can watch it on TV in parts of the world. So I think if you look at what we're most excited about, for the ESPN / Disney relationship, it's the opportunity to bring Overwatch League to a new group of fans who might not have seen us on Twitch before and hadn & # 39; There is a chance when we are on finals and first class time at ESPN to introduce the league to some new fans. So I'm very excited about it, but I think it reflects our core strategy for something that makes the content so available to fans. But they will consume what we want the Overwatch league to be there. "
Season 1 in the Overwatch League has already been a solid Start for Blizzard venture in Esport's territory. As more teams have been developed and added with several venues in the mix, it's a bigger perception that the league is only in progress. For Blizzard, what does the Overwatch League work is not just the design of the hero's shooting game itself, which focuses on a diverse and talented group of people who come together to form a team but also the passionate society that has been drawn to its hopeful and optimistic view of what the future may be, where people of all ages and backgrounds come together to find joy in something wonderful. This is something that people are naturally attracted to and constantly seeking, and That's what will be the driving force behind Overwatch League's growth.