London Spitfire punches ticket to Overwatch League finals

The London Spitfire becomes the first team locked in for the inaugural Overwatch League playoffs finals after a 3-0 sweep of the Los Angeles Valiant on Friday. Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

The London Spitfire smashed the Los Angeles Valiant's hopes of winning the inaugural Overwatch League Playoffs, securing a 3-0 victory during Week 2 of the Overwatch League semifinals at the Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California, Friday night, and will advance to the inaugural finals in New York next week.

Seconds into the game, it was clear that the Spitfire was playing with a different level of focus. London's tank line was coordinated, with Choi "Bdosin" Seung-tae's Roadhog and Hong "Gesture" Jae-hee's Orisa syncing up to take out Scott "Custa" Kennedy's Mercy, for example. The whole team moved well together, revolving from one target to the next with pinpoint efficiency. The Valiant was rarely able to find ground to stand on, and once it did the Spitfire would change tactics to gain the advantage. For example, London flex player Kim "Fury" Jun-ho was nearly invincible as D.Va on Dorado, yet could still put immense pressure on Los Angeles as Soldier 76 on Oasis. Despite such a strong performance, the Spitfire wasn't without its faults. The roster seemed to start getting ahead of itself, getting easily caught out of position or not respecting the mechanics of the Valiant. Nonetheless, London never let a setback drag it down, and bounced back with a new tactic or renewed lethality.

The Valiant looked broken, struggling to stand up after every punch London threw. Los Angeles DPS player Terence "SoOn" Tarlier had to do much of the heavy lifting, getting into the London backline and demanding its full attention. However, support player Custa and DPS Brady "Agilities" Girardi weren't able to get into a comfortable position, and found themselves frequently looking at the respawn screen. In each battle the Valiant should have won, the fight someone ran away from the team at a slow jog. It was never able to consistently get the strong, team victories it was looking for, and this gave the Spitfire the opportunities it needed. At times, though, the Valiant shined with moments of strategic brilliance. Such as when it baited London support Kim "NUS" Jong-seok's Mercy to use resurrection and pounced to eliminate him, or when Soon on Widowmaker drew the attention of London to allow the Valiant to engage. Unfortunately, it was never enough to rock the foundation of the Spitfire.

The Valiant gets to stay home, rest, and prepare for Season 2. The London Spitfire, meanwhile, remains in the playoffs, and is will to play against the winner of Saturday's match between Philadelphia Fusion and the New York Excelsior for the Overwatch League Season 1 title.