Philadelphia beats London but fails to reach Stage 4 playoffs

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Overwatch League Power Rankings: Stage 4, Week 4 (4:41)

After occupying the top spot for much of the season, the New York Excelsior have fallen from their perch following a 1-1 week. Who is the new No. 1? (4:41)

Philadelphia Fusion 3 - London Spitfire 1

The Philadelphia Fusion took a 3-1 win over the London Spitfire on Saturday but still failed to qualify for the Stage 4 playoffs.

Coming into the end of the season, both the Spitfire and the Fusion have locked up spots in the Season 1 playoffs while Philadelphia still had a shot at the Stage 4 playoffs on Sunday. London has looked worse for wear as time has gone by, while Philadelphia has shown both hot and cold streaks, but both teams are still stacked with talent.

Philadelphia looked strong throughout the first three games, showing a wide variety of playstyles and compositions to keep London on its back foot. As usual, the DPS duo of Lee "Carpe" Jae-hyeok and Josue "Eqo" Corona were big for the Fusion, with Carpe's proficiency on hitscan heroes keeping London at bay while Eqo showed off impressive flexibility, playing Brigitte, Pharah, Widowmaker, and Junkrat amongst other heroes. This duo has carried Philadelphia to top-tier status ever since Eqo's introduction to the lineup in Stage 2, but what really set the stage for this Fusion win was the rest of the team.

The tanks did a phenomenal job of keeping London's frontline pinned down, while the supports kept everyone healthy and repelled London's dive attempts. This series was, ostensibly, a warning to the rest of the playoff teams: Sleep on the Fusion at your own risk.

On the other side of things, London looked fairly unorganized throughout the first half and struggled to coordinate with each other, which allowied what should have been easy teamfights to become knock-down brawls. As has been the case all season, DPS Park "Profit" Joon-yeong was the shining light for the Spitfire, flexing around several heroes while playing everything he touched at a top level. In Game 4 on Watchpoint: Gibraltar, the Spitfire finally pulled everything together, digging its feet in and picking up a decisive map win.

That sole map win gave the Dallas Fuel a spot in the Stage 4 playoffs. Make no mistake, the Spitfire now are a far cry away from the team that won the Stage 1 championship, but lurking beneath the mediocre play is a team that has upset potential.

Both Philadelphia and London's regular seasons are at an end, and both will begin preparing for the end of the season playoffs.

-- Noah Waltzer

San Francisco Shock 4 - Shanghai Dragons 0

The San Francisco Shock took down the Shanghai Dragons in a 4-0 sweep on Saturday at the Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California. With the loss, the Dragons finished the inaugural season of the Overwatch League with a winless 0-40 record.

This was the last chance for the Dragons to claim a victory in Season 1 and, unfortunately, it fell short yet again. While off-tank Kim "Geguri" Se-yeon's D.Va and DPS Chon "Ado" Gi-hyeon's Junkrat and Tracer gave the Dragons openings, Shanghai still had a ton of trouble closing out engagements when it mattered most. One or two members of the Shock would survive and hold out long enough for more members to return, showing some of the lack of coordination that has plagued the Dragons since opening day.

Shanghai's ultimate usage today was better than it was back in Stage 1, and the whole squad was moving with improved synchronization, but it wasn't nearly enough to overcome the Shock. It was clear that Shanghai was doing its utmost to turn things around, but never found the answers to its struggle, going into esports infamy with several questions looming looking ahead to next season.

The Shock kept itself one step in front of the Dragons at all times, which admittedly wasn't too difficult to do. Whether this was DPS Park "Architect" Min-ho's Genji clearing out Shanghai's backline or support Nikola "sleepy" Andrews' Zenyatta saving San Francisco with excellently timed Transcendences, San Francisco had a constant read on Shanghai. Just when one might think it was over for the Shock, it held its ground, got picks onto the Dragon's DPS or support players and walked away from the fight on its own two feet.

Other times, the Shock simply dominated the Dragons, such as Game 4 on Dorado, where the Shock prevented the Dragons from gaining any ground and full-held a hapless Shanghai. While the Shock didn't make it to the Stage 4 playoffs, this stage saw a marked improvement in the squad, promising good things to come next season.

Both the Shanghai Dragons and San Francisco Shock have been eliminated from the playoffs and will most likely take a break before starting to prepare for Season 2.

-- Liam Craffey

Boston Uprising 4 - Florida Mayhem 0

The Boston Uprising took out the Florida Mayhem in a 4-0 series on Saturday in Burbank, California, in the last regular season match of the inaugural season of the Overwatch League.

The Uprising secured its third-place seeding in the season playoffs by dominating a flat Florida Mayhem, and Boston showed off its grasp of the meta in the process. After the first three maps, Boston brought in substitute support Mikias "Snow" Yohannes on the final map, Watchpoint: Gibraltar, and still easily took a 4-0 win.

Both DPS players Kwon "Striker" Nam-joo and Stanislav "Mistakes" Danilov gave it their all this series, with Striker in particular making short work of the Mayhem as his Widowmaker picked up consistent kills. Striker's free reign was supported by Mistakes' flexible DPS pool; Mistakes picked up Brigitte and Hanzo across the series and filled a plethora of roles for the team. Mistakes' implementation of Brigitte showed that Boston has finally adapted to the meta after a disastrous Stage 4, and the switch proved that defeating the Uprising might be difficult come playoffs.

After the first map, the Florida Mayhem looked utterly deflated and thoroughly defeated. DPS players Kevyn "TviQ" Lindström and Andreas "Logix" Berghmans could barely challenge the Uprising. Indeed, TviQ had to play off-meta heroes like Doomfist to even take a point on Lijiang Tower, as Florida's standard compositions simply weren't cutting it.

The Mayhem's poor DPS performance wasn't helped by its reluctant tank players. On maps like King's Row and Horizon Lunar Colony, tanks Johan "CWoosH" Klingestedt and Joonas "zappis" Alakurtti would set up outside of the point, allowing Boston to score free time with little challenge. The Mayhem's one star player, DPS Ha "Sayaplayer" Jung-woo, didn't make an appearance this series, either. All in all, this was just a disappointing end to what has been a disappointing first season for Florida, which should look to change things up in the off season.

The Florida Mayhem will end the inaugural season of the Overwatch League with a 7-33 record. Meanwhile, the Boston Uprising will end with a 25-15 record and will go on to face the Philadelphia Fusion in the season playoffs.

-- Christiaan Kutlik