How London Spitfire won Overwatch League Stage 1

February 14th
written by Moirai
2018-02-10 / Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment
2018-02-10 / Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

The Spitfire overcame some serious odds to be the ones lifting the trophy at the end of the night: 10 hours, 14 maps and 3 full games, to be specific. They battled through a marathon of a day – and a more-rested NYXL to boot – to come out on top and $100,000 richer.

With the stats in hand, it’s time to break this match down to figure out just what happened with this match. Take a look below at some of the highlights:

London had first blood more often and first deaths less often

London had 53.93% of the first bloods throughout the match, winning 77.08% of those times. They won more fights overall as well – 47.19% of them – making their victory even sweeter. Spitfire outperformed NYXL in every team fight-based category, save for lesser stats when it came to first deaths (they had less of those, but when they did have them, it caused a lot of trouble for London).

Sometimes we see games where this didn’t matter: Uprising vs Spitfire comes to mind, where Spitfire also earned more fight wins than their opponent. However, what seemed more important in Uprising was that Uprising had the edge on first blood, which is something that Spitfire had in their win here.

team fights
Fight Stats | click on images to enlarge them

A very intriguing stat here is the SKF metric. SKF means Single Kill Fight (SDF Single Death Fight) and is the percentage of fights where a team more than likely staggered an enemy player. SKF for all of Stage 1 is at 6.8%, but London did it in 14.6% of their fights. This suggests that staggering NY’s players was a big key to Spitfire’s success, without which Excelsior would have been far ahead in Fight Winrate.

Another big factor is the difference in ult management. NYXL used 71.34% of their available ults, while London only used 60.79% in each fight. This is particularly impressive because NYXL, in general, is the best team at saving up their ults in OWL. In this match, however, it seemed they were more trigger-happy than usual, while London stayed calm and distributed their resources over a greater number of fights.

Janus was caught out early and often on the last three maps

janus statsJanus played on Horizon, Numbani and Dorado – the three maps that NYXL fell on. On those maps, Janus’ Winston hit some hard times – he was the first death 21.43% of the time. This included some dangerous, already-low-health situations on Horizon, where he was killed at extremely low health one push and then killed first again in the immediate next push when he was caught on a trap from Profit’s Junkrat. Without him pressing on Birdring’s Widow, there wasn’t a lot that NYXL could do. His Orisa did a bit better, but the main shortcomings from his Winston were a bit too much to bear.

He was killed the most by Widowmakers, Junkrats and Genjis – all of which were heroes that Profit and Birdring played. In short, the DPS got to him before he could pressure the DPS, resulting in a very big opening that both Spitfire players exploited to win.

Profit and Birdring overcame Libero and Saebyeolbe

Profit’s Junkrat had the highest amount of first kills, with 27.50%, while Birdring’s Widowmaker had 24.39% of first kills. The two heroes alone were able to further worsen an issue for NYXL – sometimes before it even started.

Saebyeolbe’s Tracer played over 40 minutes but only won maps 7.07% of that time, resulting in a 39.22% fight win rate. Profit, in the meantime, won 46.67% of the fights his Tracer was involved with while Birdring won 27.27% of his time as Tracer (though both played for 25-20 minutes on that hero, respectively).

Finally, Birdring’s Widowmaker was third overall in kills, with 35 kills total. Along with Profit’s Junkrat, Birdring’s Widowmaker was essential in grabbing first kills, with the sniper taking first blood 24.39% of the time. He was also seldom caught out by the enemy, with only a 4.88% first death statistic.

The success of the DPS allowed for Birdring to keep his distance on Widowmaker, allowing him such a high first blood percentage, as well as kept him in the fight while the fight was going on, giving Spitfire the edge. For NYXL’s part, they had Pine on Widowmaker on Junkertown only; with no Hanzo or Pharah to speak (or Widow for all maps besides Junkertown), NYXL’s fight was a lot more up close and personal. This allowed Birdring to harass from afar while Profit took the mid-to-close range duties, allowing Spitfire a more diverse setup that NYXL didn’t have.

In this case, Janus being the first pick fairly often was essential; with that tank out of the way, the DPS on Spitfire could breathe a lot easier.


It wasn’t about the Supports (for once in this meta)

This helped pick up the pace when supports went down for Spitfire. In the battle of Mercy’s, Nus actually had the disadvantage, getting killed 35 times, ten more than ArK’s deaths on the hero. Nus also died first more than twice as much as Nus did, with Nus dying first 6.90% of the time while ArK only died first 3.37%. ArK’s Mercy was also far quicker to grab Valkyrie, with almost a twenty second lead on Spitfire’s support player.

The same could be said about Zenyatta in this match as well. JJoNak’s Zen kept up with Bdosin for the most part but excelled in grabbing their ultimate and using it quicker. Bdosin lost the first death battle, with 7.14% of the first deaths overall while JJoNak only had 5.63%.

On the field, this generally meant that NYXL’s support crew had more to react to than Nus and Bdosin. One of the things that Profit and Birdring’s specialties this match was pulling out ultimates from the supports – specifically JJoNak’s Transcendence, which was pulled out a few times in desperation and didn’t result in his death, but in a definite advantage for Spitfire. In other fights, it was simply because the team didn’t need it; that first kill statistic from earlier was something that Spitfire took great advantage of, resulting in their high win per first kill percentage.

For the most part, Valkyrie is used when things are going really wrong while Transcendence is used a bit more fluidly. Spitfire didn’t need the extra boost that Zen’s ultimate brings because the DPS was doing their job. NYXL, however, had more issue with that, resulting in the average held time you see here. The longer times for their ultimates seem to also suggest that; after all, supports gain ult charge more slowly when their team isn’t getting hurt.

(Also, bonus stat: Bdosin’s Zenyatta had 39 kills over the course of the match. He was second overall in most kills, four behind MekO’s D.Va.)



In general, the heroes of the match were the DPS of Spitfire, who gave themselves the openings they needed to take home the grand prize. The tank line was an issue for Excelsior, which is a bit concerning considering the up-and-coming meta of Stage 2 being tank-heavy.

Nothing, however, is guaranteed to stay the same in this upcoming stage; if anything, it’s likely to change drastically with new players and heroes taking the spotlight from now on. Expect to see a lot more emphasis on the tank line and on the supports, as they’ll be the biggest advantage a team has moving into the next few months.

For now, though, Spitfire can breathe a bit easier knowing that they’ve got the first big win under their belts – and being $100,000 richer probably doesn’t hurt, either.