Vancouver, New York reach OWL winners final

Members of the New York Excelsior high-five following a map victory during their Overwatch League upper bracket semifinal series against the Atlanta Reign. The NYXL won the match 4-2 to move one series victory away from the grand final of the tournament. Photo by Stewart Volland/Provided by Blizzard Entertainment

The Vancouver Titans and New York Excelsior, the top two seeds in the Overwatch League Season 2 playoffs, both won on Sunday in Burbank, California, to move within one victory of the grand finals.

The top-seeded Titans handled the fifth-seeded Los Angeles Gladiators 4-2 in one winners-bracket semifinal before the second-seeded Excelsior beat the Atlanta Reign by the same margin.

Vancouver and New York will meet Friday for the first spot in the Grand Finals, which will be held at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on Sept. 29. Vancouver won both meetings between the teams this season: a 4-1 victory in the Stage 2 playoffs and a 3-2 result to end the regular season.

The Titans seesawed through the first four maps Sunday against the Gladiators, taking the first (2-0 on Busan) and third (3-2 on Temple of Anubis) maps but losing the second (3-1 on King's Row) and fourth (4-3 on Rialto) to remain equal at 2-2. But Vancouver took control from there, closing with victories of 2-1 on Lijiang Tower and Eichenwalde.

The Excelsior jumped quickly on the Reign, who entered on a 10-match win streak dating back to Stage 3. After New York won Busan 2-1 and King's Row 5-4, Atlanta took Hanamura 2-1, but the Excelsior came back to claim Rialto by the same margin. The Reign stayed alive with a 2-0 win on Lijiang Tower before the Excelsior put it away with a 3-2 win on Numbani.

Eight teams reached the season-ending, $3.5 million playoffs, with all matches running until one team wins four maps. Two teams -- the London Spitfire and Seoul Dynasty -- were eliminated on Saturday, and two more will be eliminated Thursday when losers-bracket action continues.

The Reign will face the fourth-seeded Hangzhou Spark in one match Thursday, with the Gladiators battling the third-seeded San Francisco Shock. The winners of those two matches will play Saturday, with the winner of that match taking on the loser of Titans-Excelsior on Sunday for the other Grand Finals berth.

-- Field Level Media