Overwatch League: Why the NYXL and Vancouver Titans Rivalry is Bigger Than You Think

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Overwatch League: Why the NYXL and Vancouver Titans Rivalry is Bigger Than You Think

ESTNN's Charlotte August explains the history between these two Overwatch League super teams.

You may see the title and think, “Surely it’s because of how good the teams are in terms of their skill, right?” Well, yes, but that’s not the whole story. In fact, the rivalry between these two teams goes back to even before the establishment of the Overwatch League.

The story begins on March 24th, 2017. The teams? Runaway and LW Blue. The match? The first semi-finals of OGN’s APEX Season 2. These names may seem familiar to some, but now these rosters now go by different names: the NYXL and the Vancouver Titans. At the end of October 2017,New York Excelsior signed LW Blue’s roster. Runaway wouldn’t be signed into the Overwatch League until the second season, but they went on to win Season 2 of Contenders Korea. After this win, Runaway became the Vancouver Titans.


Analysts always considered Runaway the underdogs when it came to the APEX tournament. The team had a tendency to come close to major tournament wins, but often fell just short in the end. Runaway made it to the APEX Finals twice, once in Season 2 and again in Season 4, but they lost both times. People never considered them to be one of the teams to watch out for, but their lovable personalities and vibrant pink uniforms made them stand out from the rest. Fans found them easy to love, and it wasn’t by accident. Team managers, Runner and Flowervin, worked hard to give fans enjoyable content. The hard work paid off; Runaway were fan favourites, and the Vancouver Titans scouts recognized their potential.

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LW Blue

Runaway wasn't the only ran-favourite team, however, Their opponents, LW Blue, had a similar history. Much like Runaway, the team often made the playoffs but rarely found success. Fans were impressed by their individual talent and impressive teamwork. They followed them all the way through, even when the roster was transferred to the New York Excelsior. They may not have won any titles in APEX, but both Saebyeolbe and Gambler of LW Blue crushed the other teams when it came down the Karaoke competition for Season 2.

March 24th, 2017

It came right down to the wire. The score was 2-2, and every fan was glued to their screens across the globe watching this epic battle between the two “little engines that could.” As Runaway pushed the cart close to the glowing box of victory on the third point of Eichenwalde, Main tank Kaiser would make one of the most famous plays in Overwatch history. Kaiser, who left the team to join Cloud 9 in May of that year, dropped his Earthshatter onto LW Blue, knocking the whole team down. Runaway quickly wiped the team, sending LW Bluw back to spawn as Runaway and co. sailed closer to the finish line. But no matter how hard LW Blue tried, they wouldn’t be able to stop Runaway’s momentum. The pink squad won the map, and took the first spot in the Grand Finals.

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And now, the matchup has continued in the Overwatch League. Many fans were hoping to see NYXL face the Vancouver Titans in the grand finals, but the Seoul Dynasty stopped the NYXL short in the quarter-finals. Many fans wanted to see these teams face off because they're some of the best in the League. Others, however, wanted a rematch of that infamous March 24th, 2017, game.

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Charlotte August
Charlotte “CharlieHiggins” is a student in London, England with a strong passion for Overwatch Esports. She is a Community Moderator for the Los Angeles Gladiators and creates daily content for fans to enjoy. You can learn more about Charlotte on our About page.