Perhaps one of the most intriguing stories of the Overwatch League Stage 2 regular season is that the Philadelphia Fusion showed an explosive start; they currently hold the top spot in the leaderboard standings, alongside Seoul Dynasty, with a 3-0 record during the first two weeks of play. However, no one could have predicted this strong of a start, knowing the huge roster move that the Philadelphia Fusion had made. The core DPS player for the Fusion, who played all throughout Stage 1, a veteran swordsman in the league – known as one of the best Genji players in the world – Georgii “ShaDowBurn” Gushcha was not seen at all during the first week of Stage 2 play. Instead the Philadelphia Fusion opted to go with a new look, 18-year old Josue “Eqo” Corona on Genji.
To almost everyone’s surprise, no one expected this move out of the Fusion. Teams, Analysts and fans questioned: Why would you bench one of the best players in the league? And What does Eqo offer that ShaDowBurn doesn’t? With many questions, and those looking for answers, all eyes were on Eqo as he made his debut during Week 1 of the Stage 2 regular season. I think those questions were answered fairly quickly; the clip below is from Eqo’s debut performance against the Boston Uprising.
Eqo was brought on to the Philadelphia Fusion due to his more aggressive playstyle of the hero Genji. Those who play Genji, a DPS hero, can build his ultimate very quickly when dealing damage with his shuriken’s, earning themselves the deadly Dragonblade. However, at the highest level of Overwatch, support players can counter the Dragonblade ultimate using their own support ultimate’s, to negate the damage. Genji’s have two options if they want to have an impactful ultimate: Earn Dragonblade before the other team gets their support ultimate’s or wait/force out the support ultimate’s, then use Dragonblade. Unlike ShaDowBurn, Eqo uses his ultimate almost as soon as he gets it, before enemy ultimate’s are up. Additionally, this allows him to work up to another Dragonblade, instead of sitting on it for most of the game. The clip below is from Stage 2 Week 1 – Philadelphia Fusion vs Florida Mayhem, it shows just how quickly Eqo earns and uses his Dragonblade.
The ShadowBurn effect?
Although many were surprised that the veteran ShaDowBurn wasn’t in the lineup, it proves that different playstyles have different strengths. ShaDowBurn a more patient Genji player looks for an opportune time to strike using his Dragonblade, after enemies use their ultimates. It is not uncommon to see quite a few eliminations in the feed after ShaDowBurn gets done using his Dragonblade. With ShaDowBurn, the Philadelphia Fusion always know what they are going to get out of his ultimate. However, there can be a drawback to this, which is detrimental to the team, waiting too long to use your Dragonblade due to enemy supports holding onto their own ultimates in order to counter you. With ShaDowBurn’s experience he knows exactly when to use his Dragonblade; often times he can be seen as the hero in team fights. The clip below is from Stage 1 Week 4 – Philadelphia Fusion vs Los Angeles Valiant.
With many questions answered during the first two weeks of Stage 2, the only question now becomes: Who will stop the Philadelphia Fusion? With two great Genji players, ShaDowBurn and now Eqo, both with their unique playstyles, opposing teams in the Overwatch League have their work cut out for them. Oh, and don’t forget, that is just one of their DPS positions that you need worry about. Whichever swordsmen is in the lineup playing Genji for the Philadelphia Fusion, expect to see some slicing, dicing and a huge Dragonblade.
Featured Image Credit: Overwatch League
Videos Clips: Overwatch League