New York Excelsior (5-0) 3-1 Philadelphia Fusion (2-3)
The New York Excelsior looked as dominant as ever when they kicked off Week 3 against the Philadelphia Fusion. They’ve rolled through the first two weeks of the stage with ease, and looked to keep that win streak alive against their rivals from last season’s playoffs. After taking a clean 4-0 victory last time they played Philadelphia, the Excelsior hoped that this match would be just as decisive.
Though they couldn’t pull off a second sweep in a row, New York still looked as confident and organized as ever. The Fusion put up a good fight, making their opponent work for it on Temple of Anubis and claiming a victory on Blizzard World. However, the Excelsior would keep their undefeated status, and took a 3-1 victory.
Busan: New York 2-0 Philadelphia
The Excelsior took the upper hand right out of the gates on Downtown. Grabbing early control of the point, they held on tight, often shutting down the Fusion’s attacks before they could gain traction. Though Philadelphia did win a team fight and held control for a while, New York came back decisively, sweeping back in to reclaim the point and finish out the map.
Undeterred, Philadelphia pushed in hard on Sanctuary. For a while, it worked; as their defense solidified, New York couldn’t find their way in. They held the point into overtime before the Excelsior finally broke through and claimed the point for themselves. From there, they played patiently, keeping the Fusion from using any advantage they might have. As Philadelphia moved in for one more push, Yeon-kwan “Nenne” Jeong captured the team in a Graviton Surge, preventing them from triggering overtime and giving New York the 2-0 victory.
Temple of Anubis: New York 3-2 Philadelphia
Philadelphia started off the second map with a solid defense, forcing the Excelsior to play slowly. Once they rotated in, however, they headed to the point as a unit, wiping out the Fusion and claiming Point A. The Fusion pushed back on Point B, preventing New York from taking it on their first attack. However, the Excelsior didn’t need much more time to regroup and head back in. They finished out the map with plenty of time for another round.
New York’s defense proved stronger, and they repelled the Fusion’s first few attacks. By the time Philadelphia claimed the point, they had a little over a minute left, meaning they would need to move quickly to match the Excelsior’s time bank. New York prevented an outright snowball on point B, but the Fusion regrouped for an organized push, completing the map as well.
With a smaller time bank and a strong defense from the Excelsior, Philadelphia struggled on their second attack. Although they made some headway on the point, claiming a tick in the process, New York ultimately held as long as they needed to. This made it that much easier for the Excelsior, with nearly four minutes in their time bank, to make the progress they needed. They made short work of the Fusion’s second defense and claimed the victory.
Blizzard World: Philadelphia 3-2 New York
Up at the half and looking to keep up the momentum, New York hit the first point on Blizzard World hard. They captured it with ease and headed onward, only to slow down as Philadelphia regrouped. As their time bank dwindled, it looked like Philadelphia could stop them from reaching Point B. However, another timely Graviton Surge from Nenne gave them the edge, and they headed on towards the end of the map. As overtime began, the two teams brawled just meters from the end, only for Philadelphia to gain the advantage. The Fusion held the Excelsior off, preventing them from completing the map.
Switching over to defense, New York started off strong. Philadelphia struggled to find their footing, and a big Self Destruct from Tae-hong “MekO” Kim helped New York hold on. Eventually, the Fusion’s Gael “Poko” Gouzerch responded with a Self Destruct of his own, giving his team room to go in and clean up. From there, they headed on quickly, nearly reaching Point B before the Excelsior pushed back. However, the Fusion had found their groove. With Poko and Isaac “Boombox” Charles leading the way, Philadelphia broke through the defense, completing the map and taking a 3-2 win.
Watchpoint: Gibraltar: New York 1-0 Philadelphia
Sobered by their loss on the last map, the Excelsior clearly did not want to risk a reverse sweep. They held Philadelphia straight out of the spawn doors, shutting down any attack before it could pick up traction. Although the Fusion clawed their way out and started slowly towards point A, New York fought back just as hard. By the time the clock ticked down, Philadelphia had barely made any progress on the map, all but assuring a win for New York.
With little room for error, the Fusion fought back. In the first few team fights, they successfully broke down New York’s attacks, sending the team back to spawn. In the end, New York pushed through, however. Picking apart Philadelphia’s defense, they got where they needed to go, ending out the series with a 3-1 victory.
Continuing on the Warpath
With yet another victory under their belts, the Excelsior squad can only keep up the good work. Both of their remaining matches for the stage are against the struggling Atlanta Reign, and another playoffs run is all but assured. With a chance at a stage championship on the horizon, the Excelsior can take pride in the fact that they’re still at the top of the pack.
The New York Excelsior return to the stage on April 19, when they take on the Atlanta Reign. Tune in to see if they can finish out the stage with another undefeated run.
Follow Darby on Twitter @soundchecck! She is happy to talk about anything she’s written! You can also get in touch with her on Discord (soundchecck#7242).
Featured image courtesy of the Overwatch League.
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