Atlanta Reign (3-4) vs (5-2) Philadelphia Fusion
Atlanta Reign 1-3 Philadelphia Fusion
The Atlanta Reign and Philadelphia Fusion came into their quarterfinal match-up with a ton on the line. The Reign looking to redeem their stage one loss, and the Fusion looking to prove that their win wasn’t a fluke. While every round was a knockout brawl, Philadelphia was the team able to put up the points when it mattered the most, take the win, and advance to the semifinals.
Ilios – Reign 2-1 Fusion
The day started on Ilios where the Fusion came out with fire in their eyes. Atlanta was caught off guard repeatedly on Lighthouse, struggling to find any footing. While they were eventually able to flip the point in their favor, the Reign were only able to hold off the onslaught for so long, eventually falling in the first round.
They weren’t giving up just yet, however, as the roles were swapped for the next round on Well. Showing absolute dominance, Atlanta rotated perfectly and managed to stave off the Fusion’s assault and prevent them from taking a single percent.
The map came down to Ruins, where the Reign were in control most of the round. Philadelphia wasn’t ready to give up, however, and managed to flip the point in their favor with a sneaky back-cap. This caused Atlanta to scramble to get back to the point while the Fusion were able to clean them up. In the final push, though, the Reign found what they needed and were able to secure the point when it mattered.
King’s Row – Reign 1-2 Fusion
King’s Row was an absolute slobberknocker of a round with great performances from both squads. With monumental slams from Pokpo, and clutch ultimates from both Dogman and Masaa, the Reign were able to hold the fusion to just before point B.
The Fusion refused to give up, however. After a strong hold on point A, leaving the Reign with a limited amount of time to match their progress, Philly managed to make a final stand in the final meters of progress. Even with Daco almost back-capping while touching the payload in overtime, Atlanta wasn’t able to push far enough and fell just short of going up two.
Volskaya Industries – Reign 3-4 Fusion
Volskaya Industries was rough for the Reign. Their initial attack was strong, eventually finding footing on point A and rolling through point B with a couple of minutes to spare. Their defenses, however, were not as strong as the Fusion was able to push through both points with over five minutes left on the clock.
On their second attack, Atlanta was able to eventually take point A as time expired, but failed to gain any ground on point B. The Fusion struggled on their second attack, losing three minutes off of the clock before capping point A.
While the Reign looked to be in a great position to defend, a swap to Doomfist from Carpe was too juicy of bait to ignore. After securing several kills, Atlanta chased after him, only for Neptuno to sneak onto the point for long enough to take the win.
Route 66 – Reign 1-2 Fusion
It came down to Route 66, a map Atlanta has performed well at, and today was no exception. The Reign were able to make a strong showing, pushing the payload confidently forward, even with the Fusion doing everything to slow them down.
As they rounded the final corner towards point B, the Reign looked to be winning the fight needed to secure the point. That is until the remaining members were booped from the payload as reinforcements were pouring in. The overtime bar burned down as if it was soaked in gasoline, and with no time to act, the Fusion managed to prevent the push.
Atlanta managed to stall Philadelphia multiple times on defense, almost holding them on the first point. Unfortunately, the Fusion were able to push through and find a final fight just before their goal. The Reign did well, staying scrappy and finding an initial kill, but not without Poko finding a key pick on Erster. The dominoes began to fall for Atlanta, as players were eliminated. Philadelphia found footing when it mattered the most and took the win.
Even though the score showed Atlanta failing to make ground after the first map, it doesn’t appropriately represent how hard both teams had to fight. Against most other teams in the league the performance put forward by the Reign would have ensured a win, but the Fusion aren’t any team.
Although the boys representing Atlanta fell, they still managed to be one of only three expansion teams to make it to the Stage 1 playoffs. They should be proud of their performance throughout the stage including this match-up against the Season 1 runners-up the Philadelphia Fusion. Expect the Reign to remain high in the rankings as the season progresses and the meta shifts.
And as always, Let It Reign!
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