Atlanta Reign (1-1) vs (2-0) Philadelphia Fusion
Atlanta Reign 2-3 Philadelphia Fusion
Atlanta came into their second match with something to prove. Philadelphia Fusion has made a case as the current top team, and the Reign’s performance against them was seen by many as a good measure of their potential. Although they fell short in a nail-biting 2-3 series, the Atlanta Reign has answered the question about where the team ranks among their peers: near the top.
Nepal – Reign 2-1 Fusion
Atlanta started Shrine a bit shaky, but managed to find their footing by the end of the first map. After losing the initial fights to Philadelphia, the Reign came back and recaptured the point in overtime. They were able to hold the point thanks to some great ultimate management, and managed to take the first round from the Fusion.
Sanctuary looked good for the Reign, but even better for Carpe. His Widowmaker proved difficult for both Dafran and NLaaeR to handle, even with the Reign running a Hanzo and their own Widowmaker. The Fusion secured the map after a scrappy last fight with both teams looking at 99% at the top of the screen.
The map was left up to Village, where Atlanta looked hungry for the win. They showed a ton of aggression, both offensively when needing to take back the point, as well as defensively when Philadelphia was trying to push back in. Using this aggression, the Reign were able to secure the first win of the day by preventing Fusion from triggering overtime.
King’s Row – Reign 1-2 Fusion
King’s Row was a rough map overall for Atlanta, as a lot of their offenses seemed ineffective. Even with huge pushes and great splitting of the Fusion’s defense, the Reign found themselves struggling to secure enough kills to capture point A. Their offense started to pick up speed after finally taking the point, but was halted by a strong Philadelphia defense before point B. With a last second touch, overtime was triggered, but Poko was able to deliver an infamous “Poko Bomb” to secure the fight for Fusion.
The Reign’s defenses didn’t fare much better, being quickly removed from point A. After a small stand after the point, Atlanta fell again and grouped up for a last defense just before point B. In a play many players would call “unlucky,” the Reign did not touch the point before the Fusion finished the round, despite their proximity. Philadelphia evened the score 1-1 with the win on King’s Row.
Volskaya – Reign 5-4 Fusion
Volskaya Industries went the distance and proved to be one of the most exciting maps of the day. The Fusion were able to secure both point A and B within a few pushes each, leaving over three minutes on the clock. The Reign answered back strong, however, securing B even faster and leaving over four minutes for their second push.
Both teams pushed both points twice, leaving the game up to single minute last pushes. This was thanks great ultimate usage and tracking from both teams. Dafran’s Graviton Surges especially were built with stunning speed and helped to turn fights. Meanwhile, Carpe’s Reaper was seen shredding the Atlanta tanks. The fights were all out brawls that neither team seemed to want to concede.
Philadelphia was able to focus in and repeatedly delete Dogman from the game and prevent Atlanta from making a strong final push. The Reign managed to find a single tick before falling. That one tick proved to be enough, however, as the Fusion failed to achieve the same. Using a DPS heavy composition, Philadelphia came within moments of forcing a draw but fell short. This was one of the craziest fights of the day, with Masaa carrying a lot of weight in securing key picks. Atlanta took Volskaya Industries and put themselves up 2-1.
Dorado – Reign 1-2 Fusion
On to Dorado, where the Reign once again struggled to make much headway against the Fusion’s dive defense. When they were able to find an opening, however, they made good work out of it and advanced as they could. Dogman especially really came into his own and was finding a ton of kills. Unfortunately, due to a strong defense and refusal to fall, Philadelphia was able to hold them to just before point B.
Like King’s Row, pushing the payload was slow going and hard work. Also much like King’s Row, the Reign’s defense felt very similarly difficult. The Fusion were able to clutch out fights they looked to be losing off of the backs of some big plays. With a bit more push than Atlanta, Philadelphia managed to take Dorado and push the crazy back and forth to a map five.
Ilios – Reign 1-2 Fusion
The final map between the two competitors was a reflection of the day in general. Atlanta came out strong on Ruins and were able to secure the map due to their controlling presence. Philadelphia then swung the pendulum back in their favor with a strong showing on Lighthouse. The Reign tried to repeat their aggressive approach, but the Fusion had answers. Off of some great tank play by Sado, they were able to even the score 1-1.
This put everything on well, which was the first map the Reign played against the Florida Mayhem. Dafran repeated his opening performance and chose Torbjorn, but with a bit less success. The Fusion were ready and applied pressure when necessary. Atlanta pushed back with some great Hanzo play from Erster, and more huge picks from Masaa, but it was not enough at the end and the Reign players fell as the overtime clock ran out. The Philadelphia Fusion takes Well and Ilios, putting them up 3-2 over the Atlanta Reign for the day.
This match will go down as one of the best of the season so far. Atlanta made a statement about who they are on par with by pushing a top team to the edge of defeat. Even with a few moments of sloppiness and a rough time with escort maps, the Reign was still almost able to take down one of the behemoths of the league. If they can tighten up the ship and work on a few mistakes, few other teams in the league will challenge them like Philadelphia has.
With lackluster performances from the London Spitfire and even the New York Excelsior, Philadelphia is poised to top a lot of power rankings this week. With Atlanta’s performance against them, expect to see Atlanta break into a number of top teams lists this week. The Reign have proven that they have what it takes to compete with the best, even with some things to work on. There are going to be a lot of teams preparing a bit more for Atlanta after this showing.
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