Philadelphia Fusion (2-2) 1-2 London Spitfire (3-0)
The Philadelphia Fusion took the stage looking for a decisive victory over the London Spitfire. Though they’ve started off Stage 2 strong with wins over the Florida Mayhem and Toronto Defiant, their crushing loss to the New York Excelsior left them with an even map differential. The Spitfire, for their part, wanted to defeat the team that brought them down the last time they faced off, so the Fusion would need to fight hard to climb the standings this week.
It wouldn’t be their day to climb. The two teams kept it close throughout the series, even ending in a draw on Hanamura. In the end, however, the London Spitfire clutched out the series with a 2-1 victory.
Lijiang Tower: London 2-1 Philadelphia
Initially, the two teams seemed evenly matched on Garden, with both sides grabbing some crucial picks early on. Eventually, the Fusion gained the upper hand and captured the point first. They held it nearly halfway to completion before London moved in, led by a strong performance from Jae-hee “Gesture” Hong. They settled in on the point, repelling the Fusion as they struggled to regroup. Though Philadelphia rallied for one last good fight, the Spitfire held strong, taking the first round.
Moving to Command Center, Philadelphia gained the upper hand quickly, taking down Gesture early and gaining control. Impressive ultimates from Su-min “SADO” Kim and Gael “Poko” Gouzerch helped them maintain control. Just as the round moved into overtime, however, London pushed in, overwhelming the Fusion and claiming the point. With plenty of time to spare, Philadelphia regrouped and moved back in, easily overwhelming them to reclaim the point and win the round.
Philadelphia held strong at first on Night Market, claiming the point first despite losing SADO early. However, London regrouped and took control quickly, focusing down the Fusion’s main tank and following up each time. Patient play and ultimate usage gave the Spitfire the edge, and they held fast, taking both the round and the map.
Hanamura: Philadelphia 2-2 London
London moved in aggressively on their first attack, storming the point and overwhelming the Fusion in their first team fight. With nearly seven minutes to cap the second point and Joon-yeong “Profit” Park playing insanely well on Zarya, completing the map proved a simple task. The Fusion stalled as long as they could, but the Spitfire made short work of the round, claiming point B with over five minutes in their time bank.
Hoping to match London’s aggression, the Fusion moved in quickly, claiming a tick on point A before the Spitfire repelled their attack. From there, London stabilized, stopping each of Philadelphia’s pushes in its tracks. By the time the Fusion claimed point A, overtime had already begun, leaving them with less time to finish the map. Despite that, they snowballed to point B, overwhelming the Spitfire and finishing things out.
With the smaller time bank, the Fusion attacked again, only for London to repel them in the first team fight. The Spitfire played an aggressive defense, building ultimates quickly and keeping Philadelphia at bay. In the end, the defense proved airtight, and the Fusion failed to gain a single tick on the point when time ran out.
With an uphill climb ahead of them for their second defense, the Fusion played hard. Organized and aggressive, they held tight to the point, forcing London to switch compositions midway through the round. Even a Pharah-Mercy combo couldn’t break Philadelphia, however. Despite the odds, the Fusion held the point for five minutes, ending the map in a draw.
Blizzard World: Philadelphia 4-3 London
London rolled out on quadruple DPS, forcing Philadelphia to play more passively and avoid feeding their ultimates. Despite an aggressive push from the Spitfire, the Fusion held strong, eventually forcing their opponents to regroup as time ticked down. With less than a minute left, London’s Ji-hyeok “birdring” Kim threw B.O.B. into the fray, giving his team the momentum they needed to claim point A. Every time the Fusion stabilized from then on out, they managed to hold off London just until time grew short. The Spitfire rallied to claim point B with thirty seconds on the clock, and then completed the map in overtime.
London’s defense started off strong, with a nano-boost from Seung-tae “Bdosin” Choi helping Gesture survive in a crucial team fight. Eventually, forward play from Poko and Isaac “Boombox” Charles helped the Fusion claim point A. Building off of that success, Philadelphia kept the payload moving steadily, breezing through point B and towards the end. Despite London committing their ultimates to one last team fight, Philadelphia broke through, completing the map with over two minutes left.
As the only team with a second shot at the attack, the Fusion knew they had to move quickly. London refused to allow that, however, and their defense held strong with help from Gesture on Reinhardt. With an ultimate disadvantage and little time left, it looked like the map would end in a second draw. In the end, though, the Fusion moved in to clutch the point just in time, getting the tick they needed to win the map.
Rialto: London 3-2 Philadelphia
The two teams appeared evenly matched on Philadelphia’s first attack, with the Spitfire maintaining a solid defense but the Fusion still moving forward slowly. As the payload cleared points A and B, Philadelphia played patiently, disrupting London whenever possible. As they reached the end of the map, however, London took advantage of their close spawn point and their ultimates. They held steady until the end, stopping the Fusion just meters before the end of the map.
On attack, London’s first push went much smoother, and they completed the first leg of the map with plenty of time to spare. They nearly reached point B as well before Philadelphia pushed them back, keeping the fight close. During a crucial moment, however, the Spitfire distracted them, claiming point B in the midst of a team fight. Philadelphia refused to let them move much further, forcing the time bank down before London finally gained the upper hand. With little time left, the two teams fought hard and the payload inched closer. In the end, a massive four-kill Self Destruct from London’s Jun-ho “Fury” Kim broke the defense, allowing London to take both the map and the series.
An Uphill Climb
From here, Philadelphia’s stage is very up-and-down. With upcoming matches against the New York Excelsior and the San Francisco Shock, they’ll need to fight hard to get wins where they can if they want to see playoffs this time. With how close they kept it against the Spitfire, fans can at least count on the Fusion to keep things exciting.
The Philadelphia Fusion return to the stage on April 18, with a rematch against the New York Excelsior. Tune in to see if they can get revenge for their Week 1 matchup.
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 Philadelphia Fusion.
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