LA Valiant (0-6) vs Philadelphia Fusion (4-2)
Final Score: Fusion 3-2 Valiant
This match showed more of that fighting spirit from the LA Valiant’s first couple of matches. In spite of this, they still lost. Similarly to their matches against the New York Excelsior and Hangzhou Spark, the Valiant brought the series as close as possible.
Nepal: Fusion 2-0 Valiant
The first round of the map was on Sanctum, and an early pick onto Valiant tank Pan-seung “Fate” Koo forced the Valiant to reset. The Valiant quickly came back, though, and flipped the point in their favor. They also won the fight. The following fight was very back and forth and full of ultimates, but the Fusion ended up on top. Another back and forth fight ensued shortly after, and the Fusion won again. The round moved to a brief overtime, but the LA Valiant were unable to flip the point. The Philadelphia Fusion won the round, and brought the map to 1-0.
The second round on Village started poorly for the Valiant, as they lost two players and could not fight back. They tried to recontest, but after a long stalemate, the Fusion ultimately overwhelmed them. In the end, the Fusion maintained their hold on the point for the whole round and won the map 2-0.
Numbani: Fusion 3-2 Valiant
The second map had the LA Valiant starting on attack. They tried a fast engage, but the Fusion quickly dispatched Valiant tank Young-seo “KariV” Park, and the Valiant were unable to continue. Their second and third attempts were also swiftly shutdown by the Fusion. However, the LA Valiant finally found a way through on try number four. They almost had the point captured, but the Fusion recontested and took the Valiant out. In overtime, Valiant tank Indy “Space” Halpern threw out a D.Va bomb that caught two Fusion members. Before the fight had even ended, the Valiant had already fully captured point A. On point B, the LA Valiant pushed the payload through with little contention and finished it out after a nice Graviton Surge from KariV. Though, the Fusion were finally able to temporarily stop the Valiant at the beginning of point C. Try after try, the LA Valiant were unable to break through the Fusion’s defense. The round moved to overtime and a two-man Self-Destruct from Gael “Poko” Gouzerch stomped out any hope for the Valiant to finish out the map. The round ended with two points captured by the LA Valiant.
On defense, a very back and forth first fight led to the Fusion having to reset. The LA Valiant also shutdown their second try, assisted by a big Graviton Surge. After a very long fight, the Fusion were finally able to take point A on their third try. Soon after the Fusion started down point B, the LA Valiant temporarily stopped their push pick by pick. However, Philadelphia started applying enough pressure to force the Valiant to have to back up near the end of the point. Despite this, KariV was able to find two kills onto the Fusion and stop their push. The round went to overtime, but the fight had already been decided, and the Fusion were the victors. They started their push through point C. Very close to finishing out the map, Space threw out another well-placed D.Va bomb, catching two Fusion members. In the end, the Fusion had a better round of ultimates to use and they completed their run. The map ended 3-2 in favor of the Philadelphia Fusion.
Temple of Anubis: Valiant 2-1 Fusion
Map three had the LA Valiant starting on attack. Their first attempt proved to be unsuccessful after they lost two members. The Valiant came back and found their own early pick onto Fusion tank Su-min “SADO” Kim. This enabled them to apply more pressure and eventually take point A. The Valiant speedily moved to point B and won the initial fight. However, the Fusion came back to stall and eventually won back control of the point. Though, the Valiant took advantage of the Fusion’s missing players and swiftly returned with the players they still had. After many ultimates, the Valiant finally finished out point B with 3:05 remaining.
In round two, Fate found an immediate pick onto SADO and slowed down the Fusion’s push. The following fight was very scrappy, but Philadelphia came out on top. With the point almost captured, the Valiant went for a recontest. Another messy fight ensued and the LA Valiant held on temporarily. However, the Fusion won the next fight and finished out point A. Philadelphia tried their own quick rush to point B, but it did not work out and they had to reset. The Valiant continued to hold their ground on point B for quite some time. With less than a minute remaining, the Fusion returned to the point. In the end, though, they could not overpower them. The LA Valiant won the map 2-1.
Route 66: Valiant 3-0 Fusion
The LA Valiant started on attack on Route 66. They won the initial fight and got the payload moving. Shortly after, a huge Earthshatter knocked down multiple members of the Fusion and they were wiped out. The LA Valiant ended up finishing out point A in a speedy fashion. However, the Fusion struck back and had a wipe of their own onto the Valiant at the beginning of the second point. After a very long fight near the end of the point, the Valiant got enough of an advantage to win the skirmish and finish point B. Similarly to their start on point B, though, they were wiped soon after entering the final stretch. The LA Valiant came back even stronger, won the following fights very convincingly, and completed the map.
The Valiant moved to defense in round two, and ended up losing the first fight after many trades. The Fusion tried to finish out point A, but their ultimates were not enough to take out the Valiant team, and they lost the fight. The round eventually moved into overtime, and in an intense battle of ultimates, the Fusion transitioned off of the payload. The overtime clock fizzled out and the LA Valiant won the map 3-0.
Busan: Fusion 2-1 Valiant
In round one on Sanctuary, both teams came out swinging with a trade of main tanks. The fight went on for a decently long time, but the Fusion eventually gained the upperhand and ended up taking the point. The Valiant returned, but a couple of their players were taken out with the help of a Graviton Surge. They could not keep fighting, and had to back off. In their next attempt, a multi-man Earthshatter from SADO once again quickly shut them down. In overtime, the Fusion defeated the Valiant, and won the round.
Round two brought the teams to MEKA Base. The LA Valiant found two speedy picks, thus winning the fight. They were the first to take the point. The Fusion were able to flip the point mid fight on their return, and then eventually won the fight itself. After a very back and forth conflict, the Valiant were able to retake the point. The Fusion came out with ultimates shortly after, but could not beat the Valiant. In overtime, the LA Valiant remained unmoved, and won the round.
On Downtown, the Valiant were the first to find a pick, and got first capture on the point, but the fight wasn’t over. Philadelphia responded with picks of their own, flipped the point, and later won the fight. The Valiant could not find a way to take the point back until overtime. They finally got the required picks to give themselves the advantage and retook it. However, the Fusion came back with a vengeance and won the following fight. In the end, the Valiant were unable to retake, and the Fusion won the map 2-1.
The LA Valiant performed surprisingly well for who they were up against. The Philadelphia Fusion are seen as one of the better teams in the league. However, at this point, there’s not much more room left for consolation. Results speak louder than excuses. For the Valiant, it seems that they’re always either just shy of getting the win, or that they couldn’t be further from it. This series definitely displayed the former, so the flame has not been completely extinguished, but they are now sitting at a very dismal record of 0-6.
Featured image courtesy of the Overwatch League
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