PHILADELPHIA FUSION 3-2
NEPAL: Fusion 2-0 Valiant
Nepal started with Pan-seung “Fate” Koo making a questionable dive into the Philadelphia Fusion’s backline on his own. Without his teammates to support him, he quickly fell thus allowing the Fusion to take the point confidently. Fate feeding on Winston would be a recurring theme for the Valiant throughout Nepal (and the rest of the series). With Su-min “SADO” Kim on Winston, the Fusion’s defense on Sanctum proved to be unbreakable. On maps where SADO starts on Winston, the Fusion have a 57% win rate. Instead of making the switch over to Reinhardt, Philly made the right call in keeping SADO on Winston during Village.
On Village, Philly were able to successfully deny the Valiant’s attempts to engage in team fights. Making easy picks on their support line, the Valiant were unable to engage successfully. During overtime, Indy “SPACE” Halpern made one last effort to stall the point but was ultimately unable to stay alive. The Fusion easily took the map 2-0.
NUMBANI: Fusion 3-2 Valiant
On Numbani, fans saw a confident Philadelphia Fusion starting on defense. The Fusion were able to hold the Valiant at bay for quite some time, but an unfortunate pick on Isaac “BoomBox” Charles caused a major upset in their defense. However, the Valiant’s picks were incredibly staggered. This allowed the Fusion to come back and aggressively contest on Point A. With a questionable primal rage where Fate just swatted at the air; it briefly looked like the Fusion would full hold here. However, the Valiant managed to rally back and were able to push through the Fusion’s defenses and cap Point A. The Valiant snowballed their way through Point B, but the Fusion were able to regroup and stop them just shy of pushing the payload to Point C.
During Philly’s turn on attack, it took them a while to get their bearings together. Members of the team were always being picked off before they could engage in any major fights. Finally, the Fusion broke through, but the Valiant returned with an even stronger defense. It took some time, but the Fusion were able to push the cart to Point B during overtime. During a nerve-wracking team fight where it seemed like no one would die, an infamous Gael “Poko” Gouzerch bomb saved the day, and the Fusion were able to take the map 3-2.
ANUBIS: Fusion 1-2 Valiant
In true Philadelphia fashion, this is where the possibility of a possible reverse sweep began for the Valiant. The Fusion’s defense was a mess; the Valiant were able to push through, and cap Point A with ease. Philadelphia were unable to recover from the Valiant’s push, and though Poko and Alberto “neptuNo” Gonzalez did their best, they were unable to stall long enough for the rest of their teammates to come back in time. When it came time for the Fusion to attack, they tried a classic bait and switch method at the first choke. Going left, the Fusion waited until the Valiant had rotated before speeding through to the right side of the map and going high ground. They capped Point A with more than enough time in the bank, but with eqo going off on his own while playing Wrecking Ball, the Fusion started to lose their momentum. It did not help that Min-chul “Izayaki” Kim popped off on Zenyatta, effectively focusing down both SADO and eqo once eqo finally switched to Brigitte. The Valiant managed to hold the Fusion on Point B, and they took the map 2-1.
ROUTE 66: Fusion 0-3 Valiant
The Philadelphia Fusion made the exciting decision to not run 3-3 on defense. With Jae-hyeok “Carpe” Lee on Sombra and Poko on Zarya, fans were excited to see the Fusion trying to be creative with their defense. While it did not work, and the Valiant destroyed the Fusion during every significant team fight, their effort was recognized. Unfortunately for the Fusion, going back to the traditional 3-3 lineup on attack would not help them either. The Valiant’s defense proved to be too much for them, and the Valiant took the map 3-0, with the Fusion unable to even touch cart during overtime.
BUSAN: Fusion 2-1 Valiant
In the final map of the night, Fusion fans anxiously kept their eyes glued to the screen, hoping and praying that the Valiant’s history with control point maps would come back to haunt them. It was a tense first fight on Sanctuary with both teams unable to cap until the Fusion were able to get a pick on Izayaki. Capping the point, the Fusion pushed back the Valiant with SADO using primal rage. Cockiness, or foolishness, found eqo alone by the Valiant’s spawn. Effectively feeding, fans groaned as bright orange Brigitte fell, but those groans quickly turned to cheers as SADO readied himself for a surprise shatter on the Valiant. Where most cheeky shatters fail, SADO’s delivered. Finally, the Fusion were waking back up. SADO got another fat shatter that allowed the Fusion to take Sanctum easily.
During Meka Base, the Valiant were determined to make a comeback. The Fusion looked messy here, with Carpe even pulling out an emergency Doomfist move to try and stall during Overtime. The Fusion were unable to follow through on any picks they managed to get during team fights. Meka Base would ultimately belong to the Valiant. On Downtown, it briefly looked as though the Valiant would pull through and reverse sweep. Excellent communication and coordination from the Fusion allowed them to divide and conquer the boys in green, much as they had during Nepal. Thankfully, the Fusion did not get over-confident after managing to cap the point, and they decided to play it safe on point. The Fusion were able to take Busan 2-1.
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