Washington Justice (0-2) vs Philadelphia Fusion (2-2)
The Justice are in the third week of their most difficult stage so far. Having gone up against New York and London, this week their game against the Philadelphia Fusion is no less of a challenge. Although Philadelphia went 0-2 last week, they now had their Zenyatta player recovered from illness, Isaac “Boombox” Charles, back in. This returns them to the original roster they played in Week 1.
Ilios Justice 2-1 Fusion
As mentioned by the analysts, the Justice play best with a relatively passive, backed up playstyle. Although they seem timid and fight backed up, they managed to capture the point over Fusion’s initial cap. They eventually won this map by keeping the Fusion off the point in overtime with Corey “Corey” Nigra’s Graviton Surge.
When switching to a more active, dive-style GOATs composition with Winston over Reinhardt, the Fusion’s strength shine through. It seemed like Washington were playing very cautiously, almost timidly. They got stuck in chokes and corners of the map and never properly made it to point. Although they managed to capture this map once, Jae-hyeok “Carpe” Lee’s Zarya plays allowed Philadelphia to capture the point and finish off the Justice. The Fusion took the second map.
The Fusion tried a triple DPS composition against Washington’s traditional GOATs. At one point, it seemed like Josue “Eqo” Corona would win Philadelphia the fight by picking off the Justice with his Pharah. However, the static and strong nature of GOATs meant that the Justice managed to hold strong and keep their footing on the point. After a team fight loss at 60%, the Fusion switched back to GOATs as a last resort. Hyang-ki “Sansam” Kim ended that fight quickly and won the Justice the map with this bomb. The Justice took Ilios 2-1.
Hollywood Justice 1-2 Fusion
The Justice started on attack, rotating around the back of point A. Even though this rotation took several attempts, the Justice pushed and captured the first point. With good ultimate economy and just off Corey’s Graviton Surge, the payload was pushed about midway on the streets phase. Unfortunately, Philadelphia then picked apart the Justice’s attack and held them there as members of the Justice kept getting picked off.
On defense, Gi-do “Gido” Moon started Washington off well by picking Boombox off during the Fusion’s first push. The next fight, Alberto “neptuNo” González got picked off. This gave Washington the ultimate economy to keep Philadelphia away from the point. Once again, Philadelphia only managed to capture point A in overtime. However, the extra time they gained from this was enough. The Fusion won a team fight and pushed to the end of streets, taking the map 2-1.
Anubis Justice 1-0 Fusion
Ethan “Stratus” Yankel made his Overwatch League debut, substituting in for Gi-hyeon “Ado” Chon. It was revealed in the first round that Stratus was played likely to test out a unique composition not played before by the Justice. This composition comprised Stratus on Ana instead of Brigitte in the 3-3 GOATs composition. However, Ana’s lack of mobility and the general static nature of this composition resulted in Joon-hwa “Janus” Song getting picked off. This gave the Fusion point A as well as the ultimates they required to push forward and capture point B.
On attack, Stratus opened by getting the Fusion’s D.va out of mech. With this opening, the Justice pushed the remaining players and quickly captured the point. Sansam even managed to trap Su-min “SADO” Kim in the high ground room and staggered his death. Similarly to the Fusion’s attack, they managed to snowball and captured point B. Both teams ended the first rounds of attack and defense with very similar time banks.
On Washington’s second attack, Gido picked off two players and Washington made quick work of the first point. However, through a series of pushes, the Justice only got two ticks, never fully capturing the point. This is in spite of this massive Earthshatter from Janus, as Carpe managed to stay alive and win the Fusion the team fight.
On Philadelphia’s second attack, Corey picked Eqo off early and ended the Fusion’s first push. However, the subsequent dive from the attacking team was successful because Stratus uses his Nano Boost too early. Gido also decided to use his Transcendence. This meant they went into the point B defense without several good ultimates. The Justice get pushed so far back that Carpe got all the space he needed to make plays and capture point B. Philadelphia took Anubis 4-3.
Route 66 Justice 1-2 Fusion
Ado was substituted back in for Stratus. Although the Justice held Philadelphia on point A until overtime, the attacking team clutched it out and captured point A. Unfortunately, that ended up being the most difficult push for Philadelphia. The Justice did not manage to put up much more of a fight and the Fusion finished the map with 30 seconds to spare.
On attack, Washington were the exact opposite of the Fusion. They managed to capture point A with only Corey’s Graviton Surge. This left them with 5 ultimates to push into point B. However, neptuNo made a play, booping Janus away and giving his team space to pick off Washington’s back line. The Justice failed to push through the Fusion’s defense due to the opponent’s good ultimate use. The Justice ended up never capturing point B, losing the map 1-3.
Even though this match up turned into a 3-1, the actual gameplay would show that it was a much closer fight than the score would have many believe. The strategies applied also seem to have a greater success rate as they improve their team synergies in the coming weeks. It is key to remember that the Fusion are no slouch: every player on their team is a potential playmaker. Managing to put up the good fight the Justice did against them is a good showing. It will be exciting to watch the Justice continue to grow and improve until they get their first win in the league.
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