Spitfire 2-1 Fusion
Although it was a nail-biter, the London Spitfire managed to reclaim their dominance against Philadelphia in today’s match. Both teams had significant volatility from map to map, but in the end the Spitfire’s uncharacteristic aggression allowed them to reign victorious over the Fusion.
Lijiang: Spitfire 2-1 Fusion
Lijiang Gardens was a Winston GOATs mirror match for both teams. The Spitfire gave up the point early on amidst a chaotic first team fight, but were able to take it back once they reengaged. They took the point 100 to 47 after back to back team fight wins.
Jaehui “Gesture” Hong was picked off early on Control Center, letting Philly take the point unchallenged. Subsequent engages went similarly, with the Fusion capitalizing on Gesture’s weaker Reinhardt play. While London briefly retook the point in overtime, Philadelphia quickly flipped it back to tie up the map.
Despite getting Jongseok “NUS” Kim getting the first kill onto Su-min “SADO” Kim on Night Market, London were unable to take the point first. Thankfully, the next team fight was more fruitful, and the Spitfire took control of the point handily. By getting elims onto Jae-hyeok “Carpe” Lee and Josue “EQO” Corona right after they both used their ultimates, London maintained a strong ult economy to steamroll subsequent fights. The Spitfire looked untouchable in the last team fight, taking the map 2-1.
Hanamura: Spitfire 2-2 Fusion
The Spitfire made quick work of Philadelphia’s point A defense thanks to Junho “Fury” Kim’s early pick onto SADO. The snowball point B push was successful, albeit a bit delayed due to smart stalling efforts from Philly. After whittling away the trickling Fusion members, London captured point B with 5:10 left in the bank.
London’s point A defense was formidable, repeatedly shutting down the Fusion on push after push. On their overtime push, Philadelphia picked off Junyoung “Profit” Park early to swing the fight in their favor. They successfully took point A, and had an even easier time snowballing point B after eliminating Gesture. Philadelphia ended round 2 with just under 3 minutes in the time bank.
Just as on their first defense, London did an excellent job at holding off Philadelphia. Seungtae “Bdosin” Choi’s Ana was quite effective at preventing the Fusion from pushing in thanks to well placed Biotic Grenades and Sleep Darts. Philly ultimately could not take even a single tick on point A before time ran out.
London was unable to capitalize on their dramatic time bank advantage on their second attack round. After allowing Philadelphia to take the lead in ultimate economy, the Spitfire moved off of 3-3 and onto quad-DPS to try and brute force their way onto the point. However, this plan proved unsuccessful. Isaac “Boombox” Charles picked off Fury before he could EMP, Profit killed himself with his barrage, and Gesture struggled to disrupt the Fusion on Hammond. After whittling down their five minutes of attack time, London failed to capture a tick, ending Hanamura in a draw.
Blizzard World: Spitfire 3-4 Fusion
London opened their Blizzard World offense running quad-DPS, with Ji Hyeok “BIRDRING” Kim playing the rarely seen Ashe. Despite an initially impressive series of kills, London struggled to fully push Fusion off the point. They needed three minutes to capture point A, but looked much stronger on their streets phase. Once they swapped to GOATS, the Spitfire had no problem completing the map, though they did so in overtime.
On defense, London ran a mirror Reinhardt 3-3 against Philadelphia. While their initial holds were strong, Philadelphia ultimately captured point A. The Fusion’s streets phase went even more smoothly than London’s, giving them two minutes in the time bank for their next attack.
The pressure was on for London to prevent Philly from taking a single tick. After holding off the Fusion for two team fights, London’s defense crumbled as Gael “Poko” Gouzerch picked off Gesture with a self destruct. The Fusion handily picked apart the remainder of London to take the map 4-3.
Rialto: Spitfire 3-2 Fusion
The Spitfire’s Rialto defense was unremarkable. Gesture’s Reinhardt continued to be a thorn in London’s side throughout points A and B; his early deaths and questionable positioning led to Philly quickly steamrolling through point B. On point C, London came into their own, preventing the Fusion from completing the map.
Thanks to positioning errors from the Fusion, London captured point A with almost five minutes on the clock. The Spitfire kept up their aggression, again forcing Philly into poor positioning to sneak the cart into point B. After they let the point go, Philadelphia kicked into gear, holding London at their spawn. Once London broke Philly’s nearly two-minute forward hold, they continued to play smartly, capitalizing on the Fusion’s over-ulting. A well-timed shatter from Gesture and a 4-man bomb from Fury sealed the deal as London completed the map to win the series.
This match was extremely competitive for both teams. London highlighted multiple weaknesses today: their inability to take a tick on Hanamura with a five minute time bank, struggles to force Philly off the point even with a multi-man advantage and getting stalled in their spawn on Rialto were particular low points for the team. However, their strengths in punishing positioning errors from Philadelphia and dominance on control helped them take a close victory. There’s still a way to go for London to cement themselves as a top tier team, but their win over Philly today is certainly keeping them in the running.
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