Coming into the 2020 season, there were a lot of questions coming out of the Fusion fanbase. Are the Fusion just sticking with Su-min “SADO” Kim as the only main tank after a mediocre 2019? Why did they sign Philip “ChipSa” Graham and will the new support line hold up? The Overwatch League is now pressing into week 11 of the 2020 season and the Fusion are on fire. What lead to this dominance and why didn’t the Fusion’s faithful see this play in 2019?
The 2019 Season
Last year was a very forgettable year for Fusion fans. The GOATS meta consumed the league until stage four and it did not play nice with the Fusion. This meta forced Jae-hyeok “Carpe” Lee off DPS, a role that he is notorious on, to play Zarya. It also forced SADO to play Reinhardt, which at the time, was not pretty. This coupled with questionable play from Alberto “neptuNo” Gonzalez lead to a 15-13 2019 season with a -3 map differential. Philly ended the season in 10th place, which was good enough for a playoff spot, however, that playoff push was shortlived. Compared to other teams, 15-13 isn’t bad but the Fusion made the grand finals the year prior. That said, this was extremely disappointing.
Philly’s offseason was filled with a few departures and pretty big signings. The Fusion dropped Simon “snillo” Ekstrom, Finley “Kyb” Adisi, Elijah “Elk” Gallagher, Josue “Eqo” Corona and Alberto “neptuNo” Gonzalez. The biggest surprise here was Eqo. He put in time as Brigitte in GOATS in 2019 and took the starting spot from George “ShaDowBurn” Gushcha in season one.
With the departures came some great signings from the Fusion. They called up Kyeongbo “Alarm” Kim from Fusion University, signed three more DPS in Sunghyun “Ivy” Lee, Heesu “Heesu” Jeong and Philip “ChipSa” Graham. They rounded out their new support line-up with the signing of Daniel “FunnyAstro” Hathaway. Philly then pulled a fast one during their roster reveal, re-signing Eqo.
Told you we had big things coming for next year.
— Philadelphia Fusion (@Fusion) October 30, 2019
Philly fans knew we were in for some fireworks in the off-tank spot. They returned to the 2020 season with the ever-popular Gael “Poko” Gouzerch but they also added Fury. Fury was a lights-out D.Va player for the London Spitfire. Having depth in this area was good news for the Fusion fans.
What wasn’t great at first was knowing SADO was the Fusion’s only main tank. Judging from his 2019 season, he had a lot to work on. He did just that. SADO started the season in front of the live Philly crowd and blew everyone away with his impressive Reinhardt play. The tank core in-general has been firing on all cylinders since the start of the season and they don’t look to be slowing down any time soon.
There’s a player that is synonymous with the Philly Fusion and his name is Carpe. He became the first player to 4000 final blows last weekend against two strong teams in the Paris Eternal and the Atlanta Reign. He continues to tear up the league, one frag at a time.
Ivy was brought in as a Mei specialist. He previously played for the Toronto Defiant and has had a remarkable showing so far. The Mei wall and ultimate usage has been clutch to help turn the tide of battles.
With Mei banned in week nine, the Overwatch League saw the debut of Heesu. Heesu was best known for his time on the Korean Contenders powerhouse, RunAway. He played Reaper during his first and only week and complemented Carpe well.
Out of the five DPS players, the Fusion has only two that have yet to play in that role. Eqo did get some time on Brigitte vs the Eternal in week five but fans have not had a chance to see ChipSa. The ChipSa signing was a bit unusual. Fans of Overwatch know ChipSa as a Doomfist specialist Twitch streamer. Not a single Overwatch League stream goes by without a #freechipsa in the chat. There is still a lot of Overwatch League to be played so seeing ChipSa in-game is still possible.
The support squad for the Fusion has seen the biggest change. Isaac “Boombox” Charles made his debut last weekend after five weeks of play. He was used mainly as a Baptiste this past weekend and looked great. When Boombox isn’t in, fans see the Alarm and FunnyAstro duo. This support duo has played well the entire season thus far. Alarm has done his part to keep the team alive and FunnyAstro channels his inner Reddit Lucio.
The Philadelphia Fusion are all individually carrying their weight each match. The strong off-tank core assists a new look SADO to perfect the front-line. Carpe and his milestone quest with his DPS partners in crime, help propel the Fusion to second place in team fight win rate at 55%, according to Stats Lab. Their support core uses clutch ultimates, rarely stacks them and gets picks needed to assist the team. After their tough match-ups last week, the Fusion deserve a little time to rest this week.
Follow Rocco on Twitter @MaridonGaming for all things Philadelphia Fusion! You can also reach out to them on Discord and talk some OWL! (Maridon#6912)
Featured Image Courtesy of The Overwatch League.
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