PHILADELPHIA WINS 3-1
In the most anticipated game of the quarterfinals, the Philadelphia Fusion squared off against the Atlanta Reign. Having already beaten the Atlanta Reign this stage, the Fusion were determined to keep the upper hand over the young expansion team.
ILIOS: Philadelphia 1-2 Atlanta
On Lighthouse, the Philadelphia Fusion started strong. Hyun-jun “Pokpo” Park was constantly getting picked off by Su-min “SADO” Kim before fights began. The Fusion managed to take Lighthouse without a problem, but Well would be an unfortunate series of events.
Daniel “dafran” Francesca on Torbjorn is not a new sight on this map, but the Fusion seemed at a loss with what to do. During a major team fight, Pokpo got a great pull on Isaac “BoomBox” Charles into the well while they were using transcendence On Ruins, and it seemed like the Atlanta Reign had the upper hand for quite some time. During a major team fight, Poko managed to get behind the Reign and back cap the point. Surprisingly, this worked and the Fusion took down the Reign and gained control of the point. Unfortunately, the Fusion overextended and the Reign were able to easily take back the point. The Fusion lost Ilios 1-2.
KING’S ROW: Philadelphia 2-1 Atlanta
On King’s Row, the Fusion attacked first. They managed to cap Point A quickly, with Gael “Poko” Gouzerch staying on the point as his teammates farmed their ultimates. Unfortunately, the Reign started to get things back together and managed to hold the Fusion at the choke point. One infamous self-destruct from Poko and the Fusion were finally able to get the payload moving again. Dong-hyeong “DACO” Seo got a great self-destruct and the Reign were able to stop the Fusion before they reached Point B. On defense, the Fusion kept the Reign at bay for quite some time. The Reign had great moments where it seemed like the Fusion would go down, but neither Poko nor BoomBox were about to let that happen. BoomBox was popping off constantly on this map, and with another great self-destruct, the Fusion were able to take the map 2-1.
VOLSKAYA: Philadelphia 4-3 Atlanta
On its own, the name Volskaya Industries is enough to send chills down the spines of Fusion fans. Grand Finals left its impression on them as well as on the Fusion themselves.
After an unlucky first pick, SADO made the brilliant switch to Wrecking Ball. On everyone’s favorite hamster, SADO was able to divide and conquer the Atlanta Reign easily. The Fusion nearly held the Reign on Point A, but an unfortunate pick on eqo had the Fusion scrambling and throwing their ultimates without much coordination. The Reign took advantage of this and managed to cap the point, and it snowballed from there.
When it came time for the Fusion to attack, they moved together in a nice rotation around the back on the point. They circled the perimeter of Point A before making their attack. Carpe got a pick on Petja “Masaa” Kantanen, and the Reign fell like dominoes. The Fusion were quick to capture both points.
With less time on their hands, the Atlanta Reign got a pick on Sado that allowed them to capture Point A, but when it came time to attack Point B, the Fusion’s defenses proved to be too strong. Poko managed to eat Dafran’s graviton surge, denying the Atlanta Reign their chance to attack. Only needing one tick, the Fusion managed to pull off their rotation once more against the Atlanta Reign. After capping Point A, Jae-hyeok “Carpe” Lee made the cheeky switch to Doomfist. This switch confused the Atlanta Reign so much, that they decided to focus down Carpe instead of staying on the point. Alberto “neptuNo” González back capped the point, and the Fusion took Volskaya Industries 4-3.
ROUTE 66: Philadelphia 2-1 Atlanta
Going into Route 66, the numbers were not in the Philadelphia Fusion’s favor. The Fusion have had a poor performance on Route 66 in comparison to the Reign. Philly defended first, and again, managed to keep a firm hold over the Atlanta Reign until the last possible second.
Dafran’s ult usage allowed the Philadelphia Fusion to turn things around in their favor. Dafran was clearly tilted at this point, and the rest of the Reign seemed to crumble around that mindset. They were unable to push the payload very far. When it came for the Fusion to attack, they quickly pushed the payload to the first point, despite SADO charging off the cliff in what one can only assume was another tactical move. The Reign did their best to keep the Fusion at bay but the Fusion ended up taking the map 2-1.
Many have doubted the Fusion since their loss against the Florida Mayhem. While it’s true that the Fusion struggled this stage, viewers need to remember that the Philadelphia Fusion love to prove their haters wrong. Tonight’s victory is sweet for the Fusion and their fans because it proves what they’ve known all along. The Philadelphia Fusion have always had what it takes. The Atlanta Reign were one of the top teams this stage; they put up a good fight, but the Fusion were better. With a seat in the semi-finals, Philadelphia will hopefully keep up this momentum going into their match tomorrow.
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