Last week the Philadelphia Fusion suffered a devasting 4-0 loss to the Hangzhou Spark. The Fusion’s first game of the weekend was against the Los Angeles Gladiators. The Gladiators have become one of the strongest teams in the league; would Philly be able to take them down?
Su-min “SADO” Kim
Gael “Poko” Gouzerch
Jae-hyeok “Carpe” Lee
Josh “Eqo” Corona
Isaac “Boombox” Charles
Alberto “neptuNo” González
Oasis: Philadelphia 0-2 Gladiators
Oasis is one of the Philadelphia Fusion’s worst maps. However, in a surprising move, Philly did not run traditional GOATS on either University or City Center. The Fusion would run Sombra GOATS with Carpe taking the role of Sombra and Poko taking the role of Zarya. Alongside this, the Fusion would also try running Eqo on Pharah and neptuNo on his famous Mercy. Unfortunately for the Fusion, the Gladiators are monsters when it comes to control maps. Chang-hoon “rOar” Gye would outclass SADO on Reinhardt, and the Fusion would lose Oasis 0-2.
Volskaya: Philadelphia 5-6 Gladiators
Undeterred, Philly continued running Sombra GOATS during their first defense on Volskaya. Although the Gladiators charged through their defenses and capped both points quickly, the Fusion would come back with a triple DPS composition on the attack. Watching Poko on Soldier 76 is something that fans usually see on his streams, but fans were delighted to see it work in the Fusion’s favor. Taking both points, the Fusion had to attack once more, but this time they ran a traditional GOATS composition. They were able to take the point more quickly after SADO got a pick on Gui-un “Decay” Jang. NeptuNo would go ham on Lucio and take out the Gladiators on Point B, allowing the Fusion to cap with ease.
Volskaya looked incredibly winnable, but the Gladiators proved to be too strong for the Fusion’s defenses the second time around. Although fans got to see Carpe on McCree briefly, it would not be enough. Having to defend once more, the Gladiators had to go into overtime to secure a sixth cap on Point B. Despite the Fusion’s best efforts with a Pharmercy composition, they would be unable to secure Point B. Jun-woo “Void” Kang, and Benjamin “BigGoose” Isohanni would take out various members of the Fusion and force them into a position where they were unable to group up properly. The Fusion would lose Volskaya 5-6.
Eichenwalde: Philadelphia 1-2 Gladiators
Running traditional GOATS, the Fusion nearly full-held the Gladiators on Eichenwalde. The Gladiators were denied entry to the town square multiple times, but an unfortunate pick on SADO would topple the Fusion’s defenses like dominoes. It would take some time, but the Fusion would be able to stabilize as the payload nearly hit Point B. Poko would land a nasty self-destruct on the unsuspecting Gladiators. Although Lane “Surefour” Roberts tried his best to contest, neptuNo would boop Decay off the bridge and force the Gladiators to pull back.
Again, things looked winnable here. The Fusion would blast through the Gladiators defenses quickly. With more than enough time in the bank, the Fusion tried to play things slowly, but this ended up not working in their favor. Jonas “Shaz” Suovaara would get multiple picks on any member of the Fusion that was out of position. Despite Philly’s attempts to group up, they would be unable to push the payload, and they would lose Eichenwalde 1-2.
Dorado: Philadelphia 2-1 Gladiators
On Dorado, the Gladiators quickly rolled through the Fusion’s defenses. They were able to push the payload to Point A with little to no trouble at all. Carpe would attempt a sneaky EMP from behind the Gladiators, but it would miss the team, and he would translocate right into Surefour’s swinging flail, taking him out instantly. But, he would get a shot at redemption as the payload neared Point B. Using EMP, he would allow Poko to melt down the Gladiators on Zarya. A missed Graviton Surge from Void would send the match into overtime. This move let BoomBox use his Nano Boost on SADO, which would cause the Gladiators to move out of position and get taken out by Eqo.
Stream problems would cause trouble for viewers once more, but the Fusion were able to push the payload through Point A. As they tried to make their way to Point B, the Gladiator’s defenses would give them plenty of trouble. However, the Fusion’s conservation of their ultimates would allow them to wipe out the Glads on the backs of a Nano Boosted SADO and Beat Drop from neptuNo. The Fusion would push the payload to completion and take Dorado 2-1.
Final Score: Philadelphia Fusion 1-3 LA Gladiators
Philadelphia looked a lot better this game, and it was definitely because they finally decided to try playing to their strengths. They have two of the best DPS players in the league on their roster, and tonight, fans finally got to see Eqo and Carpe do what they do best. Letting their DPS players, and Poko, play DPS characters was a step in the right direction for the Fusion. While the Fusion did not win this series, they showed that they are still the team fans know and love. Philly worked incredibly hard this week; the fact they were willing to try Sombra GOATS and let Poko play Zarya has given fans hope for their game against the Boston Uprising. With how shaky the Uprising have looked, the Fusion might have a chance to pull off their first win of the stage this Sunday.
Follow me on Twitter: @Sybil_OW! I’m always happy to discuss anything I’ve written!
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