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Overwatch League Recap: Philadelphia Fusion vs. New York Excelsior

Fusion 1-3 Excelsior

The Philadelphia Fusion took a decisive loss to the NYXL today. Poor positioning combined with inconsistent GOATS performance left the Fusion looking outclassed. However, the Fusion did have moments of star potential on display, and ended New York’s dominating map win streak. They might not be as strong as Vancouver or New York, but Philadelphia continues to show promise even when facing tough opponents.

Busan: Fusion 0-2 Excelsior

Courtesy of Gamepedia.

It was a slow start for Philly on Downtown Busan, with Josue “EQO” Corona and Su-min “SADO” Kim dying first in the opening two team fights. On their third engagement, SADO’s earthshatter allowed Fusion to team wipe the NYXL and briefly take the point. Their point possession was short lived however, and the Excelsior quickly took the point back to win the map.

Sanctuary opened more favorably for Philadelphia, who were able to take first control of the point. They kept a tight hold on it until 99% capture percentage, but Alberto “neptuNo” González dying forced a regroup and allowed New York to gain point control. Unfortunately, Philly failed to regain composure after being muscled off the objective. As the timer ticked up to 99-99, a Graviton from Yeon-kwan “Nenne” Jeong prevented Philly from reaching the point. The Fusion lost the map 0-2.

Anubis: Fusion 2-3 Excelsior

The Fusion opened their Anubis defense with Gael “Poko” Gouzerch on Torbjorn in a bunker composition. Despite an early kill onto Dong-gyu “Mano” Kim, the Fusion were unable to further pressure New York. On their reengagement, Seong-hyun “JJoNak” Bang picked off EQO, leading to a quick fight in New York’s favor. The Excelsior capped Point A, then got a further two ticks on Point B before the Fusion forced them off the point. Though Philly prevented the snowball, they later fell victim to Nenne’s Graviton forcing them off the point once again. New York completed the map with 3:59 in the time bank.

Courtesy of Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment.

On attack, Philadelphia ran 3-3 into New York, opting for a Zen over NYXL’s Ana. While it took over three minutes, Philly captured point A. Their snowball attempt was formidable, nearly capping point B, but New York’s stall was ultimately too strong, draining almost two minutes off the clock. Thankfully, the Fusion handily secured the next fight win to complete the map with 2:33 in the bank.

While the Fusion came out of their spawn on 3-3, they quickly swapped to an unorthodox composition running heroes like Hanzo, Pharah and Hammond into NYXL’s GOATS. They traded kills with New York, but couldn’t swing the team fight in their favor. They ended the map with 45% capture on point A.

Philadelphia ran the same composition on their second defense as they did on their first. An early pick onto JJoNak spelled good fortune for Philly initially, but just as in Round 1, they failed to secure any more kills. Despite pressure from Jae-hyeok “Carpe” Lee on Widowmaker, JJoNak was able to land a sleep dart on Isaac “Boombox” Charles and rejoin the fight. New York collapsed on Boombox, and the rest was history. New York took Anubis 3-2.

Blizzard World: Fusion 3-2 Excelsior

Poko
Courtesy of the Overwatch League.

While the Fusion’s Point A hold was lackluster, they succeeded at repeatedly holding New York in front of Point B. The two teams looked neck and neck late into the map. The Fusion allowed NYXL to take Point B, but were determined to hold Point C. even after losing Carpe early on in multiple team fights, Philly successfully stopped New York short of completing the map.

The Fusion’s offense took some time to ramp up. After over three minutes drained from the time bank, Poko secured two kills with a self-destruct to take space on the point. Point B was a similar story, with Philadelphia going into overtime before they took Point B. Smart support ult usage from neptuNo and Boombox allowed Philly to be more aggressive as they approached the payload’s destination. After cancelling Tae-sung “Anamo” Jung’s sound barrier and picking off Mano, the Fusion put an end to New York’s 26 map winning streak.

Gibraltar: Fusion 0-1 Excelsior

The first three minutes of this match were unfortunately lost due to technical difficulties. Regardless, it appears that Philly failed to make much progress on their attack round. Stopped underneath the bridge before Point A, Philadelphia failed to make a dent in the defenses of New York.

On defense, The Fusion were able to hold New York briefly, but the short distance the payload needed to travel made deaths on Philly’s side more costly. The NYXL were able to complete the map without much hassle, winning the match 3-1.

Conclusion

While the Fusion faced a tough loss to the Excelsior today, the match was not all bad for Philly. Putting an end to New York’s sizeable map win-streak is no small feat, and they showcased their ability to perform clutch plays when needed. Unfortunately, they also had glaring positioning errors that Nenne repeatedly punished; they were all forced off the point at least three times by his Gravs. Philadelphia still has much to improve on if they want to keep up with the best teams, but their select moments of looking competitive with NYXL today prove that they are still in the running.

 

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