On Friday, the Overwatch League released an official list stating the contract status of every player in the league. The majority of the Philadelphia Fusion are now considered free agents. Being a free agent means that the player’s contract has expired, and they can look for opportunities elsewhere. The only exceptions on the Fusion are Gael “Poko” Gouzerch, Isaac “Boombox” Charles, and Finley “Kyb” Adisi. Kyb is currently the only member listed under “team option.” Team option means that it is ultimately up to the team whether they decide to renew or let a player’s contract expire. Technically, Elijah “Elk” Gallagher is also under team option according to the list. However, Elk has stated that the Fusion is letting him try out for other teams, essentially making him a free agent.
With the majority of the roster under free-agent status, it is likely fans will see an entirely new lineup for the Fusion next season. However, there is still a chance that most of the players will stay on the team.
Eqo and Neptuno
Out of everyone, Josh “Eqo” Corona and Alberto “neptuNo” González have the most potential to stay. Although both are talented players in their own right, neither performed at the level that fans are used to seeing them at this season. This could potentially make things harder for them while looking for other opportunities. They are also two major faces of the team, and a Fusion without them seems strange.
That being said, the Fusion needs to shake things up in terms of their roster for next season. Last season, Philly became notorious for their stubbornness when it came to their starting six. By putting Simon “snillo” Ekström on a two-way contract alongside Elk, while also refusing to play Joona “Fragi” Laine (and ultimately trading him to the Guangzhou Charge), the Fusion backed themselves into a corner from which they could not escape. This cannot happen again. If the Fusion wants to succeed, they need to revamp their roster, and the first place they need to start is with their main tank.
Su-min “SADO” Kim received the brunt of the fan’s backlash this season as he struggled to be the tank that GOATS required him to be. Despite his struggles, SADO is by no means a bad player. Some of the Fusion’s better moments this season were when SADO was able to play his main character, Winston. He’s a great Winston player, but that isn’t enough, especially when characters like Reinhardt or Orisa are in the meta.
His cautious playstyle also does not gel well alongside his more aggressive teammates. SADO could do well on another team, but it is difficult to place him somewhere else when there are so many other talented main tanks currently looking for team. The Fusion could potentially move him down onto a two-way contract if they want to keep him within the family, but he would struggle to make a comeback to the League if they were to do so.
When looking for a new main tank, Philly may bring up Chang-sik “ChangSik” Moon from Fusion University next year. However, there are two other options outside of FUNI that the Fusion could pursue. Tae-sung “Mag” Kim, currently a member of Runaway, would be an incredible pickup for the Philadelphia Fusion. His aggressive playstyle would be a perfect fit for the Fusion’s current roster. The Fusion lost their fire this season, and having a bold main tank could bring back that spark that fans have been missing. Another option would be Sang-hoon “Kaiser” Ryu, who has made a name for himself while playing for O2 Blast. Both Kaiser and Mag have similar playstyles that would benefit the Fusion greatly, and if they aren’t already on the Fusion’s radar, they should be.
Should I stay, or should I go?
The Philadelphia Fusion had a rough season. As the season progressed, the team seemed to wilt before the audience’s eyes. During Season 1, the Fusion were one of the more fun teams to watch play on stage every week. This year, fans could only grimace in pain as the boys struggled throughout GOATS meta. The players themselves looked tired and unmotivated. Even when they won games, they looked more relieved to have the match over with than anything else. That unhappiness and frustration could play a factor in a couple of them leaving the team next season.
Carpe – London Spitfire or Seoul Dynasty
While fans adore him, Jae-hyeok “Carpe” Lee did not have a great season. It is tough to shine when one is being forced on to a role they are not comfortable playing. While the Fusion struggled with GOATS overall, Carpe’s Zarya was especially hard to watch considering his mechanical skill. Many hoped that he, and Eqo, would return to their former DPS glory once the meta shifted, but the duo continued to struggle throughout Stage 4.
Rumors that Carpe is unhappy on the Fusion have been swirling around Reddit for ages. Now that he is a free agent, Carpe might be looking to move a little closer to home. The Seoul Dynasty would be an excellent move for Carpe if that is a high priority on his list. Another more likely option would be with the London Spitfire. After letting Ji-hyeok “birdring” Kim and Hee-dong “Guard” Lee go, the Spitfire needs another hitscan player. Carpe would fill that slot with ease, and his familiarity with most of the players on the Spitfire would make him an ideal candidate overall.
Snillo/Kyb – Los Angeles Gladiators
The Swedish DPS player did well during the inaugural season while playing for the Fusion’s main roster. However, it was not until he started playing for Fusion University that fans were able to see just how versatile of a player he can be. Although Fusion University struggled after transitioning to Korea earlier this summer, Snillo still shined. He has matured into a great leader and an even better player over the season.
While it would be ideal that Snillo stays with the Fusion, he has a good chance of finding a better offer with another team. A possible landing spot is with the Los Angles Gladiators. With none of the Gladiators under contract, their future is entirely up in the air at the moment. A new roster could be in the works; if that is the case, Snillo’s newly founded leadership qualities could make him a good fit for the team. Another possible option would be trading Kyb to the Gladiators. Even though Kyb is a recent addition to the Fusion’s roster, one does not see him getting much playtime next season, especially if Eqo remains on the roster. If the Gladiators are genuinely looking to rebuild next season, either Snillo or Kyb would be great additions to the team.
Elk – Washington Justice
Elk had an unfortunate debut in the Overwatch League. During Stage 1, Elk was forced onto the role of flex support while Isaac “Boombox” Charles was ill. The Fusion lost two important games that weekend, and the blame was put on Elk’s shoulders by the community. While he got a chance at redemption later on during the season, Elk would decide to move on with Fusion University to Korea during the last two stages of the regular season. Unfortunately for Elk, he would struggle with FUNI as well. In a team decision, he was sent back home where he has waited in a strange limbo ever since.
Considering he never got the chance to truly show what he is capable of, many are hoping that Elk will stick around with the Fusion for a bit longer. Especially if Kyungbo “Alarm” Kim is to be acquired for next season like fans are hoping. The dynamic duo made a name for themselves early on with Fusion University, but fans are not sure if the pair would do well now considering the weird situation when FUNI moved to Korea. However, there is a possible new home for Elk should he wish to move on.
A potential landing for the main support would be the Washington Justice. With most of Washington’s roster currently under “team option” or “free agent” status, the Justice might be looking to rebuild entirely. It is still possible that both Yeon-Jun “Ark” Hong and Nikola “Sleepy” Andrews end up staying with the Justice, but Elk is a magnificent shot-caller. He could add more stability to their starting lineup, which is something that Washington needs. Elk is a hardworking player who has a vast knowledge of the game. He deserves a chance to start on a roster that will utilize his skills, and the Justice could be that perfect fit for him.
In the next installment of this series, potential coaching moves will be discussed alongside the players currently listed as “under contract” for the Fusion!
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