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Philadelphia Fusion: Stage 3 Week 3 Preview

Philadelphia Fusion, Poko

After a dismal Week 1, fans of the Philadelphia Fusion had their doubts about how the team would fare this past weekend. In true Philadelphia fashion, the Fusion went out of their way to prove their doubters wrong. The Fusion heard the community’s criticisms and took them to heart. With Week 2, fans would be treated to beautiful sights such as Josh “Eqo” Corona and Jae-hyeok “Carpe” Lee on DPS heroes and Gael “Poko” Gouzerch on Zarya.

Week 2

Los Angeles Gladiators, Surefour
Overwatch League 2019 Season Stage 3 photo: Stewart Volland for Blizzard Entertainment

While the Fusion did not beat the Los Angeles Gladiators,  the team did give their fans something they haven’t had in a long time: hope. Philadelphia put up one hell of a fight this series. While they continue to struggle with control maps, the Fusion rolled out so many different triple DPS compositions that fans had to do a double take. Freeing Carpe from Brig jail was one of the smartest decisions that the Fusion have made all season.

An excellent DPS player, Carpe took on the role of Sombra, who is becoming more and more prominent this stage. Alongside Carpe and Eqo’s fantastic Genji and Pharah play, fans also got to see another rare sight. The team finally let Poko play Zarya. Due to the popularity of his D.VA bombs last season, many forget that Poko was originally signed on by the Fusion as a Zarya specialist. Outside of his streams, fans rarely get to see Poko do what he does best: melt enemies with Zarya’s particle cannon. The team worked hard this week on these new strategies, and that effort definitely showed in both their games.

Another rocky start on control did not deter the Fusion from reverse sweeping the Boston Uprising during their match on Sunday. Looking a lot cleaner, the decision to run more DPS based compositions helped to propel the Fusion to their first win of the stage.

Players of the Weekend: Eqo & BoomBox

While watching Eqo destroy the Boston Uprising on Genji was a blessing for Fusion fans, it would be foolish to not give Isaac “Boombox” Charles the credit he deserves. After all, what is a good Genji blade without its nano? BoomBox’s Ana was another major highlight for Philadelphia this weekend. Watching these two players combo in their match against the Boston Uprising was a breathtaking sight, and fans are eager to see more of these wombo-combos for the remainder of this stage.

Week 3

Atlanta Reign, Babybay
2019-06-08 – Overwatch League 2019 Stage 2 Playoffs / Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

The Fusion’s only game of the week will be against the Atlanta Reign. Atlanta fans have created a supposed rivalry between these teams due to their many similarities. Both teams come from big money companies and have the most diverse rosters in the league. However, for Atlanta to even be considered a rival, they should probably beat the Philadelphia Fusion at some point.

The Atlanta Reign have been unable to beat the Philadelphia Fusion both times that they have faced off. The Fusion pulled out a classic Map 5 win over the Reign during their first match in Stage 1. Bitter, Reign fans looked forward to what was supposed to be one of the biggest rematches of the stage during stage finals. However, the Fusion proved to be the better team once more by pulling out a sweet 3-1 victory and moving on to the semi-finals.

Atlanta Reign, Masaa
Overwatch League 2019 Season Stage 3 photo:Stewart Volland for Blizzard Entertainment

Since then, both teams have been on the decline. However, Stage 3 has definitely proven to be the most difficult stage for the Fusion and the Reign. Both teams have been struggling hard. The Fusion only just got their first win against the Boston Uprising while the Reign remains on a losing streak. Atlanta will be hungry during this game; both for revenge, and for that crucial first win.

The Reign have some star players on their roster. Petja “Masaa” Kantanen and Dusttin “Dogman” Bowerman have become an iconic healing duo. Dogman, in particular, is one of the best Zenyatta players in the league. He has also made a name for himself as being one of the Reign’s most entertaining players. Recent addition Andrej “babybay” Francisty is also known for being a stellar DPS player, despite the fact that fans did not see much of him last season while he played for the San Francisco Shock. Babybay’s Zarya has received much criticism but should the Reign decide to let him loose and play Sombra, Atlanta might just have a chance to beat the Fusion.

Prediction: Philadelphia 3-2 Atlanta

Player to Watch: Poko

Courtesy of Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment.

At this point, Poko’s Zarya is one of the best-kept secrets in the League due to how rarely it is seen. So long as the Fusion continue to run more triple DPS compositions that allow Poko to do what he does best, the Fusion should have a chance at locking in another win over the Atlanta Reign this weekend.

He will be going up against either babybay, who is significantly weaker on Zarya, or Dong-hyeong “DACO” Seo on DVA. DACO’s D.VA has been one of the more consistent parts of the Reign’s roster. He is a good D.VA player, but Poko should be able to handle him. While the Reign also have Nathan “frd” Goebel sitting on their bench, the odds of them bringing him out for this match are slim considering he has yet to play this stage.

Conclusion

The Fusion worked incredibly hard last week to prove that they still have what it takes. While their GOATS is still not the best (and does not work on control maps), fans are hopeful for their match against the Atlanta Reign. If Philly continues to do the right thing and run more DPS based compositions, they should come out on top.

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