With the postponement of games from the Overwatch League and the well-needed playtime the Pacific Division teams will receive this weekend, now is a good time to look back at the Philadelphia Fusion’s season so far. Before COVID-19 postponed last week’s games, the Fusion were matching up against the London Spitfire in Florida. Philly was fresh off their first loss to a sleeper in the Paris Eternal and they were looking to jump back into the win column. With the revised schedule out, fans of the Fusion will not see them until April 4th when they face the Washington Justice.
The Fusion Come Home
Week two of the Overwatch League brought live Overwatch to “The City of Brotherly Love.” This was the first time the home crowd was able to cheer on the Fusion and the event was electric. One of the biggest questions coming into this new season was the main tank position. The Fusion in the offseason stocked up on DPS, new support core and an off-tank but left the main tanking to Su-min “SADO” Kim. Philly fans questioned this lack of depth as SADO’s play was questionable at times through stage four of the inaugural season and all of season two. SADO ignored the negative attention and stunned the league.
Their first game in front of the home crowd was as loud as many would expect. Boos were heard when the Washington Justice came out. Ethan “Stratus” Yankel provoked the crowd even more by taunting them. This atmosphere not only pumped up the crowd but the Fusion themselves. They had successful homestand, winning against both the Washington Justice and Florida Mayhem. Highlights included a Jae-hyeok “Carpe” Lee carry, SADO looking on his game, Gael “Poko” Gouzerch hungry for ultimates and an insanely talented support core. They left their homestand weekend with a 2-0 record.
Philly’s First Trip To Washington
With the Washington Justice having five homestands this year, this was the first of many trips to the nation’s capital. The Fusion were riding high off of their two homestand victories and the fans were assured that they finally have a good looking main tank. This was the weekend where Philly met their first big test.
Fans familiar with rivalries will know the animosity displayed when Philadelphia faces New York. Flyers vs Rangers, Phillies vs the Mets and the Union vs Red Bulls are a few that exist today. The Fusion kicked-off their season battle against the NYXL. This game had a few things on the line. First, both teams were fresh off 2-0 homestands and were looking to remain undefeated. Second, was proving who the better team is. Both the Fusion and NYXL were coming into the 2020 season as powerhouses and this game set the stage for a possible playoff matchup. Third and almost more important than the win was bragging rights. Nothing fuels the Philly vs New York rivalry more than good ole’ fashion smack talking. The Fusion took that game 3-1 to remain undefeated going into their second matchup of the weekend.
Fusion fans were treated to that borderline heart-attack feeling they felt every game last year when they took on the Toronto Defiant. While the Defiant have a very strong DPS core, they struggle a bit in the other roles. Many thought that this would be a write-off game and the Fusion would take this handly. Philly went up with a dominate 2-0 going into the half and made this matchup look like a quick 3-Overwatch when the Defiant struck back. The Defiant came back to force a game five but the Fusion shutdown that hope and took the fifth map, winning the series 3-2.
Week four saw Philly make a short trip to the “Lone Star” state in the great city of Houston. The matchup this weekend was against the struggling Boston Uprising. The Houston homestand was the first time the Fusion fans got to see Jun-ho “Fury” Kim and Josue “Eqo” Corona on stage. They both performed well against the Uprising but nothing made more of a statement then the Kings Row shatter from SADO in the underground. The video below is a timestamp of that moment from the Overwatch League YouTube broadcast. The Fusion took the series 3-0 in dominant fashion.
Back To Reality
Washington homestand number two brought the Fusion back down to earth. They faced off against the Paris Eternal and looked to keep to their winning ways. Paris is currently in one of those odd places. They have depth in Ki-hyo “Xzi” Jung, Han-been “Hanbin” Choi and Overwatch League’s own Reddit Lucio, Brice “FDGod” Monscavoir. The Eternal also have Yeong-han “SP9RK1E” Kim, who is currently underage until May 31st but has been receiving a ton of hype. The Fusion’s issues stemmed from none of the aforementioned names above but instead from the pulse bomb slinging veteran, Terence “SoOn” Tarlier. The introduction of hero pools to the league this week and the ban of Reinhardt pushed teams to run more divey comps. This would enable the Tracer specialist SoOn to dominate. Down 2-0, the Fusion had a mountain to climb to defeat an Eternal team firing on all cylinders. They did just that to force a game five, map three on Oasis only to fall short in an epic overtime fight.
The Fusion will have three weeks off to gather their thoughts and prepare for the Justice. During that time, they will get a good look at the other competition around the league. Philly will finally get to see the Dynasty play this weekend and the rest of the Pacific East the following. This will help them plan for their games against those teams down the road and to put in the work to get back to their winning ways. Fusion fans this year are graced with an extremely talented team that hit a snag in week five. Fans should not be phased by this bump in the road. The Fusion will look to bounce back against the Justice in April and get back to their winning ways.
Follow Rocco on Twitter @MaridonGaming for all things Philadelphia Fusion! You can also reach out to them on Discord and talk some OWL! (Maridon#6912)
Featured Image Courtesy of the Philadelphia Fusion.
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