After finishing the inaugural season of the Overwatch League with a stellar record of 24-16, capped off with a 6-4 posting to close out Stage 4, the Philadelphia Fusion snuck their way into the back end of the OWL playoffs, securing the 6th seed and a marquee matchup with the Boston Uprising to kick off the postseason.
And although the Fusion haven’t been a part of a Stage Playoff since Stage 2, nearly 4 months ago, the team has consistently floated above the .500 mark, as they haven’t suffered a losing record in any of the 4 Stages this season. And now, after scraping their way into the inaugural OWL playoffs, Philadelphia’s squad could look to play the roles of spoiler and underdog in a playoff landscape that was built for surprises.
If the Fusion are going to secure a trip to the Barclays Center later this Summer, the team will first have to come out of initial stages of the OWL playoffs relatively unscathed. And while the records may show that teams like London, Boston and the Los Angeles Gladiators have stronger, more adept rosters on paper, the Fusion have still shown flashes of greatness throughout the course of the season, making the squad more lethal than anyone may imagine.
If there’s any major factor for the Fusion heading into Wednesday’s matchup with the Uprising, it’s their star DPS player, Jae-Hyeok “Carpe” Lee. Carpe’s consistently impressive performances across all 4 Stages have been an incredibly large reason as to why the team finds itself in the Playoffs to begin with.
Throughout the course of the season’s final stage, he posted 15.57 E/10, good enough for the 23rd highest total in the league, while ranking 5th amongst qualified DPS players. Additionally, he averaged 9.63 FB/10, the 3rd highest in the entire OWL.
And while Carpe’s performance has been nothing short of extraordinary and possibly even MVP-worthy, it’s important to note that if the Fusion is going to make any progress in the Playoffs, Carpe will most definitely need to be the focal point of a team that desperately needs any sort of boost it can get.
And with S-tier players like Nam-ju “Striker” Gwon, Lane “Surefour” Roberts, and Joon-yeong “Profit” Park staring directly across from him in the initial stages of the playoffs alone, it’s obvious that Philadelphia’s ace could have his work cut out for him. The fate of the Fusion’s season lies on the shoulders of Carpe, as Philly’s star player has drove the bus this far, now it’s just a matter of if there’s still some gas in the tank.
Photo Credit: Blizzard Entertainment, The Overwatch League