After scraping into the inaugural OWL playoffs by the skin of its teeth, the Philadelphia Fusion has quickly established itself as a serious contender in the race for an Overwatch championship. And now, with just three maps potentially sitting between the organization and a trip to the league’s first Grand Final, the chances of the Fusion making a Cinderella run to an OWL title are looking brighter and brighter by the day.
On Wednesday evening, the 6-seeded Fusion held their heads high as they marched into a matchup with the top-seeded New York Excelsior, a team that had held a 15-8 map differential against Philly during the first four stages of the season. However, the underdogs made quick work of the NYXL, burying the opposition in a devastating 3-0 finish after just 46 minutes.
And now, with Philadelphia sitting directly across from a trip to the Barclays Center and a date with the London Spitfire, the ultimate question rises: “Is the Fusion really this good?”
After taking a 2-1 series victory with a 7-5 map record over the incredibly adept Boston Uprising, it became evident that the Fusion was not an average 6-seed. Sure, the team struggled to make it to the postseason, but once the slate was clean, it was obvious that all bets were off, and Philly’s squad was up to any challenge that stood in front of them.
Needless to say, on Wednesday night, the Fusion looked stalwart against an NYXL roster that had looked like the best team in the OWL from the start of the regular season right up to the end. However, in the team’s first game on stage in over a month, they crumbled, as Philadelphia dismantled the champions-apparent en route to one of the most lopsided and shocking series victories the OWL has seen to date.
So far during this postseason, the Fusion roster is playing to its full potential, as three of the team’s strongest players, Jae-Hyeok “Carpe” Lee, Josue “Eqo” Corona, and Su-Min “SADO” Kim have played 100% of the team’s time on stage during the playoffs (3h19m). During their time in game, the aforementioned players have made the most of their opportunities, as Eqo and Carpe rank first and second, respectively, in E/10 among DPS players, while SADO leads all Tank players in the same category. And while Hong-Jun “Hotba” Choi and Gael “Poko” Gouzerch lack the same sample size as the members of the Fusion who have played every minute of the postseason, they still rank 1st and 3rd, respectively, among all OWL playoff participants when it comes to E/10.
Additionally, Eqo’s DMG/10 mark of 9,261 this postseason is the highest among all OWL players, while Alberto Gonzalez “Neptuno” Molinillo’s HEAL/10 mark of 11,019 is the third highest in the field.
With numbers like these, it’s only fair to proclaim that the Fusion really is this good. They’ve looked near flawless against Boston and New York, and now, with a fairly adaptive and vengeful Excelsior squad standing between Philadelphia and a date with destiny, it’s safe to say that the Fusion are quickly becoming an incredibly strong force in a postseason packed with talent. The madness of the first OWL playoffs is in full swing, and with the Philadelphia Fusion driving the bus, it’s only a matter of time until the league’s underdogs rise to greatness.
Photo Credit: Robert Paul via Blizzard Entertainment