Dynasty in the making? Fusion University win their third consecutive OW Contenders title
For most organizations, the Overwatch Contenders scene is not an ideal place to be when it comes to making a profitable business and excelling your brand forward. With the buy-in nature of the Overwatch League, sometimes the amount of capital it takes to get in the league and field a decent roster overtakes the need to also build a competitive academy team. For Philadelphia Fusion and Fusion University, that problem has never existed in their history.
After a second place finish in the Overwatch League and three straight Overwatch Contenders: North America titles to their name, the Philadelphia sister teams have built an enviable dynasty of star players and proven coaching structures. Fusion University started off as a hopeful experiment, but that experiment quickly lead to fortune and their efforts have been rewarded. Fusion U are now the most winningest Contenders team in North American history and their stock is only going up from here.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Fusion University are no strangers to winning. After formally being introduced as a roster in early 2018, FU have taken 1st place in 5 competitions, and three of them being major titles in regimented league play. Their Overwatch Contenders dominance has been an anomaly of sorts, but when you breakdown how their team structure works from the top down, it’s obvious to see where their strengths lie.
Fusion University, much like their OWL counterpart, have always been on the cutting edge of decision making and developing talent. From WhoRU to Carpe, Poko to Elk, Philadelphia as an org are constantly on the hunt for the next big prospect to attach to their teams. In recent months, players like Zachary “ZachaREEE” Lombardo, Hasan “crakinlakin” Alfardi and Lee “Na1st” Ho-sung have been just a few of the big time talents that have passed through the dorms of Fusion University.
What’s more impressive during their run of dominance is the variance in their squad from championship to championship. For the first two Contenders titles, Fusion University depended mainly on the carry power of Lee “WhoRU” Seung-jun as their win condition alongside the coaching of Aaron “Aero” Atkins to develop strategy. With WhoRU’s recent loan transfer to Korea, Fusion University didn’t drop the ball and took first in their group before taking really excelling in the playoffs.
Winning with finesse
Their playoff run was a thing of beauty, and akin to their sister teams exploits in their own playoff run for Overwatch League Season One. In the Quarterfinals, Fusion played out a tough 3-2 series over Team EnvyUs. The confidence in that win gave them all the steam they needed in Semis as they swept Second Wind in dramatic fashion.
In the Grand Finals, consistent high level plays from Kim “Alarm” Kyung-bo, Elijah “Elk” Gallagher and Simon “Snillo” Ekström made the difference over a star studded ATL Academy in just six maps. Elk and Snillo also have the benefit of functioning as ‘two way’ players for Fusion University and the main roster which will make for interesting developments as players come in and out of form over the course of the season.
In some ways, it feels like Fusion University are inputting the cheat codes to make their dominance at Overwatch Contenders so effective. Developing their talent in the Contenders scene as they also can flex the option to have them compete and scrim with the OWL teams is invaluable experience for any kind of player. With WhoRU coming back in just a few months, and more Academy players developing at an eccentric pace, Philadelphia Fusion are making a case to be considered the best overall organization for player growth in the entire Overwatch scene.
In Season Four of Overwatch Contenders: North America, there is already an outright frontrunner to secure the crown. With XL2 falling down the pecking order and more teams on the verge of self-destruct due to poor performances, Fusion University seem to have the secret formula to continue their success without any complications. Too many organizations in esports are unwilling to trust the process and properly put together rosters that mesh well personally as well as in game.
For Philadelphia, the Comcast backed organization continues to surpass expectations and their run of titles within the Contenders scene is unprecedented within North America, and they’re just getting started. Expect both teams to continue their winning ways and developing talent at a breakneck pace.