Philadelphia Fusion have been a team steadily gaining traction as they’ve only gotten stronger since the start of the Overwatch League. A diverse group of players with a shared vision for greatness, Fusion have defied the odds time and time again as they’ve performed well in spite of player suspensions, difficult schedules and stiff playoff competition.
Adding to the pot
The future didn’t always look so bright for Philadelphia, but the coaching staff and management team have adapted well to the roster needs for an elite OWL team and the additions have paid off nicely. At the beginning of the split, the duo DPS threat of Carpe and ShadowBurn were good in certain situations, but the team overall lacked flexibility and cunning against stronger squads.
The start of Stage Two was a breath of fresh air for Philly fans. The addition of Josue ‘Eqo’ Corona into the roster gave Philly another versatile, top-tier talent in the DPS role and the Fusion have made the most of his addition to the team. The tank core of Fragi and Poko on his patented D.Va were a welcome constant for a team clawing for consistency, and as the DPS core started to make the necessary plays, the Philadelphia Fusion went into full bloom.
The addition of Swedish Tracer main Simon ‘snillo’ Ekström has added much hype to the Philadelphia squad. In Stage Two, Fusion didn’t lose a single map when snillo was included in the line-up, thus adding to the mystique of a team with many tricks up their sleeves. In a sense, Philadelphia Fusion found their own version of Pine for their team and the results have been more than splendid. Even though there are a lot of bright spots in this still developing team of Overwatch elites, the Fusion have endured their fair share of controversy since joining the league.
For Philly, the problems with their roster isn’t really what happens on stage, but rather what takes place off of it. Currently, Eqo and SADO are suspended from the league for three matches and thirty matches respectively. Eqo’s case is much more benign as he was suspended and fined by the OWL for making unsavory comments on his stream which ultimately led to suspension. SADO’s charges are much more egregious as he was suspended for almost the entirety of the season because of account boosting.
Many Overwatch League pro’s, especially those based out of Korea have an intense dislike for any pro accused of account boosting. In some ways it’s the biggest danger to the league and the overall health of ranked queues, which leads to massive disillusionment from the players actively trying to improve their place on the ladder. Whether he likes it or not, SADO will forever be stained with this reputation and the resurgence of his stature in the league will be tempered by his past.
Regardless, every person is capable of redeeming themselves, and that process can only happen via quality gameplay when it counts. At this point, Philadelphia Fusion are gearing towards a playoff run that that will almost guarantee them a top six finish by the end of Stage Four. The consistently improving roster of Fusion has what it takes to achieve their goals, and it’s only a matter of consistency whether or not they make their fans proud.
With Eqo set to return, the best that Fusion have to offer will be on full display as Carpe, Fragi and Neptuno look to lead their team to greatness on more than one front. While Philadelphia don’t have the outright best players in each role, their roster strength from 1 – 12 is palpable at every point and the development for all their players has been well documented.
In an interview on the OverSight podcast featuring Thorin and MonteCristo, Philadelphia Fusion analyst Beezy made it clear that the Fusion are all in on their success, and their second place finish for Stage Two playoffs was way more than a fluke. The staying power for the Philly powerhouse will be tested severely for the rest of the season as top Western and Korean teams will look to disrupt the confidence and swagger that the Fusion have built for themselves. Will the Fusion crack under pressure when push comes to shove? Or can they follow the footsteps of the Philadelphia Eagles and Villanova basketball team and bring another championship to Philly? At this moment, The Philadelphia Fusion are in sole control of their destiny and success will be purely dependent on who steps up when it matters most.