The Philadelphia Fusion looked good in front of their home crowd at the Battle of Brotherly Love at The Met on Saturday, taking down a scrappy Washington Justice 3-1 on the first day of Week 2 of the Overwatch League.
The Fusion (1-0) started strong by taking Game 1 on Nepal 2-1, led by DPS starJae-hyeok "Carpe" Lee, who put in strong showings on his signature McCree throughout the series. After the Justice (0-1) took Game 2 on Havana 2-1, the Fusion rallied, taking King's Row 3-2 and Temple of Anubis 4-3 to secure the match.
The Fusion played well around Carpe, while some of the new faces were able to shine. In particular, the all-rookie duo of main support Daniel "FunnyAstro" Hathaway and flex support Kyung-bo "Alarm" Kim impressed, with FunnyAstro's Lucio making a run for best Lucio in the league, while Alarm displayed dominance on Ana and Baptiste. It wasn't a perfect first game in front of a raucous home crowd, but the Fusion got the job done when Washington threatened to play spoiler.
Meanwhile, the Justice have been seen by some in the community as a potential dark horse to make a postseason run despite posting an 8-20 record in 2019. With a talented young DPS core in Americans Corey "Corey" Nigra and Ethan "Stratus" Yankel, this team has been talked about as an upgrade or two away from being a legitimate postseason staple.
While the Justice ran into a stacked Fusion team in front of a hyped-up home crowd, the series wasn't a complete disappointment. The 2-1 win on Havana was a sign of what could be to come, provided the team can create space for Corey and Stratus' combined chemistry to clean up fights.
In Saturday's other match, the Florida Mayhem (1-0) shocked the world not only by beating the new-look Houston Outlaws (0-1), but by doing so dominantly. Rookies DPS Jun-ki "Yaki" Kim's Mei and support Nam-jin "Gangnamjin" Gang's Ana shined in their first outing, dominating their respective matchups against league veterans in Houston's DPS Joao Pedro "Hydration" Goes Telles and support Shane "Rawkus" Flaherty.
The rest of the team played equally well, showing a level of coordination and agency that has been lacking since the inaugural season. However, Florida still showed some rookie growing pains despite the 3-0 stomp. The Mayhem took Busan 2-0, Havana 1-0 and Eichenwalde 3-2, but the Outlaws all but beat themselves on the hero selection screen.
Houston is no stranger to head-scratching decisions, which Saturday took the form of Rawkus, a respected Ana specialist, not swapping off of Brigitte until halfway through Game 3 on Eichenwalde. That was too little, too late. It's unclear if the decision was his own or the coaching staff's, but it made Houston's win conditions extremely linear when combined with former Seoul Dynasty support Seung-soo "Jecse" Lee's Lucio.
With Houston only able to run at the Mayhem's tank line and hope to overwhelm them, newly acquired offtank Tae-hong "MekO" Kim had limited impact as D.va, with the Mayhem poking Houston out before fights. Things looked better once the Outlaws abandoned the hyper-aggressive rush composition in Game 3, but the damage was done.
Week 2 concludes Sunday with two matches:
Washington Justice at Houston Outlaws
Florida Mayhem at Philadelphia Fusion
Overwatch League Season 3 standings, with match record (W-L), map record (W-L-T) and map differential:
1. (Atlantic North) New York Excelsior, 2-0, 6-1-0, 5
2. (Pacific West) Vancouver Titans, 2-0, 6-2-0, 4
3. (Atlantic South) Florida Mayhem, 1-0, 3-0-0, 3
T4. (Atlantic South) Philadelphia Fusion, 1-0, 3-1-0, 2
T4. (Atlantic North) Toronto Defiant, 1-0, 3-1-0, 2
T4. (Pacific West) San Francisco Shock, 1-0, 3-1-0, 2
7. (Atlantic North) Paris Eternal, 1-1, 4-3-0, 1
8. (Pacific West) Los Angeles Valiant, 1-1, 3-4-0, -1
T9. (Pacific East) Chengdu Hunters, 0-0, 0-0-0, 0
T9. (Pacific East) Hangzhou Spark, 0-0, 0-0-0, 0
T9. (Pacific East) Shanghai Dragons, 0-0, 0-0-0, 0
T9. (Atlantic South) Atlanta Reign, 0-0, 0-0-0, 0
T9. (Pacific East) Guangzhou Charge, 0-0, 0-0-0, 0
T9. (Pacific East) Seoul Dynasty, 0-0, 0-0-0, 0
15. (Pacific West) Los Angeles Gladiators, 0-1, 2-3-0, -1
16. (Atlantic South) Washington Justice, 0-1, 1-3-0, -2
T17. (Atlantic South) Houston Outlaws, 0-1, 0-3-0, -3
T17. (Atlantic North) Boston Uprising, 0-1, 0-3-0, -3
19. (Pacific West) Dallas Fuel, 0-2, 2-6-0, -4
20. (Atlantic North) London Spitfire, 0-2, 1-6-0, -5
--Field Level Media