Week Two of the Overwatch League kicked off in Philadelphia with a weekend of Brotherly Love hosted by the Fusion. Originally, the weekend was set to host the Philadelphia Fusion and Hangzhou Spark homestand events due to concerns over the COVID-19 coronavirus. Due to the lack of an entire homestand event, there were only four matches this past weekend, making it a fairly short experience.
Round 2 Begins
Saturday began with the Florida Mayhem facing off against the Houston Outlaws, with the Mayhem taking away a clean win to start their season. The Houston Outlaws did not look up to par, despite some serious off-season acquisitions including off-tank Taehong “Meko” Kim. The Mayhem was on top of the game, and new DPS star Kim “Yaki” Jun-ki proved to be a formidable force against the Outlaw’s more experienced João Pedro Goes “Hydration” Telles. Each time the Outlaws began to make an impact, their grip on the point would slip, with the team fights descending into chaos. The match ended with the Mayhem claiming their first victory of the season in an easy 3-0.
The second match of Saturday saw the Philadelphia Fusion’s first match of the season, and their first Homestand after hosting the Grand Finals last year. At the end of 2019, the Washington Justice was running hot thanks to DPS-duo Ethan “Stratus” Yankel and Corey “Corey” Nigra putting in major work. The two came into the match up heated up from the boos of the Philadelphia home crowd, but it wasn’t enough to push them above a solid Fusion squad. Jae-hyeok “Carpe” Lee made the highlight reel as usual, but the Washington Justice’s off-tank Ellivote managed to stay in his face, denying the sniper critical sightlines in key moments.
The Flu and the Fusion Flex
Sunday started off with the Washington Justice vs the Houston Outlaws in what ended up being a very one-sided match. Despite the claims of numerous members of the Houston Outlaws being sick, the roster contains at least four players in each role. This gave them plenty of options to adapt to the hyper-aggressive Washington Justice. Instead, they kept a failing Jeffrey “blasé” Tsang and Austin “Muma” Wilmot on the starting lineup.
The Outlaws have a roster with potential, but it definitely didn’t show this weekend, even given that the Justice is looking like a top 10 team right now. Corey found his stride halfway through Map One, but it was Elliot “ELLIVOTE” Vaneryd and Chang-hoon “rOar” Gye who created space for the damage dealers to do work.
In the last match of the weekend, the Philadelphia Fusion ended their homestand weekend with a second clean win over the Florida Mayhem. The Fusion was fired up, making their way through the Mayhem with ease, in part due to Jun-soo “Kris” Choi playing Brigitte instead of Lucio.
The Philadelphia Fusion is a strong team, picking their fights carefully while leaning on their stronger players. The Mayhem attempted to apply pressure to the Fusion’s backline, but left their own tanks vulnerable to the likes of Su-min “SADO” Kim and Gael “Poko” Gouzerch. It was a filthy display on behalf of Carpe, watching him do what he does best – clicking heads.
This weekend gave us some indication of the status and strength of the teams within the Atlantic Conference. The Philadelphia Fusion is coming out of the off-season with a 2-0 record, and the Washington Justice is shaping up to be a top 10 team given their performance. The Florida Mayhem have strong lineups within their roster but need time to experiment and find a solid composition. The Houston Outlaws, on the other hand, have a lot of work to do on their starting lineup and adapting to the competition.
The next homestand will take place in Washington D.C., hosted by the Washington Justice, with two more sets of matches than this weekend. Returning to the stage will be the Philadelphia Fusion, the Houston Outlaws, and of course the Justice themselves. Joining them will be the New York Excelsior, the Boston Uprising, the Paris Eternal, the Toronto Defiant and the London Spitfire, making this upcoming weekends’ matches crucial to power rankings within the conference.