Coming into last night’s matchup, the Houston Outlaws and Philadelphia Fusion were both undefeated in the Overwatch League’s second stage, and the Outlaws were particularly hot, going from an 0-2 start to a 9-3 record. But Philadelphia can’t be beaten in seemingly anything right now.
When the Fusion took the stage, star newcomer Eqo wasn’t among the six players despite an impressive showing in his debut. Instead, George “Shadowburn” Gushcha was back in his regular spot on the lineup.
This roster change seemed odd at first—though later Eqo said on Twitter he was too sick to play—and early on, the Houston Outlaws had full control of the match. Jiri “Linkzr” Masalin was finding target after target as Widowmaker and rarely letting the Fusion feel comfortable.
But down 2-0 on the Hollywood map, the Fusion found its footing. Jacob “Jake” Lyons of the Outlaws struggled on some heroes like Tracer, and Linkzr’s Widowmaker ultimates (where she dons a visor that allows her team to see the opponent no matter where they are) were routinely either shut down or negated by careful Philadelphia retreats.
Shadowburn and Lee “Carpe” Jae-hyeok were crucial in winning the next two maps to tie it at 2-2, but Alberto “Neptuno” González on Lucio was constantly in the right place at the right time. The music-pumping support has recently come back into favor in Overwatch, and plays like González’s snipe of Jake was incredible.
By the time Philly had pushed it to game five on Ilios, the Outlaws were on their heels and the Fusion were feeling themselves. In the first round of Ilios, the Fusion even uncharacteristically delivered a little poetic justice for the “tactical crouching” habit of players like Jake. (Sadly, Coolmatt had to bear the humiliation for his team, a true tank if I’ve ever seen one.)
The Fusion won the map and the match, and now join the Seoul Dynasty as the only 3-0 teams in stage two. They were so good last night, the usually dour Shadowburn even smiled.