Season 1 grand finals pic

The Quite Mediocre Season of The Philadelphia Fusion

In 2018, the Fusion had a miraculous playoff run that only ended in disappointment. Despite this, I had quite high expectations this season. In the end, Fusion fans were not entirely disillusioned, but not amazed either. 

Changes 

Dayfly

This one wasn’t that big a of a surprise, as he only had a single map of play time during the inaugural season. With strong support players like Neptuno, Boombox and new addition Elk on the team, it was no surprise that the team released Dayfly.

Joemeister

This release was also not a big shocker considering he got no play time all season long. Again, this is not surprising with Neptuno and Boombox as starters. Joemeister is still active in Overwatch community as a coach for the HU Storm. 

ShaDowBurn

After a main roster rework during Season 1, ShaDowBurn was benched before being dropped in the off season. He didn’t see much more action until he joined the Paris Eternal’s team for Season 2.   

Hotba

In Season 1, he spent a lot of time on the bench waiting for his tank partner, SADO, to come back from suspension. He had mediocre play and was a controversial player with in the fanbase. During October of 2018, the Fusion traded Hotba away to the Charge for money, since no new player joined the team. 

Fragi

After playing a great Reinhardt during the first two stages of Season 1, he was benched in favor of SADO. This was due to SADO’s suspension ending and a shift to a more Orisa-based meta. During July of this year, the team traded Fragi to Guangzhou Charge for flex player Kyb. 

Coaching

After coach Kirby and the team’s spectacular run through the playoffs, you would expect the coaching staff to stay the same. Wrong. Kirby was promoted to head of Overwatch operations within the organization. Two new coaches, Hayes and NamedHwi, joined the team. This was possibly the most controversial change the Fusion made this season.

Stage 1 

Arguably the best stage for the Fusion. After coming off the defeat at the hands of the London Spitfire, they took revenge with the best stage record they had all season: 5 wins and 2 losses. Their losses at the hands of the lower-ranked Florida Mayhem and Dallas Fuel worried many fans, yet they won against teams like London and Atlanta. They ended the stage with a +5 map differential, which was their best all season. 

Still, they made it into their only stage playoffs all season, going to the semifinals only to be lose 0-4 to the dominant San Francisco Shock.

Stage 2 

This is where everything started spiraling out of control for the team. After back-to-back 0-4 losses, everything went downhill. And if only they knew how much further they would fall down this rabbit hole. They lost to teams such as London after winning against them only a few weeks earlier. The team lost to the NYXL twice in 3 weeks, which is not a good sign. 

They ended the stage on a –3 map differential, not even making the top ten teams in the stage. This was the beginning of the end for the Fusion’s season.

Stage 3 

This stage was one of only two this season with a positive win to loss ratio. The stage started badly with a 4-0 defeat at the hands of Hangzhou Spark. Even though they did have some pretty clean wins, they still ended with a -3 map differential. 

After a stage that was looking up for the Fusion, the fans hoped the team would use this last chance.

Stage 4 

This stage was the most important for the Fusion by far. They needed to have a good run to have a chance at even the play-ins. Unfortunately though, fate did not seem to favor the Fusion. With a 3-4 record and yet another negative map differential at –2, it was a stage of mixed results. They took a 4-0 from the Vancouver Titans but lost to the Chengdu Hunters in a map 5 scenario. The hope was looking slim for a good playoff run for the team.

Post-Season 

Unfortunately, when it comes to this off-season, there is not much to talk about. One game in, a 4-2 loss against the Shanghai Dragons ended the 2019 season for the team. 

End Thoughts 

Though this season didn’t turn out the way we wanted it to, we can all admit we had a blast watching the games. For a team who had made it to the Grand Finals last year, and finished so poorly, there is no single person to blame. There were questionable coaching changes and some reports of ego problems behind the scenes. All we can do is hope that they fix internal issues and hop back into it next year looking better than ever. 

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