OWL Semifinals Day 1 | Philadelphia Fusion vs. New York Excelsior

OWL Semifinals Philadelphia Fusion New York Excelsior

Everyone loves an underdog story. No matter what sport or game you are watching, it’s always fun to root for the little guy. The New York Excelsior came into the semifinals against the Philadelphia Fusion looking the strong favorites to win the matchup. They would finish the season with a ridiculous 34-6 record, and although they were looking a bit weaker at the end of Stage Four, they would still finish with a great 7-3 record and make it to the OWL Finals for that stage.

Their lineup features all star talent in every role, and even have the OWL’s first MVP, Bang “JJoNak” Seong-hyun. In fact, Team Korea, the strongest team at the Overwatch World Cup, is taking five members out of the seven going to the competition from the New York Excelsior. They would only lose to number two seeded Los Angeles Valiant in the Stage Four finals, by a very narrow margin.

On the other hand, the number six seeded Philadelphia Fusion came into this semifinals series after taking down the Boston Uprising in three series. That series was incredibly close, but the Fusion would be able to come out with the win. Some great play from DPS Lee “Carpe” Jae-hyeok and Josue “Eqo” Corona would help in multiple situations. However, the matchup is heavily favored towards the New York Excelsior, for good reason.

(6) Philadelphia Fusion vs. (1) New York Excelsior

Like I said, everyone loves an underdog story. The Philadelphia Fusion were able to keep the hopes of Fusion fans alive tonight. However, for New York Excelsior fans, it seems like the top team of the OWL has a lot of work to do.

The Excelsior have been reportedly struggling to adjust to the current meta, and it would show in series one of the semifinals. The Overwatch meta has finally reached a point where Zenyatta is not as useful as before. Jjonak, the Excelsior’s Overwatch League MVP, cannot use him as effectively anymore. (He is still a monster at the hero, and others though.) NYXL would play into Philadelphia’s style of constant action and chaotic teamfighting. This is the complete opposite of New York Excelsior’s game, as they prefer a more controlled gamestyle.

It also seems like the Philadelphia Fusion’s momentum and practice in the meta came clutch, as they were able to steamroll the league’s top team in the first map of Dorado. Philly’s powerful DPS duo, Carpe and Eqo were amazing. They were able to get key picks on many players in the right situations to keep the Excelsior from gaining any momentum of their own.

Oasis was the next map in the series. The New York Excelsior were able to take the first round with some sick Pharah play from Kim “Libero” Hae-seong.

However, the Fusion would look strong, even with a defeat. They would take University pretty handily and then on Eichenwalde, it was not even close. The Philadelphia Fusion’s defense would prove too strong for the New York Excelsior and would end the first semifinals series pretty convincingly.

Read More:  Philadelphia Fusion reveals departure of former head coach

Three Takeaways

1. Don’t Start Pine

Although DPS player Kim “Pine” Do-hyeon had his moments, he was way too inconsistent with his play this series. Their shotcaller Park “Saebyeolbe” Jong-ryeol was playing exceptional through a loss, and Libero was looking much better than the Big Boss. Maybe keep Pine on the bench until the duo of SBB and Libero fail you.

2. Philadelphia Needs To Stay Aggressive

The Philadelphia Fusion won the series off of them pulling the Excelsior into their style of play: aggressive and messy. If you can keep New York on their heels like they did tonight, they will have a good chance at defeating the top team in the league.

3. New York Needs To Play To The Meta

Double snipers are one of the strongest compositions in this meta, but the New York Excelsior would only play it for lies than three minutes. They also need to use Reinhardt more prominently. If they play to the meta and to their strengths, I can see NYXL taking the next series with ease.


What do you think about the semifinals’ first day between the Philadelphia Fusion and the New York Excelsior? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! If you missed our OWL Playoffs and Grand Finals predictions, check it out here!


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