The first match of this weekend’s Washington DC-hosted matches of the Overwatch League featured a rivalry. The New York Excelsior faced off against the Philadelphia Fusion – two teams that always got in each other’s way. This was the game to watch, supposedly, for this weekend.
The actual match, however, was a blowout that not even the analysts expected. The Philadelphia Fusion confidently beat the NYXL 3-1, continuing their winning run in this season.
A set rivalry
For fans new to the Overwatch League, these two teams have history. Both were regarded as up-and-coming contenders in the first season, and they each did well in the first two stages of that season. They ended up facing each other in those stage finals, leading to an insane reverse sweep by the NYXL. But revenge for the Fusion came at the most important time. They defeated the NYXL in the inaugural season playoffs, knocking New York out and stopping them from going to Brooklyn for the Grand Finals.
While the second season wasn’t nearly as topical as the first, the rivalry was set. The NYXL continued their dominance over Philadelphia in the regular season, but again struggled in the post-season. It wasn’t by the Fusion’s hands this time, but New York was again denied a Grand Finals appearance.
A convincing win for the Fusion
The dominance of the NYXL over the Fusion hasn’t started well this season, however. In their first match-up of the season, the Fusion dismantled the NYXL in a 3-1 series win.
While both teams’ rosters have seen some significant changes, the same people showed up on both teams. On the Fusion’s side, Jae-hyeok “Carpe” Lee and Gael “Poko” Gouzerch played amazingly. On the NYXL’s side, Jong-ryeol “Saebyeolbe” Park and Dong-gyu “Mano” Kim showed up to play. However, the newcomers made big differences, more so for the Fusion.
Former Fusion player Hong-joon “HOTBA” Choi came in with a lot of hype but didn’t live up to previous games. Long time prodigy Seung-jun “WhoRU” Lee was unfortunately outplayed by the entire Fusion roster. Daniel “FunnyAstro” Hathaway showed his prowess on Lucio against the DPS of NYXL, and former Toronto Defiant player Seung-hyun “Ivy” Lee showed his skill on Mei.
There wasn’t too much to analyze, even the Watchpoint desk admitted. The Fusion simply did everything better than NYXL, from rotations to hero swaps. While the NYXL did improve as the series went on, the Fusion managed to sweep the leg before a reverse sweep was possible.
This sets NYXL back a little from what people expected of them and places the Fusion atop the leaderboards. The season is still young, but this rivalry is not. And it seems like the Fusion might be finally changing the script and becoming the top team of this rivalry. Only time will tell if this mixed nationality roster will dominate the league like the Korean powerhouses before it.