Philadelphia Fusion vs Houston Outlaws
For our second match of the day, we have a pretty exciting clash between two veteran teams – the Philadelphia Fusion, and the Houston Outlaws. Now, if this was the inaugural season of the Overwatch League, this clash would be an absolute must watch.
At the time of this writing, however, it’s perhaps a bit underwhelming, primarily because both teams have struggled to find their footing and maintain a consistent level of play. They’re still hunting down an identity for themselves, and they’ve found mixed results so far. The Fusion have definitely had more success overall, but their showing in the stage one playoffs left a lot to be desired.
In any case, it was a far cry from their 2018 level of play, and seeing them this vulnerable and out of sync at times is a rather crushing sight. We’ve seen their incredible highs and what they’re capable of, but they’re just not adept at the current meta right now. Depending on the opponent and state of the meta, they might find some success, but in the grand scheme of things they’re just not doing enough in order to warrant a spot at the top.
They started stage two off in the worst possible way – a quick and one-sided shellacking at the hands of the New York Excelsior. That wasn’t a pretty sight, regardless of your allegiance. Fortunately, they were able to pick up wins over the Toronto Defiant and the Florida Mayhem, but those were expected triumphs. They were a given – so no one’s really getting overly hyped.
Their second fight against New York yesterday had the same end result, but the path towards it was a bit different. They were able to take a map and even though that’s a pretty underwhelming consolation prize, it’s at least something. If you’re up against such an indominable titan, you take anything you can get.
As for Houston, well, they’re in an interesting spot. They ended stage one at twelfth place which is pretty mediocre, all things considered. For a team that had so many highs during the inaugural season, that’s pretty underwhelming, to say the least. We know they have a ton of talent, but they’re inconsistent, and their strengths shine the brightest on certain maps – not by default.
As for stage two, they started off a week later than everyone else seeing how they didn’t have any matches for week one. When week two rolled around, they were able to take a map off of Vancouver Titans – which, in all fairness, is rather surprising – but were still unable to leave a bigger mark. This match today is their first of week three, and they’re entering with their cards close to the chest. Because they played so little, and against an opponent that they didn’t have a chance at beating, they weren’t forced to show off what they had been working on during the mid-stage break.
They could have something exceptional ready, or they could have nothing at all. We simply cannot know at this moment, but they do have an upper hand regardless.
Fortunately, the current meta – a meta that isn’t only bound to GOATS comps – favors them quite a bit. They have Danteh and LiNkzr, two exceptionally gifted DPS players who can turn the game on its head in a split second. Now, they haven’t really been able to flex their DPS muscles in quite a long while, but the talent is there, along with their insane mechanical prowess. If the Houston adapts as well as they should, they could be coming out swinging against Philadelphia. They have tools to compete with a lot of teams in the Overwatch League, but they just need a little bit more time before they’re able to become an actual threat.
They’re hard to judge, but they looked relatively good last stage when they were able to run a couple of DPS heroes – when the map pool and meta allowed them to, rather.
We just don’t know how strong they are currently, but we simply have to side with the Philadelphia Fusion. They an incredibly talented team, and even though they’re still not as good as one might think, they’re getting there. They’re improving at a respectable pace and they’re finding success more often than not. We’ve already seen some of their highs in the recent stage one playoffs and they’re a solid, deceptively strong team for sure. They’re just not good enough to compete with the three or four teams at the top – but hey, practice makes perfect.
They’re going to get online just in time for playoffs, and they know that this match is a must-win in a way if they want to retain their chances of reaching the Top 8. It might not be pretty, and it surely won’t be as one-sided as some expect, but they should be able to get the job done.