The last spot in the grand finals was up for grabs in the American region losers bracket finals on Sunday. Two teams — one dominant all season long, one a red-hot improbable underdog — squared off as the top-seeded Philadelphia Fusion (24-2) took on the 12th-seeded Washington Justice (4-19).
Unfortunately for the Overwatch League’s postseason Cinderella story, the clock finally struck midnight as the Fusion swept the Justice 3-0. Here’s how Sunday’s series went down.
Throughout the American region playoffs, teams have struggled against the Justice, who exclusively ran compositions with a Roadhog-Zarya frontline. Washington used this composition to abuse the (admittedly) overpowered state of Roadhog and to put all of their players on their best heroes. Most teams looked to “counter” this composition by running Reaper-Sombra dive, which sounds good in theory but usually fell flat since the Justice would dominate the frontline battle.
Philadelphia clearly did its homework coming into this series, mirroring the Roadhog-led frontline compositions we’ve seen from teams like the Seoul Dynasty over in the APAC region. With both teams on equal footing in terms of composition, this series came down to individual and team skill, which suited the Fusion and their star-studded lineup just fine.
Each map was filled with individual mechanical brilliance from the Fusion side that the Justice simply couldn’t match. On Lijiang Tower, support Daniel “FunnyAstro” Hathaway’s Lucio dominated, recording five environmental kills in one round on Gardens. Philadelphia took Lijiang Tower 2-0, establishing that they were more than happy to fight the Justice on their comfort picks.
The Fusion continued to roll on King’s Row, where they subbed in DPS and captain Jae-hyeok “Carpe” Lee to play precision hitscan characters like Ashe and Widowmaker in a lethal double-sniper setup. This gave Washington’s medium-to-close range composition issues, leading to a 4-3 Fusion win.
After the halftime break, the Justice didn’t have any answers for what the Fusion were doing, but Philadelphia found plenty of ways to fine-tune their domination over Washington. On Volskaya Industries, the Fusion once again ran the double-sniper setup, catching Justice backline players out routinely and preventing Washington from ever getting set up. The Fusion closed out the series and earned the final spot in the grand finals with a 2-0 full-hold to complete the series sweep.
–Field Level Media