Dallas Fuel struggled to push back against Philadelphia Fusion on Feb. 1, still unable to find the sweet spot for their style of play. The Texas-based team looked good on defense, but wasn’t able to use that strength to dismantle Philadelphia in any way, leading to Philadelphia’s 4-0 win.
There was pressure for both sides to win the match. For Philadelphia, it’s keeping the team in the running for the Overwatch League’s title matches. (They’re not officially out, though their changes are waning after yesterday’s loss against Los Angeles Valiant.) Dallas, on the other hand, needed to prove themselves worthy of their Overwatch League slot. Dallas sits very low on the league’s rankings with just one win on their tab. It’s not a good look for a team that was once considered a championship-tier squad.
Neither team was able to finish the first map, Eichenwalde. Philadelphia held Dallas before they could capture the first point, while Dallas held Philadelphia just ahead of the second. But despite the struggle from both sides, Philadelphia took the win. Dallas’ defense was fierce, as the team tried a new composition likely designed to confuse Philadelphia: They had Hwang “EFFECT” Hyeon on Doomfist.
EFFECT carried the Doomfist over into Temple of Anubis, which rolled into a tiebreaker push, where Philadelphia scored the extra point for the win.
Philadelphia looked strong through the series’ half-time, where the match headed to Ilios, which isn’t one of the Pennsylvania-based team’s strengths. But that didn’t seem to matter to the boys in orange: Philadelphia took Ilios with two quick points. Dallas couldn’t stay alive long enough to make a difference in the series’ fights.
The fourth and final map, where both teams were playing for map score—Philly takes the win with three maps—took the teams to Dorado. Philadelphia continued their reign of dominance, and their strength was in their focused teamwork. Their plays are consistently coordinated, allowing the squad to push in and pull out as needed to bait out Dallas’ ultimates.
Philadelphia will now prepare for week five of the Overwatch League, where they’ll face Boston Uprising on Feb. 8 and Florida Mayhem on Feb. 10. Both are matches they can win, but it’ll be up to the top teams to lose if Philadelphia wants to make it into the Overwatch League stage one title matches. Dallas will continue into this week’s matches with a hard opponent in New York Excelsior on Feb. 3. Despite being unable to make it into the stage one title matches, Dallas Fuel is still fighting for placement in the rest of the season—making every point in the Overwatch League important for the team.