Powered back up: Philadelphia Fusion team preview

After a rough 2019, the Philadelphia Fusion could return to its former glory this year.

Photo by Robert Paul via Blizzard Entertainment
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Put on the Rocky montage music because the Philadelphia Fusion is trying to climb those stairs once again.

After making it to the inaugural Overwatch League grand finals in 2018, a series of unfavorable metas sunk the Philadelphia squad in 2019. They came in 10th place overall after failing to live up to season one expectations.

In 2020, the team has added essential new talent to spice up their roster. While some question marks remain, the Fusion players should be able to work their way back up to their former glory. 

Tank

At the very least, no one should be questioning the Fusion’s off-tank choices. The team acquired Kim “Fury” Jun-ho, formerly of the London Spitfire, to join their ranks in 2020. Fury has long been considered one of the best off-tanks in the Overwatch League thanks to his lightning-fast reflexes on D.Va. He’ll share off-tank duties with Fusion mainstay Gael “Poko” Gouzerch, also another D.Va specialist. When Hero Pools hit, both will have to show how far they can flex. 

The biggest question mark on the entire Philadelphia Fusion roster remains the main tank role, filled only by Kim “Sado” Su-Min. Sado struggled during multiple metas last season and many have questioned his ability to keep up with the team. Now that some teams are running double main tank metas, he may also need a partner in the future. 

Support 

Philadelphia’s support line will be enriched by two huge rookie pickups. Flex support Kim “Alarm” Kyeong-bo has been demolishing Overwatch Contenders as a part of Fusion University for years. Now that he’s finally old enough to play in the Overwatch League, the team has bumped him up. He and current flex support Isaac “Boombox” Charles will likely share stage time. The team’s only main support is Daniel “FunnyAstro” Hathaway, who was technically a part of the Atlanta Reign but saw more play on their Contenders team, ATL Academy. 

DPS 

If fans are worried about the team’s tank or support lines, those worries don’t extend to the DPS lineup. Regular Fusion carry DPS Lee “Carpe” Jae-hyeok returns with a big contract extension and the motivation to redeem his team after last year’s results. Initially, Philadelphia said that they’d let Josh “EQO” Corona leave the team, but he was listed as a part of the roster this year. His flex DPS is apparently still at the level to contend with the league’s superstars. 

Two high-profile signings include Lee “Ivy” Seung-hyun, formerly of the Toronto Defiant, and former RunAway DPS Jeong “Heesu” Hee-su. Both are extraordinarily talented DPS players who fill in the blank spaces of Carpe and EQO’s hero specialties. They’re joined by streamer Philip “ChipSa” Graham, who was a controversial choice considering his lack of professional competitive experience. His Doomfist expertise may come in handy if other heroes are disabled when Hero Pools arrive, however. 

2020 outlook 

After a relatively disappointing 2019 season, the Philadelphia Fusion have made all the right choices moving forward. They’ve added incredible talent in Fury and Alarm, who have been carrying their respective teams and can work that expertise into the Fusion’s dynamic. There should be some concerns about leaving the main tank and main support roles to one player apiece, but if given the right coaching, it could lead to a certain level of cohesion the Fusion haven’t been able to reach. Philadelphia looks more put-together than they have since the 2018 grand finals and could be working back to their previous level of dominance.

The Philadelphia Fusion will host its first games of the season at The Met in downtown Philadelphia. They take on the Washington Justice at 5pm CT on Feb. 15.