The Philadelphia Fusion stunned the New York Excelsior in a 3-0 sweep on Wednesday night, taking a 1-0 lead in the semifinals at the Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California, and putting the favorite to win it all on high alert.
The New York Excelsior dominated the majority of the inaugural season of the Overwatch League, known for being a well-coordinated and dominant unit. The New York team that took the stage on Wednesday, however, was a far cry from the well-oiled machine fans have become accustomed to.
The first map on Dorado ended in despair for the Excelsior, who had a strong chance at taking the map but lacked the time to regroup properly for a final push. The Fusion took a well-deserved victory thanks to support Alberto "neptuNo" González taking out New York DPS Kim "Pine" Do-hyeon and neutralized New York's final offense for the map. The Fusion looked as dominant as it did last week, not giving the Excelsior any breathing room. One of the leading factors for the Fusion was DPS Josh "Eqo" Corona, as he led all players in damage per 10 min. in the playoffs, with a whopping 9,401.
The Excelsior put up a better fight on the next map Oasis. DPS player Park "Saebyeolbe" Jong-ryeol looked excellent on on Tracer, but it wasn't enough to erase the weaknesses of his team, and New York's chance at winning the map was blasted with an excellent D.Va self-destruct by Philadelphia flex player Choi "HOTBA" Hong-joon, wiping out four members at once. Whatever the reason for Excelsior's inability to play well or prepare for these maps on a new patch, the Fusion came in stronger and better prepared, showing off a three-tank and three-support comp on Eichenwald for which New York had no response. It marked the first time the Excelsior have been swept this season. This shocking revelation comes with the fact that Dorado and Oasis were two of New York's best maps during the regular season. This was New York's first lost on Dorado in the regular season since Stage 1.
The Fusion only needs one more best-of-five series win against the New York Excelsior to advance to the finals, while Excelsior needs two series to stay in the running. Both teams will have a few days to prepare for the second set which is at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, with a third set immediately following if New York can pull out a win.