The most unknown entity entering the playoff had to be the Philadelphia Fusion as the six seed. Jae-hyeok ‘Carpe’ Lee and Josue ‘EQO’ Corona are a well-known DPS-duo playing the team into a playoff spot. Now the newly added tank line is looking to carry the team the rest of the way.
Su-min ‘SADO’ Kim and Hong-Jun ‘HOTBA’ Choi spent the season on the sideline due to some account boosting. It left somewhat of a skill gap between the tank line and the ferocious damage-line for the Fusion. Joona ‘fragi’ Laine filled in nicely for SADO during the regular season, but the insertion of SADO’s calculated Winston is making a world of difference and has made Carpe and EQO even scarier.
For one thing, Sado’s getting faster and more effective primal rages. He’s working up to ultimate at one of the fastest rates in the playoffs and getting good use out of those ultimates. However, the main reason why Sado and Hotba’s presence on the front-line is useful with the level of understanding.
In the current meta, Sado, and Hotba work incredibly well together and with the rest of the team. It’s back to a tank-minded meta-game with a focus on one burst damage hero. With Hotba’s ability to flex onto more heroes than practically any player in the league, working with three-tanks and strategies that require staying together and team-targetting one player.
Hotba is Hot, brah’
The most influential player in game one was HOTBA, who made a living off pressuring Do-hyeon ‘Pine’ Kim or Hae-seong ‘Libero’ Kimon the backline keeping their snipers completely off-balance. He was also responsible for 12% of first kills, and a majority of those coming from the NYXL snipers. HOTBA has made his versatility invaluable to the Fusion in the first two playoff series, and it’s paying off dividends for Philly.
The fact that Gael ‘Poko’ Gouzerch can sub in for Isaac “Boombox” Charles allowing HOTBA to go Zarya or potentially Roadhog while losing next to nothing on D.Va with D.Va specialist, Poko, who plays a similar style to HOTBA. Keeping two of the best overall D.Va mains in the league gives the Fusion a huge advantage over other teams who want to run or counter their tank-heavy style. The Uprising struggle in killing both HOTBA and Sado, and now the same can be said for the New York Excelsior.
It’s realistically been a mix of the two tanks defending with great shields and owning space control. The potential of this team was clear after stage two, and now with one game to win to play for the first-ever Overwatch League championship could be a special moment for Philadelphia. Start with Roston Yoo, as the team manager, who brought this all together. Now we’re seeing the vision for this team brought to the stage.