Philadelphia Fusion upset New York Excelsior, reach OWL Finals

David vs. Goliath, Rocky, Seabiscuit, and now, the Philadelphia Fusion over the New York Excelsior. Everyone loves an underdog story, and this OWL semifinals matchup was really able to deliver.

The Philadelphia Fusion came into the second day of the semifinals with a ton of momentum. They had some pretty dominant first matches against the best team in the league. This would give them a huge amount of confidence for their second series and it shows with the results. For example, the Fusion’s powerful DPS duo in Lee “Carpe” Jae-hyeok and Josue “Eqo” Corona were stellar in their first series, and that trend did not falter.

Unfortunately, the New York Excelsior were on the opposite site of the spectrum. They had too many uncharacteristic mistakes as a team that lead to losses. Also, some players were simply not showing up when they should. Flex DPS player Do-hyeon “Pine” Kim was almost a no-show for the NYXL in the first series. Honestly, the only player to show up for the Excelsior was their shotcaller Park “Saebyeolbe” Jong-ryeol, as well as DPS player Kim “Libero” Hae-seong.

However, this was probably the most entertaining series of the semifinals. It was incredibly close until the end, and gave us some great moments to remember.

Let’s take a look at how the Philadelphia Fusion would secure themselves a spot at the OWL Grand Finals in New York.

The first map, Junkertown, would be an early warning for the NYXL for the rest of the series. The Philadelphia Fusion were able to run through New York for the first two points. However, the Excelsior were way too late on compositional adjustments. This would be a problem with them the whole series; their inability to adapt to change was hindering their progress. On attack, the New York Excelsior would push successfully through the first two points. Unfortunately, the attack would stall, and the Fusion would lock down the payload, even with some heroics from Pine.

In contrast, Fusion was able to stay dynamic with their approach. Their players were able to adapt to almost every situation that was thrown their way, no matter how hectic it got.

We haven’t seen THIS madness in a while 👀! @carpe_ow #OWL2018 #TheFirstPlayoffs


— Overwatch League (@overwatchleague) July 21, 2018

On Lijiang Tower, the Philadelphia Fusion get a little too overzealous when they take the control point. As a result, the New York Excelsior take back the point, and from there they lock down the Fusion. This was a great example of how New York can stay calm and disciplined, and run their style of play. The Fusion love playing in chaos, making every fight an uncontrollable brawl. However, the Excelsior were able to control where they wanted the Fusion to be. It was looking like the Excelsior were in the series and ready to make a comeback.

This is as CLOSE as it gets 😮! @NYXL #OWL2018 #TheFirstPlayoffs


— Overwatch League (@overwatchleague) July 22, 2018

Then, quite suddenly, King’s Row comes along and ruins it.

Wow. I have never seen the New York Excelsior take a smack down like this before. There isn’t much to say here. The Philadelphia Fusion would steamroll the Excelsior, not losing a single fight on their offensive side. It was completely messy and the New York players were starting to panic. Consequently, they would all try to make hero plays to save the game, but would fail. A nice number to look at: the Fusion had 57 kills at the end of the map. The Excelsior had eight kills. It was looking like the New York Excelsior were on the end of their rope. The Fusion were looking like they had all the momentum in the world to take the next map and the series.

Seriously though, @carpe_ow YOU ARE INSANE. #OWL2018 #TheFirstPlayoffs


— Overwatch League (@overwatchleague) July 22, 2018

The New York Excelsior had not lost on Hanamura yet, and they weren’t about to break that tradition. They show why they have a perfect record on the map, with an iron grip on defense. They do not even allow the Fusion to take a single tick on the second point. Every player is able to fill their role in to perfection, and Philadelphia can’t manage to find an opening.

On offense, the same story. The Excelsior take the first point with ease, and while the second point slows down, New York gets into a frantic push at the end for the win. It was a much-needed boost of confidence for a team who was looking like a shadow of themselves from the OWL regular season.

And just like THAT, @NYXL TIES THE SERIES! #OWL2018 #TheFirstPlayoffs


— Overwatch League (@overwatchleague) July 22, 2018

Finally, on Dorado, the Philadelphia Fusion find their foothold on the New York Excelsior. However, this doesn’t mean that the map was not close. It was the closest map to date, and also the most exciting. This map showed off some of the most beautiful Overwatch we have seen. However, it was Eqo who would prove to be the X factor for the Fusion on his Pharah.

😮😮😮! @eqo #OWL2018 #TheFirstPlayoffs

— Overwatch League (@overwatchleague) July 22, 2018

This fight from Eqo would be the winning fight for the Philadelphia Fusion, and would propel them to the Grand Finals against the London Spitfire. We all are looking forward to the explosive DPS matchup awaiting us in New York. Carpe and Eqo have been playing their best as of late, but the London Spitfire’s own amazing DPS duo of Park “Profit” Jun-young and Kim “Birdring” Ji-hyeok have been playing better. Their sniper play may be the best in the league, and the Fusion have a huge mountain to climb against the favorites of the OWL Finals. However, Philly is used to being underestimated. We will see if they can prove the doubters wrong at the Grand Finals.

What are your thoughts on the OWL semifinals between the Philadelphia Fusion and the New York Excelsior? Give us your thoughts in the comments below! If you want more Overwatch content, check us out here!