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Philadelphia and Boston continued their playoff matches today and after the last matchup, it really was anybody’s game.
The second match started with Junkertown, which would have been the last map had Boston had a better performance during the last series. It was a close matchup with Boston holding a good defense on the first point with some great play Hanzo play from Stanislav “Mistakes” Danilov, but this near hold ended up costing them the rest of the map.
Staggering the team to try to stop Philly at the door meant they lost the high-ground advantage and Philadelphia snowballed through to an overtime third point.
Swapping it around and seeing the Uprising on attack saw the team put up the famous pirate ship, with Se-hyeon “Neko” Park picking up Bastion to hide behind Young-jin “Gamsu” No’s Orisa shield to storm through the map. The Fusion put up a good defense but in the end, this strategy saw Boston all the way to the to the end with a little help from Kristian “Kellex” Keller’s Valkyrie and Mistakes Dragonstrike.
This pushed the map to a tie where Philadelphia took on Boston’s pirate ship getting a team kill onto Boston. The Uprising came back strong and had their own team kill – winning the match.
This first map really set the tone for the rest of the series. Despite Boston taking Lijiang Tower with relative ease, both teams came close on the rest of the maps, trading wins. It was clear the skill level was close between both of them making for a set of incredibly close matches.
King’s Row was the first map where Fusion came back into the game, turning it around by bringing Gael “Poko” Gouzerch back in for his impressive Zarya play which kept their team alive. Alberto “Neptuno” Molinillo closed out the map with an epic battle Mercy picking off the last of Boston’s defence.
In the tradition of trading maps and unexpected victories, Boston then defeated Philadelphia on Hanamura which won them the match 3-1 win and pushed us to a deciding third match.
After the first match, these matches truly did become impossible to pick. Up was down and favourite maps fell to opposing teams. Boston picking up the first win today proved this even further and the casters seemed similarly uncertain of what the outcome would be.
Junkertown was back on the menu and was a repeat of the first time with Boston once again picking up the win. Lijiang Tower followed once more, but Philadelphia had something to prove this time and turned Boston over for their own 2-0 landslide.
The next pick was Eichenwalde, and this is where things started to turn. Boston seemed to be slipping, no longer able to make as many key picks and their main healer Kellex seemed to die before he could even think of healing his team.
The Uprising then wanted Hanamura to try to pull off a repeat from the earlier series, but Philadelphia’s DPS players were just too well coordinated with Jae-hyeok “Carpe” Lee picking up clutch kills and Josue “EQO” Corona seeming to get whatever he missed.
In the end, The Uprising only managed to take the first point and the Fusion picked up both a match victory and 2-1 best-of-three series victory.
This means the lowest-seeed team has made it to the next step and, while these teams were close, I didn’t expect to see this when this matchup was first announced.
Watching Philadelphia take down Boston a few days ago really changed my perspective in what this team could do and seeing them able to clean up today makes them real contenders.
EQO gave the end of match interview and attributed their success in part to himself and Carpe being able to pull of the dual sniper combo, which is so essential in this Hanzo-based meta, and I’d have to say he was right
Matches were close but the firepower this team was putting out just ended up being too much for their rivals.
Unfortunately for the Fusion, their next matchup is set to be against top dogs New York Excelsior on Thursday and, despite this victory, they’ll have to fight very hard to win this next one.
New York aren’t unbeatable, but they also claimed to have been holding back in recent matches so people can’t learn their tactics. Philadelphia will have to do absolutely everything to prepare for this next matchup if they are looking to try to take it all the way to the finals.