Fusion

Overwatch League 2019 Grand Finals in Philadelphia end with a shocking San Francisco victory

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Robert Paul/Blizzard Entertainment

Overwatch League 2019 Grand Finals in Philadelphia end with a shocking San Francisco victory

In a hyped-up Grand Finals, the two best teams throughout all of Season 2 faced off in the Vancouver Titans and the San Francisco Shock. With the team's previous matchups split evenly, this match would decide the victor once and for all. Despite all the hype that went into the match, the victor was decided fairly quickly as the Shock dominated the Titans on their way to a 4-0 victory and the title. What does this victory mean for the two teams heading into the next season? Let’s take a look and start off with the champions themselves. 


The San Francisco Shock: Golden run completed


(Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment)

The Shock entered the Grand Finals after an amazing run through the loser’s bracket, going undefeated against the likes of the Hangzhou Spark and the New York Excelsior. With all the momentum in the world, the Shock completed their run with their 4-0 victory over the Titans, cementing their spot as the best team in the Overwatch League. 

Through the entire match, the shock showed a lot of versatility as they were able to continuously adapt to whatever the situation needed. A great example of the Shock’s ability to adjust and adapt on the fly was when DPS player Dong-jun "Rascal" Kim’s switched to Pharah on Eichenwalde, which turned around the map for the Shock, leading to their win. Considering the importance of that map in terms of momentum, this could have been one of the key moments that decided the series as had the Shock not won Eichenwalde, the Grand Finals could’ve gone another way with momentum shifting back to the Titans.

Overall, the Grand Finals showed the world how strong of a team the Shock truly are, but one aspect of the team that hasn’t received enough praise for their dominant run is their coaching staff. Head coach Dae-hee "Crusty" Park through the entire season was able to help the Shock remain one of the best teams in the league with two different starting rosters depending on the meta. It’s hard to imagine any other coach being able to do the same thing and as such, Crusty deserves a huge payday for his next contract.

The Vancouver Titans: Forever the underdogs and forever runner-ups

Apex Season 2, Apex Season 4, and now The Season 2 Grand Finals of the Overwatch League. While the Runaway core that forms the Vancouver Titans is used to being the underdogs in big matches, they’re unfortunately also used to being the runner-ups. 

Despite a strong run into the Grand Finals through the Winner Finals, the Titans were simply outmatched by a stronger team in the Shock. Key players that needed to have great performances simply couldn’t keep up as tank player Hyeon-Woo "JJANU" Choi was outclassed on Sigma, and DPS player Min-soo "SeoMinSoo" Seo was simply unable to make a big enough impact to affect the team’s chances to win. Overall, the Titans struggled against the Shock and were unable to show the same level of versatility. This was most evident as the team was mowed down by the Shock’s Bastion composition on multiple occasions without an answer. 

Despite all the negatives, the Titans will still head into the next season as one of the best teams in the Overwatch League. Along with that, if history has shown fans of the Runaway core anything, it’s that after a heartbreak, victory will follow. 

Meet your new Philadelphia Fusion roster for OWL 2020

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The Philadelphia Fusion

Meet your new Philadelphia Fusion roster for OWL 2020

The Philadelphia Fusion has officially announced its main roster heading into the 2020 season of the Overwatch League. Overall, the team has five returning players and four newly signed players along with a new coaching staff.

Players Leaving


Image credit courtesy of The Philadelphia Fusion

Leaving the Fusion roster are DPS player Finley "Kyb" Adisi and support players Elijah Hudson "Elk" Gallagher and Alberto "neptuNo" González.

Kyb leaves the roster after not seeing any play with the Fusion roster since being traded to the team from the Guangzhou charge just before the start of Stage 4. Meanwhile, Elk leaves the team after struggling on the Fusion Academy roster after rejoining the contender roster when they moved to Korea.

Finally, neptuNo leaves the roster after playing a huge role as one of the key supports for the Fusion. During his time on the Fusion, neptuNo was one of the starting supports through both seasons, acting as the main Lucio and Mercy player. He was considered one of the core members of the roster and played the most maps out of all players in season one of the Overwatch League.

There haven’t been any rumors about the landing spots for any of these players at the moment. However, it has been rumored that the Toronto Defiant decided not to trial neptuNo due to feeling that he may be too toxic.

Returning Players

After a mediocre 2019 season, the starting DPS and tank duo for the Fusion in DPS players Jae-hyeok "Carpe" Lee and Josue/Josh "Eqo" Corona along with tank players Gael "Poko" Gouzerch and Su-min "SADO" Kim. Finishing off the group of returning players is support player Isaac "Boombox" Charles.

While Poko, SADO, and Boombox were brought back fairly quickly, the DPS duo was a different story. For Eqo, it was originally announced that he would be leaving the team after two long seasons with the team. The announcement was a shocking one at the time and left fans wondering what the future would hold for both the Fusion and Eqo. Meanwhile, after weeks of rumors since the start of the beginning of the offseason, star DPS player Carpe signed a 3-year contract to rejoin the team as the face of the franchise.

Overall, the return of these five players allows the Fusion to head into the 2020 season with a solid core that has great synergy together as a team. Along with that, the return of the DPS duo in Carpe and Eqo ensures the Fusion will have the ability to default to a tested duo that is capable of carrying the team to victory.

New Players

The biggest pickup for the Fusion during the offseason is the former tank player of the London Spitfire Jun-ho "Fury" Kim who is widely considered one of the best offensive tank players in the league. During the offseason, Fury was sought after by other teams as reported by Halo of Thoughts in the New York Excelsior. While the NYXL had initial talks with the Spitfire, the asking price was too high for the team.  Along with Fury, the Fusion picked up two more Korean players in Seung-hyun "Ivy" Lee, the former DPS player for the Toronto Defiant and support player Kyungbo "Alarm" Kim, who has been brought up from the Fusion’s contender team in the Fusion University. Finishing off the new players joining the roster is a former support player for the Atlanta Reign, Daniel "FunnyAstro" Hathaway.


Image credit courtesy of The Philadelphia Fusion

Along with the new players, the Fusion also announced new members of the support staff. Taking over the coaching duties after both Se-hwi "NamedHwi" Go and Elliot "Hayes" Hayes left the organization is Dong-gun "KDG" Kim, the former coach for the Seoul Dynasty, along with him the returning assistant coach Christopher "ChrisTFer" Graham will continue to contribute to the team. Along with that, the Fusion also announced Roston “Roston” Yoo as the new assistant general manager.

With these changes the Fusion roster heading into the 2020 season will be:

Support: Alarm, FunnyAstro, Boombox
Tank: Poko, SADO, Fury
DPS: Ivy, Carpe, Eqo
Coach: KDG (head), ChrisTFer (assistant)

With the new players, the Fusion could potentially field a nearly full Korean roster depending on the meta with a single non-Korean support which would likely be Boombox. One big concern that still exists in the roster is the lack of a substitute for the main tank role as SADO could continue to struggle once the 2020 season begins. Overall, the roster has made some solid upgrades and should look much better heading into the new season. The question now will be if these changes are good enough to push the Fusion into title contention once again.

The Fusion’s 2020 season begins on February 15th in Philadelphia.

 

Nerd Street Gamers 'FTW Philly' gets greenlight for 10-episode run

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Nerd Street Gamers

Nerd Street Gamers 'FTW Philly' gets greenlight for 10-episode run

Nerd Street Gamers announced that NBC Sports Philadelphia is set to air a 10-episode season of “FTW Philly,” a broadcast feature that is set to focus on highly competitive gaming across the Philadelphia region. 

“Philadelphians might not be aware, but the region is quickly becoming a major hub for all things esports,” said John Fazio, CEO of Nerd Street Gamers. 

“We’re showcasing the excitement of esports to both gamers and non-gamers alike. This series is a win for the community, and will further our company’s mission to make esports more welcoming and accessible to all gamers.” 

A pilot episode debuted on the network in late September. It focused on the players and stories behind The Reversal, a National Championship Series (NCS) fighting game tournament held in Philadelphia. The NCS is an amateur esports circuit where competitors play in-person tournaments and showcase their talent, meet like-minded individuals, grow their skills and compete for various prize pots. 

Marisa Magnatta, WMMR’s Preston and Steve Show producer, is set to return as the host of the series. 

“From state-of-the-art arenas to local teens winning millions, esports is the topic of every good conversation lately and I'm excited to be part of this great, new project,” said Magnatta. “FTW Philly delivers esports stories weekly to all of the fans — novice to expert — across the Delaware Valley!” 

New episodes will focus on:

-Traditional live-action sports that are partnering with esports.

-Provide an inside look at some national tournaments being held in the Philadelphia region, such as the Harrisburg University Esports Invitational.

-Showcase the stories that are helping drive this booming industry. 

-Shine a light on the rapid development of the Philadelphia esports scene, including the groundbreaking of Fusion Arena, linking it to the global growth of the overall industry. 

“The interest in esports is spurring fandom across the Philadelphia region,” said NBC Sports Philadelphia Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives Todd Berman. “By creating FTW Philly we can provide a home so that gamers and non-gamers alike can rally behind the exciting stories that are sure to pique the interest of all sports fans.”

“FTW Philly” is produced by Maestro Filmworks, an award-winning production company based in Philadelphia. 

The series will begin airing on Oct. 25 and will run through the end of 2019. “FTW Philly” episodes will debut every Friday and 9 p.m. on NBC Sports Philadelphia + and replay on NBC Sports Philadelphia that same evening. Each episode will air on NBCSportsPhiladelphia.co, and on the network’s YouTube Channel. Viewers can also watch episodes that have already aired at twitch.tv/nerdstgamer.

About Nerd Street Gamers

Nerd Street Gamers (NSG), formerly known as N3rd Street Gamers, is a national network of esports facilities and events dedicated to powering competitive opportunities for gamers. The company promotes greater access to the esports industry, laying a national framework for esports talent development and high-quality gaming tournaments. NSG has received backing from Five Below, SeventySix Capital, a premier sports tech venture capital firm, and Comcast Spectacor. For more information, click here.