The last game of Stage 1 saw bottom of the ladder Florida Mayhem facing off again the middle of the pack Philadelphia Fusion. Would the Fusion be able to keep their positive win rate alive and finish the stage at 6-4 or would the 1-9 Mayhem prove they could beat teams that haven’t gone 0-10 for the stage.
Stage: Stage 1 – Week 5
Match: Florida Mayhem vs Philadelphia Fusion
Game 1 (Numbani) 3-2 Philadelphia Fusion
A traditional dive comp from the Florida Mayhem saw Logix bringing a Widowmaker to Point A on Numbani. A solid first engagement turned into a rout as the Mayhem took Point A with 5 minutes in the time bank. The Fusion brought the fight to the payload during Point B but Tviq on Genji was able win the war in the backline to remove Philadelphia’s supports from the fight and secure Point B. The Fusion DPS duo of Carpe and Shadowburn was able to repel the Mayhem push to Point C and actually force Florida back to spawn. Mayhem responded in kind and the Mayhem were able to delete Fusion defenders and roll the payload nearly to Point C before they were stopped. Philadelphia again took the opportunity to push the Mayhem back their spawn. A huge Self-Destruct from Manneten gave the Mayhem the chance to push the payload again to within meters of Point C, but the Fusion’s respawn advantage and ultimate allowed Philadelphia to move Florida off the payload in overtime and end the attack.
Philadelphia brought Shadowburn’s Pharah on their dive attack to Point A. The high ground push by the Fusion tanks allowed Carpe’s Tracer and Shadowburn to dump large amounts of damage into the Florida defense and capture the first point. The streets phase of Point B looked to have the Mayhem hold Philadelphia, but aggressive plays by Carpe and Shadownburn, who had switched to Genji, saw the Fusion snowball across Point B and through the underpass without any answer by the Mayhem. As the payload approached Point C, Florida tried to make a last stand. But a patient Shadowburn waited until Zuppeh’s Trancendence ended to pop Dragonblade and delete Mayhem supports and DPS. The Florida tanks tried to hold the payload until respawns could arrive, but Philadelphia was able to delete the defenders and capture Point C and the map.
Game 2 (Horizon Lunar Colony) 2-1 Florida Mayhem
The Mayhem’s Tviq brought the Sombra to Horizon Lunar Colony. Using Thermoptic Camouflage, Tviq was able to hack health packs and flank around Point A to backcap a tick of Point A before the Fusion was able to retake control of the point. The next Florida push saw the Fusion flummoxed as Tviq, Logix, and Zebossai on Widowmaker to drop tanks and supports that allowed Florida to easily grab Point A with 4 ultimates up. A EMP that almost caught the Fusion supports started off the Mayhem’s first push on Point B but wile the Fusion were able to stop Florida’s attack, the Mayhem were able to take one tick on the point. Florida continued to play the Sombra as they continued their push to capture the point. This seemed to give Philadelphia pause, as the Fusion played defensively on the outskirts of the point. A Dragonblade from Shadowburn seemed to be the signal to end the Mayhem push but tank hacks from Tviq followed up with aggressive dives on the helpless targets saw Florida capture Point B with 4:06 left in the time bank.
The Fusion didn’t try anything fancy on attack, bringing a dive comp to capture Point A. But the Mayhem’s high ground defense was able to repel them early on. Philadelphia finally cracked the Florida defense by splitting their offense into two halves and closing the vise on the Mayhem’s high ground defense. After capturing Point A, the Fusion pushed straight to Point B hoping to snowball the defense. However, the Mayhem blasted the Fusion off the Point with Tviq’s Concussion Mines as Junkrat. As the time slowly dwindled, Logix’s Widowmaker made shot after that to stall out Philadelphia’s pushes. With 30 seconds left in the round, the Fusion use both support ults to try and muscle their way past the Mayhem and capture Point B. As the clock burned into overtime, it looked like Philadelphia had the point as Florida only had their supports to keep the defense alive. But miraculous plays by Cwoosh and [Tank] stalled out the Fusion long enough to the Mayhem to kill the remaining attacks and win the map 2 to 1.
Game 3 (Oasis) 2-0 Florida Mayhem
City Center – Both teams opted to leave the Pharah’s at home as Florida and Philadelphia both brought McCree’s to the first map. Solid kills from Zuppeh on Zenyatta and Tviq’s McCree saw the Mayhem grab the point first. The Fusion shot back but found themselves stymied over and over as the Fusion refused to yield the point. Finally, Shadowburn’s McCree finally won the gunslinger duel and but not until Florida had earned 85 percent. The Mayhem slammed back onto the point, playing aggressively but were repelled by a more aggressive Fusion defense including a triple kill by Fragi’s Winston. The Mayhem were able to flip the point back at 87 percent with aggressive zoning by Logix on Tracer. Logix continued to be an unstoppable threat and even though Philadelphia flipped the point back to their favor at 99 percent the Mayhem re-flipped the point after an impossibly long brawl and took the map.
Gardens – Both teams brought Pharah’s to the attack on Gardens. Shadowburn’s Pharah dominated the air war and a quick pick on the Mayhem’s Winston saw the Fusion capture the point first. The Mayhem seemed to struggle getting a push together while the well disciplined Fusion held the point. The Mayhem were finally able to dislodge the Fusion at 75 percent with aggressive dives from their tanks Cswoosh and Manneten. Philadelphia also found itself without an answer on how to crack the Florida defense as the Mayhem saw their percentage pass 70 percent. The Fusion were finally able to flip the point back in their favor but couldn’t hold it. At 99 percent the Mayhem again captured the point and won a slam-fest to take Gardens and the map.
Game 4 (Junkertown) 2-1 Philadelphia Fusion
Taking maps back to back, the Mayhem brought the Pirate Ship to Junkertown. Zuppeh’s Bastion forced the Philadelphia defense to fall far back on Point A before being routed off Point A completely. The Mayhem muscled their way onto the high ground against the Fusion on the back of clutch Hooks by Manneten that reeled defenders in to die. A shielded, damage-boosted Bastion seemed to signal that Point B would be captured easily, but Philadelphia was able to collapse onto the Mayhem from Carpe and Shadowburn forced Florida off the high ground and the payload. Florida’s next rally was ended decisively by a 3K Poko Bomb that forced the Mayhem to reset. As time counted down, another 2K Self-Destruct from Poko signaled the end of the Mayhem attack as Florida only managed to take one point.
The Fusion leave Bastion at home as they being their Point A push. However, a surprise Sombra from Zebosai and Tviq’s Widowmaker catch the Philadelphia backline unaware and force the Fusion back to spawn. Another push from the Fusion is cut short as Zebosai’s quickly farmed EMP shuts down the Fusion’s abilities and then their lives. Despite the solid hold, Carpe’s Widowmaker started to find his groove and orange started to fill up the killfeed. After taking Point A, the Fusion hoped to make a quick run to Point B and end the map but again, a huge EMP from Zebosai saw the Fusion shield-less and helpless to the Mayhem assault. However, Carpe answered back and seemed to single-handedly kill each Florida player that stood in the way of Philadelphia capturing Point B. Finally, the Mayhem were staggered too much to overcome the offense and the Fusion forced the Florida to a tie-breaking Map 5.
Game 4 (Lijiang Tower) 2-1 Philadelphia Fusion
Gardens – The Fusion took control of the point first on the back of Shadowburn’s Pharah raining damage onto the ground that Capre and the Fusion’s tanks cleaned up. Florida looked for an opening to take the point themselves but they were rebuffed repeatedly as Philadelphia maintained air superiority. A key pick the the Fusion’s Mercy by Tviq signalled go for the Mayhem but the Fusion held strong and a staggered Mayhem were unable to flip the point as Philadelphia captured the point 100 to 0.
Control Center – Philadelphia ran a triple tank against Florida’s Reinhardt/Zarya comp. Both teams slammed into each other on the point in what would be the first of many brawls. Mayhem won and captured the point first. Philadelphia looked for answers as they worked to build up a Graviton Surge, but Tviq’s Junkrat continually disrupted the Fusion’s attempts to take the point away from the Mayhem. Poor ult usage from Mayhem eventually allowed the Fusion to capture the point at 99 percent. From then on, Philadelphia was able to hold the Mayhem practically at spawn as the Fusion reached 94 percent. A final Florida push took the point away from Philadelphia and a final brawl saw the Mayhem victorious and forced the series to map three.
Night Market – The Mayhem brought an anti-dive comp to challenge the Fusion for Night Market. Both teams met at the gates, but a dual Dash from Shadowburn saw both Mayhem supports fall and the Fusion took the point first. Florida realized quickly that a comp switch was needed and moved to dive themselves. The Mayhem struggled looking for an answer to the Fusion hold on the point until Manneten’s D.Va just decided to kill four Fusion players in a row and capture the point. From that point, the Mayhem held the point confidently and looked to hold the point. However, an aggressive counter-dive by the Mayhem to stop a Fusion assault saw the Mayhem leave the point open to capture and the Fusion flipped the point back at 89 percent. The Fusion were able to rebuff the Mayhem attempts to retake the point and as overtime burned down, the Mayhem trickle never turned into the flood needed to take the point back. The Fusion won the map and the series.
Match Score: 3-2 Philadelphia Fusion
Despite the fact that the Mayhem lost, Tviq’s DPS contribution for the Mayhem was legendary. Being where he needed to be at clutch moments and having the game sense to know which targets needed to be dealt with first allowed Florida to show how dominant a team they could be.
Match Rating: 7/10
In spite of the fact that neither team would affect their Stage 1 Playoff chances, the Mayhem/Fusion match was an exciting nail-biter right down to the last map. The Fusion showed that their winnings earlier in the stage wasn’t a fluke as they put on an intense performance. The Mayhem displayed patience and teamwork rarely glimpsed during Stage 1 and give an exciting preview of what is to come. A great game from two great teams to cap off the first stage of Overwatch Leauge.