Philly steals one from Houston
It's hard to call this one an upset given the trend that both teams have shown over the last few games, but Houston was certainly favored going into this match. In fact, they took the first two maps with relative ease, looking very strong at halftime. Philadelphia had other plans, however, as whatever dugout chats were had seemed to have a profound impact on the players. Everything was set into motion on Hollywood, one of the new maps of the rotation for stage two. Houston took point A as expected and had plenty of time on the clock to push the payload through the streets phase, but then the unthinkable happened. As time began to tick away, Philadelphia's defense held the payload confidently within a couple of meters from the point B checkpoint. The seasoned DPS battery of Georgii "ShaDowBurn" Gushcha and Jae-Hyeok "Carpe" Lee stepped up and shut down Houston's DPS, often putting Philadelphia ahead in the numbers game in each team fight. The final blow came courtesy of a clutch Pulse Bomb by Carpe in overtime that killed both of Houston's supports, putting an end to the push and paving the way for three straight map wins. Route 66 - another new map - didn't go much better for Houston. Their shot-calling seemed to be off, as evidenced by their questionable ultimate usage and inability to capitalize on high-value kills. There was one point where Philadelphia lost both of their supports, but Joona "Fragi" Laine, Gael "Poko" Gouzerch, and Carpe were able to dance around Big Earl's and live long enough to see reinforcements arrive. The end result was a full hold, with Philly going on to take an easy, single point, and walk away with the map. The final map of the set was Ilios, and it started out with a Philadelphia win on Ruins. Lighthouse went the way of Houston, largely due to missed opportunities by Philadelphia. After Houston flipped the point with 25% to go, ShaDowBurn missed a huge opportunity to keep his team in the game with a Dragonblade. Known for having one of the most patient blades in the entire league, he waited a little too long this time and allowed Matt "Coolmatt" Iorio to re-mech, letting the map end with his Dragonblade unused. It wouldn't matter much in the end, as Philadelphia pulled it together on Well to complete the reverse sweep.
Philly also got shut out by London
We still aren't sure which Philadelphia Fusion we're going to see show up come game time, unfortunately. Despite heroics from every player against Houston, they couldn't put much together against the stage one champions. The London Spitfire embarrassed Philadelphia at every turn, ending maps seemingly before they even started. In the end, Philadelphia would drop all four maps without putting up much of a fight. In a post-game interview, Philadelphia Fusion support player, Isaac "Boombox" Charles, was visibly disappointed. When asked what changed since the Houston match, Boombox said he felt as though the team's preparation could have been better against London, and that they're going to practice harder next week. Indeed, Philadelphia has what it takes to be one of the best mixed rosters in the league, so hopefully some fine tuning in scrims will help them stay at the top of their game.