The Philadelphia Fusion punched its ticket to the inaugural Overwatch League Playoffs grand finals after stunning the New York Excelsior with a 3-2 series in on Saturday in Los Angeles, with a 2-0 sweep in the semifinals.
Both the Philadelphia Fusion and the New York Excelsior held nothing back this series as the teams showed off all they had to offer. This was no easy feat for the Fusion, either, as it had to break New York's outstanding record on several maps, with the Fusion ultimately becoming the first team to beat New York in three seperate matches. The Excelsior -- winners of both Stages 2 and 4 -- just couldn't adapt to the playoff meta in time to prevent an untimely demise.
The DPS duo of Lee "Carpe" Jae-hyeok and Josh "Eqo" Corona were the key players for Philadelphia as their versatility allowed them to outplay New York at just about every turn. Combined with the Fusion's absurd aggression, pushing out lanes after every kill, New York struggled to stabilize from start to finish. Philadelphia's aggression saw its full force on King's Row. There, Carpe and Eqo found easy picks as they flew forward after every kill, preventing New York from regrouping on attack or defense. This allowed the Fusion to deliver the Excelsior its second map loss on King's Row of the entire season, while New York was only able to tally eight kills on the map. Eqo's swap to Pharah on the Fusion's defense of Point C on Dorado would become key in the series as he was easily able to throw out damage.
The Excelsior attempted to flex into new roles this series to counter the Fusion's versatility, but only found fleeting success. Flex support Bang "JJoNak" Seong-hyun would play Roadhog on Junkertown and Ana on Hanamura instead of his signature Zenyatta. While his Roadhog on Junkertown was lackluster, JJoNak's Ana was key in the Excelsior's win on Hanamura as his Biotic Grenades served to block the Fusion's healing. DPS Kim "Pine" Do-hyeon also attempted to expand his hero pool outside of Widowmaker as he took up both Hanzo and Genji during the series. While Pine still found most of his success on Widowmaker, his Hanzo was key on Lijiang Tower. However, this came at the expense of DPS Kim "Libero" Hye-sung rarely playing Hanzo, the hero that made him infamous, in a meta that favors Hanzo. The Excelsior, after a lackluster Stage 4, simply couldn't expand its tactics in time for playoffs. As such, the Fusion are now on its way to the grand finals at the Barclays Center in New York City to take on the London Spitfire.
The grand finals will kick off at 7 p.m ET on Friday before the season wraps up on Saturday starting at 4 p.m. ET on ESPN.
ESPN Stats & Information contributed to this report.