It’s now the end of February, and it’s that time for the Justice to take the stage in California in another away match (please win your first home game please please please)- this time against the Philly Fusion.
Starting Roster Predictions:
To say the Fusion have had troubles to start Stage 1 would be appropriate. Philadelphia was considered a strong contender from the start of the offseason, but their record so far in OWL doesn’t reflect one: 2 wins and 2 losses. The Fusion began the season strong, barrelling over the London Spitfire (whom DC most recently lost to) in a 3-1 victory that many considered more lopsided than initial appearances might have let on, before needing an OT to win against an expansion team: the Atlanta Reign, sealing a win 3-2 over the newcomers. Their week 2 fortunes were much less favorable: a troubling 1-2 loss against… holy shit, the Florida Mayhem. A couple of days later, they then lost 1-3 to the Dallas Fuel. (For the record, the Spitfire now have a 2-2 record with -1 map diff., the Reign are still crushing it with their only loss being against Philly and a +5 map diff., while the Fuel are only 2-2 and the Mayhem are only 1-2, and both have a -4 map diff. The Mayhem’s only tied map is against Philly. Yikes.) While it’s certainly possible that the Fusion are already experiencing some fatigue issues, it’s unsure exactly what is causing the rift in their game. One should expect Philly to enter this match determined to take a win against the 18th ranked team in the Overwatch League.
DC’s fortunes are not much better, but they’ve played half the matches and their competition has been much more fierce than the Fusion’s. Having to open against New York Excelsior is quite a test, particularly for an expansion team with an experimental line-up. (Note: NYXL are currently 4-0 with a +8 map diff.) And sure, the Spitfire had also struggled to start the season and were weirdly out of sync, but their fortunes seem to have shifted as they also won their following match and backed up to a .500 record. Their map differential is still in the negatives, but London is definitely a much more difficult team to face than the Mayhem or the Fuel, and Philly lost to both… even though they won against the Spitfire. The most troubling issue is that DC still doesn’t seem to have a rhythm just yet and have only shown glimpses of promise- that’s not enough to make playoffs and certainly not enough to secure wins to make the long stretch. DC will need to find solid, consistent play and find it soon if they plan on making it in the end. Perhaps they will find some of that play against the Fusion today.