Adjusting to playing without EQO was clearly an issue against the Uprising, as Philadelphia was able to get fantastic individual performances but lacked the team synergy to make adjustments when needed. Today, against the Florida Mayhem, the Fusion were able to quickly clear up those issues and get back to the incredible teamwork that had them one map away from winning a Stage Final. Philadelphia wasn’t perfect, but behind the excellent play of Snillo and Carpe they still walked away with a 3-1 victory.
While the Fusion came off a highly contested matchup with Boston, the Mayhem came in licking their wounds from a sweep at the hands of the NYXL. Right out of the gate on Volskaya, it looked like the Mayhem were still hurting from the previous match, as they could not get a coordinated team push with all six players alive. On the flip side, it looked like the previous team communication woes and positioning errors were nonexistent for the Fusion. Volskaya was over in record time in favor of the Fusion, and Florida didn’t even have a chance to wrap their heads around it.
Moving into Numbani, the Mayhem, still shellshocked from the previous round, were not able to reach the first payload checkpoint and looked unsure of themselves most of the round. Philadelphia quickly wrapped up the map on their attack run and just like that, it was halftime.
It was more of the same on Ilios, as Philadelphia was able to win every crucial team fight on Lighthouse, ultimately giving them the edge. There may be some cause for concern for the Philadelphia coaching staff, as the Fusion were unable to get any kind of percentage on Ruins. Despite the failure, on Lighthouse it was a full team effort. The tank line was solid, the DPS were bombarding their targets, and the supports were able to extend fights with timely resurrections and heals. As we’ve seen from Philly all season, they quickly bounced back, winning the map and the series in convincing fashion.
Along with the rejuvenation of the Fusion’s teamwork, the superior individual play of both Carpe and Snillo have really shined through. As a Tracer specialist with his own brand of play, Snillo has opened up an entirely different look for the Fusion. Known for his survivability and deadly mechanics, his play style could be described as a mix of JAKE and Saebyeolbe.
I know you may be thinking “OK, I get the Saebyeolbe comparison… but JAKE?” While JAKE’s Tracer isn’t the most mechanically gifted, he works to put his team in position to get the eliminations he can’t by creating space and fighting where the team needs him. Saebyeolbe, who we all know is the best at what he does, plays a more lone wolf style of Tracer, with precise, stealthy, and deadly attacks coming from deep within enemy lines. Snillo has a great mash-up of both these players’ attributes which lends him the talent of being able to one-clip an enemy support, create space for his DPS, and but also be effective at baiting out enemies. All of this leads to disruption of the enemy team so his teammates, particularly Carpe and Fragi, can get the picks the Fusion need.
“I think I play a bit more sneaky, I try to go for the enemy backline a bit more and I have good synergy with Fragi — We’re usually on the same target, I’m hiding behind and we collapse at the same time.” – Snillo on his Tracer play after defeating the Mayhem
Snillo’s ability to to coordinate well with Fragi’s dive not only gets key eliminations like we saw against the Mayhem on Numbani and Ilios, but also creates the much needed space for Carpe to work. Carpe has always been a top-class DPS player and while his fragging ability seems to take a backseat with the ever aggressive EQO in the line-up. However, when he plays with Snillo he is at the forefront of the attack and becomes the player to watch.
For the first three maps, Carpe was virtually unchallenged on his Widowmaker and McCree obtaining 49 kills to only 11 deaths during that timespan, and completely dictating the pace of the match. On Volskaya and Numbani, it was Carpe defensively shutting down push after push with timely headshots from his Widowmaker. Without pressure, it was only a matter of time on the offensive end that he found a counter snipe elimination or a support pushed out into the open by Snillo and Fragi. On Control, it was more of the same, with his McCree dealing 8,000 damage and landing 58% of his shots, Florida had no real answer. Sayaplayer’s own Widowmaker may have gotten the best of him on Route 66, but it will likely just be a jumping off point for personal and team improvement going forward.
Philadelphia now heads into a matchup with a hot and cold Houston team. With the Mayhem winning Route 66 (a map which Philly statistically dominates), the Fusion will certainly have something to work on in their off days. Sayaplayer’s Widowmaker was able to single handedly keep the Fusion at bay, so corralling a hot-handed sniper will be a point of emphasis, since we know how quickly LiNkzr can get on a roll. We’ll see if the team is up to the task on Thursday, April 12 at 8:00 P.M. PST.