With the conclusion of the Overwatch League Stage 1 playoffs, fans and teams alike have all begun looking forward to Stage 2.
With Stage 2 set to begin on Thursday, April 4, fans will be keeping an eye on possible roster moves across the league. While they wait for more moves to be made, let's take a look at five points to keep in mind going into Stage 2 and about what to expect out of the Philadelphia Fusion.
Stage 1 playoffs
To start things off, a quick refresher on the Fusion's run in the Stage 1 playoffs. In general, their run wasn't amazing as the results were mostly expected. However, despite being unable to reach the finals, their matches provided a good preview of the team's improvements throughout Stage 1.
In their 3-1 victory over the Atlanta Reign, the Fusion showed that their ability to play GOAT compositions with Reinhardt had improved. A huge reason for this improvement was thanks to Su-min "SADO" Kim, who looked a lot more comfortable on Reinhardt during their playoff run. Along with SADO's improved performance on Reinhardt, his performance on Winston continued to be spectacular as it played a huge role in the Fusion's victory on Volskaya Industries.
Even though the Fusion may have been eliminated by the San Francisco Shock in decisive fashion, their overall performance through the playoffs was reassuring going into Stage 2. Along with a favorable meta for the Fusion, as long as they continue to improve, they should be able to make another solid run in Stage 2.
Baptiste joins the action
With a new Stage comes a new patch and in this case, a new hero as well. With a whole new meta around the corner, it's hard to see what kind of impact Baptiste will have in competitive play. However, with all the utility he provides, he'll likely find a spot on team compositions. Along with the death of the GOATS meta, Baptiste could allow for some DPS heavy compositions thanks to his AOE healing and Immortality Field.
As a result of everything Baptiste can bring and a new meta on the way, the first few weeks of Stage 2 will be very interesting to follow. Whether he does end up seeing play, however, is yet to be determined.
It's time for Carpe to shine
During Stage 1, Jae-hyeok "Carpe" Lee as one of the better Zarya players in the League. However, Carpe wasn't able to make a huge impact and take over the game throughout Stage 1 on Zarya as he once did with DPS heroes in the first season. Luckily, with DPS heroes likely making a return to the meta in Stage 2, Carpe will finally get a chance to make a huge difference for the team on the likes of Widowmaker and McCree like in the past.
Credit: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment
Considering the challenges ahead for the Fusion with a brutal schedule, Carpe will need to have a great performance through Stage 2 for the Fusion to make the playoffs again. If he's able to do so, an MVP award could be his for the taking as well. However, if Carpe struggles, the Fusion may be watching the Stage 2 playoffs at home.
Will Fragi see play?
Throughout all of Stage 1, one player that was noticeably missing from action was Joona "Fragi" Laine. This decision was questionable as Su-min "SADO" Kim struggled on Reinhardt for most of the season. Yet, despite being a great Reinhardt player, Fragi failed to play at all on the main stage.
A likely reason could be the rumor that Fragi wouldn't see play in the same lineup as Carpe, likely due to the synergy between Carpe and SADO. However, if the Fusion struggle early in Stage 2, it's hard to see Fragi remaining on the bench for the whole stage once again.
Looking ahead to Stage 2
While the Fusion was lucky to have what many would consider an "easier" set of opponents for Stage 1, they won't be as fortunate come Stage 2. Some highlights of their new game schedule include two matches against the New York Excelsior, who continue to be an amazing team despite an early exit from the Stage 1 playoffs. Along with that, they'll have a rematch against the London Spitfire, who will be much better with the end of the GOATS meta.
As such, Stage 2 will be the real test for the Fusion to see where they stand in the league. If they're able to qualify for the Stage 2 playoffs, Fusion can prove that they're a legitimate contender in the League. However, if they struggle and miss the playoffs, their ranking in the league could drop significantly.