Philadelphia Fusion
FoundedSeptember 20, 2017
LeagueOverwatch League
ConferenceAtlantic
DivisionSouth
Team historyPhiladelphia Fusion
(2017–present)
Based inPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania,
United States
Arena
Colors     
OwnerComcast Spectacor
Head coachKim "NineK" Bum-hoon
Affiliation(s)Fusion University
Main sponsorCommscope
WebsiteOfficial website
Uniforms

Philadelphia Fusion is an American-based professional Overwatch esports team based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Fusion compete in the Overwatch League (OWL) as a member of the league's Atlantic South Division.

Founded in 2017, Philadelphia is one of the league's twelve founding members and is the first professional esports team based in Pennsylvania. While the Fusion in 2020 will play their home matches at The Met in Philadelphia and Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City,[1] Fusion Arena, a 3,500-seat dedicated esports arena in south Philadelphia, will serve as the Fusion's permanent home beginning in 2021.[2][3] The team is owned by Comcast Spectacor, who also own T1, an academy team for Philadelphia that competes in Overwatch Contenders.

Yann "Kirby" Luu was appointed the team's first head coach and led Philadelphia to the inaugural season Grand Finals where they lost to the London Spitfire.

Franchise history

Beginnings

On September 20, 2017, Overwatch developer Activision Blizzard officially announced that Philadelphia Flyers owner Comcast Spectacor had acquired the rights to the Philadelphia-based Overwatch League franchise.[4][5] With the purchase, the franchise became the first professional esports team to be based in the city of Philadelphia.[6] Dave Scott, CEO at Comcast Spectacor, said that his decision to buy into the league was based on research that showed there were over 300,000 Overwatch players in the market.[7] "I was surprised as we started to look at this seriously a few months ago, just the number of gamers worldwide being in the hundreds of millions," he said. "It’s amazing when you really get into it — 350,000-plus Overwatch players in this market."[8]

On November 1, the franchise name was revealed as the Philadelphia Fusion.[9] Shortly afterwards on November 3, their roster was revealed.[10]

Early years (2018–present)

Philadelphia opened their inaugural season with a 3–2 victory over the Houston Outlaws on January 11.[11] On January 25, Philadelphia upset the undefeated New York Excelsior, which marked New York's only loss in Stage 1.[12][13] During the Stage 2 playoffs, the team defeated the Stage 1 champions London Spitfire in the semifinals, though they lost to the New York Excelsior, 3–2, in the stage finals.[14] The team then missed both the Stage 3 and 4 playoffs. They claimed the sixth seed in the season playoffs[15] They defeated the Boston Uprising in the quarterfinals, 2 games to 1. They then faced the three-time stage champions Excelsior, who the Fusion defeated 2 games to 0, which sent them to the Grand Finals. They faced the Spitfire in the Grand Finals; the Spitfire defeated the Fusion 2 games to 0.[16][17]

For their 2019 season, the team was led by co-head coaches Go "NamedHwi" Se-hwi and Elliot "Hayes" Hayes.[18] The Fusion had a solid Stage 1 performance, finishing the stage with a 5–2 record and making it to the Stage 1 Playoffs, but they lost 0–4 in the semifinals to the San Francisco Shock.[19] After posting 3–4 and 4–3 records for Stage 2 and Stage 3, respectively, Philadelphia failed to qualify any other stage playoffs. A 3–1 victory over the Seoul Dynasty in their final regular season match gave the Fusion a 15–13 season record and qualified them for the Play-In Tournament.[20] Philadelphia fell 2–4 to the Shanghai Dragons in the first round of the tournament, ending their hope of qualifying for the season playoffs.[21]

Prior to their 2020 season, both co-head coaches Se-hwi "NamedHwi" Go and Elliot "Hayes" Hayes announced their departures from the team.[22] The team found their replacement on October 25, 2019 with the hiring of former Seoul Dynasty head coach Kim "KDG" Dong-gun.[23] Over the course of the 2020 season, the Philadelphia Fusion reached the finals of two of the three mid season tournaments: the Summer Showdown and the Countdown Cup, losing both to the Paris Eternal and San Francisco Shock, respectively. On August 16, 2020, in their final regular season game, the Fusion clinched the top seed in the North America region for the season playoffs with a win over the San Francisco Shock.[24] In the first round of the North America bracket, Philadelphia swept the Los Angeles Gladiators, 3–0.[25] The following day, the Fusion swept the Los Angeles Valiant, 3–0, sending them to the North America upper bracket finals.[26] In the upper finals match, which took place on September 12, Philadelphia were handed their first loss of the postseason, falling to San Francisco by a score of 1–3.[27] The loss sent the Fusion to the North America lower bracket finals, where they swept the Washington Justice, 3–0, sending them to the Grand Finals bracket.[28] The Fusion's first match in the Grand Finals bracket was on October 8, where they were swept, 0–3, by the Shanghai Dragons.[29] The following day, they were swept, 0–3, by the Seoul Dynasty, ending their postseason run.[30]

Team identity

On November 1, 2017, the franchise name was revealed as the Philadelphia Fusion; the name "Fusion" was inspired by the word's origin, "which surrounds the process of several distinct entities coming together to create a new whole that generates power and heat. The team’s marks depict a visual of speed and energy as the Philadelphia Fusion stand at the genesis of an amazing journey." The logo and official colors were also released. The logo for the Philadelphia Fusion features a stylized letter P with orbiting atoms, a call-back to the team's name, in the team's orange and black colors. Dave Scott noted that the colors, which are the same as that of the Philadelphia Flyers, were chosen as they are "the colors of passion here in Philadelphia." [31][32]

Sponsors

On January 21, 2019, Philadelphia Fusion received an official jersey sponsorship from telecommunications equipment manufacturing company ARRIS.[33]

Personnel

Current roster

Philadelphia Fusion roster
Players Coaches
Role No. Handle Name Nationality
Damage 18 Carpe  Lee Jae-hyeok  South Korea 
Damage 24 sHockWave  Jensen, Niclas   Denmark 
Damage 15 EQO  Corona, Josue   Israel 
Damage 27 Rascal  Kim Dong-jun  South Korea 
Tank 7 Mano  Kim Dong-gyu  South Korea 
Tank 8 HOTBA  Choi Hong-joon  South Korea 
Tank 21 Poko  Gouzerch, Gael   France 
Support 4 tobi  Yang Jin-mo  South Korea 
Support 33 FunnyAstro  Hathaway, Daniel   United Kingdom 
Support 17 Alarm  Kim Kyung-bo  South Korea 
Head coach
  • Kim "NineK" Bum-hoon

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (2W) Two-way player
  • (I) Inactive
  • (S) Suspended
  • Injured Injury/Illness

Latest roster transaction: April 8, 2021.

Head coaches

Philadelphia Fusion head coaches
Handle Name From To Span Ref.
Kirby Yann Luu November 4, 2017 January 14, 2019 1 year, 71 days [34][35]
NamedHwi Sehwi Go January 15, 2019 October 11, 2019 269 days [18][36]
Hayes Elliot Hayes January 15, 2019 October 11, 2019 269 days [18][36]
KDG Kim Dong-gun October 25, 2019 October 21, 2020 362 days [23][37]
NineK Kim Bum-hoon October 23, 2020 188 days [38]

Awards and records

Seasons overview

Season P W L W% MW ML MT MD Pos. (league) Pos. (conf.) Playoffs Earnings
2018 40 24 16 .600 93 80 2 +13 6th 4th Grand Finals $525,000
2019 28 15 13 .536 57 60 3 -3 10th 4th Not eligible $50,000
2020 21 19 2 .905 59 19 0 +40 2nd 1st GF Lower Round 1 $430,000
2021 4 4 0 1.000 12 3 0 +9 1st 1st TBD $0

Individual accomplishments

Rookie of the Year

Role Star selections

All-Star Game selections

All-Star Game head coaches

Academy team

Main article: Fusion University

On January 29, 2018, the Fusion formally announced their academy team, Fusion University (FU), that would begin competition in the North American division of Overwatch Contenders.[39][40]

The team won all three North American championships in 2018,[41][42] as well as the first North American East championship in 2019. After winning the first Atlantic Showdown, Fusion University announced that they would be moving from the North American division to compete in Korean Trials; the move was reportedly made to abide by the new region lock rules, which were implemented in 2019 Season 1, though FU was given a season-long grace period.[43]

On January 14, 2020, T1 Esports, a Korean organization jointly operated by Comcast Spectacor (the parent organization of the Fusion) and SK Telecom, replaced Fusion University as the new Philadelphia Fusion academy team.[44] T1 compete in Contenders Korea where they have had middling results since their introduction in early 2020.

References

  1. ^ Chan, Eric (August 27, 2019). "The Fusion are bringing the Overwatch League home in 2020 with 3 homestand weekend events". NBC Sports Philadelphia. Retrieved October 11, 2019.
  2. ^ Kern, Reina (March 25, 2019). "Fusion Arena to become the newest state-of-the-art gaming facility". NBC Sports. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
  3. ^ Chinchilla, Rudy (March 25, 2019). "In Announcing Esports Arena, Philly Looks to Capitalize on a Booming Industry". NBC 10 Philadelphia. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
  4. ^ Fernandez, Bob (20 September 2017). "E-sports goes pro, as Comcast buys a professional 'Overwatch' franchise for Philly". Philly.com. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  5. ^ Palmeri, Christopher; Smith, Gerry (20 September 2017). "Comcast Buys Philadelphia Esports Team". Bloomberg. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  6. ^ Stressman, Sydney (April 23, 2019). "Philadelphia Fusion Moves to South Philadelphia". Select Greater Philadelphia Council. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  7. ^ "Comcast buys into video game league with team in Philly". The Philadelphia Tribune. Associated Press. September 22, 2017. Retrieved March 19, 2019.
  8. ^ Booton, Jen (September 20, 2017). "Philadelphia Flyers CEO Joins Esports League Aiming To Mirror Conventional Sports". Sport Techie. Retrieved March 19, 2019.
  9. ^ Goslin, Austen (1 November 2017). "Philadelphia Fusion are the newest addition to the Overwatch League". Heroes Never Die. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  10. ^ Carpenter, Nicole (3 November 2017). "Philadelphia Fusion announces international Overwatch League roster". Dot Esports. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  11. ^ Carpenter, Nicole (January 11, 2019). "New York Excelsior, London Spitfire, Philadelphia Fusion impressed fans at Overwatch League day two". Dot Esports. Retrieved March 19, 2019.
  12. ^ Luongo, Cody (February 9, 2018). "ESI Gambling Report: Overwatch League Stage 1 Playoffs". Esports Insider. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
  13. ^ Carpenter, Nicole (January 25, 2018). "Philly Fusion's win over NYXL proves no one is unbeatable in the Overwatch League". Dot Esports. Retrieved March 19, 2019.
  14. ^ Nguyen, Steven; Craffey, Liam (26 March 2018). "New York Excelsior reverse-sweeps Philadelphia Fusion to win Stage 2". ESPN. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  15. ^ Lingle, Samuel (June 15, 2018). "Seoul Dynasty's loss cedes an OWL playoff spot to Philadelphia Fusion". Dot Esports. Retrieved March 19, 2019.
  16. ^ Waltzer, Noah (28 July 2018). "London Spitfire wins inaugural Overwatch League title". ESPN. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  17. ^ Bright, Ryan (28 July 2018). "London Spitfire duo master Philadelphia Fusion to claim first Overwatch League title". NBC Sports. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  18. ^ a b c Shepard, Kate (January 15, 2019). "Overwatch: Fusion Staff's New Roles". The Game Haus. Retrieved March 19, 2019.
  19. ^ Richardson, Liz (March 23, 2019). "Vancouver Titans and San Francisco Shock advance to Overwatch League stage one finals". Dot Esports. Retrieved June 12, 2019.
  20. ^ Howard, Brandon (August 30, 2019). "Overwatch League 2019 Play-Ins Preview". TheGamer. Retrieved August 30, 2019.
  21. ^ "Charge, Dragons advance in OWL play-in tourney". ESPN. Reuters. August 31, 2019. Retrieved October 6, 2019.
  22. ^ Shepard, Kate (October 7, 2019). "Philadelphia Fusion: Potential Moves for 2020 [Part II]". The Game Haus. Retrieved October 11, 2019.
  23. ^ a b Richardson, Liz (October 25, 2019). "Philadelphia Fusion hire new head coach". Dot Esports. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
  24. ^ Field Level Media (August 16, 2020). "Fusion get revenge, top seed with win over Shock". Rueters. Retrieved November 24, 2020.
  25. ^ Field Level Media. "Trio of 5-map thrillers highlight wild day at OWL playoffs". Rueters. Retrieved November 24, 2020.
  26. ^ Richardson, Liz (September 6, 2020). "Paris Eternal, Los Angeles Gladiators eliminated from Overwatch League playoffs". Dot Esports. Retrieved November 24, 2020.
  27. ^ Richardson, Liz (September 12, 2020). "Shanghai Dragons, San Francisco Shock lock in Overwatch League Grand Finals spots". Dot Esports. Retrieved November 24, 2020.
  28. ^ Richardson, Liz (September 13, 2020). "Seoul Dynasty, Philadelphia Fusion round out Overwatch League Grand Finals bracket". Dot Esports. Retrieved November 24, 2020.
  29. ^ Alford, Aaron (October 8, 2020). "Shock, Dragons Advance to OWL Winners Bracket Finals". Hotspawn. Retrieved November 24, 2020.
  30. ^ Czar, Michael (October 9, 2020). "Philadelphia Fusion eliminated from Grand Finals weekend". Daily Esports. Retrieved November 24, 2020.
  31. ^ Carpenter, Nicole (November 1, 2017). "Philadelphia Flyers owner Comcast Spectacor unveils its Overwatch League team—Philadelphia Fusion". Dot Esports. Retrieved March 19, 2019.
  32. ^ George, John (November 1, 2017). "Comcast Spectacor unveils name of new pro esports team". Philadelphia Business Journal. Retrieved March 19, 2019.
  33. ^ Fitch, Adam (January 21, 2019). "Philadelphia Fusion receives sponsorship from ARRIS". Esports Insider. Retrieved March 23, 2019.
  34. ^ Philadelphia Fusion (March 1, 2018). "Put me in coach". Retrieved March 19, 2019 – via Twitter.
  35. ^ Philadelphia Fusion (January 14, 2019). "Staffing Announcement". Retrieved March 19, 2019 – via Twitter.
  36. ^ a b Shepard, Kate (October 11, 2019). "Fusion Announce Departure of Head Coaches Hayes and NamedHwi". The Game Haus. Retrieved October 11, 2019.
  37. ^ Philadelphia Fusion. "Today we part ways with Head Coach @dgkimmm ". Twitter. Retrieved 21 October 2020.
  38. ^ Philadelphia Fusion. "Everyone please give a warm welcome to our new Head Coach, @NineK_OW !". Twitter. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  39. ^ "Philadelphia Fusion Reveal Fusion University Contenders Roster". Dexerto. 30 January 2018. Retrieved 10 July 2018.
  40. ^ "Fusion University". Philadelphia Fusion. 29 January 2018. Retrieved 10 July 2018 – via YouTube.
  41. ^ O'Brien, Joe (14 May 2018). "Fusion University Wins Overwatch Contenders NA Season One - Final Placements". Dexerto. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  42. ^ Meyer, Guilherme (14 May 2018). "In Case you Missed Anything: Esports Weekend + Monday News Recap". Inven Global. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  43. ^ Richardson, Liz (June 2, 2019). "Fusion University moving from North American Contenders to Korean Trials". Dot Esport. Retrieved June 2, 2019.
  44. ^ "https://twitter.com/fusionuni/status/1217234974463733760". Twitter. Retrieved 2021-03-09. External link in |title= (help)