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 East region.
|Founded||September 20, 2017|
|Team history||Philadelphia Fusion|
|Based in||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,|
|Head coach||Cho "J1N" Hyo-jin|
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, Fusion Arena, a 3,500-seat dedicated esports arena in south Philadelphia, will serve as the Fusion's permanent home beginning in 2021. The team is owned by Comcast Spectacor, who also own T1, an academy team for Philadelphia that competes in Overwatch Contenders.
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. With the purchase, the franchise became the first professional esports team to be based in the city of Philadelphia. 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. "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."
Early years (2018–present)Edit
Philadelphia opened their inaugural season with a 3–2 victory over the Houston Outlaws on January 11. On January 25, Philadelphia upset the undefeated New York Excelsior, which marked New York's only loss in Stage 1. 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. The team then missed both the Stage 3 and 4 playoffs. They claimed the sixth seed in the season playoffs 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.
For their 2019 season, the team was led by co-head coaches Go "NamedHwi" Se-hwi and Elliot "Hayes" Hayes. 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. 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. Philadelphia fell 2–4 to the Shanghai Dragons in the first round of the tournament, ending their hope of qualifying for the season playoffs.
Prior to their 2020 season, both co-head coaches Se-hwi "NamedHwi" Go and Elliot "Hayes" Hayes announced their departures from the team. The team found their replacement on October 25, 2019, with the hiring of former Seoul Dynasty head coach Kim "KDG" Dong-gun. 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. In the first round of the North America bracket, Philadelphia swept the Los Angeles Gladiators, 3–0. The following day, the Fusion swept the Los Angeles Valiant, 3–0, sending them to the North America upper bracket finals. 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. 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. The Fusion's first match in the Grand Finals bracket was on October 8, where they were swept, 0–3, by the Shanghai Dragons. The following day, they were swept, 0–3, by the Seoul Dynasty, ending their postseason run.
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."
|Philadelphia Fusion roster|
|Philadelphia Fusion head coaches|
|Kirby||Yann Luu||November 4, 2017||January 14, 2019||1 year, 71 days|||
|NamedHwi||Sehwi Go||January 15, 2019||October 11, 2019||269 days|||
|Hayes||Elliot Hayes||January 15, 2019||October 11, 2019||269 days|||
|KDG||Kim Dong-gun||October 25, 2019||October 21, 2020||362 days|||
|NineK||Kim Bum-hoon||October 23, 2020||October 12, 2021||354 days|||
|J1N||Cho Hyo-jin||October 12, 2021||–||50 days|||
Awards and recordsEdit
|2018||40||24||16||.600||4th, Atlantic||Lost in Grand Finals, 0–2 (Spitfire)|
|2019||28||15||13||.536||4th, Atlantic||Did not qualify|
|2020||21||19||2||.905||1st, North America||Lost in GF Lower Round 1, 0–3 (Dynasty)|
|2021||16||10||6||.625||4th, East||Lost in Lower Round 1, 2–3 (Shock)|
Rookie of the Year
- Alarm (Kim Kyung-bo) – 2020
Role Star selections
- Carpe (Lee Jae-hyeok) – 2020
- Alarm (Kim Kyung-bo) – 2020
All-Star Game selections
- Carpe (Lee Jae-hyeok) – 2018, 2019, 2020
- Poko (Gael Gouzarch) – 2018, 2019, 2020
- Alarm (Kim Kyung-bo) – 2020
- FunnyAstro (Daniel Hathaway) – 2020
All-Star Game head coaches
- KDG (Kim Dong-gun) – 2020
The team won all three North American championships in 2018, 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.
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. T1 compete in Contenders Korea where they have had middling results since their introduction in early 2020. Fusion University returned as the second academy team for the Philadelphia Fusion in May 2021; Fusion University competes in the Europe region of Contenders.
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- Howard, Brandon (August 30, 2019). "Overwatch League 2019 Play-Ins Preview". TheGamer. Retrieved August 30, 2019.
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- Field Level Media. "Trio of 5-map thrillers highlight wild day at OWL playoffs". Rueters. Retrieved November 24, 2020.
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- Richardson, Liz (September 12, 2020). "Shanghai Dragons, San Francisco Shock lock in Overwatch League Grand Finals spots". Dot Esports. Retrieved November 24, 2020.
- Richardson, Liz (September 13, 2020). "Seoul Dynasty, Philadelphia Fusion round out Overwatch League Grand Finals bracket". Dot Esports. Retrieved November 24, 2020.
- Alford, Aaron (October 8, 2020). "Shock, Dragons Advance to OWL Winners Bracket Finals". Hotspawn. Retrieved November 24, 2020.
- Czar, Michael (October 9, 2020). "Philadelphia Fusion eliminated from Grand Finals weekend". Daily Esports. Retrieved November 24, 2020.
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- Fitch, Adam (January 21, 2019). "Philadelphia Fusion receives sponsorship from ARRIS". Esports Insider. Retrieved March 23, 2019.
- Philadelphia Fusion (March 1, 2018). "Put me in coach". Retrieved March 19, 2019 – via Twitter.
- Philadelphia Fusion (January 14, 2019). "Staffing Announcement". Retrieved March 19, 2019 – via Twitter.
- Shepard, Kate (October 11, 2019). "Fusion Announce Departure of Head Coaches Hayes and NamedHwi". The Game Haus. Retrieved October 11, 2019.
- Philadelphia Fusion. "Today we part ways with Head Coach @dgkimmm ". Twitter. Retrieved 21 October 2020.
- Philadelphia Fusion. "Everyone please give a warm welcome to our new Head Coach, @NineK_OW !". Twitter. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
- Richardson, Liz (October 12, 2021). "Philadelphia Fusion, London Spitfire hire new head coaches". Dot Esports. Retrieved October 13, 2021.
- "Philadelphia Fusion Reveal Fusion University Contenders Roster". Dexerto. 30 January 2018. Retrieved 10 July 2018.
- "Fusion University". Philadelphia Fusion. 29 January 2018. Retrieved 10 July 2018 – via YouTube.
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- Fusion University [@fusionuni] (January 14, 2020). "Today, Fusion University officially becomes T1 in Overwatch Contenders Korea" (Tweet). Retrieved March 9, 2021 – via Twitter.
- Czarnowski, Michael (May 23, 2021). "Fusion University return, joining EU Contenders Trials with Fusion players". Upcomer. Retrieved May 24, 2021.
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