The Philadelphia Fusion team is heading into 2023 with a new name, logo, and base of operations.
From Philadelphia to Seoul
Today, we announced plans to rebrand ourselves in the new year as the Seoul Infernal and relocate to South Korea.
Read more details about the announcement here: https://t.co/wgRVHGcmNI
— Seoul Infernal (@Infernal) December 30, 2022
Philadelphia Fusion has made a surprising announcement that the team is packing up and moving on to better pastures.
No, they're not leaving Overwatch. They're just leaving Philadelphia.
Philadelphia Fusion has primarily operated in Seoul, Korea, since 2020 and the early days of the COVID pandemic. As of yesterday, Philadelphia Fusion revealed its intentions to make that operational shift permanent, announcing that they would be relocating to Seoul. With Philadelphia Fusion now a Seoul-based team, a name change makes sense. As such, the Philadelphia Fusion is now Seoul Infernal.
President and CEO of Comcast Spectator, David Scott, stated in the announcement brief his belief that the transition would put Philadelphia Fusion in the best position to succeed moving forward. And I can see why he would think that.
The move intends to build on top of Comcast Spectator's success as co-owners of the Seoul-based T1. T1 is a juggernaut in League of Legends, who, among other things, are three-time World Champions, 2022 Worlds runners-up, and achieved the first-ever perfect LCK regular season in LCK 2022. After the move, Seoul Infernal will essentially be bunkmates with T1 and gain access to the world-class facilities there.
A Storied But Disappointing Four Years
Philadelphia Fusion is an icon of the Overwatch eSports and Philadelphia eSports scene. It was one of the twelve founding members of the Overwatch League and the first Philadelphia-based professional eSports team. Anyone who knows about Philly sports fans knows how avid they are about their teams. The Philadelphia Fusion will definitely be a noticeable loss.
Over the years, the Philadelphia Fusion has been a strong competitor in Overwatch League, consistently placing 2nd-4th in S-tier tournaments. Former member Alarm, who tragically passed away in 2021, had an incredible run in 2020, earning the Rookie of the Year award and a nomination for MVP of the Year.
Unfortunately, Philadelphia Fusion failed to achieve ultimate success on the world stage. Their 2022 season ended with an underwhelming 9th place finish in the regular season, followed by a 9th-12th place finish in Overwatch League 2022- Playoffs.
Like any other sports team, the Philadelphia Fusion naturally wants to become champions. So while the Fusion's departure leaves Philadelphia with a void to fill, Philadelphia Fusion must do what's best for their success. Korea is a potent source of talent for Philadelphia Fusion and Overwatch in general. The move may be the catalyst that starts Seoul Infernal's rise to the top.
The Rebuild Begins
Operationally, nothing will change for Seoul Infernal, and the roster and coaching staff will remain the same. That's good since Infernal has some work to do in the off-season.
Philadelphia Fusion took some major hits this year. Carpe has hung up his Overwatch cape and has joined T1's Valorant team for VCT 2023. AimGod, Belosrea, FIXa, and Fury have all left as well.
The world needs heroes ✨
We’re hosting Tryouts for the 2023 season! Submit your application to be considered.
— Seoul Infernal (@Infernal) November 17, 2022
MN3 and Zest re-signed with Philadelphia Fusion, but they have several spots to fill. Back in November, Philadelphia Fusion announced tryouts for the 2023 season for DPS, Support, and Tank. So far, there have been no announcements of new roster members. At least they have the coaching staff covered, with J1N, Sungmin, and Chara all returning.
The Seoul Infernal will be entering the brand new world of competitive Overwatch 2 with a lot to prove. Blizzard is set to reveal the 36 competing countries and regions for the 2023 World Cup sometime in January. World Cup Trials kickoff in February, and regular team tryouts start in March. The World Cup Qualifiers will begin in June.
The world will be watching Seoul Infernal. Will you rise to the challenge, or will your 2023 season go down in flames?