esports

Carpe, Shadowburn lead Fusion's 2017 Overwatch League roster

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Carpe, Shadowburn lead Fusion's 2017 Overwatch League roster

Days after introducing themselves to the world as the Fusion, Philadelphia and Comcast Spectacor’s Overwatch League eSports team has announced its 2017 roster.

And it’s potent.

“We have worked hard to assemble a strong mix of all-star players and hidden gems that are ready to break out and compete with the world’s best,” said Comcast CEO Dave Scott in the club’s official release on Friday.

Of that group, former Faze Clan members and DPS players Jae "Carpe" Hyeok Lee (who is arguably one of the best DPS players in the world) and George “ShaDowBurn” Gushcha, are headliners set to propel the Fusion.

Throw in the strategic mind and top Lucio play of former FaZe support Joe “Joemeister” Gramano, and the Philly team has one of the sturdiest foundations of any club in the league.

“Philly’s strengths will be the core of the FaZe lineup,” said Wilson Xu, former Overwatch Contenders Season 0 manager of You Guys Get Paid and current Overwatch editor at Gusu Gamers told NBC Sports Philadelphia. "The DPS duo is probably one of the strongest in Overwatch League and Joemeister should bring a lot of direction to the team.”

With DPS covered, the Fusion picked up premier European flex player, Isaac “Boombox” Charles, and standout tank, Joona "fragi" Laine, who could be the difference-maker. Accomplished flex player Alberto "NeptuNo" Gonzalez Molinillo and Zarya-pro Gael "Poko" Gouzerch round out what should be a competitive group.

“The biggest signing for me is Fragi,” Xu said. “He’s widely considered one of the best tanks in EU.”

Like most teams in Overwatch League, chemistry, not pure talent, could determine the season. Outside of the three FaZe players, the Fusion, who will live together in a gaming house in California, are an unfamiliar group from nine different countries. That could hurt them out of the gate.

“Chemistry will be one of the most important aspects of this team, as language differences will be obvious at the start,” Xu said, “Especially with the addition of Korean players and drawing from so many different countries.”

Collecting former FaZe members wasn’t a bad choice. FaZe, led by Carpe, Joemeister and ShaDowBurn, reached second place (EnVyUs, who are now the Dallas Fuel, took first) in the North American bracket of Overwatch Contenders Season 1 — the preeminent Blizzard-run league prior to Overwatch League, which begins its preseason in December.

“We are proud to feature outstanding players from FaZe Clan,” Scott said. “A top-tier esports organization who has earned prestige in multiple games.”

Here’s a breakdown of the players and positions.

1. DPS:
Jae "Carpe" Hyeok Lee

George "ShaDowBurn" Gushcha

Josue "Eqo" Corona

Simon "Snillo" Ekstrom

2. TANKS:
Joona "fragi" Laine

Gael "Poko" Gouzarch

Sumin "SADO" Kim

Hong Jun "Hotba" Choi

3. SUPPORT:
Jeonghwan "Dayfly" Park

Joe "Joemeister" Gramano

4. FLEX:
Alberto "NeptuNo" Gonzalez Molinillo

Isaac "Boombox" Charles

5. COACHING STAFF:
Head Coach/General Manager: Yann “Kirby” Luu

Assistant Coach: Elliot “Hayes” Hayes

Assistant Coach: Sehuy “NamedHwi” Go

Analytics: Ethan “Beezy” Spector

Comcast Spectacor introduces new eSports brand Philadelphia Fusion

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Comcast Spectacor introduces new eSports brand Philadelphia Fusion

Meet the Philadelphia Fusion.

Representing Philadelphia as one of the newest additions to a budding competitive eSports scene, the Fusion, owned by Comcast Spectacor, is the latest brand introduced for the inaugural season of Overwatch League beginning in December.

"We are thrilled to introduce the Philadelphia Fusion brand and team colors as we continue our exciting march toward the start of the season," said Dave Scott, president and CEO of Comcast Spectacor.

Utilizing orange and black, the Fusion will match the Flyers, also owned by Comcast Spectacor, in colors and logo simplicity. 

"Orange and black are colors of passion here in Philadelphia," Scott said. "We are proud to incorporate them as we continue to formulate our coaching staff and roster of players."

As the company explains in its official release, the choice for the name Fusion was inspired by "distinct entities coming together to create a new whole that generates power and heat."

And that might be more than simple graphic design. Facing powerhouse teams such as the Dallas Fuel — made up of one of North America's most potent clubs, EnVyUs, and London Spitfire (which consists of South Korean Overwatch champions GC Busan) — the Fusion will ultimately need chemistry and team dynamic to excel. 

The team, being put together piece-by-piece, is expected to officially introduce its coaching staff and roster in the upcoming weeks.  

The Fusion join the Boston Uprising, Fuel, San Francisco Shock, Seoul Dynasty, Spitfire, New York Excelsior, Los Angeles Valiant and Shanghai Dragons, as the first official brands introduced. The brands for Miami, Houston and a second Los Angeles team have yet to be announced.

Beginning preseason matches on Dec. 6, Overwatch League, which will feature 6-on-6 objective-based team play, officially kicks off its regular season on Jan. 10.

For those unfamiliar, Overwatch League is a geo-based eSports league made up of 12 teams from around the world. Unlike other eSports leagues which are typically made of up independent club teams not bound to a specific location, this one features teams representing particular cities around the globe with league-specific brands. 

It's a new dynamic to mainstream eSports competition.

Overwatch League is also an infant compared to the industry. It's viewed as a long-term investment with extreme growth potential. Ownership groups, made up by the likes of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, New York Mets owner Jeff Wilpon, Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke and more, paid a reported $20 million or more to carve out a spot.