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.
Jae "Carpe" Hyeok Lee
George "ShaDowBurn" Gushcha
Josue "Eqo" Corona
Simon "Snillo" Ekstrom
Joona "fragi" Laine
Gael "Poko" Gouzarch
Sumin "SADO" Kim
Hong Jun "Hotba" Choi
Jeonghwan "Dayfly" Park
Joe "Joemeister" Gramano
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