Overwatch League Store Retire Philadelphia Fusion Skins

As the Overwatch League looks toward its 2023 season, they must retire the 2022 gear. We break down what this year’s schedule looks like and a look back at Philadelphia’s Overwatch history.

On March 7th, the Overwatch League removed the Philadelphia Fusion’s skins from the Overwatch league store. The team moved to Korea to add another team to the East Region, completely rebranding to the Seou Infernal. The removal of the Fusion’s skins from the store signifies an end of an era in the Overwatch League, and the start of a new one as teams prepare for the start of the 2023 season later in March. 

History of the Fusion

The Philidelphia Fusion was one founding teams in the Overwatch League back in 2018 during the Inaugural Season. The team is owned by Comcast Spectacor, who chose to base their team in Philadelphia due to their familiarity already with the city as owners of the Philadelphia Flyers, who play in the NHL.

The Fusion got off to a fast start appearing in the Inaugural Season Finals, where they fell to the London Spitfire. The 2019 Season wasn’t great for the Fusion as the team would end the year’s Playoffs in the 11-12th rank.

The team showed that they were committed to winning, working hard in the offseason, and returning in 2020 as a top team in the Overwatch League. Though the team came close to winning multiple events that year, they were never able to seal the deal coming in 2nd in the Summer Showdown, Countdown Cup, Regular Season, and North American Playoffs before ending their year in 4th at the Playoffs’ Grandfinals. 

After 2020 the Philadelphia Fusion would go into a slump for the 2021 and 2022 seasons, with the team never living up to the promise shown in the early seasons of Overwatch. The Fusion announced they would be rebranding to the Seoul Infernal at the end of December 2022, ending hopes of an Overwatch title for Philadelphia.

2023 Overwatch League Season

The Competitive Overwatch Season is going to start later this month, on the 23rd. That will mark the start of the West Region’s Pro-Am, in which Contenders teams from North America and EMEA will have the chance to compete against Overwatch League teams. 

This is a change that the Overwatch League seems to be pushing the idea of Contenders teams competing with the already franchised teams of the Overwatch League. This is a move that will open up the path to pro for many more players; however, it may prove to be detrimental down the road. It’ll be interesting to see how Contenders teams fare against the Overwatch League teams and how the league will react if the Contenders are able to find consistent success. 

Both regions will start their Spring Stage play in mid-April. The regions have slightly different formats and schedules, with it all culminating in a six-team in-person tournament called Midseason Madness which will take place in June. 

After Midseason Madness, teams will play through the Summer Stage, which will start in July with a quick break in August. Teams will then compete in the Play-Ins, which start in September before international playoffs, which will happen at the end of September, with the Grand Finals set to take place in October. 

There are plenty of changes to this year’s Overwatch League format, from the introduction of the Seoul Infernal to the addition of Contenders teams. All of it should add up to yet another competitive season. You won’t want to miss any of the Overwatch action coming this year!