Fusion are leaving Philly for South Korea, rebranding as the Seoul Infernal for 2023.

The Philadelphia Fusion have announced that they will be relocating to South Korea for the 2023 Overwatch League season. The team will be rebranding to become the Seoul Infernal.

Philadelphia had been the home of the Fusion franchise since 2017. But they moved their operations away from the Pennsylvania city two years ago. The team was already operating out of the South Korean city, with operations having moved there during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“As we gear up for next season, we’ve been evaluating how we can best compete at a consistent, championship level," Dave Scott, President and CEO of Comcast Spectator, Infernal owners, said. "We’ve realized that our franchise will be best positioned to succeed in Seoul.

“We’re excited to begin this next chapter as the Seoul Infernal, and our team is proud to represent our current and future fans on the global stage.” 

The move to South Korea will allow Comcast Spectator's teams to operate together and share facilities. They are also the owners of T1, the team that finished as runners-up at League of Legends Worlds in 2022.

As part of the move, the now-Seoul Infernal are retaining the players that are currently signed to the team. This means that both MN3 and ZEST will remain with the organisation as players.

The Fusion have finished 2nd in OWL events five times but have never won.
The Fusion have finished 2nd in OWL events five times but have never won.

A closer relationship with T1 should help improve the fanbase and passion for the Overwatch team that is affiliated with the organisation. With dropping viewership numbers in the league, a move like this will help create sustainability, if not only for the Infernal themselves.

Infernal will fill out with new arrivals in time for the start of the sixth season of the Overwatch League. The league will start around May.

The rebrand

The aim of the rebrand has been to incorporate as much of Seoul and South Korean culture as possible. The new logo features the likeness of Dokakebi, which is a deity in Korean folklore.

The team's colours will also now change from orange to red. This is to fit more in line with the oriental branding that will now be in place.

What does this mean for the OWL?

With the teams in the Overwatch League split between East and West divisions, a concern may be that reshuffling would have to happen with the change of city.

That is not the case, with the Philadelphia Fusion already being part of the East Division as a result of playing all of their games out of South Korea.

Los Angeles Gladiators are one of two OWL teams with branding of the city.
Los Angeles Gladiators are one of two OWL teams with branding of the city.

The move will also make Seoul the second city with two representatives in the OWL. The only other team with dual representation is Los Angeles. Which is also the case in OWL's sister league, the Call of Duty League.

Los Angeles have their teams split between the East and West Divisions but this is because Los Angeles Valiant had a full Asian team during the 2022 season. It's yet to be seen if the OWL will make a similar move for the Seoul franchises or if LA will be split up in the next season.

Stay tuned on Esports.gg for all of the latest news on the Overwatch League.