In preparation for the upcoming sixth season of the Overwatch League, the Philadelphia Fusion will be changing their name and logo to the Seoul Infernal. To avoid returning to the United States during the epidemic, the team decided to relocate to South Korea’s capital.
Comcast Spectacor, which owns and operates the franchise, plays a significant role in Philadelphia’s sports scene. The firm is also involved in the gaming industry, having orchestrated the relaunch of G4TV and co-owning T1 Esports with SK Square. After three consecutive World Championship victories in League of Legends, T1 Esports has established themselves as a premier name in the industry.
By relocating to South Korea, the Philadelphia Fusion will be able to share resources with the T1 organisation. The Seoul Infernal will keep the same staff and players under the new regime. The team’s original 2022 plan included for spending $50 million on a purpose-built esports arena in South Philadelphia.
Dave Scott, president and CEO of Comcast Spectacor, said in a statement, “As we prepare up for next season, we’ve been examining how we can best compete at a consistent, championship level, and we’ve determined that our club would be best positioned to thrive in Seoul.”
The Infernal Seoul logo
The name and logo of the franchise, the Seoul Infernal, are intended to pay homage to the history and traditions of the city where the club now resides. A Dokkaebi, a goblin/nature god from Korean mythology, is shown in the logo. People believe they can fool or benefit humans.
As part of the rebranding, orange has been replaced with red. The Infernal’s fiery drive to win and dedication to the game are symbolised by this shade of crimson. This shade of red isn’t quite as bright as T1, but at least the uniforms of the two clubs are now more uniform in tone.
Dokkaebi are crowned with an Imperial Crown as the final design element. In doing so, we want to call to mind the strength, splendour, and enduring legacy of the institution.
T1 Esports is often linked to Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok, which may or may not be a major factor in the rebranding. The T1 mid laner is widely regarded as the strongest player in League of Legends’ history, earning him the moniker “the unkillable demon king.”
Resultant Effects on Overwatch League
The epidemic has hampered the Overwatch League and its clubs’ efforts to establish a worldwide, city-based organisation. The league’s plans to conduct global tours in 2020 were thwarted. Due to the epidemic and in order to better serve the Overwatch League’s increasingly engaged Chinese fanbase, teams have begun moving their offices to China.
In contrast, the Philadelphia Fusion/Seoul Infernal are the first team in Overwatch League history to switch names.
There are two conferences in the league, one in the East and one in the West. For the next 2023 season, the league may need to restructure these divisions in light of the many franchise relocations.
The success of the next Overwatch League season will determine the fate of the whole endeavour. Even though viewership had been on the decrease since the 2018 season premiere, the 2022 playoffs saw an uptick. It’s possible that the release of Overwatch 2 was a factor in the uptick, but whether or not that improvement will last into the summer is anyone’s guess.
The Overwatch League’s sixth season will begin in the spring of 2023.
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