Jessica S. February 18, 2020
The Philadelphia Fusion hosted week two of the Overwatch League’s matches amid cancelled match dates in China due to the recent coronavirus outbreak.
Local fans were eager to see what their team had in store for them for live experiences, meet and greets, and of course, the matches themselves. The matches were hosted at the Metropolitan Philadelphia, just outside of the heart of the city. The old building was renovated and recently reopened in December 2019.
The Fusion had a lot in store for gamers during their homestand weekend. Localhost, a Philadelphia-based venue for esports tournaments, set up a fan area that housed a green screen photobooth, a sign-making station, and photo opportunities with top OWL talent.
The most notable feature was the free-play area that allowed fans to play Overwatch together at the venue.
On the seats when fans entered were orange and black Fusion t-shirts as well as noise-making thunder sticks. Local Philadelphia sports mascot Gritty led the team out both days, while Alex “Goldenboy” Mendez announced each player on the team.
Merchandise was available on sale, but if fans are looking for something new, they’ll have to wait for the May homestands. Fusion staff have advised that not all of the OWL merchandise order had yet arrived, but that it would be available for the May homestand.
Fusion fans were happy to see their team win both games this weekend, making the team look like a real force going into the third week of the season. While many teams are surprising in their strength early in the season, the Fusion have been highly ranked by just about every analyst ahead of Season 3 and are expected to be a contender for Grand Finals this year.
Chinese fans were disappointed to see their local matches cancelled this week, so the only games being played were those that occurred in Philadelphia. Blizzard recently announced that the canceled games would be made up in weeks six and seven in Seoul. It is still unclear if those will be played live in a venue before fans, or if they will be viewable only via broadcast.