Jessica S. February 16, 2019
Philadelphia Flyers mascot Gritty made an appearance at the Overwatch League, wearing a Philadelphia Fusion jersey and walking out with the team for their Season 2 debut.
The wacky mascot is an orange fuzzy monster with a big smiling face and googly eyes. He was introduced to Philadelphia in 2018. Locals were perplexed and slightly horrified at first, but became fiercely loyal to him after his first appearance at one of the city’s hockey games.
The orange color and spirit of the character makes Gritty a perfect fit to be a fan of Philadelphia’s first esports team. Fusion staff have made efforts in the past to support other Philadelphia teams and to also make local residents aware that the esports team exists while it’s ensconced in California.
During the team’s first homecoming, Fusion president Tucker Roberts conducted an interview that aired on broadcast television during a Phillies baseball game, discussing the Fusion and the Overwatch League.
“A bunch of the players on the Flyers and Wings are gamers, so the overlap and appreciation truly is authentic,” said Fusion CFO Joe Marsh. “We always look to connect with the other traditional Philly sports teams and we have done some collaborations in the past and will look to continue to do more as we bring the team back into market from California.”
The Fusion has visited Philadelphia sports venues, tweeted their support at the city’s pro players, and cheered the city’s various sports teams on. The bond between the teams is apparent in Philly, and adding Gritty to the mix can only strengthen that bond.
“We are always looking for ways to incorporate the spirit of Philly into the Fusion brand. Working with the established sports teams is a great way to do this - but working with Gritty is a real honor,” Roberts said.