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When Philadelphia Fusion overhauled its branding, fans mourn the abandonment of team identity

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The Philadelphia Fusion left America for good, moving the division, the team’s entire operation to Seoul, South Korea, and rebranding as the Seoul Infernal before the beginning of the 2023 season.

The company owner said the move was made to bring the team closer to its sister organization in T1, which was made up of a joint venture with SK Telecom. The press release shows a new logo, which looks like a devilish version of the Titans logo, promises fresh logos, and new jerseys, and assures fans that the Infernal will retain ownership, management and current roster.

For the Philly fan base, the outcome is a stinging success after five years of heartache and heartbreaking results; and the team has already been competing from Korea in the past two seasons after the COVID-19 pandemic. Fusion fans have been having a hard time getting in the past 50 years. Many great years of failure led to bitter playoff disappointment, lackluster seasons and even, in the tragic death of Kim Alarm Kyeong-bo.

Despite the fact that many fans continue their passion for players and coaches, a huge portion cheers on their local team. The actor Mitch Uber Leslie wrote that he considered himself a Fusion fan, based on the players and staff but also acknowledged that fans of Philly should be upset.

fwiw if I was philly native and followed this team because of that I would be fucking mad, this is a move that really disenfranchises those who define themselves with a team and not just themselves; I empathize with those people Both modes of fandom and is valid.

Mitch Leslie, who is @Uber Shouts, December 30, 2022.

I would be fucking in love with Philly, as a result of that indictment, Uber wrote on Twitter. It’s a move that disenfranchises everyone who names a team and not only those who do not name a team.

There are other reasons why fans are so distant from the current and future team, not only because of its location and name. One of the new plans for a esports-focused Fusion Arena, which was previously announced in 2019, were changed last year to accommodate more general venues needs, and the venue remains unbuilt. The teams’ main man for all five seasons, Lee Jae-hyeok, left the Fusion and Overwatch together this past weekend.

In the subreddit post about the rebranding of the Competition Overwatch, many Fusion fans expressed their disinterest in rooting for the Infernal. I’m out. That was the last thing to make this team recognize to me. This is only another team I cant make myself care about, wrote one. That completely destroys what has made me five years old, writes another.

During the remaining offseason, Fusion fans have to decide whether to continue rooting for the Infernal, to find a new team or maybe even stop watching OWL altogether. The newly renamed Seoul Infernal still has a starting roster to have it put together before the free agency deadline, which is set for March 13, 2023.

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