The Philadelphia Fusion lost last night, but it happens.
They went down to the New York Excelsior, which is a dumb team name. I hate losing to New York, but losing to the “Excelsior” is even worse.
I checked out the Twitter replies last night and people didn’t seem too happy with the performance of “Sado,” who I think is our main tank. Some fans were calling for “Fragi” to play instead, so it seems like we’ve got a bit of a controversy brewing. I might even call up Sports Radio 94 WIP to share my feelings.
Anyway, I stopped by the viewing party at Xfinity Live last night before the match started. I didn’t have time to stay for the actual thing, since I had to roll back to the Wells Fargo Center for the Sixers game, though it looked like a nice crowd was there for the event.
I did have a candid and interesting conversation with Joe Marsh, who is the Fusion’s Chief Business Officer. We talked about the popularity of esports and the growth of a nascent Fusion fan base, and even though I load my Fusion articles with satire and humor, I tried to keep it pretty straight with Joe while learning some things about gaming along the way.
Here’s the full discussion:
Crossing Broad: I gotta be honest; the last time you guys did this, for the season opener, I looked at the crowd photos and was kind of shocked. This place was packed. I assume you were not shocked.
Joe Marsh: Not anymore. But if you would have asked me that in January of last year, I think our first watch party had something like 300 people at Wahoo’s. As the season progressed we started building the fan base. This was all from scratch, you know? We were a hockey team with no esports experience, so we had no fans. Then we had to shoot content and shoot video for a team that was playing on the west coast, so it’s kind of hard to attract a fan base when your talent is across the country. But once we reached the playoffs it kind of spiked from there with the underdog video. We brought the guys to (Philadelphia) and did a thousand people twice. The first watch party had 800 people pre-register before they even walked in the door. Consistently drawing a thousand people each time is pretty good.
Moe after the jump: