Posts for esports

On Philadelphia and Video Gaming: A Conversation with Fusion Chief Business Officer Joe Marsh

Kevin Kinkead - April 5, 2019

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:

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The Philadelphia Fusion Are BACK

Kevin Kinkead - February 13, 2019

Not sure about you, but I was pissed off when the Fusion lost in the Overwatch League finals last summer.

I expected more out of my man Carpe, but it just wasn’t his time. Those wankers from England, the London Spitfire, beat the Fusion in a best-of-three series to claim whatever trophy the Overwatch League hands out. Some guy named “Profit,” who is likely a total douche bag, ended up being the difference maker. He’s the Al Horford of esports.

But time heals all wounds, and the Fusion are back for a second season, which begins tomorrow night with a revenge game against the Spitfire.

There will be an epic watch part at Xfinity live, according to this press release:

Coming back with a vengeance!  The 2019 Overwatch League season kicks off with the long-awaited Grand Finals rematch between the Philadelphia Fusion and London Spitfire.  On February 14, the City of Brotherly Love’s first professional esports team will take to the main stage with three-time Overwatch Contenders North America Champion, Elk, and returning star, Carpe, as they begin their quest for the Overwatch League Championship title.

Beginning at 6 p.m., the Fusion will set the stage for over 700 pre-registered fans eager to kick off Philadelphia’s second season, including a live Overwatch gaming zone powered by N3rd Street Gamers and on-site prize giveaways.  The watch party will host its first-ever cosplay contest, featuring appearances of fans dressed as Overwatch heroes prior to a live stream of the match.

The Fusion, who are part of Comcast Spectacor’s portfolio of professional sports teams and live entertainment assets, were the assumed underdogs throughout the inaugural season and clinched the last spot in the Overwatch League Playoffs.  After an incredible display of perseverance, the Fusion advanced to the first-ever Grand Finals, finishing their season in second place.  The Overwatch League expanded to 20 teams for the 2019 season, with all teams competing at Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California.  Overwatch is a team-based, first-person survival game with more than 40 million players worldwide. Philadelphia’s nine-man roster includes players from eight countries.

I don’t know who this “Elk” dude is, but he’d better be good. I hope he’s a real blue collar, Philly type of athlete.

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The Philadelphia Fusion are Actually Going to Play in Philadelphia

Kevin Kinkead - November 30, 2018

You know me. Huge Fusion fan.

I was pissed when they lost to that London team in the Overwatch League final last season. I expected more out of my boy, Carpe.

One thing that bothers me is that the Fusion don’t have any American players and don’t even live or play in Philadelphia, but that changes this weekend:

Press release:

PHILADELPHIA FUSION TO COMPETE IN FIRST PROFESSIONAL OVERWATCH LEAGUE MATCH IN PHILADELPHIA AT LUCKY STRIKE – DECEMBER 1

Fans, Gamers and Esports Enthusiasts to Gather for Philadelphia Fusion’s First Professional Overwatch League Match in Philadelphia vs. New York Excelsior to be Streamed Live on Twitch

Amateur Matches, An Appearance from Gritty, and Access to Exclusive Merchandise Tee Up Fusion’s Homecoming Showmatch

WHAT:  The Philadelphia Fusion are here to play! On December 1, the Philadelphia Fusion will compete in the first full-squad professional Overwatch League match played in Philadelphia against their East Coast rivals the New York Excelsior.

Beginning at 3 p.m., the Fusion will set the stage for their hometown fans eager to watch the team compete live and in-person for the first time. The event will kick off with four pro-am matches focusing on fan engagement with the Fusion roster. Following those matches, the Fusion will take the stage at 5 p.m. for a 6v6 professional exhibition match against New York to see who will be crowned the “Champion of the East”. The entire event will be streamed live on Twitch.

The Fusion launched in January 2018 as one of 12 teams in the first season of the Overwatch League from Activision Blizzard. Heading into the 2019 season, the Overwatch League added eight new teams, bringing the league total to 20. Overwatch is a team-based, first-person survival game with more than 35 million players worldwide. Philadelphia’s nine-man roster includes players from eight countries.

WHERE:  Lucky Strike Philadelphia, 1336 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19107

WHEN: Saturday, December 1, 2018

2 p.m. – Doors Open

3 p.m. – Live Stream Begins

5 p.m. – Fusion vs. NYXL Exhibition Match

Alright, so it’s just an exhibition match, but it’ll be nice to welcome our boys back to town.

And Gritty will be there too.

Go Fusion.

Our First Time Watching the Philadelphia Fusion

Kevin Kinkead - July 31, 2018

The Philadelphia Fusion lost this past weekend. They will not be Overwatch League champions. They didn’t play particularly well. Maybe the moment was too big for them or maybe the underdog story just ran its course. For whatever reason, they didn’t have it.

But they gave it a good go. And from what I watched on Friday night, they seem like a scrappy, blue collar, lunch-pail carrying Philadelphia team, just like any other squad in town. I think we can all safely say we’re now “five for five” instead of “four for four.”

Friday night was the first time most of us at Crossing Broad have watched eSports, at least intensely, so we thought it would be fun and/or mildly entertaining to share the log of our Slack chat from series one of the finals. Most of it is us just sort of fumbling over the rules and trying to figure out what’s going on. I’ve been a lifelong gamer but don’t know too much about Overwatch or the Fusion in general. Other guys really had no clue what has happening, and eventually started talking about the proper way to grill a steak.

Here ya go:

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The Philadelphia Fusion are Trying to Become World F$%^#@! Champions

Kevin Kinkead - July 27, 2018

I know everyone is excited about the Super Bowl champion Eagles and the first-place Phillies, but let’s pause for a second to talk about your team, your town, your Philadelphia Fusion, who feature a grand total of zero Americans on the roster.

But that’s okay, because they’re our boys, and tonight they’ll play in the Overwatch League final at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn. Match one against those London Spitfire wankers is televised on ESPN at 7 p.m.

So apparently the Fusion were pretty big underdogs heading into the playoffs. As a six seed, they knocked off the #1 seed New York and #3 seed Boston, which I think any Philly fan can appreciate. London had a similar path to the final, dispatching a pair of Los Angeles teams as the fifth seed.

The format for the finals is a best-of-three series played in best-of-five matches, and each individual game is referred to as a “map.” If the teams split the first two matches, the Spitfire pick which “map” they want to play for the third and final match. Makes sense, right?

Our best player is this dude named “Carpe,” who is one of the best “DPS” players in the league. DPS is an old RPG term meaning “damage per second,” so the guy is basically like the Fusion’s best attacker. Carpe was an Overwatch All-Star this season alongside “Poko,” who is a “flex.” I think that means he just plays whatever role they need.

Edit: I stand corrected –

Got it? Good.

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Struggling Pro Gamer Dumps Smoking Hot Girlfriend to Focus on Career

Kevin Kinkead - July 24, 2018

This is, by far, my favorite story of the week.

I think it’s real, but who the hell knows. Maybe it’s just a publicity stunt. Either way, I’m in.

Apparently this guy “FaZe Censor,” real name Doug Martin, is a professional Call of Duty player, but he’s been having a rough go of it recently, kind of like Danica Patrick’s entire NASCAR career. So he did what any sensible and committed pro would do – he broke up with his meteorologist girlfriend Yanet Garcia to focus on his craft.

From the New York Post:

Announcing the decision on YouTube, the 23-year-old revealed that he and Garcia, 26, had split up, saying, “I don’t have time for a girlfriend.”

He went on to say that he needed to focus on playing “Call of Duty,” and would be playing the next iteration in the franchise, “Black Ops IV,” full-time while she was “doing that job over there.”

Garcia — known as “the world’s sexiest weathergirl” — grew her global legion of fans during the World Cup as she supported her native Mexico.

Martin has struggled this year, missing out on the first stage of the “Call of Duty World League” before signing up with a different team that had secured a place in Stage 2 to ensure he got there.

Listen, we’ve all been there before. I think we can all relate. Sometimes you just don’t have enough time for your stunningly hot girlfriend, so you have to call it quits and turn attention to your career instead.

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Dallas Takes Another L

Kevin Kinkead - May 3, 2018

Ho hum, another Philly team beat the crap out of a Dallas squad.

This time it was your Fusion boys who just obliterated the most sorry ass group of gamers ever assembled, cruising by the Dallas Fuel 3-1 in last night’s Overwatch League matchup.

I watched a few of the clips and I have no idea what’s going on, just a lot of flashing lights and some British guy getting really excited:

American guy: “Everybody is so spread out for the Philadelphia Fusion. You’ll get a touch…”

British guy: “STILL (inaudible) UP! He still can use the graviton and now we’re in overtime! Self-destruct on the point! No chance for the Dallas Fuel!”

That’s wild.

Let’s check in on the standings real quick:

Look at your Fusion, hovering just above .500 and fighting for the last playoff spot.

Dallas, of course, sucks.

They’ve managed one win this entire season and they’ve only won nine maps total. That’s piss poor. If I was a Fuel fan, I’d be LIVID. Their Overwatch team is just as bad as the Cowboys, Mavs, and Rangers. The Stars were okay this year, I guess, but who really cares about ice hockey in Texas?

 

 

Check Out the 76ers Gaming Club’s Digital Court and Uniforms

Kevin Kinkead - May 1, 2018

Actual basketball resumes on Thursday night, but if you can’t wait that long, you can watch the debut of the 76ers Gaming Club a little earlier that evening.

76ers GC will kick off the NBA’s inaugural 2K league with a triple-header against the Blazers, Raptors, and Magic, starting at 4 p.m. All competitions will take place at a New York City studio and will be broadcasted live on Twitch, a production that I guarantee will be more interesting than listening to Kevin McHale’s “color commentary.”

Ahead of Thursday’s debut, the Sixers rolled out the design of the digital court and uniforms:

I dig it. The logo on the shorts has a throwback vibe, reminds me of those Allen Iverson-era uniforms.

And just so we’re clear, these getups will be worn by the video game polygon creations. The players holding the controllers will not be wearing sleeveless jerseys and baggy shorts.

From the press release:

The digital uniforms and court for 76ers Gaming Club are a clean, yet bold representation of the 76ers GC brand with the visually-striking Liberty Bell-shaped ‘76’ at the forefront,” Philadelphia 76ers Chief Marketing Officer Katie O’Reilly said. “We have taken a contemporary approach to our historical basketball brand with 76ers GC. With the swoosh trailing the basketball in the ‘76’ logo on the court’s baselines and the team’s shorts, fans may notice the subtle nod to the ‘Black and Gold’ era uniforms of the 2000’s. The patriotic blue and red throughout completes the cutting-edge nature of the 76ersGC brand as it emerges in the NBA 2K League.”

And here’s what the digital court looks like:

Nice.

Thursday’s games are actually pool play in a league-wide kickoff tournament. The top eight teams advance to a playoff round and the top four will share a $100,000 prize.

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