Overwatch League team Philadelphia Fusion will move its team operations to Seoul, South Korea, to compete against Pacific Division teams for the 2021 season, the organization announced via Twitter on Wednesday evening. While the organization did not disclose the reason behind the move, it is likely related to potential COVID-19 restrictions in the U.S. that could be put in place in the first half of 2021 and its venue, the Fusion Arena, still being under construction. The team issued the following statement:
“As we continue to navigate the global pandemic, the Philadelphia Fusion’s team operations will temporarily relocate to Seoul, South Korea, and will compete against teams in the Pacific Division during the 2021 Overwatch League season,” the team wrote.
“Health and safety remains our top priority in making this transition and we are working closely with the Overwatch League and local health officials to ensure the wellbeing of our players, coaches, and staff while in Seoul.
“No matter what our physical location, we will continue to bring a Grand Finals Championship title to our incredible Fusion fans and the City of Brotherly Love.”
In 2019, Comcast Spectacor announced plans to erect a $50M USD arena for the Philadelphia Fusion, and in September of that year it officially broke ground. The Fusion Arena will be capable of hosting 3,500 people and was to be used for the Overwatch League 2021 season.
Those plans went awry thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic; in September Comcast told Sports Business Journal that the project was being put on hold. The venue, when complete (at a date still to be determined), will be located at the South Philadelphia Sports Complex, which is also the home of Lincoln Financial Field, Citizens Bank Park, the Wells Fargo Center.
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