One of the first two teams to compete in the long-awaited debut of the Overwatch League has withdrawn from preseason just hours before its opening match.
Philadelphia Fusion were due to compete with the Florida Mayhem in the League’s first ever official match at midnight tonight, but has now said it will not be competing in the preseason at all.
“Due to player logistics issues the Fusion will be absent from OWL preseason matches,” the team announced on Twitter. “Preparations for the regular season remain on track, as our players and coaches from 10 nations continue to scrimmage and work hard.
“We apologize to our fans in Philadelphia and around the world who were looking forward to our preseason competition. Please stay tuned for news surrounding opportunities to connect with our team and win Fusion gear in advance of our season opener on January 11th.”
San Francisco Shock will now compete in their place, and will also still participate in their mate against Los Angeles Valiant just two hours later. Further replacements for Fusion’s other matches will be announced at a later stage.
The team added to Kotaku that the withdrawal is not connected to last week’s suspension of Su-Min ‘Sado’ Kim who was found guilty of paid account boosting and suspended.
The Overwatch League will host three matches a day for four days a week starting from preseason tonight. Each of the 12 teams will play 40 games between January and June. Half of these teams will then progress to the month-long post season. The season will comprise four five-week long stages, with each team playing twice per week.
At the end of each stage the top team bets a bye into the next round and a week off. They will also be joined by the four other teams with the best record.
The League winner, crowned on July 28th, will win a very tidy $1m. The runner-up will claim $400k, third and fourth $100k and fifth and sixth $50k. These prizes are of course all on top of player salary.
Due to player logistics issues the Fusion will be absent from OWL preseason matches. Preparations for the regular season remain on track, as our players and coaches from 10 nations continue to scrimmage and work hard (1/2)— Philadelphia Fusion (@PHL_Fusion) December 5, 2017