Philadelphia Fusion fans gather at a bar to watch their team
Philadelphia Fusion fans gather at a bar to watch their team

Fusion fans gather in Philly to support their team’s playoff run

by Jessica Scharnagle

The Philadelphia Fusion kicked off their playoff run with a party in Philadelphia on Tuesday night, and all fans were invited.

The party was hosted at a Buffalo Wild Wings just outside of Philadelphia, and the team gave away jerseys signed by the players to the first 50 fans. Around 150 fans showed up to cheer on their favorite team and meet up with fellow fans, who they likely haven’t seen since the last event. There were giveaways prior to the game’s start and a backdrop for fans to take pictures.

Photo credit: Jessica Scharnagle

For a lot of fans, this is the first event they’ve been able to attend since the COVID-19 pandemic started. Teams around the world also held their own watch parties for their home team. In early 2020, the Fusion hosted their first and only homestand, but all subsequent homestands were canceled due to health and safety concerns, and there have been no live events since.

“I’m very excited, a little nervous, just because I’m super super pumped to be able to see the community again. Hopefully we’ll get back to homestands if that becomes a thing,” Fusion fan Gabby Egan said.

The excitement was buzzing throughout the room as fans slotted themselves into booths and got together with friends to watch their home team compete. Thunder sticks were once again booming throughout the venue as fans cheered for the Fusion.

Photo credit: Jessica Scharnagle

Unfortunately for the fans in attendance, the match didn’t turn out in the Fusion’s favor. The only map the Fusion were able to take from the Los Angeles Gladiators was the 2 Control Point map Temple of Anubis. Although they did put up some points in other maps, they weren’t able to pull it together in time, and lost the match on Map 4.

The Fusion will now head down to the lower bracket to take on the San Francisco Shock, but the fans and the Fusion are hopeful.

"It was great to see our fans together to celebrate their favorite team," said Julie Truong, senior director of operations for the Philadelphia Fusion. "Although we didn't get the result we wanted, we're hopeful for an underdog win at Wednesday's match!”

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Because the bracket is double-elimination, the Fusion have a chance to make a Cinderella run through the lower bracket. For a team who has embraced being the underdog, if anyone can do it, it’s the Fusion.

The match between the Fusion and the Shock takes place tonight at 8:30 p.m. ET.

Lead photo credit: Jessica Scharnagle

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