Korean esports organization T1 has begun recruiting players and coaches for the upcoming season of Overwatch Contenders Korea 2020. The team announced its upcoming debut in the tournament in a post last night.
T1 is a joint venture between SK Telecom and Comcast Spectacor and will be taking the current Contenders spot from the academy team of the Overwatch League team Philadelphia Fusion, Fusion University. Despite Comcast owning the Fusion as well, tweets from former Fusion Uni players and coaches suggest that this is not just a formal rebranding but a total reconstruction.
Fusion Uni was unable to recreate the success it had in North American Contenders after moving to Korea in the second half of 2019. After a middling campaign in Korea, the team bundled out of the playoffs quite early on. More recently, the team’s pieces have begun to be picked apart and sent on to the OWL for the 2020 season, leaving the unwanted or underage talent behind. No player or coach will transition from Fusion Uni to T1 for the upcoming season, so this will be a clean slate for the Comcast-owned team to rebuild from scratch.
Currently one of the most recognizable and prestigious brands in all of esports, T1 could bring great stability to the Overwatch scene with it. It’s great news for a tier-two scene that is struggling to keep itself above water that an org such as T1 is confident in investing their time and money on it.
Fusion University didn’t die for nothing. Korean Overwatch Contenders has potential to pick back up early in 2020.