PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia’s new esports team is hosting its first-ever home game at The Met. It isn’t just a bunch of kids playing video games; esports is now a lucrative industry.
Business Insider reports it will surpass $1 billion in revenue in 2020.
Philadelphia even plans to build its own esports venue down at the sports complex in South Philly.
The Fusion took the stage Saturday at the soldout Met as fans packed in to watch what is called the “Battle of Brotherly Love.”
Saturday was the first time the Fusion opened a match on its home turf.
The team entered to cheers from elated fans at the start of the game around 6 p.m.
The Fusion were founded in 2017 and compete in the Overwatch League.
It’s the first professional esports organization to represent Philly.
There are 11 players on the 2020 roster.
They faced the Washington Justice on Saturday.
Earlier, the Houston Outlaws played against Florida Mayhem.
The game works as follows: the first team to win three out of five “maps” wins. Maps are like matches.
“They had the grand finals here last summer and it was amazing and this is even better,” fan Jenna Lynn McCullogh said.
“Here, it’s different so you have Philly fans who are rowdy and love Philly sports whether it’s Eagles, Flyers, Sixers, Phillies, they don’t care. They immediately welcomed the Fusion just like any of the other hometown teams,” Fusion President Tucker Roberts said. “We hate New York, we hate Boston, we hate D.C., so it creates a little bit of rivalry that other esports don’t have.”
There were about 2,000 Fusion fans in attendance on Saturday.
Tickets for this weekend’s matches are sold out. Future home games will cost about $40.
Flyers mascot Gritty was in attendance.