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Overwatch League full guide
Nov
06

Overwatch League full guide

The Blizzard team has promised us a world-wide championship and will begin taking the first steps by announcing the first Overwatch tournament of its kind.

 

Introduction to the Overwatch League

Season One Schedule
Overwatch League Teams:

  • Atlantic Division
    • Boston Uprising
    • Florida Mayhem
    • Houston Outlaws
    • London Spitfire
    • New York Excelsior
    • Philadelphia Fusion
  • Pacific Division
    • Dallas Fuel
    • Los Angeles Gladiators
    • Los Angeles Valiant
    • San Francisco Shock
    • Seoul Dynasty
    • Shanghai Dragons

What makes the Overwatch League unique is it is structured like a traditional American professional sports league, with franchised teams representing cities. Similar to NBA and NFL club rules, the endemic esports teams cannot bear the brand names of their parent organisations. This is why certain Overwatch team owners are listed as individuals. For example, Noah Whinston is the official owner of the Los Angeles Valiant, but the announcing press release clearly states that the Valiant is Immortals’ Overwatch team.

Here’s the full list of confirmed team brands, how many players they’ve signed, and the business and/or esports background of their owners.

Atlantic Division

Boston Uprising Overwatch League Team

Team Name: Boston Uprising
City: Boston, Massachusetts
Number of Players Announced: Ten
Owner: Kraft Group

  • Nam-Joo “STRIKER” Kwon
  • Woo-yeol “Kalios” Shin
  • Yeong-jin “Gamsu” Noh
  • Stanislav “Mistakes” Danilov
  • Mikias “Snow” Yohannes
  • Jonathan “DreamKazper” Sanchez
  • Lucas “NotE” Meissner.

Background: The Kraft Group, founded by American businessman Robert Kraft, is the owner of multiple sports franchises. Among others, it owns MLS team New England Revolution and NFL powerhouse New England Patriots, both based in the Boston metropolitan area. In October 2017 Robert Kraft announced that he is “still intrigued” by the prospect of buying an English Premier League club. Boston Uprising is his first esports-related business move and the fact the OWL is structured as a traditional sports league (with city-based franchises, buy-in fees and a set salary cap) is a major reason for his decision to invest.


Florida Mayhem Overwatch League

Team Name: Florida Mayhem
Cities: Miami and Orlando, Florida
Number of Players Announced: Six
Owner: Misfits

  • Johan “CWoosH” Klingestedt — main tank
  • Tim “Manneten” Bylund — flex tank
  • Kevin “TviQ” Lindström — DPS
  • Andreas “Logix” Berghmans — hitscan
  • Sebastian “Zebbosai” Olsson — support
  • Aleksi “Zuppehw” Kuntsi — flex support
  • Vytis “Mineral” Lasaitis — head coach


Background: With the London spot being taken by a Californian company, British-based Misfits announced they would locate their team in Florida, based in both Orlando and Miami. They are no strangers to the East Coast, since NBA’s Miami Heat heavily invested in them last January.

Misfits run divisions in multiple esports, such as League of Legends (with a team in the EU LCS), Counter-StrikeHearthstone and Super Smash Bros.


Houston Outlaws Overwatch League Team

Team Name: Houston Outlaws
City: Houston, Texas
Number of Players Announced: Ten
Owner: OpTic Gaming

  • Austin “Muma” Wilmot
  • Matt “Coolmatt” Lorio
  • Shane “Rawkus” Flaherty
  • Lucas “Mendokusaii” Hakansson
  • Jiri “LiNkzr” Masalin
  • Daniel “Bonik” Pence
  • Chris “bani” Bennell
  • Jacob “JAKE” Lyon
  • Matt “Clockwork” Dias
  • Alexandre “SPREE” Vanhomwegen

Background: OpTic Gaming got the slot for the Houston team, creating a Texas rivalry. What is impressive is that OpTic as an organisation was recently relocated from Chicago, Illinois – not to Houston but to Dallas, home of their new OWL local rivals Dallas Fuel. Optic’s relocation was reportedly a requirement by the team’s latest investor Neil Leibman, CEO of Summer Energy and another co-owner of MLB’s Texas Rangers (though this investment has not yet been confirmed).

OpTic, owned by Hector Rodriguez, are reigning Call of Duty World Champions, and have teams also competing in Halo, CS:GO, Gears of War, and Dota 2. They were also named Best Esports Team of the Year at the 2015 Game Awards. Despite the fact that they didn’t have an existing League of Legends team, they have reportedly landed a slot for the 2018 NA LCS, over their rivals, Team EnVyUs, and various other teams that competed in the league in the past.


London Spitfire Overwatch League Team

Team Name: London Spitfire
City: London, United Kingdom
Number of Players Announced: Twelve
Owner: Cloud9

  • Chan-hyung “Fissure” Baek
  • Jae-hee “Gesture” Hong
  • Ji-hyuk “birdring” Kim
  • Dong-jun “Rascal” Kim
  • Joon-Yeong “Profit” Park
  • Dong-eun “Hooreg” Lee
  • Jong-seok “NUS” Kim
  • Choi-tae “Bdosin” Seung
  • Hyeon-woo “HaGoPeun” Jo
  • Won-Sik “Closer” Jung
  • Seung-Hyun “WOOHYAL” Sung
  • Jun-ho “Fury” Kim

Background: Cloud9 is no stranger to the esports scene. The organization has teams in numerous esports, including CS:GODota 2, and Rocket League. Like OpTic, it’s one of only two organisations to acquire a slot in the OWL and NA LCS (though the latter has not been confirmed by Riot Games).

Despite the fact that C9 is actually based in Los Angeles, California, the new OverwatchLeague team is based in London, and will be the only team to represent Europe in the inaugural season. More curiously, the organisation recently announced the acquisition of KongDoo Panthera, a Korean Overwatch squad, with Cloud9 co-founder and CEO Jack Etienne confirming that this would be the team playing for London Spitfire. On November 4, the team officially confirmed an all-Korean, twelve man roster for season one, featuring players from KongDoo Panthera, GC Busan, Team Liquid, and Meta Athena.


New York Execlsior Overwatch League Team
Team Name: New York Excelsior
City: New York City, New York
Number of Players Announced: Eight
Owner: Sterling.VC

  • Park ‘Saebyeolbe’ Jong Yeol
  • Kim ‘Libero’ Hye Sung
  • Hong ‘ArK’ Yeon Joon
  • Bang ‘JJoNak’ Sung-Hyeon
  • Kim ‘Pine’ Do Hyeon

Background: Sterling Venture Capitals and Sterling Equities, owned by Fred and Jeff Wilpon, are behind New York Excelsior. The family’s business activities mainly revolve around real estate development, especially in the Northeast United States.

Fred Wilpon is a majority owner of the New York Mets, while his son Jeff serves as the franchise’s COO. Not long after it was confirmed as an OWL slot owner, Sterling Equities acquired the Korean Overwatch team LW Blue.


Philadelphia Fusion Overwatch League Team

Team Name: Philadelphia Fusion
City: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Number of Players Announced: Twelve
Owner: Comcast Spectacor

  • Lee “Carpe” Jae-hyeok (DPS)
  • George “ShaDowBurn” Gushcha (DPS)
  • Simon “Snillo” Ekström (DPS)
  • Josh “Eqo” Corona (DPS)
  • Gael “Poko” Gouzerch (Flex)
  • Choi “HOTBA” Hong-joon (Flex)
  • Joona “Fragi” Laine (Tank)
  • Kim “Sado” Sumin (Tank)
  • Joe “Joemeister” Gramano (Support)
  • Isaac “Boombox” Charles (Support)
  • Alberto “neptuNo” González (Support)
  • Park “Dayfly” Jeong-hwan (Support)
  • Yann “Kirby” Luu (Head Coach/General Manager)
  • Elliott “Hayes” Hayes (Assistant Coach)
  • Se-hwi “NamedHwi” Go (Assistant Coach)
  • Ethan “Beezy” Spector (Analyst)

Background: Philadelphia-based Comcast Spectacor is part of Comcast Group, the world’s largest broadcasting company by revenue (owning among others NBC, Universal Pictures, USA Network, and CNBC).

Comcast Spectacor owns the Philadelphia Flyers of the NHL, while it formerly owned the Philadelphia 76ers. The Overwatch League is the first time the company will operate in the esports industry.


Pacific Division

Dallas Fuel Overwatch League Team

Team Name: Dallas Fuel
City: Dallas, Texas
Number of Players Announced: Nine
Owner: Team EnVyUs

  • Timo “Taimou” Kettunen
  • Jonathon “HarryHook” Tejedor Rua
  • Sebastien “Chipshajen” Widlund
  • Christian “Cocco” Jonsson
  • Hwang “Effect” Hyeon
  • Pongphop “Mickie” Rattanasangchod
  • Brandon “Seagull” Larned
  • Scott “Custa” Kennedy
  •  Félix “xQc” Lengyel

Background: Team EnVyUs is one of the oldest esports team organizations. The org is managed by Mike Rufail, who is actually listed as the Dallas Fuel owner by Blizzard, they have teams competing in Call of DutyCS: GOHaloPaladinsRocket LeagueStreet Fighter, and League of Legends. Regarding the latter, the team have been reportedly denied a slot for the 2018 North American LCS. The very fact that the team relocated from North Carolina to Texas to found an Overwatch team seems to have been a deciding factor.

Team EnVyUs received a $35 million investment from the (also Dallas-based) Hersh Interactive Group last August. The Hersh family are minority owners in the Texas Rangers MLB franchise, and were also part of esport organisation Fnatic’s recent $7 million funding round.


Los Angeles Gladiators Overwatch League

Team Name: Los Angeles Gladiators
City: Los Angeles, California
Number of Players Announced: Seven
Owner: Kroenke Sports & Entertainment

  • Surefour (Lane Roberts) DPS
  • Asher (Choi Joon-Seong) DPS
  • Hydration (Joao Pedro Goes Telles) DPS
  • iRemiix (Luis Galarza Figueroa) Tank
  • Bischu (Aaron Kim) Tank
  • Shaz (Jonas Suovaara) Support
  • BigG00se (Benjamin Isohanni) Support

Background: Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, owned by Stan kroenke and his son Josh, is the parent company for a number of different sports holdings.

Stan Kroenke is a major shareholder of four Denver-based teams (Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, Colorado Rapids, Colorado Mammoth), California-based Los Angeles Rams (the Kroenke family relocated the franchise from St. Louis this past summer) and London-based Arsenal FC. The Kroenke’s also own two stadiums (plus one under construction), four TV channels, and nineteen magazines.


Los Angeles Valiant Overwatch League Team

Team Name: Los Angeles Valiant
City: Los Angeles, California
Number of Players Announced: Eleven
Owner: Immortals

  • Brady “Agilities” Girardi (DPS)
  • Christopher “GrimReality” Schaefer (DPS)
  • Ted “silkthread” Wang (DPS)
  • Terence “SoOn” Tarlier (DPS)
  • Indy “SPACE” Halpern (Flex)
  • Lee “envy” Kang-jae (이강재) (Flex)
  • Koo “Fate” Pan-seung (구판승) (Tank)
  • Seb “numlocked” Barton (Tank)
  • Park “KariV” Young-seo (박영서) (Support)
  • Benjamin “uNKOE” Chevasson (Support)
  • Stefano “Verbo” Disalvo (Support)



Background: Immortals is a rather new esports organization, but one with large investor backing. Formed in October 2015 and led by CEO Noah Whinston, they have been playing in the NA LCS, but they were shockingly declined entry for the 2018 season, despite having qualified to the World Championship in 2017. Immortals also field teams in Counter Strike: Global OffensiveSuper Smash BrosVainglory and more recently, Dota 2.

Immortals has one of the most impressive ownership groups within esports. The team’s chairman Clinton Foy is managing director of Crosscut Ventures, while its other investors include Lionsgate president of interactive ventures & games Peter Levin, co-founder of Oaktree Capital and co-owner of the Memphis Grizzlies Steve Kaplan, and Third Wave entrepreneur and Machinima.com chairman Allen DeBevoise.

The most recent investor, Anschutz Entertainment Group, has stakes in various sports franchises within their home city, including NBA team L.A. Lakers, NFL team Los Angeles Kings, and soccer team L.A. Galaxy. It also owns live entertainment venues across the world – including the L.A. Live Arena, which may well become Valiant’s home turf in future OWL seasons.


San Francisco Shock Overwatch League Team

Team Name: San Francisco Shock
City: San Francisco, California
Number of Players Announced: Nine
Owner: NRG Esports

  • Jay “sinatraa” Won
  • Matthew “super” DeLisi
  • André “iddqd” Dahlström
  • Daniel “dhaK” Paz
  • Dante “Danteh” Cruz
  • Andrej “babybay” Francisty
  • Nikola “sleepy” Andrews
  • David “nomy” Ramirez

Background: Founded in December 2015, NRG Esports rostered teams in seven different esports leagues within a single year. Chairman, Andy Miller, a former Vice President for Mobile Advertising at Apple Inc., is the co-owner of the Sacramento Kings, while within its ownership team you can find Shaquille O’Neal, who years after his retirement holds one of the most powerful brand names in the NBA.

NRG Esports is also reportedly close to finishing a $15 million funding round, with some of the investors including celebrities Jennifer Lopez and NFL stars Marshawn Lynch and Michael Strahan.


Seoul Dynasty Overwatch League Team

Team Name: Seoul Dynasty
City: Seoul, South Korea
Number of Players Announced: Eleven
Owner: KSV Esports

  • Gido Gi-do Moon DPS/Flex
  • South Korea zunba Joon-hyuk Kim Flex
  • South Korea Miro Jin-hyuk Gong Tank
  • South Korea ryujehong Je-hong Ryu Support/Flex
  • South Korea tobi Jin-mo Yang Support
  • South Korea Fleta Byung-sun Kim DPS
  • South Korea Munchkin Sang-beom Byeon DP
  • South Korea xepheR Jae-mo Koo Flex
  • South Korea Wekeed Seok-woo Choi DPS
  • South Korea Bunny Joon-hyuk Chae DPS
  • South Korea KuKi Dae-kuk Kim Tank
  • South Korea EscA (Substitute) In-jae Kim DPS

Background: KSV stands for Korea and Silicon Valley, and was founded by Kevin Chou and Kent Wakeford. The company is based both in Korea and Silicon Valley and Seoul Dynasty is its first investment not just in esports, but overall.

Both KSV’s co-founders have a long history in gaming, being two of the most influential people of Kabam. Chou is the co-founder and former CEO, while Wakeford is the former chief operating officer of the Vancouver-headquartered company, one of the largest MMSG developers, with titles such as Marvel: Contest of ChampionsThe Hobbit, and Kingdoms of Camelot.

Shanghai Dragons Overwatch League Team

Team Name: Shanghai Dragons
City: Shanghai, China
Number of Players Announced: Eight
Owner: NetEase

  • Chao “Undead” Fang
  • Weida “Diya” Lu
  • Dongjian “MG” Wu
  • Wenhao “Roshan” Jing
  • Junjie “Xushu” Lin
  • Zhaoyu “Fiveking” Chen
  • Yage “Altering” Cheng
  • Peixuan “Freefeel” Xu

Background: The connection between NetEase and Blizzard is definitely not a new thing. The two have worked together for the best part of a decade, since NetEase is Blizzard’s regional partner for China since 2008 and exclusive official licensee for one of the largest markets in the world. We’ve previously written about whether this constitutes a conflict of interest in the League.

NetEase represents China in the newly founded league, and it is impressive that Shanghai was chosen as the team’s base, since the company is mainly located in Beijing and Guangzhou. As expected, it currently hosts the entirety of Chinese players within the Overwatch League.

 

Everything kicks off Dec. 6 in Blizzard Arena Los Angeles for the Overwatch League preseason exhibition matches. The full season starts Jan. 10 and will run through 2018. Playoffs begin July 11 and continue until July 22. The grand final event will be held July 26 to 28.

About Zaher

ESME Main Editor for everything CS:GO related

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