This week in esports: OWL takes shape and Lyon partner with EDG

03 November 2017


This week Esports Insider has become Overwatch League Insider as the league has, quite frankly, dominated the news. Blizzard and the franchises have gradually revealed the brands for each and every city over the last weeks in dribs and drabs. Each and every brand has had its fair share of community criticism, with some dividing opinion more than other. The League has also revealed its first partners with “multiyear” deals with HP and Intel. Away from Overwatch and Olympique Lyonnais has partnered with Chinese esports organisation EDward Gaming as it continues its Chinese expansion. 

The OWL takes shape

After what seems an eternity, Blizzard’s Overwatch League is starting to take shape. There’s been a flurry of announcements this week as the branding has been released for the twelve franchises. 

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

Each and every brand has had its critics, but we’ll specifically focus on the London OWL franchise as it’s where ESI calls home. A clear ode to Great Britain in WW2, the Spitfire was the name of the plane used by the RAF and, most famously, in the Battle of Britain, the press release noted ‘it is this spirit of bravery under fire that imbues the team’s identity’.

Back in August Cloud9 took to Twitter to ask for help in naming their London franchise, and Twitter, as expected, delivered some crackers. Suggestions included; Cloud9 McLondonface, London Cavalry, London Cloud Knights and plenty more. London Spitfires was thrown out by a fair amount of users, though the organisation has opted to drop the final s. 

Read the full article here.

HP and Intel become first partners of the OWL 

With the Overwatch League set to begin very shortly after what feels like an age, Intel and HP have been revealed as the first sponsors of Blizzard’s new league. It was also announced that Intel will sponsor future Overwatch competitive events as well as the OWL. 

The release outlines that all players will be using a combination of Intel & HP gear when competing at the LA Arena for the upcoming season. The PCs will be powered by Intel’s i7 Processors and the gaming PC and displays will be provided by OMEN by HP. 

Pete Vlastelica, President & CEO of MLG stated: “We’re thrilled to be joining forces with HP and Intel to ensure that the teams competing professionally in Overwatch are equipped with top-end technology. Multiyear collaborations such as this illustrate the momentum behind the Overwatch League as well as a long-term commitment by us and our partners in what we see as the future of esports.”

Read the full article here.

Olympique Lyonnais and EDward Gaming partner up for FIFA Online 3

EDward Gaming, a well respected Chinese esports organisation has today announced that it has entered a partnership with French football club Olympique Lyonnais (“Lyon”). The move will see Lyon expand its existing Chinese FIFA Online 3 roster and be named “Lyon EDG E-Sports Club”. 

In March this year Lyon announced their entrance to the Chinese FIFA scene with the signing of four players, becoming the first European club to enter the Chinese FIFA Online 3 market in the process. The move back then was a continuation of Lyon’s Chinese expansion. In December 2016 investment fund IDG Capital took a 20% stake in OL Groupe’s capital holding. The collaboration was part of a joint venture called ‘Beijing Lyon Xingzhi Sports Culture Co., Ltd’ along with Xingzhi Sports, an affiliate of IDG Capital and OL Groupe.

Whilst Lyon previously unveiled four FIFA Online 3 players, EDward Gaming have yet to venture into FIFA. The team is most famous for its League of Legends team, who have won the Chinese regional championship five times and are frequenters of the World Championship stage. The move will see three further players added, bringing the total roster up to seven.

FIFA Online 3 is likely a game that the West are unfamiliar with. It’s the competitive medium of FIFA in the East, with Asian countries all offering a free to play title that one would assume is similar to the Western version. The game is distributed by Tencent in China, the company also behind titles such as League of Legends. 

At the moment it has been outlined that the partnership does not extend beyond FIFA Online 3, but it’s almost a dangerously close move towards the League of Legends scene given the EDG’s status within the League scene. 

Read the full article here.