XP League opens franchise in Central Florida

XP League eneters Central Florida
Image credit: Shutterstock

North American scholastic esports franchise XP League has announced its entry into Central Florida.

As a result, XP League has launched a separate venture called Greater Orlando XP League, alongside its new Greater Orlando BOOM franchise.

XP League hosts a range of competitions in titles such as Rocket League, Minecraft and Fortnite for children. These competitions are normally delivered in the form of eight-week programmes that are led by coaches. XP League highlighted in a release that the competitions help foster social skills and sportsmanship.

Greater Orlando XP League will be owned by industry veteran and Florida native Sari Kitelyn, who has worked at entertainment-focused Full Sail University for 16 years. Kitelyn also serves on the Board of Directors for the National Association of College Esports, in addition to founding Esports & Coffee—an online community that supports marginalised voices in esports

Fellow Full Sail University staple, Jacob Kaplan, is the division’s Co-owner. He will leverage his experience helping construct brands for local businesses and forging relationships with esports companies to improve XP League in the southern state.

Greater Orlando BOOM will commence recruiting for its first competitive season, scheduled to kick off in May. At first, the franchise will be a mobile operation with the company currently exploring locations for a brick-and-mortar headquarters.

For Greater Orlando BOOM, Full Sail University alumnus Nacip ‘Phoenix’ Fayad Martinez has been named League Commissioner. A former professional player himself, Fayad Martinez will add his gameplay knowledge and leadership experience.

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The scholastic esports sector has ballooned in recent years, with XP League rivals Vanta esports recently exiting an over-subscribed seed funding round, and industry titans raising over $107m (~£89m) to date for high school-focused esports programme.

Kitelyn commented on the franchise’s entry into Central Florida in a press release: “I’ve spent the last decade working alongside community leaders in Central Florida to help establish Orlando as an epicentre for the growing esports industry.

“XP League provides that key opportunity to prepare Central Florida’s youth for the world of competitive gaming. As the mom of a nine-year-old gamer, I see first-hand the value that organized competition can provide.

Founded in 2020, XP League was acquired by North American franchise growth accelerator Unleashed Brands last year.

Patrick Walker
Patrick is a freelance writer for ESI based in London, reporting on esports marketing and partnerships trends. He's currently playing VALORANT and Overwatch but always looking for the next big thing in competitive gaming.