When the global Overwatch League has its off season, a regional esports rivalry for Blizzard’s Overwatch video game will take over. The Overwatch League’s California teams are creating the California Cup, which will pit Northern California Overwatch teams against Southern California teams.
The competition pits the Los Angeles Valiant against the San Francisco Shock, two inaugural teams in Blizzard’s popular Overwatch League. The official home-and-home Overwatch League offseason event begins on October 20 at Esports Arena Santa Ana and ends on November 10 at Esports Arena Oakland.
Both locations will feature meet-and-greet events with the new-look Shock and Valiant rosters, amateur and collegiate Overwatch tournaments, exclusive merchandise, free-to-play computers and more. Each event will culminate in a match between the Valiant and Shock to determine the guardian of the California Cup.
“We love the concept of finally bringing our matches to our home market in the Bay Area,” said Brett Lautenbach, president of NRG Esports and the San Francisco Shock, in a statement. “This is the first time an Overwatch League team is announcing a home market match outside of Los Angeles. What better way to kick this off than an incredible rivalry match between the Valiant and Shock.”
The victor will take control of the California Cup until the next event.
“No matter the competition, the rivalry between Southern California and Northern California is one that is full of passion for the fans and the teams involved,” said Noah Whinston, CEO of Immortals and LA Valiant, in a statement. “We are excited to partner with the Shock in establishing a new tradition in esports.”
Starting 10 a.m. Pacific on September 22, three ticket packages will be available for purchase: General ($25): Admission to Southern California or Northern California event; VIP ($50) admission to Southern California or Northern California event plus VIP swag bag, access to on-site VIP experience, and commemorative inaugural California Cup item; and PCH Package ($75): admission to Southern California and Northern California event plus VIP swag bag, access to on-site VIP experience, and commemorative inaugural California Cup item.
The Los Angeles Valiant are one of two Los Angeles-based franchises in Activision Blizzard’s Overwatch League, which began play in January as the first esports league to feature local market affiliations for its teams.
The Valiant’s owners are Immortals, a global esports organization based in Los Angeles. Founded in 2015, Immortals has raised strategic investment from AEG, Lionsgate, Meg Whitman, the Milken Family, and Steve Kaplan.
The San Francisco Shock is also one of the 12 esports franchises competing in the Overwatch League’s inaugural season. It is owned by NRG esports, a San Francisco-based esports organization competing in eight professional video game leagues. NRG was founded in 2015 by Andy Miller and Mark Mastrov, co-owners of the Sacramento Kings.