LOS ANGELES - Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, owners of the LA Rams, Denver Nuggets, and Colorado Avalanche, have announced the final brand for Blizzards Overwatch League -- the Los Angeles Gladiators. The Gladiators join the Valiant as the two LA OWL representitives.
The team will adorn itself with purple and white kits, drawing inspiration from the dress of Roman emperors. The logo will feature a lion on a shield, and a stylized "GLAdiators," with a capital "L" and "A" highlighted inside.
"Gladiators were the original superstars of sports and entertainment. Their fierce competitiveness and willingness to make the ultimate sacrifice captured the hearts of millions of people of all backgrounds for centuries," Josh Kroenke, CO-founder of KSE Esports said in a press release.
The Kroenke group has partnered with esports team Phoenix1 to help manage and lead the Gladiators, while the Los Angeles Valiant will be run by esports organisation Immortals. Having two teams representing the same city is not unheard of in sports, though. The NBA's Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers are a prime example, and more recently, the LA Rams and Chargers of the NFL. Moore feels that there's a likelihood that both Gladiators and Valiant will have a geographic separation.
"I think certainly, how big of a market Los Angeles is, how many players there are, certainly it will be the hub of esports in the United States," Rob Moore, majority owner of Phoenix1 said.
"By 2020," he continuted, "the Kroenke's will be opening up their new facility in Inglewood. And so, certainly the Gladiators there will probably be based more towards the west side of town."
Considering that Valiant has partnered with sports and live entertainment company AEG, it will likely be that the team will be based closer to the Staples Center in downtown LA.
The team's Twitter handle will be stylized as @LAGladiators, with the word "lag" unintentionally following the at symbol.
"We did have that conversation but ultimately came to the fact that it was kind of a goof and not particularly negative," Moore said. "When somebody plays bad, it, like, naturally lends itself for someone to say 'oh yeah, you can blame it on the lag.' It seemed it could be some amount of fun that people could have with us."
The final twelve teams of the Overwatch League are as follows:
Los Angeles Gladiators
New York Excelsior
Los Angeles Valiant
San Francisco Shock
The preseason of the Overwatch League will begin on Dec. 6 with a series of exhibition matches from teams based in the US, China, the UK, and South Korea. The regular season will begin on Jan. 10, 2018 at the Blizzard Arena in Los Angeles in Burbank, California.