This weekend, Vancouver’s newest professional sports team will be stepping into the spotlight.
Like the hockey team that owns them, they’ll be donning uniforms of blue, green, and white. But rather than tying on skates and stepping onto the ice, they’ll be doing their work from behind a keyboard and a screen.
The Vancouver Titans, one of the newest expansion teams in the Overwatch League (OWL), make their franchise debut this Saturday, February 16.
The OWL is a professional esports league centred around the Overwatch video game.
The high-tempo, first-person shooter was created by video game developers Blizzard Entertainment in 2016. Matches include teams of six players competing against each other with a variety of unique characters and on a number of different maps.
The Titans will be one of eight new expansion teams to join the OWL and one of two Canadian teams in the league.
The team is mainly composed of former players from RunAway, one of the most sought-after Overwatch teams in the world.
Prior to making the transition to Titans, the group won Overwatch Contenders Season 2: Korea and defeated the Overwatch South Korean World Cup team in an exhibition match.
“Their biggest strength – and advantage over the competition – is their team chemistry,” says OWL analyst, Josh Wilkinson. “It seems unlikely that their players would be anywhere near as effective outside of this roster, but together they seem to be an unstoppable force.”
The team’s first challenge will be seeing how well they can adjust to playing at the OWL-level. They’ll be surrounded by the game’s top talent and looking to make a statement this weekend.
Their inaugural match against the Shanghai Dragons will be the first of 28 games this season. They’ll play two more games this month against the Guangzhou Charge and San Fransisco Shock.
All matches can be watched live on the Overwatch League website.