The Overwatch League announced their new apparel partnership with Jeff Staple, the brains behind streetwear brand Staple Pigeon, leaving the community excited for what’s to come next in the merch department.
2019 was a disappointing year for Overwatch League fans in terms of merchandise. After 2018’s collection with Into The AM was deemed too expensive, the league partnered with Fanatics for a cheaper alternative.
However, the Fanatics merch was an even bigger let down, with quality issues making even the most die-hard fan contemplate supporting their team. To help bring back the hype, the league has partnered with streetwear brand Staple Pigeon for their 2020 collection, and fans are already praising the move.
The partnership, which was initially teased on January 15, was made public just 24 hours later. The new jersey styles are simple, featuring a colored stripe across the front with the team name embedded, and the team’s logo on the shoulders.
Player names will be added onto the front of jerseys, just above the team name stripe , according to Jon Spector, OWL’s Senior Product Designer. More details about jersey numbering will be released when pre-orders open on January 28.
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“There were a bit of styling cues from the techwear trend,” Jeff Staple said in an interview with the OWL. “We wanted the pieces to have this very utilitarian feel. It didn’t make sense to do something overly ornate or overly nostalgic.”
— Overwatch League (@overwatchleague) January 16, 2020
With a new style comes a new fit, which was aimed to help players feel comfortable on stage, as well as be flexible for many different body types.
“The styling and fit had to be comfortable,” he said.
“You want to be comfortable, breathable, yet warm where needed. On the fitting side, esports athletes are also unique because in other sports, body types are much more consistent and inline. Esports players come in all shapes, sizes, and genders, so we had to make a kit that could accommodate [that].”
Jerseys aren’t the only thing Staple Pigeon are bringing to the Overwatch League though. The streetwear brand is revamping the 20-team collection of jackets, compression sleeves, hats, and beanies on top of short and long-sleeved jerseys.
The kits have been widely praised by the Overwatch League community after a year of controversy surrounding 2019’s jerseys.
“Anytime there’s merch that I don’t have to think twice about if it’ll look weird to wear in public, I’m immediately in,” said Twitter user ‘BradKillion.’ “This set is looking pretty dope!”
Anytime there's merch that I don't have to think twice about if it'll look weird to wear in public, I'm immediately in. This set is looking pretty dope!
— BradRK (@BradKillion) January 16, 2020
These comments were mirrored across all social media platforms, with fans labelling the new designs as “super clean and stylish” and “actually straight fire.”
The OWL x Staple collection will be released on January 28 for pre-order, with players taking to the stage on February 8 in the new kits.