The Los Angeles Valiant and the San Francisco Shock have announced the formation of the California Cup, a home-and-home series that begins on October 20th.
The first event of it’s kind for OWL teams, the two California programs will play two matches, one at Esports Arena Santa Ana on October 20th and the other at Esports Arena Oakland on November 10th.
Even though this event is separate from the OWL, it provides fans a window into what the OWL hopes to eventually accomplish with its city-based franchise model.
The goal for Blizzard and the OWL has been to have teams playing in their home cities by the year 2020 and this event feels like a step in the right direction.
“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 press release. “This is the first time an OWL team is announcing a home market match outside of LA. What better way to kick this off than an incredible rivalry match between the Valiant and Shock.”
The other benefit of having franchises tied to cities is tapping into the long-held rivalries from traditional sports.
The California Cup is playing into that rivalry by creating an actual trophy that will go to the current champion, whether they play in the California Cup or an actual OWL match.
“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 press release. “We are excited to partner with the Shock in establishing a new tradition in esports.”