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by Neil Davidson The Canadian Press Posted Oc

first_img by Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press Posted Oct 28, 2018 9:22 am PDT Last Updated Oct 28, 2018 at 10:00 am PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email TORONTO – The expansion Toronto Defiant have announced the first two members of their Overwatch esports player roster.Kangjae (Envy) Lee, a 21-year-old from Seoul, will captain the Defiant and fill the Flex (off-tank) position. Se Hyun (Neko) Park, a 20-year-old from Changwon, South Korea, has also signed on in the Flex Support position.The Defiant, one of eight new teams for 2019, will begin play in February.The other expansion franchises are Vancouver, Atlanta, Paris and Washington, D C., and China’s Chengdu, Guangzhou and Hangzhou.Envy was part of the L.A. Valiant team that finished fourth in the inaugural 2018 Overwatch League. Neko was voted onto the Atlantic Division all-star team with the third-place Boston Uprising.“Overwatch,” a team-based first-person shooter, has spawned a blue-chip esports league backed by big names and big money.The 2018 season featured 12 teams: Boston, Florida Mayhem, Houston Outlaws, London Spitfire, New York Excelsior and Philadelphia Fusion in the Atlantic Division and Dallas Fuel, Los Angeles Gladiators, Los Angeles Valiant, San Francisco Shock, Seoul Dynasty and Shanghai Dragons in the Pacific Division.The London Spitfire won the league championship — and US$1 million — in July, defeating Philadelphia 3-0 at a soldout Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Philadelphia collected US$400,000 as runner-up.The league plans to continue staging its games at Blizzard’s esports arena in Burbank, Calif., in 2019 with plans to stage games in the franchise cities in 2020.The Toronto franchise has already started filling its front office while attracting C$21.5 million in equity financing.Jaesun (Jae) Won has been named general manager. Beoumjun (Bishop) Lee, formerly of the London Spitfire, has been appointed head coach with help from assistant coach Yun (Bubbly) Ho Cho, strategic coach Dongwook (Don) Kim and analyst Dennis (Barroi) Matz.The Toronto franchise’s designated marketing area stretches from Kingston to London, Ont., and the Niagara region as well as Buffalo, Syracuse and Rochester south of the border.The Toronto equity financing was led by original investors including tech entrepreneur Sheldon Pollack, venture capitalist Adam Adamou and Michael Kimel, part-owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins and co-founder of the Chase Hospitality Group.The original cost of an Overwatch franchise was pegged at US$20 million in its first year of operation in 2018 with reports suggesting the next round would go for a minimum of US$35 million.The league is the brainchild of Overwatch developer Blizzard Entertainment, whose gaming portfolio also includes “World of Warcraft” and “StarCraft.” Blizzard says Overwatch has more than 40 million players.Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter Toronto Defiant names first two players on its Overwatch esports teamlast_img read more

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