After the announcement and rumours of Blizzard’s focus on regional franchises over the past few weeks has left a somewhat sour taste in the mouths of many, it’s something we cannot ignore as bigger franchises, for whatever reason, decide to get involved with esports. The non-endemic interest is something brands like Blizzard, Valve, and others have welcomed as it brings with it new audiences and new markets for their products. The latest in a new trend of expansion is a partnership between TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeless and Hammers Esports to create the Hollywood Hammers, as announced yesterday evening.
The premise of the Hollywood Hammers is to create and drive fandom within a region in North America, as per a comment by TCL Chinese Theatre CEO Robert K. Laity:
“We are bringing to Los Angeles an exceptional esports franchise to become our local team,”he said in the press release. “The esports world deserves a local fan base in addition to a global following in much the same way that other sports like basketball, football, and baseball have strong and close affiliations with fans in major cities across the US. Los Angeles now has its newest team to follow and support.”
Hammers Esports was founded in 2015 but has flown under the radar with somewhat unconventional representation in Clash Royale and Vainglory, both mobile games. Hammers Esports did however field an Overwatch team and plans to create a fixed venue in Los Angeles as their home, something which doesn’t currently exist despite a number of major tournaments heading to the west coast for events. This is made easier with the TCL Chinese Theatre which has the capacity and venues to cater for esports events, but there might be something more to this. We’re looking at a company talking franchising. They’re also talking regional fans and a fixed-venue, and they have an Overwatch team. Could the Hollywood Hammers be the team bidding for a spot in the Overwatch League to represent LA? Maybe…
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Last Updated: May 17, 2017