The third and final Chinese expansion team that has joined the Overwatch League has been announced: the Hangzhou Spark.
The newly-presented franchise is owned by Bilibili, an online entertainment company based in China.
The logo “depicts a spark element shooting from a hand”, which is said to represent speed, power, and the creative spark possessed by bilibili. Pink is the primary colour of the brand, utilising blue and white as secondary colours. As you can see in the skins that have been revealed, the Hangzhou Spark certainly isn’t afraid to deviate from the safer colour palettes chosen by other franchises.
Rui Chen, Chairman and CEO of bilibili discussed the franchise: “Bilibili’s community holds a deep affinity for esports and we are excited to participate in a professional league centered around Blizzard Entertainment’s blockbuster game, Overwatch. The upcoming Overwatch League season is sure to provide hours of thrilling entertainment for our users as we continue to actively expand our content in popular genres. Esports have been among the top videos viewed by our growing number of users, and we look forward to delivering highly competitive and entertaining gameplay for our supporters worldwide.”
We are Hangzhou Spark! ✧*｡٩(ˊᗜˋ*)و✧* pic.twitter.com/yq63oaseQw
— Hangzhou Spark (@Hangzhou_Spark) November 15, 2018
Chen Youyou, President of bilibili Esports Company added: “After two months of preparation, we’re proud to finally introduce the Hangzhou Spark to the world. We’re excited to show off two Overwatch heroes in Spark skins. We hope the fans love pink Reaper and Winston. We’ve staffed the team with world-class players and coaches.
“We’re confident in how the team will perform and we’re excited to see them in action when the 2019 season starts. We also hope fans will continue to create and discover more thrilling content on the bilibili platform, as well as interact with fellow Overwatch gamers in the bilibili community.”
Two new Overwatch League franchises – Atlanta Reign and Toronto Defiant – were unveiled in October. The majority of the remaining teams have been announced in November, including Paris Eternal, Guangzhou Charge, and Chengdu Hunters. Only the Vancouver and Washington franchises are yet to officially present themselves to the world.
The second season of the Overwatch League commences on February 14th, with teams now only playing 28 matches instead of the 40 that were played by each side during the inaugural season.
Esports Insider says: The logo and the colours chosen for the Hangzhou Spark certainly aren’t traditional and don’t necessarily fit in with the other Overwatch League franchises, and that’s a good thing. With 20 teams now set to compete from Season 2 onwards, it’s not a bad thing to stand out from the crowd at all. Totally unrelated, but does anybody fancy a trip to Baskin-Robbins?