While the 2019 Overwatch League season is still months away, the two California franchises have decided they can’t wait that long to renew rivalries.  Instead, the LA Valiant and San Francisco Shock will face-off once in October and a second time in November to determine the winner of the inaugural Overwatch California Cup.

A concept new to esports, yet more familiar to the traditional sports world, these rivalries (often called derby matches) can create excitement and invigorate regional fan-bases.

And here in Vancouver, we’re no stranger to such a derby.  The Cascadia Cup, a competition driven by the Supporters Groups, is awarded annually to one of three Major League Soccer teams: the Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Seattle Sounds, or Portland Timbers.  Based on the head-to-head results between the three sides, the team at the top of the table is awarded the title.

What excites me most about the Overwatch California Cup is the potential it creates to help establish natural rivalries between different teams.  London and Paris you say?  Any of the four China-based sides could get into it.  And most importantly, the opportunity for Vancouver to kick Toronto around.

We love the concept of finally bringing our matches to our home market in the Bay Area.  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.

Brett Lautenbach, President of NRG Esports and the San Francisco Shock

The first match of the home-and-home Overwatch California Cup series is on October 20 at the Esports Arena Santa Ana, while the second match is on November 10 at the Esports Arena Oakland.

Both locations will feature an intimate meet-and-greet with the new-look Shock and Valiant rosters, amateur and collegiate Overwatch tournaments, exclusive merchandise, free-to-play computers and more.

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.  We are excited to partner with the Shock in establishing a new tradition in esports.

Noah Whinston, CEO of Immortals and LA Valiant

Would you attend an event like this locally?  Or will be you attending one or both dates for this one?  Let me know in the comments!