The London Spitfire will not be flying solo in the inaugural season of Blizzard’s Overwatch League.
It was announced today that Code Red, an esports agency directed by Paul “Redeye” Chaloner, has been tabbed with providing the British esports team with structural and logistical support.
Code Red will act as the front office for the Spitfire, taking on the roles of team management, content creation, player evaluations, and more. However, one of the unofficial but crucial roles Code Red will take on is that of creating a fervor with the people in the United Kingdom, whether they know esports or not.
Chaloner wants to reach out to everyone, not just already established esports fans.
“Part of our job with Code Red is to engage better with the British fan base and we’ve already started to do that,” Chaloner explained. “And we will continue to do that over the course of 2018. We have a number of fun and interesting things that we think will help with that.”
While London has been a host for esports many times over the years that has sold out big venues, this will be the first time that the city will have its own esports franchise. Obviously, Chaloner wants to see the Spitfire succeed as this could be considered an audition to the whole of the UK in terms of what esports is all about.
“We want to win,” Chaloner said. “And to do that we’ve hired the best people and they happen to be South Korean. I don’t think that necessarily detracts from us being a London based organization. When we make some announcements over the coming days about our Contender’s team, content creation team, I think you’ll see that this is very much a British organization.”
While winning the right way is paramount, Chaloner, who has been an advocate for advancing esports in Britain for some time, believes that the partnership between Code Red and Spitfire will have benefits above and being providing services—the growth of grass roots esports.
“One of those things is finding the diamonds,” Chaloner related. “There has to be a young lady or man out there playing D.Va right now and are absolutely insane. Some of the sickest D.Va players in the UK right now have no idea what esports is, no idea what the London Spitfire is and no idea what the Overwatch League is and that’s part of our job. Find those people and give opportunities.”
With the addition of the Spitfire, the UK now has two teams that fans across the world will recognize, the other being Fnatic which feature no British players. Chaloner would like to see this change—quickly.
“I want to see more players get there [esports] and if we can do that by utilizing the resources we have with the London Spitfire then fantastic.”
The London Spitfire is owned by Cloud9 and their CEO Jack Etienne who also fields nine other esports teams, the most popular being their League of Legends and Counter-Strike squads.
“I’ll keep nagging jack until he’s sick of me or fires me until we’ve got British players in the organization. Whether that’s through the Contender’s team, amateurs, or even our content creation team, we want people we can help nurture and grow through the system and get them into the Overwatch League.”