First-Ever Major Global City-Based eSports League Will Play Inaugural Season’s Games in Los Angeles Starting in January
Sports businessmen E. Stanley and Josh Kroenke announced the name of their Blizzard Entertainment Overwatch League franchise: the LA Gladiators. The connected letters LA are a focus of the stylized team name, and the roaring-lion logo is etched into a well-worn shield. The team will wear purple and white jerseys, following the dress of the Roman emperors to whom gladiators dedicated their battles.
“Gladiators were the original superstars of sports and entertainment. Their fierce competitiveness and willingness to make the ultimate sacrifice captured the hearts of millions of people of all backgrounds for centuries. Those epic battles became the foundation for modern-day sports. Their impact still resonates on the silver screen, with scores of films chronicling the rise of the gladiators and their importance to societies of yesteryear,” said Josh Kroenke, CO-founder of KSE Esports and President of the NBA’s Denver Nuggets and the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche. “It’s with that spirit in mind that we chose LA Gladiators as the name for Los Angeles’ newest professional team.”
This is the second major move to Los Angeles in two years for the Kroenkes. Dan Kroenke is the owner of the Los Angeles Rams and is currently building a state-of-the-art sports and entertainment stadium district that will be home to the Rams and Los Angeles Chargers, and is scheduled to open in 2020. The district will be the home of the LA Gladiators, and will also play host to future sporting events.
KSE Esports was co-founded in August 2017 by Stan and Josh Kroenke to invest in the rapidly growing area of esports. “Los Angeles is not only the sports and entertainment capital of the world, but it’s also becoming one of the great tech corridors,” said Josh Kroenke. “That’s why we think this is the perfect city to launch our esports business and the LA Gladiators. The growing global popularity of Overwatch and the unparalleled history of Blizzard will allow us to connect with gamers throughout the world. We look forward to the upcoming season and introducing new fans to the esports phenomenon.”
The gladiators showed bravery and honor against the toughest of challenges, earning not only their freedom, but the respect of an entire civilization. As your new Overwatch League team, the LA Gladiators are here to be the ultimate competitor, just like all great LA sports franchises. Shields up, Gladiators!
The Gladiators will be one of two Overwatch League teams based in Los Angeles and will begin preseason play on Dec. 6, with a series of exhibition matches featuring 12 global franchises, which include teams based in the U.S., China, the United Kingdom, and South Korea. The regular season begins on Jan. 10, 2018 at the Blizzard Arena Los Angeles in Burbank, Calif. The season will run through June, with playoffs and finals scheduled for July. Built from the ground-up for online and team competition, Overwatch has reached more than 35 million players since its launch in May 2016.
LA Gladiators roster and coaching announcements are coming soon. Follow the LA Gladiators on Twitter (@LAGladiators) and Facebook (@LAGladiators) to keep up with the team’s latest news and updates. For more information on the Overwatch League, visit www.overwatchleague.com.
About the Los Angeles Gladiators
The Los Angeles Gladiators are one of twelve franchises in the inaugural season of the Overwatch League. They are owned by Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, one of the world’s leading ownership, entertainment and management groups. As owners and operators of Pepsi Center, Paramount Theatre, Arsenal F.C. (Premier League), Los Angeles Rams (NFL), Denver Nuggets (NBA), Colorado Avalanche (NHL), Colorado Rapids (MLS) and Colorado Mammoth (NLL), KSE’s sports and entertainment assets are second to none.