While waiting for all the Overwatch League teams to make their own arenas to play home matches according to the schedule, all the games are played at the Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California.
The entire Season 1 was played on the West Coast, except for the finals played at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The wait for the first “trip” in the history of the Overwatch League was so great that in the weekend from 26th to 28th April was a guest of the Allen Event Center in Dallas.
The sell- out has seen the almost immediate sale of 4,500 tickets for each of the three competition days. A sign that the demand for live events of the Blizzard title is more than sought after by numerous fans. Yet even when watching the event from home, comfortably in streaming, it seemed to live a different atmosphere from the usual.
The direction was essentially the same as what is followed weekly in Los Angeles, as well as the contents, but the experience offered by the Dallas public gave the event an extra gear that contributed to its success. On the other hand, for Texan fans, it is not an occasion that happens every week to watch their heroes play live.
Without forgetting that the Fuel, home team, and the rivals of the Houston Outlaws, are some of the most appreciated and followed formations of the competition. Complicated, however, cover the 1,445 miles that separate Burbank from Dallas every weekend to support their favorite teams. Here then is the idea of Blizzard to program a sort of ” Overwatch League on tour ” meets the general approval of the supporters who have loudly supported the Dallas and Houston, representatives.
77% of the tickets, according to the press release issued by Blizzard, were purchased by Texans at a price ranging from $ 35 to $ 145. Also due to the ability of the Allen Event Center, ten times the Blizzard Arena, it was a great leap and a great test not only for the organizers but also for the players, usually used to playing in front of just under 500 spectators.
” Thanks to the passion of our fans we made history at the Dallas Fuel Homestand Weekend. We have shown the world that exports are one of the fastest growing sports competitions in terms of fans and entertainment. ”- Mike Rufail, CEO and owner of EnVy Gaming, among the Dallas Fuel investors. However, some problems were not missed.
Among all a blackout that stopped the competition for about 40 minutes: a loss of power caused by a car accident outside the arena. Impossible to blame the League or Allen Event Center for such a situation, also understood by the spectators on Twitch who have not substantially recorded any significant loss. Despite the more compact format, with the matches condensed all in two days instead of three as normally happens, the average number of spectators stood at 107,000 on Saturday and 120,000 on Sunday.
An increase also deriving from the challenge between the two home teams: Houston Outlaws and Dallas Fuel that clashed in what was renamed as the Battle for Texas. Blizzard seems to have seen right on the initial intuition of geolocating the teams participating in the league, as happens in other traditional American sports.
Associating each team with a city seems to bear fruit in terms of cheering and passion to be poured into “home” events. The personal areas of each team, scheduled for 2020, will further amplify this concept bringing it to the maximum emotional extension.