The D.C.-based expansion franchise in the Overwatch League, the esports venture built around Blizzard Entertainment’s first-person shooter game, on Monday unveiled its team name: the Washington Justice.
“Justice is a universal value and the perfect name for a franchise that we hope will inspire and unite both our Washington area community and fans around the globe,” Mark Ein, who leads the Justice’s ownership group, said in a statement. “There is no region in the world that attracts more people to serve the cause of justice in government, philanthropy, academia, military service, and the private sector than Washington."
The Justice is one of eight expansion franchises that will begin play in the 2019 season, bringing the total number of teams in the league to 20. Overwatch League’s inaugural season, which culminated in a two-day championship event held in front of a near-capacity crowd at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, was a success, with strong viewership numbers on Twitch and a broadcast deal with ESPN. Ein, who also owns the Washington Kastles of World Team Tennis, reportedly paid between $35 million and $60 million for the franchise.
The seven other expansion cities for the global league include Atlanta, Paris, Toronto, Vancouver and the Chinese cities of Chengdu, Guangzhou and Hangzhou. The league held all of its regular season matches at Blizzard Arena in Burbank, Calif., last season, and it plans to follow a similar format when the 2019 season kicks off in February. Teams are expected to disperse to their local markets in 2020.
The names and logos for seven of the eight expansion franchises were leaked on Reddit last month. The Justice’s logo, which was officially unveiled Monday, features a shield branded with red and white stripes. The bottom of the shield forms a subtle 'W," centered around the Washington Monument. According to the team, which will market to fans from Baltimore to Richmond, the single white star is “an ode to the American flag, our capital city, and a symbol of unity.”
“D.C.’s official city motto is ‘Justitia Omnibus,’ which translates to ‘Justice for All,’" Ein said. "As a team representing the broader DMV region, it was important that our team identity reflects a value that unifies all of our community members, representing the full diversity of backgrounds and beliefs.”
The Justice has already announced several members of its coaching staff, including head coach Hyeong-seok “WizardHyeong” Kim and assistant coach Kyoung Ey Molly “AVALLA” Kim, the first female coach in the Overwatch League. The Justice will reveal its full team roster over the coming weeks.
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