The Overwatch League is stepping up its fashion game with the help of Jeff Staple, who has designed home and away kits for each of the 20 Overwatch League esports teams for the 2020 season, beginning on Feb. 8.
Staple worked with the players on the design of the uniforms that include short-sleeve and long-sleeve jerseys, a jacket, compression sleeve, hat and beanie. The jerseys feature pin-dot mesh fabric for temperature regulation and side gussets for comfort, as well as team-specific colors and graphic applications that include the Toronto Defiant, Seoul Dynasty, Paris Eternal, New York Excelsior, Los Angeles Gladiators, Atlanta Reign, Hangzhou Spark and 2019 champions San Francisco Shock among others. The jerseys will be available for pre-order, beginning on Jan. 28.
“I have been observing esports for years and am a huge fan of what Overwatch League has been able to accomplish, so when they asked me to design their new kits, I was stoked,” Staple said. “It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring the best of the esports and streetwear worlds together to create something totally unique and ground-breaking. The kits are not only specifically engineered to perform to players’ specifications, but they’re also designed to look great outside the arena.”
“We’re incredibly excited to be working with our friend and streetwear legend Jeff Staple on these team kits,” said Daniel Cherry, chief marketing officer at Activision Blizzard Esports, which created Overwatch. “Our players’ close partnership with Jeff can be seen and felt in the considered design elements included in the apparel. We see our 2020 kits as another gift to our Overwatch League players and fans. We cannot wait to see this gear worn on the streets of each of our Overwatch League team cities this season.”
The Overwatch League and its franchises have growing ties with the fashion industry. The esports league entered a licensing deal with Fanatics in late 2018 for the production of jerseys, fan gear, headwear and hard goods for U.S. and global retail and wholesale channels outside of China and South Korea, and for the establishment of a global e-commerce and mobile shopping platform and retail locations at Overwatch League venues and the Blizzard Arena in Los Angeles. It also signed licensing deals with New Era, Starter, G-III for women’s clothing and Outerstuff for children’s sportswear.
The New York Excelsior separately partnered with Undefeated on jerseys, and its parent organization, Andbox, tapped Public School’s Maxwell Osborne to design its collections that include T-shirts, hoodies and a face mask. In addition, 19-year-old Los Angeles Gladiators player Indy “Space” Halpern and 2019 OWL champion and MVP Jay “Sinatraa” Won of the San Francisco Shock launched lifestyle gaming brand Meta Threads.
The London Spitfire is also known for wearing Gucci and Balenciaga sneakers and team members wore Off-White x Air Jordan sneakers to the inaugural 2018 Grand Finals, where they claimed the title and took home a $1 million purse.
Overwatch was created by Blizzard Entertainment, a division of Activision, and created franchises such as World of Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo to name a few. The Overwatch League is under Activision Blizzard Esports with the Call of Duty World League and StarCraft II esports among others. Overwatch 2, the sequel to Overwatch, was previewed at BlizzCon 2019 in November.