World's premier professional esports league expands to the GTA and beyond under ownership of OverActive Media and Splyce Inc.
Chris Overholt, former CEO of the Canadian Olympic Committee named as President and CEO
TORONTO, Sept. 7, 2018 /CNW/ - OverActive Media today announced that they have acquired the rights to a new Overwatch League team in the city of Toronto. The team will play out of Blizzard Arena Los Angeles in Burbank, California during the 2019 season, with home games planned in Toronto soon thereafter.
The Overwatch League is the world's premier esports league and OverActive Media—a partnership between forward thinking Canadian innovators and investors Sheldon Pollack, Co-Founder Adam Adamou, and the Kimel family led by Michael Kimel as the team owner—are planting a flag in Toronto as Canada's capital for the fast growing esports industry. Established esports leader Splyce Inc., also a key partner in the team, will provide the team's competitive edge under the leadership of CEO Marty Strenczewilk. Splyce have an unparalleled pedigree in building, training and managing championship-caliber teams and players.
World class leadership
Demonstrating the commitment to establish themselves on the world stage right out of the gate, OverActive Media have recruited former Canadian Olympic Committee CEO Chris Overholt, to serve as President and CEO.
"We are thrilled to have Chris Overholt join us in the role of President and CEO," said Sheldon Pollack, Chairman of the Board of OverActive Media. "Chris has over 25 years of strategic leadership experience with world-class sports franchises and organizations including the Canadian Olympic Committee, the Miami Dolphins, Florida Panthers, and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment. We don't think anyone is better suited to drive this team forward."
"I could not be more excited to be leading OverActive Media and Toronto's professional Overwatch League team, which already has an incredible and passionate fan base in our country—one that is growing by the day," said Chris Overholt, President and CEO, OverActive Media. "We have a clear vision and mission to build a world-class professional esports company based in Toronto that will excite and inspire a new generation of fans in our market, across Canada, and around the globe."
"We are honoured to have been awarded this team by the team at Activision Blizzard and the Overwatch League who have all been incredibly supportive throughout this process," added Overholt. "These are exciting times for the Overwatch League and esports globally. Toronto now has a front row seat to watch it unfold and a team to rally behind. The future of sports and entertainment in Canada has arrived in Toronto and we will be ready with our fans to take on the world."
A new team and a new partnership with a competitive edge
Entering the esports arena for the first time, OverActive Media are ensuring a competitive edge against the best in the world for Toronto players out of the gate through their partnership with renowned esports organization Splyce Inc.
Founded in 2015, Splyce is home to top level teams across multiple esports titles around the globe. With championships across five titles in 2017, Splyce has firmly established itself as one of the most winning organizations in the industry. Splyce will be responsible for the team's competitive activities including coaching, scouting, and management.
"The Overwatch League has absolutely shattered my expectations," said Marty Strenczewilk, CEO of Splyce Inc.
"It's an incredibly competitive sport globally, but we are confident that with the backing of OverActive Media, the Toronto team has everything we need to not just be competitive, but to quickly establish ourselves as a league leader."
Potential in Canada
According to a recent Goldman Sachs report, esports are on track to reach nearly 300 million viewers globally by 2022, which would put viewership on par with the NFL, with an estimated revenue potential of $3 billion.1
With a home region that extends from London to Kingston, ON and including Hamilton, Niagara Falls along with the U.S. districts surrounding Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse, NY, the new team has an incredible depth of fan base and support to draw upon.
Additional announcements regarding team branding, rosters, and facilities will follow in the weeks ahead, leading into the start of the Overwatch League season in early 2019. Fans of the new Toronto club and the Overwatch League can get engaged in the exciting journey from the start using the hashtag #TorontoOWL and by following @TorontoOWL.
ABOUT OVERACTIVE MEDIA
OverActive Media is Toronto's professional Esports Ownership Group and began operations in November 2017 with a mandate to build an integrated company delivering esports and video game entertainment to the Canadian market. The company combines team ownership with audience engagement to better connect with current fans and to introduce the exciting world of esports competition to new fans in Toronto, Canada and around the world.
eSports: From Wild West to Mainstream, Goldman Sachs, Equity Research, 26 June, 2018
SOURCE OverActive Media
For further information: MEDIA CONTACT: Ray McIlroy, Golin, [email protected], 647.680.8316