Code Red Esports MD and well-known esports host Paul "ReDeYe" Chaloner shares some exclusive comments on the latest London Spitfire Overwatch news and his plans for the team going forward, in this guest piece.
Paul responds to some of the criticism surrounding Spitfire's lack of a UK presence and players (so far) and how that's going to change in the future.
It's true, we have South Koreans in our team! This isn't a slight on British players, we just went out and got the best damn Overwatch players we could find, regardless of nationality.
That's just how any successful team does it. Look at the Premier League, while it's sad we don't have more English players in the English Premier League, we certainly love watching the incredible talent from around the world play the beautiful game.
Chelsea don't actively push out English players, in fact they encourage them, but they also want to win trophies and that means having the best players regardless of their nationality. London Spitfire is no different, it's a highly competitive team of people from the social media team to the directors, we want to win and we want to win for the city and the country!
And on that note, while we don't want to get too carried away, our scrims with the other teams have been going brilliantly!
"We don't just want a team house here, but somewhere fans can go and hang out together, watch live streams of the OWL, get exclusive access to watch some of our scrims, meet the players, get merchandise, have somewhere they can play and compete on a local level and be a center of excellence for esports in London."
So while we understand it's naturally disappointing we don't have any British players for a British organisation out of London, first and foremost we want to win and we believe our fans will want us to win. We want to challenge for that title in the first year and this is the best way to do it.
That said, we do have some amazing plans to help find British stars in Overwatch and while we are still working on the delivery for that in 2018, you can be sure we have some exciting tournaments and competitions planned to unearth the next Harry Kane of Overwatch.
As soon as we are ready to announce you'll find something that the British public can get behind on a local level.
We've requested an EU contenders slot from OWL and are confident we'll receive one. We're also in active conversations with a great roster for that team and want to ensure the team are EU based. The contenders team will also offer us the chance to promote top UK talent to the team over time.
We are also planning to house the players, staff and contenders team in a physical space within London. This takes time however and we want to do it right, so it won't happen for a while, but in the meantime we are looking to work with some partners in London to find a temporary base.
We've already had some exciting discussions with a wide range of potential partners from Premier League football clubs to redevelopment areas in London.
We don't just want a team house here, but somewhere fans can go and hang out together, watch live streams of the OWL, get exclusive access to watch some of our scrims, meet the players, get merchandise, hang out with friends at a great esports venue, stream their own gaming, have somewhere they can play and compete on a local level and be a center of excellence for esports in London.
It's an ambitious plan, but one I think will not only help London Spitfire but the local esports scene in London and the UK scene as a whole.
"While we understand it's naturally disappointing we don't have any British players for a British organisation out of London, first and foremost we want to win and we believe our fans will want us to win."
We'll also be looking at creating youth leagues and weekend leagues so anyone of any skill can join in and play in an organised league within the UK.
We collectively want London Spitfire to help nurture talent in the UK, to be a hub for great things in the esports world and be somewhere we can all be proud to call home for the team.
I know it's been a bit slow in the announcement department so far and things haven't been easy to arrange in the time we've had, and while we totally understand the skepticism attached to a mainly US based company with Korean players taking a franchise in London, we firmly believe we have plans that will help the UK esports scene grow while at the same time bringing some success to a British based team on the world stage.
We complain a lot in UK esports that we never win anything. Well now we have the opportunity to do so and regardless of the nationality of the players, the team is a British one. No different to Manchester United or Chelsea winning the European Champions League or the English Premier League.
With both Code Red and a soon to be announced top content producer working behind the scenes on the project, you can be assured that we have a very British view on this!