eSports

Kirk Lacob excited by expansion of Golden Guardians, esports at Chase Center

Kirk Lacob excited by expansion of Golden Guardians, esports at Chase Center

The Warriors will have a stronger esports presence moving forward.

The Golden Guardians -- a Golden State esports affiliate founded in 2017 -- announced an expansion Wednesday to compete in three new titles: Apex Legends, Teamfight Tactics and World of Warcraft. The brand also will continue to compete in the League of Legends Championship Series.

In addition to announcing three new titles, the Golden Guardians unveiled a new logo and color scheme for the four teams competing under the brand. 

"We've learned a ton in two years," Kirk Lacob, vice president of GSW Sports Ventures, said on "Warriors Pregame Live" on Wednesday. "A year in esports is like four years in real life. It moves really, really quick. But we've learned a lot about how we can best serve our customers ... We love how quickly you can adapt and change strategies, but also, competitively, we know we need to keep getting better."

Over the next several months, the Golden Guardians hope to continue their expansion with a focus on Rocket League and the Rocket League Championship Series, as well as other titles. The fact that the expansion comes in Chase Center's debut season isn't entirely a coincidence.

"We're hoping that Chase Center is also a physical point, an access point for everybody to get in and be a part of it," Lacob added. "So we expect some esports events to come to Chase Center, to join the basketball, to join the concerts. I can think of no better place to keep going every single day."

For more information about the Golden Guardians, visit goldenguardians.com

San Francisco Shock pay homage to Raiders, add silver and black to kits

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San Francisco Shock

San Francisco Shock pay homage to Raiders, add silver and black to kits

The Raiders are moving to Las Vegas, but the Silver and Black always will have roots in the Bay Area. The San Francisco Shock are making sure that happens, too. 

The Shock, a professional Overwatch esports team, announced Wednesday that they are making a change to their kits for the 2020 season. While orange is the Shock's primary team color, they will be adding silver and black to pay homage to the Raiders and their fierce fans. 

[RELATED: Golden Guardians, esports growth at Chase excites Lacob]

The Shock hope to embrace the Raiders' legacy, and believe their loyal fans can bring the same kind of intense attitude that was seen in the Black Hole. 

The Shock's first home game of the 2020 season will be in the Zellerbach Hall on the UC Berkeley campus on March 28 and 29. Tickets can be purchased right here

Golden Guardians announce expansion to three additional esports titles

Golden Guardians announce expansion to three additional esports titles

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Golden Guardians (GG), an esports affiliate of the Golden State Warriors, on Wednesday announced an expansion to compete in Apex Legends, Teamfight Tactics (TFT) and World of Warcraft (WoW). The brand will also continue to compete in the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS). With this expansion, 10 competitors will begin streaming under the Golden Guardians brand including Rebecca “Becca” Cho, marking the second female esports professional signed by Warriors teams this year.

In addition to announcing three new titles, the Golden Guardians unveiled a new logo and color scheme for the four teams competing under the brand. 

“Our primary goal during this time of expansion of the Golden Guardians brand was to enter three unique and popular titles that will enhance our organizational reach,” said Hunter Leigh, Head of GSW Esports, LLC. “As we take the next step in our road to becoming an elite esports franchise, we are proud to say we now have five teams competing in some of the biggest games in the world.”

Apex Legends is a character-driven, squad-based battle royale shooter game where teams freefall from a dropship and must scavenge for weapons and resources while navigating a shrinking map in order to be the last group standing. Teamfight Tactics is a round-based strategy game created by Riot Games, the maker of League of Legends, that pits players against seven opponents in a free-for-all race to build the most powerful team to become the last person standing. World of Warcraft is a multiplayer online role-playing game where players progress custom avatars through exploration and conquest of the fantasy world of Azeroth and its many challenges, entities and landmarks.

“Expanding our esports portfolio is an integral part of growing the Warriors brand from just a basketball team to a sports and entertainment company,” said Kirk Lacob, Vice President of GSW Sports Ventures. “We are always looking for innovative ways to strengthen the footprint of our organization, and growing the Golden Guardians brand is a major aspect of that growth.” 

The Golden Guardians Apex Legends team includes streamers Timothy “iiTzTimmy” An, Deston “Bronzey” Nguyen and Devon “Pfitter” Self. An is a San Francisco native who joins the Golden Guardians at just 19 years old. Nguyen has numerous top-three tournament placements including first place finishes at the Dlive Tournament 1 and UGS Tournament. Self, a Bay Area native, has been competing in first-person shooter games for over eight years and competed in Twitch Rivals Road to Twitchcon earlier this year. In addition to Apex Legends, the team will also spend time competing in other battle royale games. 

Teamfight Tactics competitors include Andrew “TidesofTime” Biessener, Rebecca “Becca” Cho and Jeffrey “DeliciousMilkGG” Pan, who will stream under the Golden Guardians name in TFT and other autobattler and card games including Legends of Runeterra and Hearthstone. Biessener joins GG with experience as a professional Hearthstone and Dota 2 player, earning multiple tournament wins since he began competing in 2012. Cho made history as the first competitor to become a finalist at the following three Teamfight Tactics tournaments: Twitch Rivals, Teamfight Tactics Rise of the Elements Invitational and the Legends and Littles Charity TFT Tournament at All-Star 2019. Pan is currently ranked No. 1 in competitive TFT and finished Rank 1 in Set 1 earlier this year. 

GG’s World of Warcraft team is comprised of Carlos “Absterge” Correa, Jason “Pikaboo” Smith, Conner “Wizk” Torrence and Vincent “Jellybeans” Tran, a foursome that formerly founded The Move team that placed second at the Arena World Championship 2018. Correa has multiple first-place tournament wins to his name, including MGNwow Tournament and the GCDTV NA Spring Finals. Smith began playing professional WoW in 2014, making multiple top-four Blizzcon appearances since he began competing at the highest level. Torrence, a native of Houston, Texas, has been playing World of Warcraft since 2004 when he was just seven years old. Tran has placed in the top five in seven tournaments throughout North America and has won four cups.  

All new Golden Guardians competitors will continue to stream during their regularly scheduled time slots and will compete in various tournaments under the Golden Guardians name as they get announced. 

The Golden Guardians will aim to continue their expansion over the next several months with a focus on Rocket League and the Rocket League Championship Series (RLCS), amongst other titles. 

Founded in 2017, the Golden Guardians are an esports affiliate of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors. The Bay Area-based organization currently competes in Apex Legends, League of Legends, Teamfight Tactics and World of Warcraft. The Warriors also own and operate Warriors Gaming Squad, one of 23 teams who compete in the NBA 2K League. For more information on the Golden Guardians, visit goldenguardians.com.