Two Overwatch League teams are getting virtual clubhouses as part of an initiative to bring fans closer to the players, Linden Lab’s Sansar announced Wednesday.
The collaboration with the Houston Outlaws and San Francisco Shock comes “in response to the global demand for esports and memorable fan experiences,” offering gamers a “virtual clubhouse” in which to interact with their favorite players and personalities, stream matches, and buy merchandise.
For the Outlaws, this virtual space will be called “Hideout,” with Shock fans getting VR arena “Epicenter.” Sansar maintains that these immersive, interactive viewing experiences will be on par with real-life events, even offering virtual photo opportunities and meet-and-greets for fans.
“We’ve seen a real need in the esports market for a deeper, more engaging fan experience — something that can go beyond normal spectatorship to really draw people in,” said Linden Lab’s CEO, Ebbe Altberg. “We feel social VR is perfectly poised to meet this need, and we’re thrilled to find forward-thinking esports partners that feel the same — trailblazing teams that recognize VR’s potential and are willing to evolve and innovate to deliver world-class experiences. Their investments in Sansar are investments in their communities.”
The Houston Outlaws plan to unveil the clubhouse at an event in Houston, Texas, on May 18, 2018, with access to the event via VR also available. The San Francisco Shock will also be hosting a launch event in California a little later in the month on May 25, which fans can also attend by way of virtual reality.
The Overwatch League’s first-ever grand finals will be held at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., from July 27-28, 2018. Tickets for the Grand Finals go on sale May 18 at 10 a.m. ET and can be bought via Ticketmaster and Barclays website.