In the last few months, six of the eight new expansion teams participating in Overwatch League’s second season have revealed their branding and team colors. Fans eagerly await branding reveals, whether to see how new teams fit in the League or to find out how ugly the jersey they’re buying for their favorite player will be. In any case, I found that many media outlets have posted brand updates, but haven’t really passed judgement on them. That’s what I’m here for.
I’ll be rating the new brands on a very scientific scale of tropical goodness. New brands will be rated on a scale of palm trees.
A rating of one palm tree is current Overwatch League team Florida Mayhem’s branding. While bright, it is pretty much a McDonalds’ box gone wild. A rating of five palm trees is Contenders team Mayhem Academy’s branding, which encapsulates every good thing about Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and throws neon into it. It’s lit. Half points will be represented by coconuts.
Atlanta was the first expansion team to reveal their branding, and they came out swinging with bright red and grey tones. Since most traditional sports in Atlanta bear some form of red and black color scheme, it wasn’t very surprising. The colors are fierce and throw back to their hometown. Even if they’re sliding into the Shanghai Dragons’ color territory, I can respect that. Geguri will hopefully forgive them.
Meanwhile, their logo is absolutely not the copied homework of Team Valor from Pokemon Go. Atlanta Reign’s naming screams royalty; the logo builds upon the motif of a phoenix rising. Inspiring, but at this point it may refer more to the team’s ability to rise above whatever Dafran is doing this week. In reality, the phoenix is another throwback to Atlanta’s city symbol, but the memes unfortunately write themselves.
Overall: 🌴🌴🥥 (2.5/5)
If you want style, Toronto went for it with their branding. They threw a hype reveal event in their home city, hosted an exclusive Blizzcon after-party, and already have an entire NYXL-style online shop full of overpriced merch. I love the panache. The naming is rebellious and edgy. The color scheme is reminiscent of everyone’s middle school Hot Topic stage. Don’t lie to me, you had one. Toronto is just smart enough to speak to it.
The logo is similarly edgy, with dark black T and D letters intertwined like a few serrated knives. Every person who thinks they can one-trick Reaper to Top 500 will be buying the Defiant’s in-game skins. While Toronto Defiant’s branding gives off a death metal band vibe, it’s at least the kind of death metal band that scores a headliner spot at a festival. It’s concentrated cool and they’re rolling with it.
Overall: 🌴🌴🌴🌴 (4/5)
The OWL community got two red and black team reveals in a week and then radio silence. But then there was Paris. The Eternal brought in opulence with a navy blue, burgundy, and gold color scheme. We’ve left Hot Topic and ended up in Nordstrom, surrounded by dresses we can’t afford. That’s the kind of quintessential French vibe that they’ve managed to nail using only color swatches. “We’re better than you, will forever be so, and you like it. Pass the wine.”
The logo, however, is a…rooster. While the Eternal logo has a secret infinity symbol and is meant to be representative of France’s national motif, it’s still a chicken. But the rooster is a proud bird. It fluffs up its feathers like BenBest fluffs up his hair. It walks proudly into a room like SoOn when he knows he has to carry a team. It’s perfect and will absolutely not be used to make NC-17 jokes on Twitter by this writer. For sure.
Overall: 🌴🌴🌴🥥 (3.5/5)
After three solid team reveals with red as a main color, Guangzhou brought us fresh air and ocean vibes. With teal blue, light blue, and even more blue, there’s a theme going here. Guangzhou represents the Bay Area of China (Macau, Hong Kong, Guangdong) and wants to bring that to OWL. This genuinely might be my favorite color scheme of the expansion teams, which makes sense, since it’s also my favorite flavor of Gatorade. Charge’s colors are reminiscent of the Atlantic All-Star jerseys, but with a lot less losing from the Talent Takedown.
Unfortunately, any cool points the Charge gained from their unique colors and naming is stripped away by their logo choice. Their name evokes boldness and electricity. The logo is more like, “do you like letters? We brought you two.” Surely there was something out there more electric than a monogram. We should be a little nicer, though. Somebody had to crack open Word Art 2000 for this and we should respect that.
Overall: 🌴🌴🌴 (3/5)
Some teams decide to go for a demure color scheme. The Chengdu Hunters are not that team. With bright yellow, gold, and black representing them, they are out here looking like a Pikachu and we are into it because red isn’t involved. I appreciate their takeover of yellow from the Mayhem’s french fry clutches. There’s a Bumblebee joke here somewhere, but in all honesty, this is at least an interesting color scheme.
Their logo and name has caused a lot more drama. Chengdu Hunters, choosing the logo of a panda, which hunts only for bamboo and opportunities to be cute. My defense? They have pandas. Who doesn’t like pandas? It worked for World of Warcraft. Yeah, listen, pandas aren’t Hunters, but when has realistic naming ever stopped the Overwatch League? The most realistic naming we got in Season 1 was the Dallas Fuel, because they were a dumpster fire for a while there.
Overall: 🌴🌴🌴🥥 (3.5/5)
I’ll be very blunt: Hangzhou Spark have pulled off the most genius merchandising move in all of esports. You take a running joke about pink Reaper, make it happen, and then get Soe to model your jersey. I do not know one person who is not psyched about this bubblegum-esque color bonanza. There’s a lot to be said about having the balls to put forth a traditionally “feminine” color scheme that does not fit in this humor article. However, they will sell the most merchandise this season just because they aren’t operating within a “do you like red and or black?” mindset. Bet on it.
Their naming could be more original: this is the third electricity-based name in the League. Thesaurus.com is going to run out of other team names soon. However, their logo is truly something else. It’s apparently an anime reference, which fits in this beautiful nerd melting pot OWL has created. Finger guns are also still cool, but only in pink. Disclaimer: please do not ask Reddit what else they call this logo if you’re at work.
Overall: 🌴🌴🌴🌴🥥 (4.5/5)
Hangzhou Spark is winning the branding game so far. No surprise – look at that pink. But it’s followed closely by Toronto Defiant.
To Be Rated
Some teams have not revealed their branding or rosters yet, so I can’t make many snarky comments. But I’m still going to do my best here.
By far the quietest team in the expansion family, Vancouver has yet to reveal any part of their branding or roster. Which is absolutely not star KR Contenders team Runaway, don’t listen to what every single leaker has said for three months. While signing anyone from Runaway is like hitting “easy mode” for building a fanbase, I am concerned about their color scheme options. What are they supposed to do after Hangzhou basically said “yoink” and took 75% of the Runaway color scheme? Please, no more red and black. We can’t take it.
Washington DC Patriotism
Washington DC’s expansion team announced former NYXL guru WizardHyeong as head coach and former NYXL main tank Janus…then went quiet for the past few months. That’s a solid start to a roster, but it’s concerning. Wizard has opinions about pretty much everything, and if he’s let into the design room, we might end up with electric blue and lime green. Still better than red and black. However, this one is unfortunately a “gimme” as far as branding. Rumors have come up about the DC Justice with a red white and blue color scheme; we’re going full Fourth of July here, folks. My only hope is that someone, somewhere, is convincing Kate Mitchell not to use Homestuck colors.
Disclaimer: ratings, opinions, and sassy comments are my own and do not represent the opinions of OverwatchScore.com. Ratings also come from someone who thinks the LA Valiant’s color scheme is actually good. I will be dropping $70 on a lime green jersey this season, so take that into account.