Florida is not the place you think of when talking tech or Esports, more like, retirement and bull sharks. However, Florida is home to Misfits Gaming, a pro-team syndicate that has ties to the Miami Heat. Ben Spoont is the CEO and named as the Owner of the Overwatch League franchise.
Misfits are no stranger to Esports and their teams compete in multiple games including: Counterstrike, Hearthstone, League of Legends, and Super Smash Bros. However a detailed look at their Overwatch team shows an interesting break down.
One the Misfits site, the majority of their players come from Europe, Sweden specifically. This crew is solid, however none of them are home grown. The questions begin to come in as to how Spoont and the Miami Heat will pull local talent from Florida? You cannot just import a group of players from another country and expect the local fans to follow. Or can you?
The other battle that Misfits have is they are only a year old. Grants, New York and Boston teams do not even have that level of history. At least Misfits have a name in Esports. With the money behind the Miami Heat it may create the foundation to what would be the true underdog in the league. A franchise made of primarily of Europe talent, in a market that is somewhat removed from the rest of the high tech areas, they are coming into the League with some interesting challenges.
Overall though, within one year, the Misfits have made a very solid name for themselves. In such a short amount of time their teams have done well in Europe and continue to grow quickly. They also are starting to amass a following. As early as back in March the European players were talking about the move to North America. Sebastian “Zebbosia” Olsson was caught talking about the topic on Twitch in the spring. So, this could be an example of a team that is transported into a local market. A big difference from the team in Seoul who are actively promote a home grown team, however, Seoul has the talent to pull it off.
You can find the current Misfits Overwatch team roster here. Just how many of these players will be feeling the warm sun in Miami soon? With the season hoping to start soon, many players will be seeking to get picked up in this market. We just hope they can draw the local crowds with local talent. That will be their biggest challenge. For now, the team has a strong European line up and a good following overseas. Just because you are in the town with a local team, does not mean you can follow someone else? Many fans of franchises like the Raiders, Dolphins, and Cowboys live outside their respective markets.
Who knows, Misfits may be the first team with an overseas foot print to gain a following before the league begins. We will have to wait and see how their team builds in the coming months.