Overwatch League's new California Cup aims to heat up a regional rivalry

Regional rivalries are a common phenomenon in sports of all kinds. Around here, for instance, we have the Battle of Ontario, an semi-annual NHL ritual in which Toronto and Ottawa do battle for seasonal bragging rights on their way to not making the playoffs. Two Overwatch League teams hope to establish something similar with the California Cup, an off-season event that will pit the Los Angeles Valiant and the San Francisco Shock against one another in the league's first home-and-home competition. 

The first matchup will take place at the Esports Arena Santa Ana on October 20, while the second will happen at the Esports Arena Oakland on November 10. The winner of those matches, and of regular season Overwatch matches that follow, will hold the California Cup until they're beaten by the other team. 

"We love the concept of finally bringing our matches to our home market in the Bay Area," NRG Esports and San Francisco Shock president Brett Lautenbach said. "This is the first time an OWL team is announcing a home market match outside of LA. What better way to kick this off than an incredible rivalry match between the Valiant and Shock." 

For those interested in attending live, there will be an "intimate meet-and-greet" with both teams at each of the locations, amateur and collegiate Overwatch tournaments, exclusive merchandise, player signing sessions, and more. General admission to each event is $25, or you can opt for the VIP package for $50. VIP access to both events is available for $75.   

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.