Vancouver Titans

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Vancouver Titans
The logo for the Vancouver Titans features a Sasquatch with a 'V' in the nose and a mountain range on the top of its head.
FoundedSeptember 7, 2018
LeagueOverwatch League
ConferencePacific
DivisionWest
Team historyVancouver Titans
(2018–present)
Based inVancouver, Canada
ArenaRogers Arena
Colors     
OwnerCanucks Sports & Entertainment
Head coachSteven Coronel
WebsiteOfficial website
Uniforms
Vancouver Titans Jersey.svg

Vancouver Titans is a professional Overwatch esports team based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The Titans compete in the Overwatch League (OWL) as a member of the league's Pacific West Division.

Founded in 2018, the Vancouver Titans began play as one of eight expansion teams in 2019 and is one of two professional Overwatch teams in Canada (the other, Toronto Defiant). The team is owned by Canucks Sports & Entertainment, owners of the Vancouver Canucks of the National Hockey League (NHL) and the Vancouver Warriors of the National Lacrosse League (NLL), and will play their home matches at Rogers Arena, which is also owned by Canucks Sports & Entertainment.[1]

Hwang "paJion" Ji-sub was appointed the team's first head coach and, in his first season, guided Vancouver to three stage playoff appearances, including one stage championship, a Pacific Division (now the Pacific Conference) title, and the 2019 Grand Finals, where the team lost to the San Francisco Shock.

History[edit]

OWL expansion[edit]

On September 7, 2018, Activision Blizzard announced that NHL's Vancouver Canucks ownership Aquilini Group had purchased a slot for the Vancouver-based franchise for a reported $30 million to $60 million.[2][3] "Esports has seen extraordinary success and continues to be one of the fastest growing industries in the world," said Aquilini Group managing director Francesco Aquilini in a statement. "We can't wait to launch the team in Vancouver."[4] On October 18, the team announced they had partnered with Canadian esports organization Luminosity Gaming to add esports expertise to the organization.[5]

On December 1, a video revealed the Vancouver Titans' brand during the second intermission of a Vancouver Canucks game, concluding with "Today, we release the Titans." The team also announced that it had signed all eight members of the Korean Contenders Champions RunAway and Hwang "paJion" Ji-sub as the team's head coach.[6]

Inaugural season[edit]

Haksal won the 2019 OWL Rookie of the Year award.

Vancouver started the season with a 4–0 sweep over the Shanghai Dragons.[7] The team ended Stage 1 with a perfect 7–0 record and went on to win the Stage 1 Finals against the Shock.[8] The Titans posted another perfect 7–0 record in Stage 2; however, they lost in the Stage 2 Finals against the Shock, which ended their Overwatch League record 19-game win streak (including playoffs).[9] The team continued their regular season dominance by winning an Overwatch League record 19 consecutive games that was not snapped until on June 23, when the Los Angeles Valiant defeated the Titans.[10] While they qualified for the Stage 3 playoffs, Vancouver was defeated by the Shanghai Dragons in the semifinals round.[11] The Titans lost two more times in the regular season, against the Washington Justice and San Francisco Shock, to end the regular season with a league-best 25–3 record and the top seed in the season playoffs.[12] Kim "Haksal" Hyo-jong and Lee "Twilight" Ju-seok were awarded the Role Star commendation for DPS and support, respectively;[13] Haksal was also named the OWL Rookie of the year.[14] Twilight and tank Choi "Jjanu" Hyeon-woo were finalists for the league's most valuable player award, but the Shock's Jay "sinatraa" Won won the award.[15]

Vancouver faced the eighth-seeded Seoul Dynasty in the first round of the playoffs, winning 4–2 after claiming three straight map victories.[16] Advancing to the first round of the winners bracket, the team took down the fifth-seeded Los Angeles Gladiators by a 4–2 score.[17] In the Winners' Finals, Vancouver faced the New York Excelsior; the match went to seven maps, as the two teams traded map wins throughout. The Titans came out on top with a 4–3 victory to advance to the Grand Finals.[18] The Titans season came to an end short, as they were swept 0–4 by the Shock in the Grand Finals.[19]

In November 2019, the Vancouver Titans announced the departures of Park “Bumper” Sang-beom, Dong-eun "Hooreg" Lee, Jung-keun "Rapel" Kim, and Jang-hyeon "TiZi" Hwang.[20]

2020 season[edit]

On November 27, 2019, the Vancouver Titans announced the new additions to the roster including Baek “Fissure” Chan-hyung and Ryu “Ryujehong” Je-hong.[21]

For the 2020 season, the Overwatch League adopted the home/away format, where teams play at their home arenas called “homestands”.[22]

The Titans first homestand titled “Force Fest: Homecoming” will be at the Rogers Arena on May 16 and 17, 2020. The second Vancouver Titans homestand will take place on July 4 and 5, 2020 with details yet to be announced.[23]

On May 6, 2020, the Vancouver Titans parted ways with its entire remaining roster, including its coaches,[24] after off tank Choi "JJANU" Hyeon-Woo and head coach Hwang "paJion" Ji-sub left the team on April 30,[25][26] and coach Hwang "Andante" Jae-hong left on May 4.[27] Officially, the reason was because of difficulties arising from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic which had disrupted the Overwatch League's plans for homestands and led to the players returning to South Korea. Esports journalist Richard Lewis reported that the Titans had also struggled with marketing the team locally and helping the South Koreans adjust to living in Vancouver, despite a sizable Korean-Canadian community in the city. For example, team staff were not fluent in Korean, and often failed to provide interpreters or only provided interpreters unfamiliar with Overwatch at community events.[28]

Team identity[edit]

On December 1, 2018, the Aquilini Group officially unveiled the Vancouver Titans brand. The name Titans is "indicative of the traits associated with the Sasquatch – a powerful, imposing, and mythical being." The logo features the Pacific Northwest folklore figure with a 'V' in the nose and a mountain range on the top of its head in the team's colours of blue, green, and white. The colours represent the greenery that surrounds the Pacific Ocean in the Vancouver area and are similar of that of the Vancouver Canucks' official colours. "In choosing our identity we wanted to introduce a team that would resonate with fans in the Pacific Northwest," Aquilini Group managing editor Francesco Aquilini said in a statement. "With a local feel and an experienced, skilled team, we are ready and can't wait to have the Titans compete at the highest level in esports."[6][29]

Partnerships[edit]

2019 season[edit]

During the 2019 season, the Vancouver Titans announced partnerships with convenience store chain Circle K, recycling company Encorp, consumer electronics retailer Best Buy, and brewing company Bud Light. On August 7, 2019, the Vancouver Titans announced a partnership with Circle K on limited edition Froster Cups. The Froster cups featured players Hyojong “Haksal” Kim, Juseok “Twilight” Lee, Minsoo “SeoMinSoo” Seo, and Sangbeom “Bumper” Park.[30] This partnership was the first of its kind for Canada with an esports team working with a national convenience store. In September 2019, Bud Light announced on Twitter that commemorative Bud Light cans will be coming to Vancouver to celebrate the Vancouver Titans making the Grand Finals of the Overwatch League.[31] On November 14, 2020, Bud Light announced that the commemorative cans will be available for a limited time at the 1st Avenue Liquor store in Vancouver, BC, Canada on Friday, November 15, 2019.[32]

2020 season[edit]

On January 14, 2020, the Vancouver Titans announced a multi-year partnership with gaming chair and desk manufacturer Arozzi North America.[33]

On February 21, 2020, the Vancouver Titans announced a partnership with Adamas Esports Training + Performance. Adamas Esports Training + Performance is located inside of Fortius Sport & Health in Burnaby, BC and the official home of the Vancouver Titans during the 2020 season of the Overwatch League.[34]

Personnel[edit]

Current roster[edit]

Vancouver Titans roster
Players Coaches
Role No. Handle Name Nationality
Damage 17 Dalton  Bennyhoff, Dalton   United States 
Tank 3 ShRedLock  Shirvani, Abtin   Canada 
Support 4 Roolf  Stark, Randal   Canada 
Head coach
  • Steven "Flubby" Coronel

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (2W) Two-way player
  • (I) Inactive
  • (S) Suspended
  • Injured Injury/Illness

Latest roster transaction: November 23, 2020.

Head coaches[edit]

Vancouver Titans head coaches
Handle Name From To Span Ref.
paJion Hwang Ji-sub December 1, 2018 April 30, 2020 1 year, 151 days [6][35]
Flubby Steven Coronel May 8, 2020 199 days [36]

Awards and records[edit]

Seasons overview[edit]

Season P W L W% MW ML MT MD Pos. (league) Pos. (conf.) Playoffs Earnings
2019 28 25 3 .893 89 28 0 +61 1st 1st Grand Finals $950,000
2020 21 6 15 .286 23 48 0 -25 18th 10th Not eligible $0

Individual accomplishments[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Plana, Vincent (August 20, 2019). "Details revealed about Rogers Arena-hosted live esports matches". Daily Hive. Retrieved October 11, 2019.
  2. ^ Rand, Emily (September 7, 2018). "Overwatch League reveals Toronto, Paris, and four other new franchises". ESPN. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
  3. ^ Carpenter, Nicole (September 7, 2018). "It's official: All 8 new teams coming to Overwatch League have been revealed". Dot Esports. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
  4. ^ Black, Matthew; Haberstroh, Max (September 7, 2018). "Canucks owners bring pro esports team to Vancouver". CBC News. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  5. ^ "Vancouver Overwatch team partners with Luminosity Gaming". ESPN.com. 2018-10-18. Retrieved 2019-02-24.
  6. ^ a b c "Overwatch: Vancouver Titans reveal branding, roster". ESPN. Reuters. December 1, 2018. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  7. ^ Fossett, Wyatt (February 17, 2019). "Vancouver Titans win their Overwatch League debut". Daily Hive. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  8. ^ Richardson, Liz (March 24, 2019). "Vancouver Titans are the Overwatch League stage one champions". Dot Esports. Retrieved September 18, 2019.
  9. ^ Polacek, Scott (May 12, 2019). "Overwatch League 2019 Stage 2 Finals: Shock's Top Plays, Prize Money". Bleacher Report. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  10. ^ Fossett, Wyatt (June 23, 2019). "LA Valiant End Vancouver Titans' 19-Game OWL Winning Streak". Twin Galaxies. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  11. ^ Heinisch, Sascha (July 14, 2019). "Shanghai Dragons unexpectedly make Stage 3 playoff finals". Upcomer. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  12. ^ Patterson, Calum (September 1, 2019). "How to watch Overwatch League Season 2 playoffs - Streams, schedule, results". Dexerto. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  13. ^ Richardson, Liz (August 31, 2019). "Overwatch League reveals Role Stars awards". Dot Esports. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  14. ^ Richardson, Liz (September 5, 2019). "Haksal is Overwatch League's Rookie of the Year". Dot Esports. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  15. ^ Richardson, Liz (September 5, 2019). "San Francisco Shock's Sinatraa wins 2019 Overwatch League MVP award". Dot Esports. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  16. ^ "Gladiators, Titans win on Day 1 of Overwatch League playoffs". ESPN. Reuters. September 6, 2019. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  17. ^ Richardson, Liz (September 8, 2019). "Vancouver Titans and New York Excelsior advance in the Overwatch League postseason". Dot Esports. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  18. ^ Hoskins, Ryan (September 14, 2019). "Vancouver Titans to Advance to OWL Grand Finals". Hotspawn. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  19. ^ "Shock sweep Titans in Overwatch League final". ESPN. Reuters. September 29, 2019. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
  20. ^ Richardson, Liz (November 18, 2019). "Vancouver Titans part ways with Hooreg". Dot Esports. Retrieved March 24, 2020.
  21. ^ Howard, Brian (November 28, 2019). "Vancouver Titans Add Ryujehong to Roster". Hotspawn. Retrieved March 24, 2020.
  22. ^ Webster, Andrew (July 16, 2019). "Blizzard explains how home and away games will work in the Overwatch League". The Verge. Retrieved March 24, 2020.
  23. ^ Plana, Vincent (October 3, 2019). "Here's how much it will cost to watch Vancouver's pro esports team live at Rogers Arena". The Daily Hive. Retrieved March 24, 2020.
  24. ^ "Vancouver Titans - Article". titans.overwatchleague.com. Retrieved 2020-05-06.
  25. ^ "Vancouver Titans - Article". titans.overwatchleague.com. Retrieved 2020-05-06.
  26. ^ Titans, Vancouver (2020-04-30). "We've made the difficult decision today to mutually part ways with head coach Hwang 'PaJion' Jisub. Hwang helped us grow into a championship-caliber team in a short period of time and we are grateful for the contributions he has made to our organization. We wish him all the best.pic.twitter.com/8ELVTJptlc". @VancouverTitans. Retrieved 2020-05-06.
  27. ^ Hwang, JaeHong (2020-05-04). "I've become a Free Agent as of today, and I'm looking for a team that I can pour all of my passion into. I'm ready to dedicate my everything". @Andante_OW. Retrieved 2020-05-06.
  28. ^ Lewis, Richard (May 27, 2020). "Richard Lewis: Uncovering the Vancouver Titans roster disaster". Dexerto. Retrieved May 31, 2020.
  29. ^ "Introducing the Vancouver Titans: The New Overwatch League Team Competing in the 2019 Season". Gamasutra. December 3, 2018. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  30. ^ Strickland, Will (August 8, 2019). "Vancouver Titans collectible cups available at Circle K". Hotspawn. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  31. ^ @BudLightCA (September 29, 2019). "gg @VancouverTitans. Commemorative can on the way for an epic 1st season. Raising one to you! #ForceOfNature #OWL2019 #OWLGrandFinals" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  32. ^ @BudLightCA (November 14, 2019). "Hey @VancouverTitans Fans! Cans Will Be Available This Saturday At 1st Avenue Liquor Store (1st Ave & Renfrew) Limited Run – So Move Like Genji. #ForceOfNature" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  33. ^ De Vera, Alfred (January 14, 2020). "Titans Announce Multi-Year Partnership with Arozzi North America". Titans Overwatch League. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  34. ^ Plana, Vincent (February 21, 2020). "Vancouver Titans reveal where they'll live while in the city (Photos)". Daily Hive Offside Vancouver. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  35. ^ Richardson, Liz (April 30, 2020). "JJANU, head coach Pajion part ways with Vancouver Titans". Dot Esports. Retrieved October 13, 2020.
  36. ^ Plana, Vincent (8 May 2020). "Vancouver Titans unveil brand new team after parting with entire roster | Offside". dailyhive.com.

External links[edit]