Toronto Defiant Launches As Canada’s Newest Professional Esports Team
Esports has arrived in the Greater Toronto area and in Western New York in a huge way. Today, the visual identity of the team, including the branding, logo, and colour palettes for the new Toronto Defiant franchise — Toronto’s expansion team competing in the Overwatch League — was unveiled to fans at an intimate and packed launch event inside the historic Berkeley Church in downtown Toronto.
“We are thrilled to be celebrating the launch of the Toronto Defiant today in the best way we know how, side-by-side with our fans,” said Chris Overholt, President and CEO, Over- Active Media Group Inc. “We have a clear vision to build a world-class professional es- ports company in Toronto that will excite and inspire a new generation of fans in our mar- ket, across Canada, and around the globe.
Branding work was done in partnership with the Overwatch League and Toronto-based Diamond Marketing, recently announced as OverActive’s agency of record. The team name, Defiant, was picked to represent the strength, character, and resiliency of Toronto, and the logo features a powerful combination of red, black, white, and grey.
“What’s unique about esports is that there are teams from all over the world, not just North America,” said Josh Diamond, partner at Diamond. “We really wanted to ensure we were representing Toronto on the world stage, while being authentic to the avid gamer. Re- cently, our city has gained tremendous notoriety for being exporters of culture, and just as gamers continue to defy odds, so too does Toronto. And it’s those aspects of our collective identities that we wanted to celebrate in our brand.”
Team Operations are being led by Splyce, one of the most established esports organiza- tions in North America. Splyce has seen major championship victories in multiple games, including Halo, Call of Duty, and World of Warcraft, among others.
Led by Marty “Lazerchicken” Strenczewilk (CEO) and Kyle “Novo” McKitrick (Splyce Gen- eral Manager), they've assembled a leadership team that matches the pedigree of previ- ous championship rosters. Beoumjun “Bishop” Lee will lead the squad as Head Coach
and brings with him years of competitive experience. The staff supporting Bishop includes Jaesun “Jae” Won as General Manager, assistant coach Yun “Bubbly” Ho Cho, strategic coach Dongwook “Don” Kim and analyst Dennis “Barroi” Matz.
“Having the support and tremendous expertise of Splyce on our side means that the De- fiant will be surrounded by some of the best in the business. Marty and his team have assembled an impressive management team. We are all looking forward to seeing all the pieces coming together and putting forward a competitive team as we near the start of the Overwatch season,” added Overholt.
The Overwatch League is the first major esports league to feature city-based teams. Twelve franchises were selected for the inaugural season, with another eight added this year, including the Toronto Defiant. Built from the ground up for online and team compe- tition, Overwatch has over 40 million players.
“Today is an historic day and this is just the beginning,” concluded Overholt. For more information on the Overwatch League, visit overwatchleague.com.