Nothing spices up the winter slump like a festive weekend of competition. On Dec. 12 and 13, the Los Angeles Valiant will host the Valiant Winter Ball, a weekend full of fun Overwatch game modes and competitive showmatches that will introduce four of North America’s newest Overwatch League rosters.
The competitive bracket will feature the host team, the Los Angeles Valiant, as well as the Los Angeles Gladiators, Florida Mayhem, and Atlanta Reign. In addition to the full Overwatch League rosters, former players for the teams and special influencer guests will make appearances during arcade modes and exhibition matches.
The event will be held and professionally cast on the Los Angeles Valiant’s official YouTube channel.
On Dec. 12 at 1pm CT, the Valiant Winter Ball kicks off with a series of arcade modes, including Tiny Overwatch, Mystery Heroes, and a Widowmaker one-vs-one bracket. Team coaches, staff members, and players will participate in these modes.
Immediately following the arcade modes, former players and select influencers will team up for an exhibition match. Former Los Angeles Gladiators players Aaron “Bischu” Kim and Ted “Silkthread” Wang are confirmed to be joining the fun, as is former Los Angeles Valiant main support and Overwatch League analyst Scott “Custa” Kennedy.
Partnered streamers for the four teams, including Jay3 and Samito from the Florida Mayhem and Fran from the Atlanta Reign, will likely make appearances as influencers during the exhibition matches.
After fans have enjoyed some chaos, the real matches will kick off. The four invited teams will participate in a competitive showmatch bracket, much like the one from the recent Esports Shanghai Masters tournament. This bracket will begin on Dec. 12 and continue on Dec. 13, where one team will be crowned the Valiant Winter Ball champion by the end of the day.
Since it’s been a long and confusing offseason, we’ve included some information about the teams participating in the Valiant Winter Ball, as well as some newly signed players to keep an eye on.
Los Angeles Valiant
Heading into the 2021 Overwatch League season, fans may be feeling a bit of déjà vu looking at the Los Angeles Valiant’s lineup. Much of the team’s core 2020 roster has remained, including hitscan phenom Kai “KSP” Collins and adaptable main tank Song “Dreamer” Sang-lok.
Adam Soong, a talented off-tank from Australian Overwatch Contenders, is heading stateside to aid the Valiant. The team’s biggest reveal has been the return of prodigal son Brady “Agilities” Girardi, who began his Overwatch League career as a part of the Valiant three years ago.
The 2020 Overwatch League season was the Florida Mayhem’s best yet. The team fielded a roster of talented rookies and climbed the leaderboards. Star players from last year, like DPS Kim “Yaki” Jun-gi and flex support Gang “GangNamJin” Nam-jin, will return for the 2021 season.
Every good team needs backup, however. Veteran main tank Son “OGE” Min-seok, former Seoul Dynasty main support Kim “SLIME” Sung-jun, and rookie DPS Baek “Checkmate” Seung-hun will be donning pink jerseys this weekend and next year.
Los Angeles Gladiators
Unlike crosstown rivals the Los Angeles Valiant, the Los Angeles Gladiators made a point to shuffle up its roster for 2021. After the departure of multiple veterans during the offseason, the Gladiators added new blood with players like main tank Kim “Muze” Yung-hun and flex support Kim “skewed” Min-seok.
For the team’s starting support lineup, Los Angeles dreamed big. Former Guangzhou Charge flex support Kim “Shu” Jin-seo and two-time champion San Francisco Shock main support Grant “Moth” Espe were recruited to add some star power to the roster.
Of all the teams in the Overwatch League, the Atlanta Reign has arguably been the quietest during the 2020 offseason. After releasing six players in October, the team has only added one new addition to its 2021 lineup in the form of DPS Oh “Pelican” Se-hyun.
The Reign seems to be putting full faith in the long-standing members of its roster, including tank duo Blake “Gator” Scott and Xander “Hawk” Domecq. Flex support Kim “Lr1s” Seunghyun was a standout in the latter half of the 2020 season and is likely looking to showcase his star power again this year.
The Valiant Winter Ball begins at 1pm CT on Dec. 12 and continues on Dec. 13. All of the action will be aired on the Valiant’s official YouTube channel. The arcade modes and former player matches will begin on Dec. 12, as will the preliminary rounds of the competitive bracket. On Dec. 13, the semifinals and finals of the competitive bracket will be held.