ALLEN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – The city of Allen is burning blue this weekend in support of the home team, Dallas Fuel. It’s the first-ever home game for a team in the Overwatch League.
At the Allen Event Center, thousands gathered on Saturday to cheer on the home team as the city hosted an esports event that’s drawn attention around the world.
Overwatch is a first-person competitive shooter where teams face off in nail-biting matches that gamers of all ages can enjoy. The league surrounding the game of Overwatch is made up of teams from around the world with players of diverse backgrounds.
The Dallas Fuel is one of many teams competing in the league for prize money that millions of players wish they could have.
The Fuel got the opportunity to host the league’s first “Homestand,” which gives teams a chance to play at different locations. All the teams usually compete at an arena in Burbank, California built by the game’s creator, Blizzard Entertainment.
The growing phenomenon of esports was apparent in Allen on Saturday as teams from Paris, London, Seoul and more played in front of a sold-out crowd.
“Some sports don’t really have the reach outside of North American. And we certainly have that. It’s a very popular esport in China, South Korea, Europe,” Dallas Fuel owner Mike Rufail said.
Not only were the games played in front of a live audience, but they were also broadcasted worldwide on the streaming service Twitch and the league’s website.
Even ESPN has gotten a taste of the Overwatch League as games were also streamed on its mobile app.
As expected, fans flew or drove in to North Texas to witness the action in person and to experience the start of a new chapter in the league’s legacy.
“I remember venues beginning with just like little rinky-dink events… and now its transformed into stadiums and arenas being sold out for huge events,” Ricky Murillo of Houston said.
As for Dallas’ match itself, the Fuel won their game with the Los Angeles Valiant in riveting fashion that got the crowd hyped for their home team.
“The sheer passion from the fans is what makes it really special. Fans really love the sport, the idea that esports is this growing new major entertainment medium and major sport,” Rufail said.
The games continue on Sunday where the Fuel will play the in-state rival Houston Outlaws at 5:15 p.m in front of another sold-out crowd.
The Atlanta Reign and the Valiant will also be hosting home games later this year.