Competitive video gaming has been slowly making its entrance in New York City. A megapolis busy with quite a few things, gaming hasn’t been deemed worthy to be in the spotlight – until now.
Most of this change is occasioned by a team of professional video gamers who have taken it upon themselves to win NYC accolades in digital battlegrounds and get locals involved. Surprisingly, it has worked, and if you are a true New Yorkean, you may have heard of the New York Excelsior (NYXL).
Who Are NYXL?
In the world of competitive video gaming or esports, NYXL are the leading Overwatch team. Overwatch is a fantasy shooter developed by Activision/Blizzard and using a city-based franchised league model to take esports to new heights.
NYXL are presently on the top of the Overwatch League (OWL), the latest season of which kicked off just recently in February, 2019.
As the dominant team, NYXL have been working on not only establishing a worthy gaming legacy, but also engaging with local fans and raise the profile of esports in NYC and across the entire state.
How have they been doing this? Through sheer engagement and outreach, of course. As NYC’s first official esports team, NYXL have hosted their pop-up shop, a place where the team’s fans, gamers, and people who are completely clueless about who NYXL are or that esports is a multi-billion industry, can gather and play, learn and share a few laughs.
Brooklyn – A Place to Meet Gamers and Celebrities
Brooklyn was the focal point for gamers and celebrities earlier this year, with the NYXL proving a success and the performance of the team in the OWL guaranteeing an even better awareness of the brand, and thus hosting proper meets & greets with fans.
There have been quite a few high-profile personalities attending. Famous musical artist Zedd was on site mixing it up and sharing his own passion for Overwatch competitive plays.
Stopped by the @NYXL Pop-Up on its last day and it’s PACKED for Overwatch and Smash. Credit to the NYXL crew for doing it right for the NY esports/gaming community.
— Goldenboy (@GoldenboyFTW) December 22, 2018
The pow-wows included other activities designed to bring the community together. Cosplay competitions and actual tournaments featuring small $500 prize pools per person were held regularly, offering local gamers an opportunity to see what it is to be a professional gamer and fetch yourself a decent prize money by outplaying an enemy.
There has also been a lot of speculations about the latest season of the OWL which is now underway. Some fans even talked esports betting, which has picked up with the addition of new locations for the league around the world and the total number of participating teams now standing at 20.
The cosplays proved immensely popular with NYXL sharing the best costumes on their official Twitter page and commending them on their success:
Congrats to all our winners and appreciate everyone who came throughout the weekend.
— NYXL (@NYXL) December 17, 2018
With the OWL now having kicked off in earnest, NYXL are far New York City, competing in Los Angeles where regular season games are held.
NYXL’s Roster Isn’t New Yorkean, but What Does It Matter?
It’s true, NYXL are in fact all South Korean as is the majority of top-performing talent in the Overwatch League. Even though they are from half a world away, the roster has managed to hit it off with fans during the 6-week meet-and-greet and establish the beginnings of a burgeoning esports community in New York.
Grown-ups are not the only ones to get attention in New York, with youngsters being taught the values of esports. Esports not only in NY, but around the world, has gained much more appreciation and acceptance particularly with games that bring generations together, including Epic Games’ Fortnite.
NYXL in a Market Worth Billions
NYXL do know how to surround themselves with top talent. The team recruited Mike Sepso, Major Game League (MGL) Co-founder who also worked on the inaugural Overwatch Season and helped establish the league.
With the prominence NYXL has gained as a brand, they will have no trouble securing important high-profile partnerships that will help them increase their value in the quickly-developing esports market.
Mainstream brands are hungry for recognition and NYXL’s profile with the community would be the source of future prosperity.
With NYXL dominating the top echelons of the Overwatch League, we’re waiting for the next pop-up shop to share a few moments with our heroes.