overwatch league

Overwatch League was one of the most highly anticipated launches of an e-sports league of all time.  And boy did it deliver.  The infrastructure of the league was set up to mirror that of the American sports leagues that we know and love such as the NFL and NBA.  The major difference being that it's a GLOBAL league.  12 major cities across the globe such as New York, Los Angeles, London, Seoul, and Shanghai are represented; and it it's expanding to 18 teams for season 2.  When New England Patriots' owner Robert Kraft, and New York Mets' COO Jeff Wilpon purchased The Boston Uprising, and the New York Excelsior respectively, it created a huge buzz in the media and also proved that the future of e-sports had arrived.  The viewership and revenue numbers from the first season show that the future is very bright.  With over 35 million players worldwide, fans tune in on a daily basis not only to watch an extremely fun spectator sport, but to also check in with their favorite superstar such as Jake from the Houston Outlaws, or Saebyolbe from the New York Excelsior.


The Stoke Foundry team was honored to be one of the trusted production companies that provided some of Overwatch League's most important shoulder content.  Through the course of the league's 8 month inaugural season, the Stoke Foundry team was responsible for a large part of the look and feel of  what fans have come to know and love.  We created the league's opening piece, which means that we were responsible for the very first frame of this historical inaugural season.  We didn't stop there.  We also created all 4 Stage show opens, and capped the season off with the EPIC show open at Barclay's Center in Brooklyn, voiced by Michael K Williams (The Wire, Boardwalk Empire), which aired to over 1MM viewers on ESPN and ABC.  We also produced every hype reel for every match of the regular season AND the playoffs.  All in all, the team produced, polished, and delivered over 400 videos.  Within these videos, we were also responsible for the graphics design and animation, we created specific unique looks for our show opens, our regular season hype reels, and our playoff hype reels.  










These show opens set the tone for the League as a whole, as well as for each individual stage, the playoffs, and of course, the Grand Finals.  In collaboration with Overwatch League's executive creative team, we went to great lengths to make sure every detail came together to create a visceral storytelling experience that was perfect for the stage it was representing.   We took all of our creative choices (the scores, the visual effects, the animations, the color grades, the pacing, the sound effects, the voice over, etc...) and put them together to create a brand and a style that we're proud to say is now the look and feel of the Overwatch League.

grand finals open

playoffs open

hype reels + sOCIAL PROMOS

With over 300 Hype reels, and social promos to produce, the Stoke Foundry team needed to follow all 12 teams closely in order to accurately hype up the story of the season from each teams' point of view.  With all of the roster changes, lineup changes, and strategic moves that happen during a grueling 8 month season, it takes an obsession with the story of the league, as well as a work ethic and commitment to quality in order to create the fresh and exciting hype content the way that we did.  We're proud to say that we nailed it, and we loved doing it.

design + animation

For Overwatch League's inaugural season, our design and animation team worked closely with the league's executive creative team to create a design that fit within the broadcast world of Overwatch League, but also had it's own unique look and feel.  From there, we developed and delivered a suite of animation assets to support our hype reels and show opens that provided inspiration and innovation that spread throughout other aspects of the league's content and broadcast presentations.

design wips

design + animation finals

final thoughts and feelings

We are extremely grateful to have had this opportunity to leave such a lasting mark on history. To do it in collaboration with such a respected group of people that make up Blizzard Entertainment and Overwatch League made it that much more special.  We are both proud AND humbled by the level of depth and meaning within the professional relationships we have formed with all of the teams that we worked closely with to make Overwatch League's first season such a huge success.  We can't wait to see what the future holds, and are excited to take our skills, experience, exuberance, and passion for storytelling into our next journey. 


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