There was a dizzying moment coming out of beta where I realized Roll20 was bigger than the (admittedly) small town that Riley and I grew up in. And then later bigger than the town where we went to college and met Richard. Now it’s bigger than where I currently reside, Las Vegas.
At 2.3 million people, Roll20 is basically a city. And something that we think helps bind a large community together is a team to cheer for.
So let’s talk about Roll20 esports.
There was time where the Roll20 development team had enough Heroes of the Storm on the brain that we set our work chat to yell at us about our addiction.
Personally, the concept of blending all my favorite Blizzard video game characters into a single game that emphasized teamwork– based on concepts by basketball coaching legend John Wooden– seemed to be a present from the universe. And because the emphasis on sports-like teamwork, Heroes of the Storm isn’t only a fun game to play… it’s actually pretty fun to WATCH.
Blizzard has an amazing professional league setup for Heroes of the Storm, complete with high level broadcasts, pulse-pounding competitions, and a passionate, welcoming community. For the past few months, we at Roll20 have been particularly enamored with a plucky North American squad going by “Team 8.”
Team 8 lost their most famous player right after they qualified for the professional league, and they weren’t “supposed” to be particularly good. Yet they kept on winning and kept impressing the Heroes of the Storm community. They ranked as the third best team in North America, and then advanced further than any other North America team in the joint Western Clash tournament. Now they’ve qualified for a major Mid-Season tournament in Sweden with big prizes and pride on the line. And the whole while, they’ve been patiently waiting for the right sponsor to come along… which is where we’ve now entered the picture.
Team 8 will now compete as Roll20 esports. It’s a mildly unorthodox thing for a company like Roll20 to up and jump into esports, but there’s a lot about it that just made sense. We don’t do much advertising (‘cause you all do such a fantastic job of telling your friends about us!) and we feel like the friendly Heroes community might occasionally enjoy taking a break from winning and losing to make more friends on Roll20 in the same way we’ve enjoyed exorcising our competitive Diablo’s in “HotS.”
Look forward to cheering together for Glaurung, Justing, Buds, YoDa, and Prismaticism with Manager Yitbaus as they compete as Roll20 esports. Welcome any new heroes that end up coming our way as we advertise in this new realm. And be ready for a bunch of cool new things happening as we get ready for Roll20CON and beyond!