Dallas Fuel Draw Thousands For First-Ever OWL Home Match
The Dallas Fuel became the first Overwatch League team to host a home match this weekend, as fans arrived at the Allen Event Center to "witness the action in person and to experience the start of a new chapter in the league’s legacy," according to KTVT-CBS. The Atlanta Reign and the L.A. Valiant "will also be hosting home games later this year" (DFW.CBSLOCAL.com, 4/27). In Dallas, Brian Elledge notes tickets were "sold out two-and-a-half weeks before" the Bud Light Homestand Weekend, with fans numbering in the thousands" both yesterday and on Saturday. It was a "festival-type atmosphere" on the concourse with "vendor booths and cosplay photo opportunities, and of course" OWL and team merchandise. The main show inside was "awash with fan jerseys, signs for favorite players, and crowds roaring for every win" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 4/29). ESPN’s Josh Wilkinson called the crowd at the league's first home games "unbelievable." ESPN’s Brendan Hook said the Fuel is playing in front of fans who "have been waiting all this time to see them play in an arena” (“Overwatch League,” ESPN2, 4/27).
WORKING OUT THE KINKS: Saturday's match got off to a rocky start when a power outage at the Allen Event Center stopped play just 10 minutes into the action. The first match of the two-day, eight-game Bud Light Homestand Weekend was delayed for roughly 45 minutes while technical staff addressed the problem caused by a traffic accident affecting the grid that serves the venue. The remainder of Saturday's action played out without incident in front of a sold-out crowd of 4,500. The Bud Light Homestand Weekend is the first time OWL games have been operated by a team in their own venue; all prior regular-season games had been operated by OWL at Blizzard Arena in L.A., but the league is preparing to shift the entire schedule into home venues in '20. Envy President & COO Geoff Moore said the event's budget was in the mid-to-high six figures, and will turn a profit (Ben Fischer, THE DAILY). DOTESPORTS.com addressed the power outage yesterday under the header, "Blackout Occurs At Overwatch League Dallas Homestand Games," while ESTNN.com went with, "Allen Event Center Loses Power During OWL Spitfire/Eternal Game At Dallas Ultimate Weekend."
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