Paul "Redeye" Chaloner, long-time esports personality and Managing Director at Code Red Esports, is teaming up with Cloud9 to lead London Spitfire's UK initiative. Blitz Esports recently got to attend a rountable interview with Redeye to talk about his plans for the team. Here's what he had to say about their rivals, their lack of UK players, and how they'll convince fans to join the Spitfire cause.
CLOUD9 WANTS TO BUILD A PUBLIC OVERWATCH FACILITY IN LONDON
"We want to have a world class facility in the UK based in London that fans can come and enjoy... Young people can come and interact with the players, and they can see the Contenders team practice and they can see streamers streaming and they can feature on live streams themselves and they can come and play in competitions from grassroots all the way up to amateur and semi-professional.
So all of these things are things that we will work on with Cloud9 over the next 12 to 18 months to build. And yes that's seemingly a long time in the esports world. But we just have to be patient and all I'd ask the fans do right now is just you know give us 12 months to show you what we've got planned because I'm personally really excited by what we've got planned."
AND SPITFIRE IS GOING TO TRY HUSTLING IN A UK AUDIENCE
"It's a very new thing, so we're going to experiment as we go along. I mean, I've got this weird fantasy in my head of bringing out Korean players over to Britain and taking them on a road show around Britain and eating fish and chips in Whitley harbor and taking them for tea and scones in York Cathedral and you know all of these crazy British things that we love doing, and maybe get them to experience some of that as well.
I also want the players to understand who they are. Who they're playing for. I think again, going back to the sports analogy with football, you can talk about Chelsea and you can talk about Arsenal and Tottenham [these are Football clubs in the UK] having all of these foreign players come in and play for them. When derbies [rivalry games] happen -- when it's Liverpool versus Everton or Manchester United vs Manchester City, or Arsenal vs Tottenham or god forbid Newcastle vs Sunderland [big football club rivalries] -- the players, even though they're foreign players and they're imports to England, they understand what those matches mean.
And I think that's part of our job, is to make sure that our Korean players
understand how important it is that they are representing the city of London. And to do that we need to bring them here and we need to get them to interact with the fans, listen to what they have to say, and get them to experience the culture that we have in this country. I guess some of it's very stereotypical, such as the scones and tea and the fish and chips, but there's also an awful lot of culture here that perhaps gets missed."
THEY SEEMINGLY HAVE A VERY BRITISH STAFF THAT LIKES TEA
"We'll certainly announce the Contenders team in the next couple of weeks, we'll certainly announce our content team leaders in the next few weeks. And make no mistake, it's a very British-based team in terms of the content team, and some of the discussions we've had internally -- I would love to leak some discussions with you because I think you would find them fascinatingly British. Arguments over which tea we want to drink and what have you. It's absolutely as stereotypical as you could probably imagine."
AND THEY WANT TO FOSTER UK TALENT, EVEN IF IT'S FOR OPPOSING TEAMS
"I would love to see UK esports players in the team, and I would love to see them succeed.
I want to unearth a couple of diamonds. I want to find the new players. I'm pretty sure there's a lady out there or a guy out there who are playing D.Va right now and are absolutely insane. You know the sickest D.Va players in the UK right now. But they have no idea what esports is, and no idea what London Spitfire is, and no idea what Overwatch League is. And that's part of our job is to find those people and give them the opportunities. And, you know, keep nagging Jack until he's sick of me or fires me until we've got British players in the organization.
And whether that's through the Contenders team, whether it's the amateurs that we help, whether it's content creators, whether it's people that we can help nurture and grow through the system and get them into the Overwatch League. Whether it be with us or with another team, frankly. And I think Jack will probably have issue with this, but I don't care who they play for. I want them to be in the League and the fact that we've got Numlocked and we've got Boombox in the League, fantastic for British esports, and I want to see more players get there and if we can do that by utilizing the resources that we have within London Spitfire, then fantastic, and we'll do our very best to do that."
SPITFIRE WANTS TO INSPIRE FANS BY KICKING ASS
"The key with any sports club and any esports club is success, it's winning. And we're no different from that. Jack is a very competitive person, Dan is very competitive, and I'm super competitive. So I think the combination of the three of us is probably a bad thing to have in one room. If we're going to play cards or something, I think all hell would break loose.
We want to succeed and we want to be successful. That's been ingrained in the Cloud9 DNA for many years.
And in order to do that, we've got what I think is the best set of players in the entire league, and the best set of managers in the entire league, and the best set of coaching staff in the entire league, and the best set of support staff in the entire league."
SPECIFICALLY, SEOUL DYNASTY'S ASS
"I think we already have a natural rival in the league, and that's Seoul. I think the players are definitely going to be up for that game more than probably any other game right now in the league so I think that's a narrative that's a story in its own right.
We're going to be the invaders. We're coming to get you guys.
I think the fact that we have two other British players in teams also gives us a slight narrative, because those players will undoubtedly want to show that they should have been playing for the London Spitfire and they're going to do everything they can to take them down when they play.
If we'd had another London team, I think that would have been super cool. But in some ways it's kind of nice that we don't, because we could get all of the fans on our side, hopefully get them to cheer for us, and hopefully get the whole of Europe behind us as well. And you know, there's an age old historical narrative here of regions if you want, and we're going to be the invaders. We're coming to get you guys."
FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO AREN'T CONVINCED, HERE'S REDEYE'S ELEVATOR PITCH
So I've got three points for you.
The first one is just look at the logo, like it's the best damn logo in the entire league, right? How can you not love that logo.
Second point, we have the best mascot in the league. Everyone loves Tracer. She's awesome and she's British and she's RAF [Royal Air Force]. She's the perfect mascot for London.
And thirdly, we've got kickass Koreans. How can you not love this team?