Creating an Esports Team in Minnesota

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The esports industry continues to grow, and with that growth comes opportunities. The Midwest region of the United States sustained a continued drought in the competitive esports scene, with only a few collegiate and high school leagues popping up in recent years.

In summer of 2019, the Wilf family (owners of the Minnesota Vikings) secured a bid for a Call of Duty League team, creating a new professional competitive esports organization in Minnesota. Since then, our goal of “putting our team and our city on the map,” as said by COO, Brett Diamond, remains a priority.

The Røkkr logo and branding came first. Drawing on the lore of the region – the same lore that inspired the Minnesota Vikings — “Røkkr” comes from the last section of “Ragnarök” (“rök”) which means “twilight” in Old Norse languages and the logo colors pay homage to the aurora borealis. Next came our organization brand, Version1. This unifying brand reflects our core values: improvement, inclusion and imagination, and will be a consistent name for fans and team branding in the future.

Version1 continues to build this organization from the ground up. “We built our own training facility next to where the Vikings train and are looking at building our own arena like they are in Philadelphia,” Brett Diamond mentioned in an Esports panel back in November. The Philadelphia Fusion Arena, a $50 million project, is over 6,000 square feet and will seat up to 3,500 guests.

As the esports industry continues to expand (up to $1.3 billion in market value for 2021), Version1 plans to nurture the growing interest in high school and college level esports gaming programs. “Gamers are [now] more social than ever,” noted Andy McNamara in the same Esports panel. Version1 aims to provide value to our social community including creating a space for amateur teams to practice and connect with other players—right in our own Eagan training facility.

Our team will continue to grow and evolve, but we hope to make the Minnesota and national esports community proud and excited to cheer for us. As Brett Diamond notes, it’s not how you create your team, “it’s what you do with it that counts.”

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