More than a tournament between fan groups, the Homefront Supporter Series is a competition with a mission. Hosted by the 5 Deadly Venoms, the supporters club of the NYXL, Homefront is returning for a second year. The initiative is a way for the gaming community to give back to their local cities and show the world that compassion can make a real difference. The series is about taking pride in communities and helping those in need while having fun for a cause.
Gaming for a Cause
Homefront was born out of a desire to channel the compassion and empathy of the Overwatch League fandom into the local communities. Club organizer Richard “Rootbear” Ng had the idea in 2018 that it was time to stand together and engage the passion of the fans toward that goal. The 5 Deadly Venoms and Lone Star Vanguard were the first supporter groups to answer the call. The inaugural series between the two clubs raised donations and awareness supporting University Settlement and Dell’s Children’s Hospital.
Both clubs will participate again this year, to be joined by the Atlanta Royal Family and Toronto Alpha Flight. Atlanta Royal Family, which brings together Atlanta Reign fans, is partnered with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. The Children’s Miracle Network hospital focuses specifically on caring for children and supporting families.
While all four teams are supporting causes near and dear to them- Alpha Flight’s goal is special for Richard. The Toronto Defiant supporter club is raising money to bring power charging stations to the trauma rooms of St. Michael’s Hospital.
“This time last year, my folks were in a serious car crash and I ended up camping out in the waiting room for 10 days straight,” Ng said. He observed during this time the panic and stress of people unable to contact their loved ones. Isolated, due to lack of battery and no way to charge their phones. Richard realized then that people are often and understandably unprepared to be in those situations. “No one plans on going to a trauma unit – you are called in,” he explained.
The World Needs Heroes
Organizers like Richard and participants are hoping that Homefront will raise awareness to needs of local cities. Eventually, they plan to expand the series even further to include more of the OWL supporter groups.
Each club trialed players from their Discord servers, meetups and other fan gatherings. Local meetup participation is a prerequisite among all clubs. Teams are held to a cumulative SR cap of 20,000 per their six players in game, in order to make things fair. The clubs have been releasing their rosters on their Twitter accounts, and the match-ups are sure to be exciting.
From watch parties to pick-up games, nothing brings people together like fandom. And there is power in a group of passionate people coming together to stand for something. The ultimate goal is for the gaming community to make a positive impact, locally. Homefront Supporter Series is a step toward achieving that. As Richard says, “In short, Homefront is all about local OWL fans to showcase their love for their home cities and also live up to the idea that the world needs heroes.”
Answer the Call
The reasons for supporting the competition may vary from person to person, but the drive is widespread. Richard discovered the mantra that would be the force behind his efforts for Homefront this year in a quote at St. Michael’s hospital:
“That which you do to the least of my brethren, you do unto me.”
He hopes that Homefront can convey this message, saying “Pride in city isn’t just say you vs everyone – it means care for your neighbors and the institutions that support local stability.”
The event will be live-streamed on December 22, 2019 from 1:00 PM-7:00 PM EST. In addition to local watch parties, the series can be viewed on twitch at twitch.tv/nyxl. Links to all of the donation sites being supported by Homefront can be found at https://homefront.5dv.nyc/.
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