No, that title is not an April fools joke: the Hangzhou Spark are officially an anime.
Team Spark are proud to announce that we are partnering with the Bilibili herself, Misaka Mikoto from “A Certain Scientific Railgun T”, who joins the squad as an Honorary Member with jersey #3. May the Railgun power help us to prevail in the Playoffs!#SPARKxRAILGUN #sparkbang pic.twitter.com/gIupAi05dE
— Hangzhou Spark (@Hangzhou_Spark) August 28, 2020
The team announced the collaboration with the “A Certain Scientific Railgun T” anime series late Thursday night on social media. The official announcement states that Misaka Mikoto, one of the prominent characters in the show, joins Hangzhou as an honorary member. The tweet shows the character fashioned with a Spark jersey and given the vacant number 3. The announcement also features the hashtag “#SPARKxRAILGUN”. While the announcement does not state any current perks with the partnership like a jersey patch for example, there may be much to come in the foreseeable future based on the storied history between both sides.
The History Behind The Spark and Railgun
📺Just three hours after the launch of the poll, more than 6,000 players have participated in the poll, and the top three polls in the Bilibili community are Railgun(27.88%),Barrage(16.87%) and Dimensions(12.35%).
— Baojie (@BaojieOW) September 13, 2018
Back when the team was founded 2018, the team held a fan vote for the team’s name. Amongst the many names, Railgun was the name that prevailed. The name fit as Bilibili, the name of Hangzhou’s parent company, is named after the nickname given to Misaka Mikoto of said anime series.
Based on the vote, the team created official marketing material, and even filed a trademark for the team name. In the end however, due to copyright pressure, BiliBili settled with the name Spark alongside a finger gun logo as a homage to the anime’s iconic set-piece.
This entire saga comes full circle as the organization has now secured an official partnership with the anime from J.C. Staff studio. The anime is currently airing its third season on Funimation in the west. For the Spark, this brings in a new set of fans going into the 2020 playoffs.
TGH will keep a close on how this may affect the team’s unique marketing going forward.
Tune in at OverwatchLeague.com on September 5 to see the Hangzhou Spark play their first series of the 2020 OWL postseason.
Featured Image Courtesy of the Hangzhou Spark and Funimation
“From Our Haus to Yours”