The Overwatch League has succeeded in mobilizing a unique type of fan that, throughout esports history, has seldom been seen. This type of fan enjoys pouring over the details of the team's design aesthetic as much as they do watching tournament highlights. Instead of having their fandom's appearance fall into out-of-date stereotypes of sloppily dress gaming nerds, a growing number of esports and gaming consumers are uniting their esports and fashion passion into striking looks modeled after popular IP or esports branding.
Lina (@tthotobot) is one of those fans and her fashion creations are setting trends within the micro-scene of Overwatch fandom and street fashion.
In support of Guangzhou Charge, a Chinese Overwatch team, Lina decided to incorporate color swapped images of Pokemon. Combining IPs to form something new is a popular motif among street fashion enthusiasts, and it is common to find nostalgic but re-imagined versions of cartoon characters across oversized t-shirts and jackets, reinforcing the vintage look and feel. The common thread in this look is how the cool blue electric styling of Charge and it's logo fits nicely alongside Pikachu, the most popular electric Pokemon, and his evolution line.
We spoke with Lina briefly about her designs and she told us that her inspiration first started from the limited number of options fashion-minded fans had when it came to supporting their favorite Overwatch League teams. Sure, team jerseys, hoodies, and other types of apparel are available but they usually fall under the same stylings that are intended to attract purchases from esports largest consumer base -- young to middle-aged men.
Lina custom sews and cuts some of the items her self and usually pairs them with existing clothing she already owns to create her unique looks. She told us that she "tries to combine esports, k-pop, and streetwear" into one unique look that she feels expresses her esports fandom well.
It is easy to see why fans love Lina's style and, as more gamers are inspired to fuse their gaming passion with their fashion, we are once more reminded of the inevitable intersection between esports, gaming, and popular culture.
Warcraft 3 is my one true love and I will challenge anyone to a game of Super Smash Brothers Melee.