Looking to be the first movers within the North American sports scene, the Philadelphia 76ers will become the first professional sports team to own their own eSports roster. The NBA team have entered the scene by acquiring both the eSports brands of Dignitas and Apex Gaming. In their haste to make an immediate impact on the NA LCS, the 76ers are playing the role of Dr. Frankenstein: defying the eSports gods by resurrecting a dead team that should have been left to rest.
As the eSports gold rush continues, the Philadelphia 76ers swooped one of the most endeared eSports brands to have graced the industry in addition to a valuable LCS spot, acquiring long-time eSports franchise Dignitas and mid-tier LCS competitors Apex Gaming.
Apex Gaming, as one of the dullest LCS brands in existance, will thankfully cease to exist. Instead, the players will now play under the banner of the previously deceased Team Dignitas brand, one of the most-widely supported teams during their time in the NA LCS. The 76ers brand will not be pushed through their eSports team (for now), though their commercial channels will be avaiable for eSports purposes, such as distributing team jerseys.
— Apex (@apxgg) 26 September 2016
The former Apex roster were understandably quick to ditch their vanilla, lame-lion logo in favour of the legendary Dignitas tag – updating their social media profiles proudly within moments of the announcement:
Excited for the future 8) https://t.co/HdSQrDoTUQ
— Alex Chu (@Xpecial_) 26 September 2016
On the surface, this might appear to be a fairly shrewd move from the Philadelphia 76ers. The Dignitas era of pre-2014 still lives fondly in the memory of North American League of Legends fans, for whom the love for the franchise still lives on through the popular personalities still present on the scene today, namely: Michael “Imaqtpie” Santana, William “Scarra” Li and hell, even Christian “IWillDominate” Rivera if we’re really turning back the clock.
Getting Apex Gaming off the ground as a brand would have taken years, the alarming lack of charisma found on the roster made it near impossible to build any form of rapport with the fan base.
Instead, the 76ers are looking to piggy-back on the love NA LCS fans used to share with their Dignitas idols, digging up the treasured memories of Nasus backdoors, Imaqtpie pentakills and infamous baron throws to re-unite a fanbase straight off the bat.
But it just doesn’t work like that… it won’t be the same:
Just as Victor Frankenstein thought he could dig up corpses to reanimate life, the 76ers are looking to breath life into the stale Apex roster, giving them a facelift with colours fans thought had been condemned to the grave.
The fabled Dignitas LCS brand needs to be left to rest, the desperate relegation season was traumatic enough for long term fans. The new roster will never capture the life and soul of the original Dignitas rosters, it’s an insult to their memory.
In the words of Michael “Imaqtpie” Santana himself:
“Fuck new Dignitas, I miss the old Dignitas, the Qtpie Dignitas – I hate the new Dignitas, I don’t know who the fuck these people are…”