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- The San Francisco Shock has changed venues for its March 28-29 opening weekend from the Cow Palace to Zellerbach Hall at UC Berkeley.
- NRG Esports and the Shock signed a partnership agreement with the university last April that saw the construction of an esports facility.
- The change will see the Shock save money in union costs.
The San Francisco Shock is switching venues for its Overwatch League opening homestand dubbed “First Arrival” set to take place from March 28-29. The 2019 Overwatch League Champions will now open up league play at Zellerbach Hall on the campus of California State University at Berkeley moving from the Cow Palace.
Sources close to the Shock say that Zellerbach was the original choice for the homestand but that it had already been booked by another event. However, the event in question then pulled out, which allowed the Shock to come back to a familiar place.
In April of last year, the Shock and parent company NRG Esports signed a partnership that saw the two entities sponsor an on-campus gaming community. The University has repurposed a part of the Foothill building with a center that has 55 PCs, a Twitch Broadcast Center, and a players Lounge.
Zellerbach Hall is a multi-genre performance facility that is often booked with speakers, dance troupes, and various musical artists.
The move should benefit Shock in at least two different areas: First, sources say the cost of using Zellerbach is lower than that of using the Cow Palace because it has fewer unions, which drives up the costs at venues all across the country. Second, having the event on the campus of a major university is sure to attract a convenience crowd that may not have wanted to travel to see a match.