Despite their underdog status coming into the Call of Duty League Championship, the Minnesota Røkkr took over the Galen Center with a little help from the Røkkr Rover.
As the Minnesota Røkkr fell to the lower bracket of Champs, the Galen Center began to fill with more and more fans cheering on the Kings of the North. This was all because of the shirts that were handed out throughout the event by the Røkkr staff, who were determined to make anyone they met a Minnesota fan.
The idea first appeared for Minnesota Røkkr Chief Operating Officer Brett Diamond after he watched the crowd at the Esports Stadium in Arlington, Texas cheer on his team during the Stage 5 Major. He said he wished the Røkkr staff could have been on the scenes handing out shirts or anything to show their appreciation to their fans. Thus, the “It’s never chalked” shirts were born. With a couple hundred shirts, glowsticks and masks, the Minnesota Røkkr began to paint the Galen Center purple.
With every match the Røkkr competed in, more fans in the purple shirts began to fill the seats in the front and in the wings of the stadium on the University of Southern California campus.
Shirts, masks, and glowsticks
Not only was the Røkkr Rover handing out shirts to anyone who wanted to show their support, but they were also giving out masks and color-specific glowsticks for added flair. That way fans could show their support for the Røkkr by waving their purple and blue glowsticks like fanatics as the RØKKR dominated their way through the lower bracket.
Huge shoutout and all my love to the #ROKKR staff. Everyone going all in this weekend creating content and hustling to engage fans at watch parties and in LA. This crew truly embraces the challenge of building one fan at a time.
— Brett Diamond (@Diamond_Sota) August 21, 2021
“Huge shoutout and all my love to the #ROKKR staff,” Diamond tweeted. “Everyone going all in this weekend creating content and hustling to engage fans at watch parties and in LA. This crew truly embraces the challenge of building one fan at a time.”
When Røkkr met the Toronto Ultra during the semi-final matchup in the lower bracket, the glowsticks were strategically changed since Ultra shared the Røkkr’s purple color. On Saturday, instead of purple glowsticks filling the stadium, it was blue dominating the color scheme. That way the fans could distinguish between which purple team they were actually rooting for. Although, with how loud the chants were for Røkkr, it was obvious which team had more support from the crowd in Los Angeles.
Fan support from across the country
For Minnesota, who were a long way from home at Champs in Los Angeles, they made sure that fans across the country felt included when cheering on their team. The fans who couldn’t attend the event were invited to different locations throughout Minnesota for a live watch party of the matches.
— Minnesota RØKKR (@ROKKR) August 21, 2021
“Shout out to our #ROKKR fans down in Mankato, MN!” the Minnesota Røkkr Twitter account said, alongside a picture of their fans that couldn’t attend Champs.
Throughout Champs, the Minnesota Røkkr Twitter posted videos of the crew back in Minnesota who were cheering just as loudly from their place at the fan meetup. Some of the individuals were even wearing the same “It’s not chalked” handed out at Champs. The fan meetups at various bars throughout Minnesota have become a part of the Røkkr’s brand. Diamond said they wanted to include as many fans as possible despite the wedge that was placed between the Call of Duty League with a global pandemic.
Call of Duty fans and players come together to celebrate a LAN event
The family of the Minnesota Røkkr was some of the loudest at the Galen Center. In special purple and black jerseys, the group of Røkkr friends and family could be seen in the middle of the stadium. Dillon “Attach” Price’s family were among the Røkkr fans, cheering whenever their son made an insane play. They sat next to Dillion “Envoy” Hannon’s parents who were still attending the event despite their son’s team, OpTic Chicago, elimination from the event earlier.
Even losing to Toronto Ultra in the loser bracket semi-final of the event the whole stadium, and the families in the middle, were still alive with chants in support of the Minnesota Røkkr. Until the very end, the Minnesotra fans were shaking the stadium after every incredible play that the team were making. Despite the loss, the fans that were given the Minnesota shirts at Champs will have a token to remember rooting for the underdogs until the very end.