For as long as esports have existed, fans have debated whether the video game-based competitions have counted as a “real” sport. But Champion is here to settle that debate with its new Gamer Collection, which will bring esports players into the sport and activewear fold with specially designed hoodies and sweatpants for gamers.
“We wanted to create an unofficial uniform for gamers that modernizes the classic hoodie and recognizes that they are athletes with distinctive needs for their sport,” said David Robertson, Champion’s director of global brand management.
The hoodie will be available in both zip-up and pullover versions, and it has a variety of gamer-focused features that should make it more comfortable for long hours in front of your screen. There’s an oversized hood, meant to be able to encompass both your head and a headset (which, apparently, is an issue that regular sweatshirts encounter?). The sleeves are narrower and have a “unique rib cuff” that’s meant to prevent them from sliding down during gameplay.
There are also several pockets: one with zippers that’s meant to hold a phone while you play, a top-loading pocket for controllers, and a zip pocket at the chest designed to hold your credit card. The pockets are also lined with microfleece to help keep your hands warm. The fabric of the hoodies and sweatpants is made of a “modern fleece fabric” that promises “odor control technology” — a good feature to see on any hoodie.
The most unique feature for the hoodies is a Velcro patch system on the chest and left shoulder that allows professional players to customize their outfits with sponsor logos or team patches in tournaments. Champion plans to sell Velcro patches with various limited-time designs, too.
Champion is actually making a big deal about the new gamer-focused hoodies: the sweatshirts are apparently such a distinct new design that they resulted in the company’s “first new patent in over 50 years.”
Champion’s initial Gamer Collection will include a $90 zip hoodie, an $80 pullover hoodie, and $50 sweatpants, in both gray and black. They will be sold at Champion.com and the company’s retail stores.