We knew Overwatch League would be getting bigger when several expansion sales took place last month. Now, we know the eight teams joining Overwatch League for the 2019 season: Atlanta, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Paris, Toronto, Vancouver, and Washington, D.C. This brings the total number of teams up to twenty.
It’s promising news for the future of Overwatch League, which also landed a multi-year broadcast deal with ABC, Disney, and ESPN earlier in 2018. But as Pete Vlastelica, President and CEO of Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues, pointed out, it’s not enough to have teams and a fan base that supports them. He stated:
We know that the difference between a good league and a great league is its owners, and we set a high bar for our first season with the caliber of ownership groups. Every one of these expansion franchises cleared that bar and will make our league even better.
For that reason, you may want to familiarize yourself with the owners behind these new teams. As real life sports fans know, bad ownership can be just as detrimental to players as anything that goes wrong during a game:
- Aquilini Group—A diversified family business that owns the National Hockey League’s Vancouver Canucks and Rogers Arena and manages a global conglomerate portfolio will operate the team in Vancouver, Canada
- Bilibili—A leading online entertainment company in China, covering a wide array of genres and media formats—including videos, live broadcasting, and mobile games—will operate the team in Hangzhou, China
- DM Esports—A global company focused on esports entertainment and investments will operate the team in Paris, France
- HUYA Inc.—A leading game livestreaming platform in China will operate the team in Chengdu, China
- OverActive Media—An integrated company delivering esports and video game entertainment to the Canadian market will operate the team in Toronto, Canada
- Washington Esports Ventures—A sports organization founded by Mark Ein, owner of the Washington Kastles of World Team Tennis, to build and promote esports enterprises will operate the team in Washington, D.C.
We’ll have to wait a bit longer for the team names, logos, and rosters, but as soon as we have that information we’ll be sure to update you.
[Source: Overwatch League]