Blizzard has confirmed two of the rumored six expansion teams for Season 2 of the Overwatch League. Atlanta, Paris and Guangzhou are three of the expected six teams, expanding the Overwatch League further into Europe and China. Atlanta and Guangzhou were confirmed today in a press release.
The new teams come at a reported cost of $30-60 million. No roster information is up yet – the franchises have only just been formed, after all – but if last season is anything to go by we can expect announcements before the end of the year.
Cox Enterprises, a media conglomerate based in Atlanta, has secured the first American expansion slot. Cox also owns a Major League Soccer team, the Atlanta United. In 2017, the company made more than $20 billion in revenue. The Guangzhou team, meanwhile, is owned by the Nenking Group (owned by Chinese billionaire Zhong Naixiong.) The Nenking Group owns the Guangzhou Long Lions basketball team.
Expanding the Overwatch League has been in Blizzard’s sights since the earliest stages of the League. Nine of the twelve initial teams were American franchises, which left some international fans feeling a little left out. The introduction of a continental European team means a foothold for Blizzard to grow their European viewership. Chinese viewers should also feel a little happier with a new and hopefully more coordinated Chinese team, after Shanghai’s disastrous first season.
Sources have claimed that the remaining four expansion teams will be announced soon. Rumors regarding these teams have been sparse, with the exception of a potential Paris team owned by the LA-based McCourt Group. Personally, I’m hoping for an Australian team (with Custa as captain!) but Toronto, Berlin and Busan all seem like more likely locations. The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia or Brazil are also potential choices – any of those three would let the League get a foothold in regions they otherwise don’t have support in.
What do you think about these new teams? Which cities will next sign an Overwatch team? Let us know on Twitter!