Overwatch League reports yesterday pointed to a new team being added in Season Two for the city of Berlin, Germany. This comes as no surprise with Activision Blizzard planning out a potential travel policy for teams throughout Season Three. Here are some thoughts on the announcements.
You can find links to the articles at PC Gamer here and Game Haus here. The main statement came from Peter Vlastelica (President & CEO of Esports Leagues at Activision Blizzard). Peter’s line was translated into: “We want a team in Berlin. We hold many discussions and, without being able to reveal details, we will have a team there at the latest next year.”
What Peter is working on building along with all of Overwatch League us the European, Asia, and possibly middle North American markets for the league. Six teams has been a rumor for a long time. Bringing the total for the second season at a potential of eighteen teams. The main areas that would be filled would potentially be overseas. Europe has a heavy esports background especially in Germany, Sweden, and Finland, just look at some of the rosters. Reports have pointed to a team in Paris and even Spain for a while. With Berlin now being mentioned this market could get much bigger.
The other area where teams are needed would hit in Asia, potentially with Tokyo or Hong Kong as host cities. What this format does is set the stage for traveling teams in the coming third season. Games will be scheduled around tours in Europe and Asia so that matches can be spaced out and not cause insane travel times among players. If this is the direction the League is going, it does make the most sense for all the regions. The only real drawback would be how home games could play out. The season could get longer and teams would have long travel times for away games. It would model Baseball in the sense of having a series of matches in local markets.
How Blizzard fills in the league going forward is anyone’s guess. The target of building a more global audience is a very solid objective though, all the speculation on where these teams come up makes perfect sense overall for the league.