In an article over at ESPN, Blizzard confirmed that Overwatch League teams will have to create their own brands. So you will not see Cloud9 or Immortals on the ticket.
Here is an excerpt from the article that explains the approach:
“The Overwatch League is an entirely new endeavor in esports, combining a brand-new IP with a city-based team structure and other components that strongly distinguish it from other initiatives and programs in competitive gaming,” Overwatch League commissioner Nate Nanzer said. “Our team owners are all as enthusiastic as we are about starting with a clean slate and developing branding that is built from the ground up to reflect and enhance the innovations of the League as a whole.”
When asked if there was concern that established brands creating new identities would impact endemic fans, viewership and marketing value, Nanzer pointed to sports ownership groups and marketing support, stating said that those organisations use the same resources for multiple brands already. The teams in the Overwatch League can follow the same strategy.
“There is nothing preventing teams with established endemic esports brands from using their experience and resources to promote Overwatch League teams to their existing fan bases,” he said. “Just as a sports ownership group may own separate team brands in different sports leagues and use the same marketing or sales team to support both, so the same can happen with teams in the Overwatch League.”
We don’t think is comes as a surprise to anyone. However, it will force top endemic teams to figure out a new logo and branding strategy. This is not a bad thing in the long run, but many franchises will now have to hold two brands with other esports teams out there.
In some ways, this may help spots like New York and Boston who do not have any background in esports. We will have to wait and see on all the teams announced.