Fans have now seen the branding, colors, and in-game skins for the Overwatch League’s second EU team. Welcome the Paris Eternal.
No such thing as impossible. The news hit Twitter totally unexpected today at 11:44am CEST. While America was still sleeping at this time, possibly every single European Overwatch fan was screaming with joy. Paris’s OWL Expansion team reveals a European roster with players from the EU only!
So two weeks ago the first seven teams were announced, now we have to wait and see who else is coming on board. Logically it makes sense to start with 10 teams. Perhaps Blizzard has a few more up their sleeve. The one big gaming continent that was not on the initial list was Europe. So, when will we hear anything?
Gamescom is the largest game convention in the world. It takes place in Cologne, Germany next month. Blizzard has a history of big announcements at the show and most likely will have some this year as well. This would be the ideal place to make the Overwatch League European Team announcements. Live, onstage, at one of the biggest shows in the world. Gamescom gets around 400k visitors over the course of an extended weekend. That is more than SDCC and NYCC combined. So, that would be the best place for the League to plant their flag.
Now, who will get the teams? Logic quickly points to London as a major stop. Overwatch is popular in the U.K. and the Premiere League has loads of sports money, venues, and operations to put money into Esports. So, we see this as the top choice.
The next city could be anywhere. Paris, Stockholm, Madrid all have potential here. There are a lot of Swedish Overwatch players. The other major location is Cologne itself. Cologne is home to the ESL and has a solid mark on the eSports map. The organization being right there makes the city a very logical second choice. It all depends if the ESL wants to join into the Overwatch League in the first place? They do have a huge amount of players and well, there is a history in sports of leagues buying other leagues to fill out their ranks. The NFC did buy the AFC to form the NFL years ago.
The third city may surprise you. The announcement should be made to cover all ten teams before the summer is over. The third team could be a dark horse city we have not even considered. My first guess would be Sydney, Australia. The Australian team just beat Japan in the World Cup qualifier and there is a major buzz on the southern continent. Sydney has a huge Rugby and Soccer community, not to mention a host of sports venues. So, they are a consideration. The other dark horse city is, Dubai. Yes Dubai, it is an amazing city with more and more spectacular buildings. It has loads of money, and it is very tech heavy. A dark horse in the running yes, but one that would bring the league into a truly global stage, absolutely.
No matter what city you are cheering for, we think the announcement will be made at Gamescom. This will close out the top ten cities and begin season one of the league right at the end of the year. Expect the draft to take place soon after BlizzCon and the first games to launch in 2018. Just our theory, but…we’d be willing to bet on it!