August 2, 2018 It’s official – Atlanta and Guangzhou are getting Overwatch League teams.
Confirmation comes a day later than we expected, but Atlanta, GA and Guangzhou, China will each host an Overwatch League team, making these the first two teams confirmed for OWL’s second season. The details line up with all the reports we’ve heard over the past week, so no great surprises come alongside the full announcement.
Nate Nanzer, commissioner of Overwatch League, says “We know Atlanta and Guangzhou have deeply engaged fan communities and we can’t wait to unveil their teams. As the league continues to grow, we’re looking forward to seeing more talented pros in action as more roster spots open up.”
Guangzhou’s franchise comes courtesy of the Nenking Group, owners of the Guangzhou Long-Lions basketball team. Cox Enterprises will be backing the Atlanta team in the US. Early reports on the Atlanta team are also where we heard that the League’s new team cost might reach as high as $60 million for the six teams coming in season two.
Notably missing from the announcement is a Paris team, which was finalizing negotiations for a final spot in the League last week along with Guangzhou, according to ESPN. The Paris team would be backed by McCourt Global, a holding company ironically based in Los Angeles.
Despite its international aspirations, Overwatch League franchises are heavily biased toward the US, with only one team in Europe – the championship-winning London Spitfire – and two in Asia, including the China’s own Shanghai Dragons. Hopefully the Guangzhou team can have a bit more success than the Dragons this season – which is to say any success at all. Literally just one game would be great.