Six new teams will join the Overwatch League for its second season, with two teams each from North America, Europe, and Asia.
League president and CEO Pete Vlastelica confirmed the plans to German magazine Handelsblatt. He couldn’t say which specific European or Asian nations would be getting teams, but he did announce that the League intends to have a Berlin-based team by next year.
Currently, OWL comprises 12 teams: nine from North America, two from Asia (the Shanghai Dragons and Seoul Dynasty), and one from the UK (London Spitfire). The first season wraps up next month, with the grand finals set for June 27-28.
Overwatch is on our list of the best multiplayer games on PC.
Vlastelica said the League is looking for partners in European cities that have strong potential owners and dedicated Overwatch playerbases. He listed Berlin, Paris, and Amsterdam as potential cities, and said they’re also considering teams in Scandanavia.
The Overwatch League is the first esports organisation to develop permanent franchises, Vlastelica explained, and that means they’re looking for franchise owners who have “strategic resources to benefit the league.” In other words, solid financial backing.
The full interview with Vlastelicacan be found over atHandelsblatt, in German. Quotes used here have been translated by Google.
With the popularity of Overwatch League, it’s a solid investment for the right backers. Blizzard sold exclusive streaming rights for the League’s first two seasons to Twitch for $90 million, and that figure is likely to increase if OWL continues to expand in both size and viewership.
The Overwatch League has said they’ve been looking to Europe as a key market for expansion, and that football clubs have helped guide their model for development in the region. In the interview with Handelsblatt, Vlastelica says the league works on an American sports franchise model.