Blizzard has officially announced the eight expansion teams for Season Two of the Overwatch League.
In addition to the previously-announced franchises in Atlanta, Georgia, USA and Guangzhou, China, the league will also feature teams based in Chengdu (China), Hangzhou (China), Paris (France), Toronto (Canada), Vancouver (Canada), and Washington D.C.
Blizzard's official press release confirms the spots will be owned by the following organizations:
- Aquilini Group—A diversified family business that owns the National Hockey League’s Vancouver Canucks and Rogers Arena, and manages a global conglomerate portfolio will operate the team in Vancouver, Canada
- Bilibili—A leading online entertainment company for young people in China, covering a wide array of genres and media formats including: videos, live broadcasting, and mobile games will operate the team in Hangzhou, China
- DM Esports—A global company focused on esports entertainment and investments will operate the team in Paris, France
- HUYA Inc.—A leading game livestreaming platform in China will operate the team in Chengdu, China
- OverActive Media—An integrated company delivering esports and video game entertainment to the Canadian market will operate the team in Toronto, Canada
- Washington Esports Ventures—A sports organization founded by Mark Ein, owner of the Washington Kastles of World Team Tennis, to build and promote esports enterprises will operate the team in Washington, D.C.
— Overwatch League (@overwatchleague) September 7, 2018
The announcement confirms previous reports that these were the locations of the new teams joining the Overwatch League for Season Two.
Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard, said of the expansion:
“The Overwatch League’s inaugural season was a great success. This past season alone, fans spent 160 million hours watching the leading Overwatch players in the world compete. We are thrilled to add eight new outstanding team owners from Europe, China, and North America to our Overwatch League ownership group. We now have 20 of the very best owners in professional sports.”
Pete Vlastelica, president and CEO of Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues, also said:
“We just capped an amazing inaugural Overwatch League season, crowning our first-ever Grand Finals champion in front of a sold-out crowd of dedicated and passionate fans. Now, as we look forward to the 2019 season and beyond, we’re adding eight new teams that will help us grow our league in important regions around the globe. We know that the difference between a good league and a great league is its owners, and we set a high bar for our first season with the caliber of ownership groups. Every one of these expansion franchises cleared that bar and will make our league even better.”
The expansion teams will have until December 8 to build a minimum 8-player roster, with an exclusive signing window for new teams opening on September 9 until October 7. Season Two of the Overwatch League is expected to kick off in early 2019, although an exact schedule is yet to be announced.