The Overwatch League has signed two new teams for the 2019 season, officially announcing them on August 2.
The teams will be based in Atlanta, Georgia and Gangzhou, China respectively, and will be joining the 12 franchises that are currently in the league.
The team that will be based in Atlanta is owned and operated by Cox Enterprises, a leading communications, media, and automotive services company, which has partnered with Province, Inc. to form Atlanta Esports Ventures.
Paul Hamilton, the president and CEO of Atlanta Esports Ventures, spoke excitedly about bringing the OWL to Atlanta:
"The popularity of Overwatch and esports in general has created a diverse fanbase that we in Atlanta are excited to engage. With the creativity of Blizzard Entertainment and the determination of Atlanta Esports Ventures, we are poised to create the preeminent esports team in the heart of the Southeast.”
The Guangzhou franchise will be owned and operated by the Nenking Group, a financial and entertainment conglomerate, and owner of the Guangzhou Long Lions of the Chinese Basketball Association.
Their chairman, Zhong Naixiong, is looking forward to having their city represented in the OWL:
“We are so excited to bring an Overwatch League team to Guangzhou. The Nenking Group and the Long Lions have deep roots in this region, and we can’t wait to represent our city on the world stage and make our fans proud.”
Pete Vlastelica, the president and CEO of Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues, is very pleased with their two new additions:
“After thrilling fans with an amazing Grand Finals at the Barclays Center, we’re excited to follow that up by expanding the Overwatch League next season. We’re pleased to add the Atlanta and Guangzhou teams to the ownership group, and we look forward to bringing the league to even more fans across both regions in 2019.”
Likewise, the commissioner of the OWL, Nate Nanzer, spoke about the promise and potential their two new franchises bring to the league:
“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.”
The official names, logos and themes, and rosters for both of the new teams have not yet been revealed, but will be done so in the near future along with the 2019 season schedule for the OWL.