When Blizzard announced the Overwatch League, it was a big deal, and a big risk. For they were forsaking the “standard” way that esports tournaments were done and instead going with a style reminiscent of a major sports league. Like the NBA or NFL. Then, they partnered with Twitch to stream every single matchup. And it worked! The league was a huge success from start to finish (aside from a few issues with players breaking rules), and now, everyone wants to know how Season 02 will be different.
We already knew that there would be two extra teams coming to the Overwatch League, and now, we know that six more will be added to those two. This will bring the total new teams to eight, which is a big jump for one season.
“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,” Pete Vlastelica said in a statement. “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.”
At present, these new six teams don’t have names, but their owners/backers have been revealed:
- 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 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 Season 02 arrives in 2019.