The Overwatch League is an attempt to emulate the regular sports model via the ‘Home and Away’ Format. In what was seen as a mistake by many, Overwatch League proved its success in Season 1.
A franchise team in the Overwatch League cost around $20 million for Season 1. With its success, Season 2 franchise slots are selling for around $30 – $60 million according to a report by ESPN. Despite the rise in prices, Overwatch League seems to have found new prospective investors for Season 2.
A change in the original expansion plans.
The final aim of the Overwatch League is to have 28 professional franchises spread out across the world. These teams would play in a ‘Home & Away’ Format where they would be based out of physical locations. They would be responsible for the development of stadiums, merchandise and a loyal fanbase from their catchment areas.
The original expansion plans for Season 2 was to reach 18 teams. The expansion teams would be spread out over the world with teams from Busan, China, North America etc. However, there have been several last-minute interests from several sources.
Currently, the league has 18 confirmed teams. This includes the new franchises of Atlanta, Busan, Guangzhou and Paris. As we can see, the expansion for OWL Season 2 includes one team from Europe, One from North America and two from Asia. This goes well with their aim to move away from a North America heavy league.
Two new teams in the pipeline
There will be two more teams in addition to the ones written above. Hangzhou and Washington D.C. will join Overwatch League for Season
2. According to this report by Jacob Wolf, the Washington D.C. funding will be led by Mark Ein and his Capitol Investment Corp.
Mark Ein recently bought the Washington City newspaper. He is the owner and founder of the Washington Castles. His foray into esports signals a growing interest in this new segment in North America. This will be the 11th city franchise form North America.
Hangzhou will be the third Chinese city to join the Overwatch League. The rising investments from the Chinese is a great sign of the growth of Overwatch League. The new teams will be able to pick up players soon, as the existing teams are offloading several free agents.
Two free slots still remaining
There will be two more slots still in contention for the upcoming Season. According to sources, China will have another franchise for the next season. The next few weeks will be full of Overwatch news and roster shuffles. We will be updating you with any news as it hits.