The Overwatch League has announced details of the eight new expansion teams for the second season. The first season of the Overwatch League was an unexpected success with high viewership numbers and fan engagement. The League constantly increased the bar for production in esports events. It also inked deals with ESPN, DisneyXD, Twitter, Sour Patch Kids over the course of Season 1.
The expansion for Season 2 was always on the table. With an aim of 28 teams spread across the globe, we can only expect the Overwatch league to further expand in Season 3. They have an ultimate aim of a total of 28 teams spread all around the world. One of the biggest criticisms for Season 1teams was the large concentration in North America. With this year’s expansion teams, there will be a total of nine teams outside of North America.
The Eight new Expansion cities for Season 2:
- Washington D.C
We can’t wait for the #OWL2019 season!
Here are the 8 new teams joining the league! pic.twitter.com/zhkrNYDlko
— Overwatch League (@overwatchleague) September 7, 2018
Two of these teams, the Atlanta and the Vancouver Franchise were already known to fans due to a previous Blizzard announcement. They confirmed six new franchises yesterday. Most of these names were already common knowledge due to several leaks from various sources.
Here is a look at the ownership details for the new Franchises of OWL Season 2.
- 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.
- Cox Enterprises: A leading communications, media, and automotive services company. Atlanta Esports Ventures—a partnership between Cox and Province, Inc.—will operate the team.
- Nenking Group: A financial and entertainment conglomerate, and owner of the Guangzhou Long Lions of the Chinese Basketball Association.
The period from September 10th till October 9th will be an exclusive signing window for the expansion teams. This will allow them to gain an equal footing when it comes to their standing with the Season 1 OWL teams.
The Overwatch league Season 2 is scheduled to start around January 2019. It will have only two stages instead of the four Stages for Season 1. Any roster changes and player movements through the league will be available on the official website.