Two new Overwatch League teams point to strong US emphasis - report
Houston and Philadelphia teams would give the US 8 out of 11 spots in Activision Blizzard's new competition
Activision Blizzard has locked in two more teams for the Overwatch League, sources close to each side of the deal have said, both of which will be based in the US.
According to an ESPN report, the two new teams will be based in Philadelphia and Houston. The Philadelphia team will be run by Comcast Spectator, which also owns the city's ice hockey team, the Philadelphia Flyers. In Houston, the team will be owned by OpTic Gaming and an investment group led by Neil Leibman, co-owner of the Texas Rangers NBA team.
The Overwatch League has nine officially confirmed teams, following the addition of two more, in London and Los Angeles, last month. While there will also be teams in Shanghai and Seoul, these rumoured additions show that the competition will very much be rooted in North America, making it 8 out of 11 teams in the US.
Each team owner has paid $20 million to be part of Activision Blizzard's ambitious new competition, which it has carefully positioned as a much needed evolution for the current esports scene. ESPN's report suggests that it is aiming to lock in 14 teams before the first season starts, but Activision Blizzard has already said it intends to expand the competition to 28 teams over time.
The first season will be played at a custom-built esports arena in Los Angeles, the plans for which were unveiled in August.