New Chinese, European and US teams revealed ahead of key signing dates.
Season 2 of Overwatch will be expanded upon with the addition of eight new teams. The news was confirmed on the official Overwatch League Twitter account yesterday evening.
Here’s a breakdown of the new teams coming to Overwatch League in 2019, with a little extra insight on the owners behind each one:
- Atlanta – Owners Cox Enterprises specialise in media and automative enterprises.
- Chengdu – Operated by HUYA Inc who operate a Chinese livestreaming platform.
- Guangzhou – Owned by Nenking Group, a financial and entertainment business that also owns Guangzhou Long Lions basketball team.
- Hangzhou – Presented by Bilibili, a Chinese online entertainment company.
- Paris – Owned by DM Esports who deliver esports entertainment and investments.
- Toronto – OverActive Media are an esports company focused on the Canadian markets.
- Vancouver – Owned by the Aquilini Group which also owns the NHL Vancouver Canucks and the Rogers Arena.
- Washington – Owner Washington Esports Ventures was founded by Mark Ein, best known as the owner of Washington Kastles from World Team Tennis.
Overwatch League (@overwatchleague) 7 September 2018
The addition of these new teams for Season 2 brings the overall team roster to a total of 20 going forwards. Official team names, logos and player compositions will be revealed closer to the launch of Season 2.
The exact start date of the 2019 Overwatch League championship has yet to be confirmed, but teams and players have been busy organising themselves in line with some key contracted dates.
The signing window began on August 1st, allowing teams to either negotiate contract extensions with existing players, or to sign players connected with their local Overwatch Contenders team.
As of September 9th players without a contract entered free agent status, allowing the newly announced teams to approach and potentially sign them. From October 8th, all teams – both new and existing – are free to sign up free agents.
Teams will only have a couple of months to establish their new rosters, however, as all teams participating in Season 2 of the Overwatch League must have at least eight players contracted by December 1st.