Rebekah D. July 31, 2018
The first expansion slots for Overwatch League Season 2 have been sold, with teams in Guangzhou and Atlanta officially joining the roster.
A Paris team is also said to be in the final stages of a deal with Blizzard, potentially bringing three new teams to the competition for the next season.
The Atlanta group was the first to finalise a deal, with rights for the expansion being sold to Georgia’s Cox Enterprises. Though Cox does not have a history of funding sports ventures, they do have a large media subsidiary that owns both television and radio outlets.
The deal was confirmed when Blizzard announced their financial results for the second quarter of 2018. Also confirmed was another deal being finalized, this one with China’s Nenking Group, owners of the Guangzhou Long-Lions of the Chinese Basketball Association. The regional rights for Neking Group cover the city of Guangzhou.
The Parisian team, though not finalised at this point, has been reported to be with McCourt Global. Though an American holding company, McCourt owns the French team Olympique de Marseilles and would hold the regional rights.
League commissioner Nate Nanzer previously stated that the main focus for expansion teams would focus on cities outside of the United States, especially those in Europe. Berlin was named as a possible focus in the league’s expansion plans earlier this summer, but no reports of a deal for a German OWL team have yet surfaced.
Reports have estimated expansion slots would sell between $30-60 million, with between four and six new teams joining the league. If McCourt and Blizzard can finalise a deal, there may be only one more slot left for season 2 in 2019.