Steve V. September 5, 2018
Blizzard has announced an expansion of teams for the Overwatch League 2019 season.
Officially announced by Blizzard, six new team have now been added to the league. This brings the total number of franchises up to 20.
Washington, D.C. is the only new expansion coming from the United States. China will receive two teams, one in Chengdu, and the other in Hangzhou. Europe will be adding a team representing Paris. Finally, Canada will have two new teams, one from Toronto, and the other in Vancouver.
The second season of the Overwatch League saw an estimated growth of $10-$30 million for each expansion bid. Blizzard previously announced the inclusion of new Atlanta and Guangzhou franchises earlier this summer. At this point in time, the United States houses 11 Overwatch League teams.
The names and branding of each individual team have yet to be announced. Player rosters have also yet to be determined. Expect many of the current team rosters to shake up in the coming months as trades and swaps dot the offseason and the new franchises fill their lineup sheets.
According to OWL Commissioner Nate Nazer, each new team will be given priority to pick up free agents ahead of those teams already established. This gives a rough timeline of one month to lock up free agents before the existing 12 teams are allowed signings. Teams must be finalized by early 2019, prior to the start of the new season.
The second season of OWL will begin in January. While the OWL is still a few months away, the second season of the Overwatch Contenders series is ongoing.