Blizzard has confirmed eight new Overwatch teams for the Overwatch League’s second season. The teams will represent Vancouver, Toronto, Paris, Washington, DC, Atlanta, and three Chinese cities: Hangzhou, Chengdu and Guangzhou. An official start date for the second season has not been announced.
These eight new teams will join OWL’s 12 preexisting teams, making a total of 20 franchises. ESPN reports that owners paid somewhere in the $US30 to $US60 million ($42 to $85 million) ballpark for the new teams. For the League’s first season, ESPN has reported owners paid around $US20 million ($28 million).
Viewership dwindled as the League’s seven-month-long first season carried on, although the July Finals drew in an average per-minute audience of 861,000 over two days. It was a long season, but one full of suspense: Long-shot teams saw their comeuppance as shocking upsets rocked top seeds.
Overwatch also introduced new characters mid-season, and substantial new balance patches, making versatility an asset for the teams that consistently came out on top. This unpredictability meant that, at least for me, following the League remained interesting and fresh throughout those many, many months.
The new teams will come as welcome news to fans who didn’t have local champions. And Blizzard has referenced its desire to install home arenas across the world for the League’s teams — but that would apparently happen in the distant future.
Sadly, it looks as though the American Midwest still isn’t getting any love. Anyone who has a spare $85 million burning a hole in their pocket can check out our team franchise suggestions. (Chicago Fire? Amazon’s Second Headquarters Players? Sorry.)