Seven Overwatch League teams confirmed across US and Asian cities

Overwatch D.Va

Blizzard has announced the first seven teams to take part in the Overwatch League [official site], the game’s official eSports league that’s due to launch later this year.

The teams will represent cities, almost like football teams, and will be owned by a mix of eSports guys and traditional sports business giants, including the head honcho at current NFL champions the New England Patriots. Yep, Overwatch is big business.

Here’s the full list:

  • Boston, USA, owned by Robert Kraft, chairman and chief executive of the Kraft Group and the New England Patriots
  • New York City, USA, owned by Jeff Wilpon, co-founder and partner of Sterling.VC and chief operating officer of the New York Mets
  • Los Angeles, USA, owned Noah Whinston, chief executive of eSports organisation Immortals
  • Miami and Orlando, USA, owned by Ben Spoont, chief executive and co-founder of eSports organisation Misfits Gaming
  • San Francisco, USA, owned by Andy Miller, chairman and founder of NRG Esports
  • Shanghai, China, owned by NetEase
  • Seoul, South Korea, owned by Kevin Chou, co-founder of Kabam

It’s disappointing not to see any European teams in there yet, especially considering that Misfits Gaming (the Miami/Orlando team) are a Swedish outfit with a HQ in London. But this is just the first wave of teams, so expect more soon. There’s actually nine teams planned for Europe, including one in the UK.

I’m really excited for the Overwatch League. Partly because I just adore Overwatch, but partly because it brings something new to the eSports table. If your city has a team, it gives you a connection to that team: a reason to support them that is tangible, rather than you just happen to like the players on a particular squad (who tend to chop and change often). I could root for a London Overwatch team, I reckon, and go to see some of their matches.

Overwatch has struggled as an eSport so far, which is a shame given how watchable it is, so this should be the kick start it needs. What do you reckon?

7 Comments

  1. Crow says:

    Yeah the alleged 20 million $ buy in might be the reason that there are no European teams yet.

  2. Herzog says:

    I think it didn’t catch up as Esport because it is not watchable!? It’s a total mess to spectate. If Blizzard cannot find a way to make the spectator view much better I don’t see this becoming successful.

    Same problem also with Quake Champions and its team mode Sacrifice. Just a cluster fuck to spectate.

    Still I wish them success!

    • terves says:

      OW is a terrible esport for the same reason it’s so popular: it caters to a casual audience. Big, exciting plays rarely happen since the game is so massively centered around coordinating ults (which require little to no mechanical skill) with your team. Watching someone in CS get an ace with precision aiming is a lot more impressive than watching a soldier 76 get a multikill because they pressed the aimbot button at the right time. A lot of the game is also about both teams just harmlessly plinking at each other from across a chokepoint to build their ults which is incredibly boring to watch.

      e: whoops, this was not meant as a reply.

  3. Freud says:

    I’m sure Overwatch players might be interested but for anyone not into Overwatch, it’s almost unwatchable as an eSport. The games are very chaotic and spammy. It’s hard to get an overview of what’s going on and it’s hard for the announcers to help with that.

    It’s not at all like CS:GO or mobas, that works much better as eSports because the objective of the game is clearer and the action is cleaner.

  4. Jokerme says:

    I rather watch paint dry than watch Overwatch. At least I can tell what’s going on.

  5. Premium User Badge

    nitwit says:

    I love Overwatch, and I love watching it, but I only like to watch one player at a time (in first person). I think the free-roaming spectator camera is a mistake. You can’t see any of the great plays unless you’re watching from their perspective.

    I’m pumped to get an official Overwatch league. Should be good times.