Overwatch League announces first seven teams

Announced during Blizzcon 2016, the Overwatch League is Blizzard’s effort in launching an e-sports league in a traditional sports format where teams are based in cities across the world and represent their local communities. While we’re still waiting on a launch date for the first season and the rules and structure around the season and playoffs, Blizzard has announced the first seven official teams in a post on their official league site.

  • Boston – This team will be run and owned by New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and the Kraft Group.
  • New York - Jeff Wilpon, COO of the New York Mets and co-founder/partner of Sterling.VC, will be running the New York team.
  • Los Angeles – The Immortals CEO, Noah Whinston, will run the L.A. team.
  • Miami-Orlando - Ben Spoont of Misfits Gaming will take charge down in Florida.
  • San Francisco – Sacramento Kings co-owner Andy Miller, who also is chairman and founder of NRG Esports will handle the San Francisco team.
  • Shanghai - Chinese internet technology company, NetEase, (who is also a partner of Blizzard and Mojang AB (Minecraft) in China), will head up the Shanghai team.
  • Seoul – Kabam co-founder, Kevin Chou, will run the Seoul, Korea team.

“Overwatch is a game about a diverse group of international heroes who fight for an optimistic vision of the future, and the Overwatch League is an extension of that spirit,” said Blizzard Entertainment CEO and co-founder Mike Morhaime. “We’re building this league for fans—esports fans, traditional sports fans, gaming fans—and we’re thrilled to have individuals and organizations who are as passionate about professional competition as we are, and who have extensive experience in all three fields, representing our first major international cities in the league.”

In addition to the announcement, the league also shared how the teams will make money. Teams will share an equal net revenue from league-wide advertising, ticket sales, and broadcast right deals along with all local revenues teams earn from their locally hosted events up to a certain amount, where then overages will be distributed throughout the league.

Blizzard also said that season one of the Overwatch League will begin later this year and matches will be hosted in Los Angeles while teams build up and organize their local communities to be able to host home games and travel to away games.

Check out the team announcement video below: