Eight new teams will be joining the Overwatch League for its 2019 season. According to a news post from Blizzard this morning, 2019 will see teams representing Atlanta, Toronto, Vancouver, Washington, D.C, Paris, Chengdu, Hangzhou, and Guangzhou.
Pete Valstelica, President and CEO of Activision Blizzard said it’s important to have great team owners because they, in turn, make the league great. «Every one of these expansion franchises cleared that bar and will make our league even better,» he said.
What’s not stated in the article are the buy-in fees for these expansion teams. Before Season 1, we knew that teams needed to pay upward of $20 million to secure a spot in the league. Now it’s reported that the season buy-in is somewhere between $30 and $60 million.
The first season of the Overwatch League started with a bang, but viewership declined over the months. The addition of new teams may help those numbers improve, especially for cities that are getting their own teams.
One area of concern for many fans is the available talent pool in the league. Some teams faced stiff losing streaks in Season 1, with the Shanghai Dragons going 0/40, the Florida Mayhem going 7/33, and the Dallas Fuel going 12/28.
However, a new wave of Overwatch pros will be entering play thanks to the Overwatch Contenders program, which has 84 registered teams across the world. Though every player in the program may not be top caliber, current and new teams have a large pool of talent to recruit from, meaning we may see more parity in Season 2.
Names for the eight new teams have yet to be announced. Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news and info on Overwatch as it develops.