While rumors about Overwatch League expansion have been flying for some time, we finally have some tangible details on what that will look like. In an interview with Handelsbratt, a German business newspaper, Major League Gaming CEO and President Pete Vlastelica spoke about upcoming plans for the Overwatch League’s second season. The news, verified by translators at Overwatch Wire, suggests that Overwatch esports are going quite swimmingly so far.
Six additional teams will be joining the League: two from the Americas, two from the Asia-Pacific region, and two from Europe and the Middle East. A Berlin team seems “very likely”, with a few other regions (Scandinavia, Spain, Sweden, Paris, and Amsterdam) mentioned as possibilities.
The timeline as to when these teams will be added is still somewhat uncertain, but earlier this month in an Activision earnings call, Mike Morhaime, President of Blizzard, said they planned to added expansion teams to the League by the end of the year.
There are other major cities that have the fan base to support a team but have yet to enter the League. Seattle is a major gaming mecca, Toronto would make an excellent representative for Canada thanks to its substantial traditional sports infrastructure, and China only has one team representing the region.
There is no word on the buy-in cost for expansion teams. The original Overwatch League teams were sold at $20 million each, and Blizzard mentioned during a February 2018 earnings call that the buy-in for expansion franchises would be higher to compensate for the success of the League so far.
Season two will continue to take palce in Los Angeles, with home and away games taking place in team-specific venues in season three. The delay isn’t unexpected; setting up venues for each team is a large undertaking, and during the Overwatch League’s inaugural press day, the Los Angeles Valiant revealed that their home arena would be the Microsoft Theater beginning in season three.