Blizzard's insistence on having city-based teams for its new Overwatch League has contributed to the League's stuttering start, but some concrete details are now at last emerging.
Seven teams have now been confirmed, the owners and locations of which are as follows:
- Robert Kraft, Chairman and CEO of the Kraft Group and the New England Patriots (Boston)
- Jeff Wilpon, Co-Founder and Partner of Sterling VC and COO of the New York Mets (New York)
- Noah Whinston, CEO of Immortals (Los Angeles)
- Ben Spoont, CEO and Co-Founder of Misfits Gaming (Miami-Orlando)
- Andy Miller, Chairman and Founder of NRG Esports (San Francisco)
- NetEase (Shanghai)
- Kevin Chou, Co-founder of Kabam (Seoul)
Note the mixture of established sports owners and esports names. Also note that NetEase is the publisher of Overwatch in China, which perhaps seems a little odd.
Overwatch already connects over 30m players worldwide. The Overwatch League will celebrate and reward our most accomplished players and give fans more opportunities to engage with each other,” Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick said.
We're excited to be working with leaders from esports and traditional sports to celebrate our players and to establish the Overwatch League.”
Blizzard CEO and co-founder Mike Morhaime added: 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.
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.”