LW Blue could be the team that secures the New York City spot in the upcoming Overwatch League, according to an article released by ESPN earlier today.
Sterling.VC, which owns the slot for New York (and sister company of local baseball squad the New York Mets) is currently finalizing a deal which will see them acquire the lineup of South Korean team LW Blue, sources say.
Current team owner Ji Yeong-hun has reportedly been brokering the deal alongside Steve Maida, who owns Luminosity Gaming. Negotiations have supposedly been underway for some weeks, although it is currently unclear whether either will continue to have a role with the roster if the arrangement transpires.
The deal, if completed, would see LW Blue have to make a temporary move to Los Angeles for the inaugural season of the Overwatch League. However, the franchise would then move over to the East coast, settling in New York once the league’s geolocation-based structure is implemented.
The man who will oversee the team is claimed to be Scott Tester, who left his role as an Esports Coordinator at Blizzard Entertainment to sign on with the New York OWL franchise. It seems that franchise will have the LW Blue roster at their disposal. The organisation withdrew from OGN Overwatch APEX tournament on Monday, and South Korean news website FOMOS reported that they would be competing for an unspecified OWL city.
Sterling.VC purchased an Overwatch League spot for $20 million (£15.6m) earlier this year alongside Farzam Kamel and Jeff Wilpon. Fred Wilpon, owner of the New York Mets, owns Sterling.VC’s parent company, Sterling Equities.
Earlier this month, it was confirmed that the London spot for the Overwatch League was designated to North American organisation Cloud9.
Esports Insider says: Although the deal is yet to be formally announced, an essentially South Korean team representing an American city is an interesting prospect. Language and cultural barriers may present a more challenging move than the one Cloud9 faces, as the organisation will face a potentially tricky marketing venture as it looks to secure home support. They are securing some of the world’s best layers, though.