It was previously reported that the Overwatch League was eyeing an expansion once its inaugural season had finished, and now in an interview, Nate Nanzer, Commissioner, Overwatch League has listed some of the destinations that may be included in the future.
The first season of the Overwatch League isn’t too far off of completion, but as Nanzer, reveals, Blizzard has some ambitious plans about where it plans to bring the competition to next. The main region it is targeting is Europe, the home of many endemic sports clubs – it’s been revealed that Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard gave “a speech on esports at the European Club Association General Assembly,” where “all the European football clubs come together.”
Specific countries that are being targeted include France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Benelux, and the Nordic region according to the interview. “We want teams in the big great cities across Europe like Paris, Berlin,” explained Nanzer. The potential list of destinations doesn’t end there, though.
Perhaps surprisingly, Brazil is “a market that’s particularly interesting” to the Overwatch League. Nanzer also listed countries within the Asia Pacific region such as New Zealand and Australia. “There’s been lots of activity in Australia with AFL teams getting involved with esports, so there could be something interesting there,” added the Commissioner.
The Middle East is also an area that could well home Overwatch League franchises, as Nanzer explained that “gaming is huge in countries like UAE and Saudi Arabia.” There’s no word on whether any of the aforementioned locations will be embedded into the League from Season 2, or whether it’ll see the inclusion of more North American and Asian teams. One thing’s for sure though: there will be more teams included next season.
It’s also unknown as to exactly when teams will host games from their respective namesakes (London Spitfire, Houston Outlaws, and Seoul Dynasty, for example). Nanzer said that they “haven’t made the decision yet, but we want it as soon as possible. If it doesn’t happen in Season 2, it’ll happen very quickly after that.”
Esports Insider says: While we’re glad to see that there will be other regions represented in the League beyond North America and Asia, we’ve been caught by surprise by the potential of Middle Eastern franchises being formed so soon. Looking to European sports clubs makes complete sense though, considering the amount of North American sports clubs that have been involved thus far.