City League realigns focus from Overwatch to CS:GO

City League, a grassroot esports initiative that was set to make a geolocated Overwatch league in Europe, has shifted its focus to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

This initiative was shut down when the Overwatch League came about, with Blizzard instructing City League to cease any operations it planned for Overwatch.

City League

Sjaak Kuil, General Manager of City League told The Esports Observer: “We’ve started the pre-season for Overwatch because of its recent popularity. The pre-season was a blast, but unfortunately, Blizzard decided to kill the City League project for Overwatch. We tried to find a way to run City League for Overwatch within the criteria of Blizzard, but this was undoable.”

For City League to have followed through with its plans in Overwatch it would have had to have obtained a licence from Blizzard, but Kuil discussed the obstacles that stood in the way. “First of all, you’re not allowed to run a league. You can host individual standalone tournaments, but these may not be connected with each other,” he explained. “Secondly, teams are not allowed to have a connection with a city. Lastly, teams are not allowed to play from a physical venue against another physical venue.”

Kuil continued, explaining that there was enough interest in the City League to still go ahead with it – but it needed to involve a different title, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive was the choice. The League will see eight teams take part, including locations that have just participated in the inaugural season of the Overwatch League.

The first official season for the City League will commence during July, registration is currently open for venues and closes on July 1st. It will see teams play in their own physical venues around Europe for five weeks, starting with a group format that will transition into playoffs.

Esports Insider says: The Overwatch League may have geographical-based teams, but they’re yet to actually compete out of their own home venue. While this is the case, the City League has quite a unique offering across esports – and especially in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. We look forward to seeing how it’s executed.