According to sources close to ESPN, Activision Blizzard has finalized the last two franchises coming into the second season of the Overwatch League. The two teams will reportedly be placed in Vancouver, BC, Canada and Chengdu, China.
The Chengdu, China franchise is said to be owned by Chinese streaming platform, Huya which holds exclusive Chinese streaming rights to WESG and has investments from Tencent.
The franchise based in Vancouver will be owned by the Aquilini Investment Group which also own the National Hockey League team the Vancouver Canucks and Rogers Arena, where Dota 2’s The International 8 was recently held. This will be the 13th team in North America and second in Canada in addition to the Toronto franchise sold to the Kimel family last month.
Financial details were not released but it has been speculated expansion franchises would be sold for up to $60m (£44m).
There have now been eight total teams added to the Overwatch League for the second season expansion rounding the total number of teams to 20: Atlanta, Georgia, Washington, D.C., Toronto, Ontario, Paris, France, Guangzhou, China, and Hangzhou, China. With the additions, the Overwatch League will now feature 11 teams in the United States, two in Canada, two in Europe and five in Asia.
The league has stated it aims to have teams travel and play in their respective regions by 2020 meaning each franchise will soon have to set a home venue in their city.
Esports Insider says: The expansion itself doesn’t come as much of a surprise, the issue raised has been with the regions in which the cities are based. There’s an obvious lack of European teams which Blizzard has announced in the past but out of eight expansion teams, only one will be based in Europe.