The Overwatch League commissioner promised 14 teams to start the inaugural season, and Blizzard has just finalized deals with their 11th and 12th teams– with a 13th rumored to be announced soon.
Per ESPN’s Jacob Wolf, Comcast Spectacor, the company that owns the Philadelphia Flyers and Comcast, has purchased the Philadelphia spot. Down south, OpTic Gaming, with their new investor in Neil Libman (co-owner of the Texas Rangers) bought the Houston spot.
Wesley Edens, co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks, has expressed interest in the league and is most likely going to be signing on soon. Blizzard has offered him the Chicago spot, but as of right now it is only speculation. Eden owns the esports organization FlyQuest.
OpTic Gaming has been a staple of Call of Duty esports, for the past decade. They recently won the 2017 Call of Duty World League Championship last month. OpTic has teams in Gears of War, Halo, and CS:GO as well. FlyQuest is a recently developed League of Legends team, only dating back to early this year. FlyQuest failed to qualify for the NA LCS Regional Qualifiers this year. Comcast Spectacor does not own an esports team. All three teams, however, will have to create a new brand for the League.
If the deal with Edens goes through– and it’s looking like it will, the Overwatch League will have 13 teams: New York (Fred Wilpon, LW Blue), New England (Robert Kraft), Los Angeles (Noah Whinston, Immortals), Los Angeles (Stan and Josh Kroenke), Miami-Orlando (Ben Spoont, Misfits), San Francisco (Andy Miller, NRG Esports), Dallas (Kenneth Hersh), London (Jack Etienne, Cloud 9), Shanghai (NetEase), Seoul (Kevin Chou), and now Philadelphia (Comcast Spectacor), Houston (Neil Libman, OpTic Gaming), and Chicago (Wesley Edens).
A total of 6 sports franchises have bought into the Overwatch League with no prior esports experience, along with 3 non-sports companies and 4 esports organizations. Other than the signing of LW Blue by thew New York Team and the signing of Sinatraa by NRG, there has been no major news in terms of player contracts. Expect these new teams to jump on the market for new players soon, as the singing window ends October 30th.