Posted 22nd August 2018 By: Derpina
Esports News – Blizzard Entertainment recently announced that the Overwatch League will welcome two new teams from Guangzhou, China and Atlanta, Georgia. But, it seems like the league is expanding more as another North American region takes the spot. The second team reportedly goes to Toronto, Canada.
Activision Blizzard, together with the organizers of the Overwatch League, are finalizing the deal to sell Toronto a franchise in the tournament. Sources say that the agreement will include a party comprising of esports organization Splyce and OverActive Media Group as owners, and Penguins investor Michael Kimel and Westdale Construction as financial sponsors.
The deal, once approved and finalized, is expected to be in the realms $35 million. This is surprising because, in Season 1, the league sold its 12 franchises for $20 million each. The estimate will give Splyce team ownership and a 10% stake.
Additionally, sources say that that Splyce already had an interest in the Overwatch League last year. One of its main investors, Boston Bruins and TD Garden parent company Delaware North, is located in Boston and has been observing the Boston-based tournaments since then. The slot for Boston Uprising, however, was sold to The Kraft Group in March 2017, months before the Overwatch League signed the remaining teams from the 12 initial ownership groups.
With the current forms and businesses of Splyce, Toronto’s Overwatch League team adds to their long list of esports ownerships, including games like Hearthstone, World of Warcraft, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Call of Duty, and League of Legends.
If everything goes smoothly, the Overwatch League will introduce a total of four or six teams during this offseason. In addition to Atlanta, Guangzhou, and Toronto, other remaining teams will reside outside North America—possibly in Asia-Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East. Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues CEO Pete Vlastelica said that they have their sights on Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, and “some Scandinavian regions”.
The Paris slot will be the second Activision Blizzard franchise to be sold in Europe if agreements and partnerships finalize as expected. McCourt Global, the Los Angeles-based holding company that also owns French soccer team Olympique de Marseille, might handle the Paris team.
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