While most Overwatch fans were busy paying attention to Doomfist’s arrival on the game’s public test realm, ESPN slipped out a report last night claiming Blizzard has lined up six teams for its Overwatch League. New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon are among the wealthy parties to have agreed to purchase teams, sources close to the owners and Blizzard told ESPN.
Joining Wilpon and Kraft as US Overwatch League team owners will be existing esports teams NRG Esports and Immortals, whose teams will be located in San Francisco and Los Angeles, respectively. Naturally, Kraft’s team will call Boston home while Wilpon’s will be situated in New York. The four US teams will also compete with teams in Shanghai, China and Seoul, South Korea, according to the report.
Immortals and NRG Esports are said to be forking over $20 million for team ownership, while the price of the other teams has not been reported on. This would line up with a previous ESPN report in May claiming the buy-in for an Overwatch League team was $20 million, although Kotaku sources claimed the figure wasn’t set in stone and could be as low as $15 million depending on the team’s host city.
Any sports team (“e” or otherwise) needs an owner to front the money, but it also needs players to actually play the games. To that end, just last week, the league began a search for the world’s top Overwatch players so it could start building teams.
Overwatch League was first announced in October 2016 with plans to begin play this year.