ESPN Jacob Wolf reports that season two of Blizzard’s competitive esports offering, The Overwatch League, will feature a new team based in Washington, D.C. and owned by some familiar faces.
According to ESPN, the team will be owned by a new organization led by Washington City Paper and Washington Kastles owner Mark Ein. Ein is also invested in Team Liquid’s parent company aXiomatic by way of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, the Ted Leonsis-led parent company of the Washington Capitals.
So, basically, the Caps will soon have a cousin in esports.
ESPN reports that the buy-in for a franchise in season two is between $35 and $60 million, up from $20 million in the inaugural season. A formal announcement for the expansion teams, expected to include Atlanta, Guangzhou, and Hangzhou, may occur this weekend at Dreamhack Montreal.
Beginning September 9, expansion teams will have an exclusive, month-long window to sign free agents.
It’s unclear if Monumental Sports & Entertainment or its members will be involved in the investment group for the new team. MSE has been an early leader in esports. In addition to owning the successful Team Liquid, MSE and the Wizards formed the NBA 2K league team Washington District Gaming late last year. Team Liquid declined to join Overwatch League for its first season.
Season one of the Overwatch League wrapped up this summer with London Spitfire taking the championship by defeating the Philadelphia Fusion. RMNB’s adopted team, the L.A. Valiant, won the fourth stage of the regular season but were eliminated in the semi-final of the playoffs. Though the league’s teams are nominally city-based, all season-one games (aside from the grand final in Brooklyn) took place in Burbank, California. Future seasons are intended to include a travel schedule and games based in teams’ cities.
A start for season two has not yet been announced, but a December date is expected.
Headline photo: Activision Blizzard
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