Overwatch League Commissioner Nate Nanzer is currently in Korea scoping out new locations for future Overwatch League events, visiting Blizzard’s regional Korean office and attending a press event for Overwatch Contenders. While in Korea he also provided an interview to Invenglobal, during which the commissioner dropped some major news about Blizzard’s plans for the future of Overwatch League.
When Blizzard announced a regional franchise system for OWL, Nanzer said that Blizzard’s aim with Overwatch League is to be similar to traditional sports. When asked how close he thinks the league is to that goal, the commissioner had this to say: “I think we’re off to a good start. To actually realize our vision and goals, we are going to need more teams around the world. We will be starting conversations about season 2 expansion teams and we’re really focused on additional teams in Asia and Europe. Eventually our goal is to have around 28 teams around the world.”
While the news that Blizzard plans somewhere around 28 teams from around the world isn’t exactly surprising, it’s certainly exciting, especially for fans living outside the US. Currently OWL has twelve teams, with nine based in the USA, one in China, one in Korea and one in England. Overwatch Contenders has already proven that there’s a large interest in Overwatch and OWL across the globe.
For those of you who may not be familiar with Overwatch Contenders, allow me to explain. Contenders is a sort of minor league for OWL, where players get to play on a semi-professional level on an official team sanctioned by Blizzard. Overwatch Contenders players have the chance to showcase their skills on a stage that OWL team scouts are playing close attention to, so successful play there vastly increases your chances of being signed to an OWL team. There are twelve teams in seven regions around the world: North America, Europe, Korea, Pacific, China, South America and Australia.
With esports exploding in popularity, billionaires purchasing teams left and right, esport arenas being built in major cities to attract new teams and a large interest in esports from nearly every corner of the globe, there’s little doubt Blizzard’s goal of 28 teams for OWL is easily attainable.