Cloud9 has set up shop in Blighty, with Cloud9's founder Jack Etienne picking up the London slot, while Stan and Josh Kroenke, who own traditional sports teams Arsenal Football Club, the Los Angeles Rams, Denver Nuggets and the Colorado Mammoth, Avalanche and Rapids teams.
"It was important for us to really find best-in-class operators that, first and foremost, have a proven track record of building and growing and fostering a fan base", Overwatch League commissioner Nate Nanzer said in a phone interview. The buy-in for both teams will be $20million, in line with the fee for other teams that have already joined.
The Overwatch League has added to its rapidly expanding collection of widely loathed traditional-sports honchos, as Stan and Josh Kroenke, owners of Arsenal, the Los Angeles Rams, a dizzying array of Colorado franchises, and whatever is on Stan's head have bought a Los Angeles team for a reported $20 million. "They will enhance our ability to celebrate and reward players and fans in Los Angeles, London, and beyond".
"We applaud the creation of the Overwatch League, and couldn't be happier partnering with an organization that shares our values and vision of serving athletes, teams, and fans", said Etienne.
The city of London, England, has been claimed by esports organization Cloud9.
The two new additions join the original seven confirmed teams for the inaugural season of the Overwatch League, while Team EnVyUs are reportedly finalising a deal for the Austin-Dallas location, which has yet to be officially confirmed. Founded in 2012, Cloud9 has been a consistent leader in esports across multiple titles.
This is actually the second team announced for Los Angeles.
The Overwatch League will begin later this year.
Count Stan and Josh Kroenke and their Kroenke Sports & Entertainment (KSE) business as the latest in a growing list of traditional sports owners who are turning their attention and investing in esports.
The Overwatch League is the first global professional esports league. Your continued support and excitement drive everything we do, and fuel us as we work towards the launch of the League later this year. From August 1 until October 30, teams can sign Overwatch players to a contract that guarantees a minimum of $50,000 per year and 50% of all team performance bonuses from winning league events being passed directly on to the players. Keep your browser bookmarked to overwatchleague.com for official news on rosters and more information about the Overwatch League as a whole. Cloud9 is also joining NRG Esports, Misfits and Immortals as the only multi competition Esport's brands now in the Overwatch League.