Multi-billionaire sports entrepreneur buys Overwatch League team
Aug 11 2017 by Joanne Wise
With Jack Etienne of Cloud9 purchasing the team for London, and sports industry leaders Stan and Josh Kroenke purchasing the team for Los Angeles.
Stan Kroenke is owner of the NBA's Denver Nuggets, the NHL's Colorado Avalanche, Major League Soccer's Colorado Rapids, the National Lacrosse League's Colorado Mammoth, and the NFL's Los Angeles Rams.
The Overwatch League will differ from other professional esports leagues in that it will be more regionally-based with teams representing specific cities.
Esports organisation Cloud9 founder Jack Etienne purchased the rights to the London team, while billionaire sports team owner Stan Kroenke and his son Josh purchased the rights to a Los Angeles team - the league's second.
"Building communities around the best competitive experiences in the world is incredibly rewarding, and the Overwatch League offers the chance to create something special", says Josh Kroenke, the cofounder of Kroenke Sports & Entertainment.
"We're impressed by the vision and strategy for the League, and we're going to build a great team for Los Angeles that inspires fans near and far".
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The spot will be operated by their new esports business, KSE Esports.
With Blizzard opening the player signing window for the Overwatch League it will be fascinating to watch which teams more forward to pick up some of the top players in the Overwatch competitive scene. The league now has franchises in Boston, London, Los Angeles, Miami-Orlando, New York, San Francisco, Seoul and Shanghai. London, meanwhile, went to the Cloud9 esports organization.
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.
Season one of the Overwatch League is expected to get underway later this year.
Set to open play later this year, Overwatch League is now up to nine franchises with these two additions, the latter of which puts the league's first European team on the map. Blizzard still needs to sign on more to really flesh out the league but so far, this is looking like a good start.
Overwatch is a popular Blizzard shooter game. Its main hook lies in its 25 playable characters who all boast unique personalities and abilities. More than 30 million people are registered as players of the game, according to Activision Blizzard.