On Friday, Blizzard announced that they will be adding an additional six teams to their roster. This addition will serve as an expansion to those already competing in the Overwatch League. Combined with the announcement of two new groups, this brings the total number of teams battling up from 12 to 20.
Comic Book reported that the teams will be backed by various groups from around the world, and we’ll be seeing more of those brands soon. Among them are Aquilini Group, a Canadian company that previously focused on hockey, and Bilibili, an influential Chinese esports company.
Overwatch, a first-person shooter released in May, 2016, revolves around one simple gameplay ideal: work together with your team to win each match. You are matched randomly with similarly-leveled people, and then pitted against a group of equal rank. In order to win, you must be able to juggle your character’s individual skills and work with your team.
While you are allowed to pick which character you play as each round, much of your success relies on your own skills and the performance of your group. The randomized format makes it the ideal competitive game, as no two matches are the same.
We can’t wait for the #OWL2019 season!
Here are the 8 new teams joining the league! pic.twitter.com/zhkrNYDlko
— Overwatch League (@overwatchleague) September 7, 2018
Founded in 2017, the Overwatch League was created to showcase talented players, offer entertainment, and encourage unique, interactive gameplay. The concept is simple: teams of highly skilled players are set against one another, and they compete to win the round and advance through the ranks. Like any other sport, the Overwatch League features a strict rule structure, commentators, and increasing rewards.
While there were previously nine teams from America and only one from China, South Korea, and the United Kingdom, the new teams are expanding the league’s reach. Among the additions are two new teams from the United States, and one from each the following cities: Toronto, Vancouver, Paris, Chengdu, and Hangzhou.
According to PC Gamer, over 160 million hours were spent watching the Overwatch League compete last season alone. The overwhelming success of the league has allowed them to spread their wings and include more players from around the world. The names of the competitors and their teams have not been released yet, but we’re bound to hear word soon.
We won’t be seeing these new teams until 2019, but many are excited to see who they’ll be watching next year. Hopefully, this new wave of talent will make the league more exciting and diverse than it was before.