ESPN reports Blizzard has six Overwatch League teams lined up

The wheels have been turning very slowly on the Overwatch League since Blizzard announced it in November of 2016. The last official word we had on it came late last month, when Blizzard revealed that it had begun the process of compiling a scouting report on the top players worldwide. That may be about to change, however, as ESPN has reported that six individuals or organizations, including New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, have signed letters of intent to take part in the league. 

The report says the teams will be located in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, and Boston in the US, Shanghai, China, and Seoul, South Korea. The buy-in cost for the LA and San Francisco teams was reportedly $20 million, but the prices for the rest weren't disclosed. Kraft Sports Group will get the Boston team, according to the report, while Wilpon will claim the other half of that natural born rivalry in New York. Established esports organizations will take the other two US cities, Los Angeles to Immortals and San Francisco to NRG Esports.

That partially jibes with a rumor that went up in May, in which sources said the base Overwatch League franchise fee was $20 million, but that major markets, including NY and LA, would have to pay more. Kraft, the Patriots owner, has previously been rumored to be involved with the Overwatch League as potential owner, as has Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross. That report also said, however, that Blizzard was having trouble putting together a viable league because of the steep costs involved with team ownership; Blizzard issued a statement in response saying that it is "in active discussions with many teams and owners" from both traditional and esports organizations. 

I've emailed Blizzard to ask for confirmation of the report, and will update if I receive a reply. 

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.