Activision Blizzard has added a team on either side of the Atlantic to its Overwatch League eSports initiative.
A London-based team has been purchased by the founder of eSports organisation Cloud9, Jack Etienne, while Kroenke Sports and Entertainment, which owns controlling stakes in Arsenal, the LA Rams and Denver Nuggets, have snapped up the Los Angeles franchise.
Prior to this, there were seven franchises around the globe in New York, Boston, Miami, San Franchise, Seoul and Shanghai, as well as one more already in Los Angeles.
"We have a massive fan-base in Europe already, and London, in particular, I believe is under-served and doesn't have an eSports team to call its own," said Etienne, speaking to Forbes.
”There is a large entry fee to get into this, but what made it a lot more attractive to me was when I found out I could secure London. It really expands to all of England. For ticket sales and local sponsorships, I'm going to be able to tap a really unique and large area where there's no competition in reaching these folks, whereas all the North American teams will be competing for the same sponsorships and fans to show up to events."
Pete Vlastelica, the president and CEO of the Activision Blizzard-owned Major League Gaming, when interviewed by The Verge, added: “These two owners in particular will hopefully clarify a little bit how we’re going about building this league,” said .
“Which is to say we’re pulling the best from the worlds of eSports and traditional sports, so that these owners can learn from each other.”