After a year of waiting, Blizzard announced Wednesday, September 20, 2017, the Overwatch Esports League will launch its preseason on December 6 and its main season will start January 10, 2018 followed by the championship playoffs throughout June and the finals in July.
The league includes twelve teams across 11 international cities. Today the last three teams to complete the twelve-team debut season were announced. Philadelphia, Dallas, and Houston respectively are owned by Comcast Spectator, Team EnVyUs, and OpTic Gaming. Each franchise was tagged with a cost of twenty million dollars.
“Comcast Spetacor is thrilled to play a central role in the Overwatch League’s inaugural season and energize the growing esports community in Philadelphia and beyond.” Dave Scott, President and CEO of Comcast
“We are beyond excited to be joining the Overwatch League and helping to build the future of esports in Dallas.” Mike Rufail, Owner and CEO of Team ENVY
“It is an absolute honor to represent the great city of Houston in the Overwatch League. This is another significant milestone in OpTic’s history and a testament to the loyal support of our fans.” Hector Rodriquez, Owner and CEO of OpTic gaming.
The road to the debut of the Overwatch League has not been without its downs. The long-awaited announcement was slated to launch in 3rd fiscal quarter of 2017 but was pushed back due to the league struggling to lock multiple teams in the summer. The league has had trouble seeking and obtaining a 13th and 14th team for the debut season. According to franchise league sources, Blizzard decided against a deal that would have set Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Wesley Edens as the owner of the 13th team because Blizzard was unable to secure the 14th franchise team in time.
The main and preseason will take place at Blizzard’s Esports venue in Burbank, California.