Cloud9, an L.A. -based organization that already has an Overwatch team, has also purchased the first Europe-based Overwatch League team, which will be sited in London.
Mike Morhaime, the CEO of Blizzard, added: "Overwatch is a global game, with heroes - and players - from around the world, so it's important to us that as many Overwatch League fans as possible have local or regional teams to root for", says Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment.
Count Stan and Josh Kroenke and their Kroenke Sports & Entertainment (KSE) business as the latest in a growing list of traditional sports owners who are turning their attention and investing in esports. His son, Josh, has multiple sports teams under his name as well, including the Colorado Avalanche in the NHL and the Colorado Rapids in Major League Soccer. We suspect that Blizzard simply didn't want Los Angeles to have three teams when an entire other continent went unfilled. Their public statement claimed they were "not closing the door on Overwatch", and that they planned to "evaluate the game as a competitive title and give ourselves a healthy amount of time to explore our options". "We are thrilled that Cloud9's formidable fan base throughout Europe and the United Kingdom now has a local team to call their own, and can't wait to start representing London in the Overwatch League".
According to a report by SportsBusinessDaily, CEO Jack Etienne stated the team had always been interested in the location, and were able to secure the spot they wanted.
The Kroenkes join an eclectic group of owners who have bought spots into the upcoming esports league. Cloud9 is also joining NRG Esports, Misfits and Immortals as the only multi competition Esport's brands now in the Overwatch League. In league play, teams of gamers compete online, much as two football team play on a field.
The Kroenke family, Kraft and Wilpon buying into the Overwatch League is part of a trend that's seeing traditional sports find ways into esports.
The city of London, England, has been claimed by esports organization Cloud9. Your continued support and excitement drive everything we do, and fuel us as we work towards the launch of the League later this year. Players interested in competing in the league have an opportunity right now to potentially get recruited just by playing the game as Activision Blizzard have a signing window open until October 30. You can also follow the Overwatch League on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube and join the conversation.