Blizzard Entertainment has been on a tear lately, focusing heavily on securing teams and contracts for companies to start up and operate Overwatch leagues. The latest acquisition includes the first ever European Overwatch team, who will even eventually receive their own stadium sometime after 2018.
The name of the team organization is called Cloud9, as reported by PCGamesN. The team joins the ranks alongside another new Overwatch team that was just announced, which is owned by the Kroenke Sports & Entertainment group from out of Los Angeles. The Kroenke Sports organization is also the same organization behind Arsenal FC and the Los Angeles Rams.
Cloud9's Overwatch team will be hosted out of London, England and the team will even have their own stadium, set to open at some point after 2018. The reason for basing the team in London is because, according to Jack Etienne, the CEO of Cloud9, there's already a large built-in fanbase for the game and it's a bustling area for eSports.
Cloud9 hasn't been around all that long, and was first established back in 2012. The organization has slowly grown over time, managing to take top spots in various tournaments over the years, and have carved out a name for themselves across the eSports landscape for games such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2.
For Overwatch there is already a team line-up, consisting of seven of the organization's players. Cloud9 joins other notable organizations that have also registered teams for the game, including the owner of the New England Patriots, Robert Kraft. Kraft will take control of a Boston, Massachusetts team while the COO of the New York Mets, Jeff Wilpon, will take control of a team out of New York, as reported by Tech Crunch.
Others are also reportedly joining in on the fray, including Kenneth Hersh, the CEO of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, who supposedly plans to move Team EnVyUs from Charlotte to Dallas for $35 million, as reported by Dallas News.
So where does all this fit in the Overwatch League timeline? Well, Blizzard is spending the initial phase going through announcements, introducing viewers to the players and the teams, and then the preseason will start, where the global talent pool will be assembled and signage will run its course. From there the inaugural season will get underway, where live-streams will take place each week to determine the top teams, and then finally the live championship events will get underway to round out the season.
Given that reports are stating that the stadium for the London team won't open until after 2018, it's likely safe to assume that's when things will really pick up for the Overwatch eSports league. Until then, expect more announcements about more teams joining the fray and more organizations getting involved.