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Overwatch League Teams Will Play In Their Home Markets Next Year

March 18, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Overwatch League Fusion Reinhardt

A highly-anticipated change to the Overwatch League is officially confirmed to be coming next year in home team localization. OWL commissioner Nate Nanzer confirmed during his panel at SXSW (per ESPN) that the League’s teams will move to their home markets in 2020 to host matches.

This is a big change from the current set-up, where despite having home cities like London, New York, Vancouver, Seoul and Paris, games are played at the Blizzard Arena in Los Angeles. The idea of hosting games in home cities has always been on the radar for the league; it is part of Blizzard/Activision’s goal of mainstreaming the League by giving franchises home cities to build on fan support. The time needed to set up that infrastructure made that impossible for the first season. However, this year will see the first local events as the the Dallas Fuel, Atlanta Reign and Los Angeles Valiant all host the first home games in April, July and August, respectively.

As a result of the move to home teams, Nanzer told ESPN that there will be no new expansion teams for season three. That means that the current twenty teams — which break down to eleven in the US, two in Canada, four in China, two in Europe and one in South Korea — will continue to be the full league lineup next year.

The LA Valiant have been the first to reveal a permanent home, having set their stage at the Microsoft Theater at L.A. Live. Other teams are expected to follow suit in the weeks and months leading into season three, with each team making the logistical decisions on the venues including ticketing, VIP experiences, and concessions.

The Overwatch League just completed the first stage of its second season on Sunday, with the top eight teams earning a berth into the stage one playoffs that kick off on Thursday. Stage two will then begin on April 4th.

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Overwatch League, Jeremy Thomas