London becomes first European city to get an official Overwatch team

Blizzard’s Overwatch League has seen the addition of another two teams, with one of them being the first European franchise to enter the competition: an outfit based in London.

LA-based esports firm Cloud9 has bought the rights to the London team, and founder Jack Etienne commented: “We are thrilled that Cloud9’s formidable fan base throughout Europe and the UK now has a local team to call their own.”

According to the BBC, Etienne and Cloud9 forked out $20 million (around £15.5 million, AU$25.5 million) to secure the London franchise, which just shows you how much money is sloshing around in the esports world these days.

The other new team to join the Overwatch League is a Los Angeles-based squad formed by Stan and Josh Kroenke, a family which already owns a host of major sports teams including the LA Rams American football squad, and indeed they are the major shareholder in Arsenal football club.

LA double

This will be the second franchise based in LA, and in total there are now nine teams in Blizzard’s league.

It’ll certainly be interesting to see who the London team picks up in terms of its player roster, with the league’s signing window remaining open until the end of October.

As we reported a couple of weeks back, Blizzard is taking great pains to shape this Overwatch League into a professional organisation complete with contracts and a pay structure. The minimum wage of an Overwatch pro will be $50,000 (around £39,000, AU$64,000) per year, but there will be bonus winnings on top of that for successful teams.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).