Cloud9 Buys First European Slot in Overwatch League, Will Operate From London
Cloud9 is the next endemic brand to officially announce its participation in the upcoming highly anticipated Overwatch League.
Hailing from North America, it is surprising to know that one of the most premier esports organizations from the region has jumped borders by purchasing the first European slot. Cloud9 will be setting up shop in London, from where it plans on leading the competitive circuit of the vibrant team-based shooter.
Speaking with Dot Esports, founder Jack Etienne stated that it was always a “top priority” to be part of the Overwatch League. The notion is backed by the “explosive growth” that the game has witnessed in the past year as well as what Blizzard is trying to create.
“I really had to convince Blizzard that Cloud9 could do a good job for people in England and London,” said Etienne on the choice of changing regions. “I went to great lengths to prove that. Yeah, we originate from North America, but we’ve had European teams throughout the history of Cloud9. We’ve built a very strong fan base there.”
Fans might be conflicted over the decision. Etienne hopes that followers of Cloud9 will follow their favorite players into Overwatch. In addition, he hopes to build “the strongest team possible” so that the team can create new followers and fans in Europe.
Cloud9 joins the endemic ranks for the Overwatch League, with NRG Esports and Immortals announcing representation last month from San Francisco and Los Angeles respectively. There is also Misfits Gaming from Miami-Orlando.
As for the non-endemic owners; Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, owner of the Los Angeles Rams, Arsenal Football Club, and Denver Nuggets, has just bought its way in and will be operating from Los Angeles. In addition, there is Chinese internet technology company NetEase from Shanghai, New England Patriots and Kraft Group CEO Robert Kraft from Boston, New York Mets COO Jeff Wilpon from New York, and Kabam co-founder Kevin Chou from Seoul.
Overwatch League now features nine participants in total. Blizzard has officially confirmed that the first season of the Overwatch League will begin from the start of August and run through October, concluding just before the annual BlizzCon in November. During the break, every team in the Overwatch League will have the opportunity to do roster changes and sign or replace players.