​Blizzard announced Friday six new franchises to join Overwatch League Season 2, confirming various media reports that emerged in recent weeks. The new additions will bring the number of teams in the league to 20.

​​The announcement confirmed the eight expansion slots that were sold to various cities around the world, which were initially ​reported by ESPN. Chengdu, Hangzhou, Paris, Toronto, Vancouver, and Washington, D.C. will have ​Overwatch League teams representing the city and competing in the new season. 


"We know that the difference between a good league and a great league is its owners, and we set a high bar for our first season with the caliber of ownership groups," President and CEO of Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues Pete Vlastelica said. "Every one of these expansion franchises cleared that bar and will make our league even better."


Blizzard also revealed background about the ownership groups of each new team:


  • Aquilini Group—A diversified family business that owns the National Hockey League’s Vancouver Canucks and Rogers Arena and manages a global conglomerate portfolio will operate the team in Vancouver, Canada
  • Bilibili—A leading online entertainment company in China, covering a wide array of genres and media formats—including videos, live broadcasting, and mobile games—will operate the team in Hangzhou, China
  • DM Esports—A global company focused on esports entertainment and investments will operate the team in Paris, France
  • HUYA Inc.—A leading game livestreaming platform in China will operate the team in Chengdu, China
  • OverActive Media—An integrated company delivering esports and video game entertainment to the Canadian market will operate the team in Toronto, Canada
  • Washington Esports Ventures—A sports organization founded by Mark Ein, owner of the Washington Kastles of World Team Tennis, to build and promote esports enterprises will operate the team in Washington, D.C.   


Noted esports brand Splyce is co-founding the Toronto slot with OverActive Media.


The eight new Overwatch League teams will have an ​exclusive signing window from Sunday until Oct. 7 to sign players, and the free agent signing window for all existing Overwatch League teams begin the following day.


Cover photo courtesy of Robert Paul/Blizzard