Overwatch League will expand in Season 2 with a focus on China

Home » Esports » Overwatch League will expand in Season 2 with a focus on China

The inaugural season of the Overwatch League was a runaway success. Consistently beating expectations, Blizzard’s Overwatch League is looking to expand yet again. This time there might be a focus on more Chinese teams for the upcoming season.

The Overwatch league is supposed to be a Global league with franchise spread out across the world. The global nature of the League would allow for better scheduling and consistent ‘Home-Away’ matches.

What does this mean for the League?

The Chinese focus for Season 2 of Overwatch League makes a lot of sense. One of the biggest esports countries in the world, China regularly sees huge investments in its esports scene.

If this report is true, then we will see a shift in the balance of Overwatch league Franchises. The current ownership distribution of the Overwatch League has nine teams from North America. There are only two teams ( Shanghai Dragons and Seoul Dynasty ) from Asia. Even Europe, which is a very important region for esports has only one franchise in the London Spitfire.

Lack of high-level Chinese players

The first season of Overwatch League saw the Chinese players only on Shanghai Dragons. As we all know, Shanghai Dragons were unable to win a single match in the entire season. Their 40 match losing streak is actually the worst professional Losing streak in the United States.


So was this a question of low skilled Chinese players or poor management and coaching? The players were definitely talented enough to participate in the Overwatch League. We have seen multiple occasions when the Shanghai Dragons players would be able to win aim duels against the best in the League. But the team lacked cohesion and they definitely were unable to have a good set strategy in place.

Forever trailing behind the other teams, Shanghai Dragons always seemed to be rectifying its mistakes. As a result, they never really got ahead of the meta and failed consistently.

However, we don’t see Chinese players in any of the other Overwatch league teams. The lack of high-quality Chinese players in the Overwatch League means that the organisations will move towards an International roster. This is not uncommon, especially since none of the franchise teams has players with a consideration for their base city.

The ready availability of esports stadiums in China

Another factor that will greatly contribute to the rising interest from China is the ready availability of esports infrastructure in China. Several teams already own stadiums specific to esports.

China is a huge market with a massive population. Esports already has a greater acceptance in China with the government actively regulating the industry. Chinese fans are known to be extremely passionate for their home teams regardless of their performance. They will criticize the players but always support them in an official match.

The Chinese fanbase is one of the most vocal fanbases in all of esports. The involvement of some of the biggest companies in the world, Alibaba and Tencent definitely lend credence to esports’ growth in China.

The LGD Esports stadium in HangZhou

Many of these ‘potential investors’ are billionaires who can afford to spend money on an investment in esports. With a business plan as structured and relatively successful as that of the Overwatch League, it is a lucrative opportunity for them to get in at the start.

We should welcome the addition of more Chinese teams in the Overwatch League. Not only will it help the expansion plans for the League, but it will also enable the growth of Overwatch in the biggest esports market in the world.


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