According to ESPN'S Jacob Wolf, Blizzard has secured six agreements of intent to play in the Overwatch League. The six locations for these teams are Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City, and Boston within the United States, and Shanghai and Seoul outside of the U.S.
Los Angeles and San Francisco will each be inhabited by endemic organizations, namely Immortals and NRG, respectively. Currently residing on the east coast are two owners from the sports world: New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft has the Boston spot, while New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon has purchased the coveted New York franchise spot. The owners of the Shanghai and the Seoul spots are currently unknown.
While the community has had visceral reactions to the price of Overwatch League franchise spots, particularly after it was rumored that spots were going for up to $20 million, it did not seem to deter the organizations coming out of California. The $20 million price has turned out to be true, as both NRG and Immortals will be paying this price over time for their premium locations. Fortunately for each team, they have both secured investments to help with the cost, including backing from the group that owns the Staples Center for Immortals just a couple of weeks ago.
Not only is this news a welcome break for westerners from the recent string of news of organizations dropping their Overwatch rosters, but it is also welcome news for those on the other side of the globe who may have feared being locked out by a North American-only OWL. Shanghai and Seoul secure spots in China and Korea for the Overwatch League, and the news may give a sliver of hope to Europeans who now see that Blizzard isn't waiting to extend their premier Overwatch division outside of North America.
While any major news about the Overwatch League is better than the trickle of news and rumors Overwatch fans have been accustomed to at this point, there are still many questions that remain unanswered about the OWL and some new ones that have been brought up. If Immortals have secured a Los Angeles franchise spot, will Hollywood Hammers, a team that already has a home arena for the league, be able to also occupy Los Angeles? In the report by Richard Lewis, which was also the one to first reveal Robert Kraft's name as an Overwatch League investor, the Miami Dolphins were mentioned as a team that had purchased a spot. What happened to them? Will the Overwatch League have its inaugural season in the third quarter of 2017, like initially planned, or will it come in 2018, like the recent scouting reports may have suggested? Most importantly, will NRG field a full, stable six-man roster come the time whenever Overwatch League gets off the ground?