The incredibly long-winded run-up to Blizzard's inaugural Overwatch League esports competition is hitting some sort of stride at the moment, because we now know the official names of nine of the 12 teams who will compete in the 2018 season.
The latest name on the league table is the London Spitfire, owned by Jack Etienne, founder of the Cloud9 esports team.
And since the line-up is nearly complete, we thought you might appreciate a roundup of who's who at this point, so here you go:
- Boston Uprising - owned by Kraft Group, owner of the New England Patriots
- Dallas Fuel - owned by Team EnVyUs
- Houston Outlaws - owned by OpTic Gaming
- Los Angeles Valiant - owned by Noah Whinston, CEO of Immortals
- New York Excelsior - owned by Jeff Wilpon, COO of the New York Mets
- San Francisco Shock - owned by Andy Miller, chairman of NRG eSports
- Seoul Dynasty - owned by Kevin Chou of the Kabam video game company
- Shanghai Dragons - owned by NetEase, Chinese internet company
There are also three franchises yet to be named: another Los Angeles team owned by Kroenke Sports, who control Arsenal Football Club in the UK, Los Angeles Rams and Denver Nuggets; a team in Miami/Orlando owned by Ben Spoont, CEO of Misfits; and a Philadelphia team owned by Comcast Spectacor, owner of the Philadelphia Flyers.
Each of the owners famously had to pay a rumored $20m to buy into the league. Preseason games will be played in December 2017, with regular season games running January through June next year, and a championship playoff in July. Initially everything will be played at the new Blizzard Arena in Los Angeles, but ultimately Blizzard wants to move things around for home and away games ala traditional sports.
It's been a long road to realization for the Overwatch League, with the first preseason games taking place a massive 18 months after the game's worldwide release in May 2016, but hopefully it will all be worth the wait.