Per ESPN’s Jacob Wolf, the Overwatch league has finalized a deal with Canadian entrepreneur Michael Kimel for a Toronto OWL slot. Kimel is a minority owner of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins, and part of a family known for real estate investment and other capital ventures.
The fourth of six reported expansion teams for the league’s second season, Kimel’s Toronto team slot went for a reported $35 million, according to a SportsBusiness Daily report. Ten percent of team ownership will go to Splyce, an endemic esports org founded in 2015 and invested in by OverActive Media.
The organization competes in a variety of titles, but dropped its Overwatch squad in May of 2017. With the Overwatch League proving profitable, returning to the scene makes a lot of sense for Splyce. Splyce’s former Overwatch team included current OWL stars like San Francisco Shock DPS Andrej “BABYBAY” Francisty, Gladiators main tank Luis “iReMiix” Galarza, Houston DPS Matthew “CLOCKWORK” Dias, and even Houston’s current GM, Matt “flame” Rodriguez. It’s clear they have an eye for talent, at least.
As reported, the Overwatch League has (so far) expanded into Guangzhou, China, as well as Atlanta, Georgia. A deal with the LA-based McCourt Group for a Paris spot is still in its finalizing stages, sources have said. The last two slots will most likely be in Europe and Asia-Oceania, with Toronto and Atlanta serving as the two North American slots. Berlin, Busan, Sydney, and Scandinavia are all rumored landing points.
What do you think of this move? More importantly, who do you think the Toronto team will sign to their squad? Free agency for expansion teams begins on September 9th, and there will be plenty of talented players to shoot for. Let us know @thegamehaus!
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Featured Image Courtesy of Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment