The Overwatch League is broken down into several official teams that are sponsored and provide full salaries to their players. This system is similar to the one used by the official NFL and other similar sport organizations giving players specific teams and colors to rally behind. The teams are tied to specific cities around the world each with their own particular style of play. Of these 20 teams competing in the league 11 of them are North American Overwatch Teams based in the U.S. with 2 of them in China.
The teams each have their own way of approaching the game, and fans have come to expect their unique style to represent aspects of the franchise. As new fans join the viewing audience, it is important to know who is backing which team, and what each team represents as they compete in the official league.
This team is owned by Atlanta Esports Ventures which is a joint venture between Xoc Enterprises and Province Incorporated. Cox Ventures is a privately held American media and automotive conglomerate based in the city of Atlanta. They keep nine active players on their roster and are known for their especially aggressive playstyle.
Although in the past there were communication challenges within their ranks, the new set of players are confident that the bad habits will be corrected and a healthy team culture will be shown to the community at large.
The Kraft Group sponsors the team Boston Uprising. This is one of the many investments of the Kraft Group and is the first esports related business move of the group. Many assume that this is because of the traditional sports league structure found within the Overwatch League while others argue that this is due to the team’s location that brings this level of sponsorship.
The team itself is known for a more defensive playstyle with a different style of play than the others. Last year Boston Uprising signed Jordan “Gunba” Graham as the assistant coach and strived for a more cohesive team setting. The team also sports nine players within their ranks.
Ben Spoont is the founder of the Misfits esports team organization of 2016 and sponsors the Florida Mayhem Overwatch Team. This team has investments from the NBA team Miami Heat runs divisions in multiple esports.
Most fans consider the Florida Mayhem’s playstyle to be unique none of them question the methods. The team has 9 active players and a massive following in Florida. They have an extremely positive tone and keep a happy attitude for both their fans and the fellow competing teams.
The Houston Outlaws are one of two teams based in Texas. This team represents the Houston, Austin, and San Antonio region of the state and keeps the same green and black branding of their sister brand OpTic Gaming.
The team sports a Lone Star feeling and works with the outlaw spirit in mind. The story of their team and brand drives the pace of which they win. They want to spread the story of their players and with that spread the independent name that is the Houston Outlaws.
New York Excelsior
This team is sponsored by the Sterling V.C. which is a sport, esports, media, and real estate fund owned by Sterlin Equities. The team originally hosted an all-Korean roster in its inaugural season and will continue to do so for the future. Although they are based in New York the team continues to be a diverse set of people.
Where other teams used players from around the world, the New York Excelsior team went straight to South Korea for recruitment. They double-checked the credentials and ambitions of the players with dreams of dominating the Overwatch League and bringing home victory to the team and all of its fans. This is a team that does not accept second place.
The Philadephia Fusion is based in Philadelphia and owned by Comcast Spectacor which is a part of the Comcast Group. Although this team as only sixth in the final standings the team did make it to the Grand Finals of the inaugural Overwatch League season.
The team is built with talent from all over the world and has many big named players within their ranks. They took many professional players to join their team and have a great sense of community among them. Although they have had some logistical setbacks in the past many of their current staff push to rebound into victory.
Toronto Defiant is one of two North American Overwatch League teams based in Canada. They are owned by the Overactive Media Group which is an esports holding company that started in November 2017. This is another team that has an all-Korean roster with a major push for victory.
Not much stands out about this team but they do have a dedicated community supporting them. While their drive might be unknown the team itself is dedicated to winning in every match they play.
The Washington Justice team is a new addition to the U.S. based franchises and is owned y the Washington Esports Ventures. This company is led by businessman Mark Ein who also owns the Washington Kastles and a franchise within the U.S. World TeamTennis competition.
The teams have the ever famous Ethan “Stratus” Yankel who is one of the few North American players representing their home territories. The team relies on their fanbase for support but focuses on people who live in Washington, DC. They are a passionate group that hopes to bring pride into their fans as they perform in front of the crowd.
This team is co-owned by Team Envy which is an esports organization that competes in a variety of titles. The team is based in Dallas Texas and has major investments from the Hersh family. Although there has been some trouble involved in the teams founding they have proved themselves on the battlefield as one of the more consistent Overwatch teams.
The team proudly has Brandon ‘Seagull’ Larned who is a widely known Overwatch streamer. The team has a lot to live up to and is ready and works hard to improve the skills of the team. Although they seem an underdog in the Overwatch League they work hard to become one of the best in Overwatch history.
Los Angeles Gladiators
The Los Angeles Gladiators are owned by Kroenke Sports & Entertainment. They are run by Sentinels who were an esports organization that competed in the League of Legends tournaments as Phoenix1. They are the second California based team that has competed in the league.
The Gladiators consider themselves the perfect players for the city of Los Angeles as it is a city filled with people chasing their dreams. With a dream to one day wins the Overwatch League they continue to battle on with a strong community backing their effort.
Los Angeles Valiant
The second North American Overwatch Team based in Los Angeles is Team Valiant and they are owned by Immortals. The Immortals compete under a number of esports titles including Counter-Strike, Super Smash Bros., and Dota 2. The used to compete in the North American League of Legends but that ended a while ago.
The team has broken from conventional esports wisdom and instead of recruiting the strongest players and forcing them together they are working to create a solid team that can work together. They don’t believe in short term solutions and rather work towards a long-term team potential.
San Francisco Shock
The San Francisco Shock is managed by NRG Esports whose co-owner is Andy Miller. Miller is known as the co-owner of the NBA team Sacramento Kings and the former VP of mobile advertising at Apple Inc.
San Francisco as a city has a deep rivalry with Los Angeles and this has transferred into the Overwatch League as well. The entire support staff of the team is dedicated to the growth and synergy of players. The team’s drive is to defeat the LA team and bring victory a recognition to their city.
The Vancouver Titans are the second team to come from Canada and is owned by the Aquilini Investment Group. The family-owned company owns a series of other venues and is partnered with the Canadian esports organization Luminosity Gaming.
They are another team that runs an all-Korean roster of players and has a commitment to winning the League. They are currently #1 in the league standings with a match record of 20W-1L.
Each team has their own unique talents, skills, and path to winning. With a varying effect, fans can find a team that syncs with their own personal gaming philosophy and support them in their effort to win the Overwatch League.
For more information on the North American Overwatch Teams competing in the league, you can access the main Overwatch League website and read in-depth about every player in the current competitive roster.0