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Blizzard sells Atlanta expansion slot for OWL to Cox - sources

By D. Boyadzhieva LoL 03 Dec 2018

1Activision Blizzard may have effectively sold an Overwatch League expansion slot for Atlanta to Cox Enterprises, ESPN revealed on Sunday, citing OWL sources.

During the Overwatch League Grand Finals which took place in Brooklyn, New York, Cox representatives have been attending a series of C-level meetings with Activision Blizzard.

The expansion policy of the company has been quite noteworthy, although no facts have been presented. Speculations have been around that the Overwatch League will seek to bring two additional slots up for grabs, for the cities of Paris and Guangzhou, in France and China, respectively. The spots are said to cost between $30 million and $60 million, following the inaugural season, but this has been unofficial information, not confirmed by Blizzard themselves.

The final amount will be determined by the interest and number of bidders wanting to acquire the rights for the respective franchises. Another important metric is how popular Overwatch is in the cities where such spots will be allocated, measured by player density.

Blizzard has been trying to shift the currently centralised tournament model and distribute it to home-based venues where fans can attend events frequently and mingle with fellow Overwatch enthusiasts and pros.

The game’s publisher has said that it will seek to add as many as six new venues for the second season of the Overwatch League. The company’s announcement was not explicit, but it will likely look to add locations across the globe, including the aforementioned ones, in a bid to increase the international presence of the league.

If the deal between Cox and Activision Blizzard is confirmed, Cox will effectively become the second conglomerate of this size to have bought into the Overwatch League, following an earlier investment by Comcast in September 2017.