Two more teams have paid up for playing in the Overwatch League. Jack Etienne of Cloud9 will have his team play out of London, UK, while Josh and Stan Kroenke of Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, which owns LA Rams, Denver Nuggets and Arsenal F.C. will have a second spot in the Los Angeles area.
The fact that a purely North American organization got a spot in London, while a non-endemic company which owns a football team that has a stadium in London, secured their Overwatch League home town as Los Angeles is weird to say the least.
While the prospect of LA rivalry similar to Los Angeles Clippers vs. Los Angeles Lakers or New York Mets vs. New York Yankees sounds very nice in terms of league storylines, it would have worked much better if it was Immortals (who have been announced to have a Los Angeles spot in the Overwatch League in July) and Cloud9, one of their biggest rivals in League of Legends, having a battle for the title of best LA Overwatch team.
As things stand now, Kroenke Sports & Entertainment will have a hard time reaching the level of respect that Immortals enjoy in the scene, which will make the popularity contest between two LA-based teams more of a race between a rabbit and a turtle. Of course, as the story goes, the turtle eventually won the race, but that doesn’t mean that Immortals will go down easy.
The fact that Cloud9 got a spot in London is problematic because this would mean moving the whole infrastructure of the team to not only another city, but another continent as well. Now, if Cloud9 had any dealings in European leagues, it would make sense, but as things stand now, that is not the case at all. The splitting of the org between two continents might make it harder to coordinate everything due to the considerable time zone difference.
It would have made sense if the current Cloud9 roster had Europeans in it; this would have allowed these players to stay closer to their families, but even that is not the case. At the moment, they have a couple of players from the United States, two from Canada and one South Korean. With this, it could happen that Cloud9 will let got most if not all of their guys and look for Europeans in the Overwatch League Draft.