Beyond the initial release from the Overwatch League announcing the eight expansion franchises for the 2019 season, and a press release from Canucks Sports and Entertainment, very little news has surfaced about the Vancouver franchise.
So what do we know?
“Esports has seen extraordinary success and continues to be one of the fastest growing industries in the world,” said Francesco Aquilini, managing director of the Aquilini Group. “The Overwatch League has visionary leadership, strong franchises, and connects with millions of players globally. We’re pleased to have the opportunity to expand into esports and we can’t wait to launch the team in Vancouver, which will also represent fans across the Pacific Northwest, including Seattle and Portland.”
Canucks Media Relations
From the press release, it appears sports diversification and more importantly, the growing success of esports got the Aquilini Group interested in the potential of the Overwatch League.
To help manage the operation, the Aquilini Group will lean on
Adrian Montgomery who will head a new division called Aquilini Entertainment.
Coaches or talent? Still no word.
Heck, we still don’t have an “official” Twitter account (there are a couple pretenders out there). Toronto? They are all over it
Based on the press release, the Aquilini Group plans to leverage not only the Metro Vancouver market, but the entire Pacific Northwest. While a smart play, it leads me to believe the franchise will be branded accordingly so there’s a good chance we’ll see trees & mountains before we see orcas or Vancouver-themed element beyond the name.
On September 9, an exclusive window for Overwatch League expansion franchises opened to allow them to sign free agents. Since then, we’ve seen a number of expansion franchises get in on the action. Washington, Atlanta, Toronto have all been making moves of some sort, whether it’s putting in place a GM, Head Coach, or a player or two.
Vancouver? No such news.
While it remains early in the exclusive window, exclusivity will disappear on October 8 when the free-agent signing window will open to all teams.
It’s important to note that we’re still just only a week away from the initial announcement, so it’s obviously early in the process. We’ll make sure to keep you abreast of all the news as it trickles out!
Yet we’re curious ourselves. What do you think the team should be called? Who should Adrian Montgomery bring in as GM? And what free agents should Vancouver focus on? Does the team lean heavily on the Canadian World Cup roster? Or do they go fully international?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!