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Messaggiodi elaine95 » mar ago 14, 2018 11:16

Atlanta is set to add another expansion franchise – this time in esports.

The Overwatch League announced Thursday that Atlanta will join the global Deion Sanders Jersey Limited , city-based esports circuit in 2019, its second season. The team will be managed by Atlanta Esports Ventures, a partnership between Cox Enterprises and Province Inc.

”We’ve had our eye on Atlanta for a long time,” said Pete Vlastelica, president and CEO of Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues. ”It is near the top of the list of remaining Overwatch cities in the world, certainly in North America.”

The league also announced a new franchise in Guangzhou, China. It plans to add four more franchises before next season, which would bring the total to 18.

The Overwatch League explored awarding Atlanta one of its 12 inaugural franchises but couldn’t find an ownership fit for the first season. The league is hoping to capture some of the same enthusiasm backing Atlanta United of the MLS. The soccer club has shattered just about every MLS attendance record since joining the league in 2017.

”There’s a lot of Overwatch players there, and not just in Atlanta but in the Southeast,” Vlastelica said. ”Between Texas, where we have two franchises Mike Hughes Jersey , and Florida, where we have a franchise, there’s a lot of America and a lot of video game players and a lot of Overwatch players. And it’s just a great sports market.”

Province executive Paul Hamilton will serve as Atlanta’s president and general manager. He’s a lifelong esports enthusiast and hardcore fan of Blizzard’s 6 vs. 6 first-person shooter. He plans to be hands-on regarding player acquisition and roster management.

”I probably have more strong feelings about players than most of the people that are running these teams,” Hamilton said. ”That may end up not being a good thing, but we’ll see.”

Player contracts from the league’s inaugural season will expire Sept. 9, and the league’s expansion franchises will be granted an exclusive free agency window from then until Oct. 7 to fill the bulk of their rosters. The minimum salary for players in the league’s inaugural season was $50,000.

Hamilton has been in contact with people from the AMB Group, Arthur Blank’s company that manages the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United. Hamilton is hoping to build local support in much the same way the soccer team did.

”They really engaged the hardcore fan first,” Hamilton said. ”They wanted the people that are tried and true.”

The Guangzhou franchise was awarded to Nenking Group, which also manages the Guangzhou Long Lions of the Chinese Basketball Association.

Atlanta and Guangzhou have yet to announce team names or unveil logos. Expansion fees were not disclosed. The 12 inaugural franchises were reportedly awarded last year for $20 million each, with New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and New York Mets owner Jeff Wilpon among the initial buyers.

Like the rest of the Overwatch League Josh Jackson Jersey , Atlanta and Guangzhou will be based out of Southern California next season. The league is hosting all matches at Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California, until its franchises can find arenas and build the infrastructure necessary for esport events in their host cities. The league hopes to begin holding true home-and-away matches in its third season.

The league’s 14 franchises currently span three continents, including first-year champion London, runner-up Philadelphia, Seoul and Shanghai. Vlastelica said the league would likely announce a 15th team in the next week or two, with future expansion focused mostly outside the United States.

London beat Philadelphia in the league’s first Grand Finals at Barclays Center in New York last week. The first night of the two-night championship was broadcast live on ESPN, a first for the traditional sports network in prime time.




An NBA free-agent class with a little something for everyone hits the market on July 1. The group includes an array of superstars, big men, glue guys and sharp-shooters.

Here’s a look at some of the players to follow when the action begins:

THE SUPERSTARS

– Kevin Durant (player option): Has expressed his desire to remain with the Warriors. He’s in the middle of his prime as one of the game’s premier players.

– Paul George (player option): He has one of the best all-around games in the league and is still fairly young at 28.

– LeBron James (player option): Still the free-agent grand prize at age 33, James has shown few signs of wear and tear despite 15 stellar seasons in the league.

– Chris Paul (unrestricted): Among the league’s best point guards even at 33 Breeland Speaks Chiefs Jersey , but he’s struggled some with injuries over the years, including a hamstring issue in last year’s playoffs.

BIG MEN

– Clint Capela (restricted): He’s emerged as one of the league’s top young big men after averaging 13.9 points, 10.8 rebounds and nearly two blocks per game with the Rockets. Houston surely would like to keep him, but the price tag could be steep.

– DeMarcus Cousins (unrestricted): He was playing very well for the Pelicans before an Achilles injury ended his season. Questions about his long-term health are real, but he’s also a guy who can score 25 points a game if he regains form.

– Derrick Favors (unrestricted): He’s not flashy and doesn’t stretch the floor, but the 6-foot-10 forward has had several productive seasons with the Jazz and will likely garner some interest.

– DeAndre Jordan (player option): He’ll be 30 years old next season, but was still one of the league’s dominant rebounds last season, averaging more than 15 per game.

– Brook Lopez (unrestricted): He averaged just 13 points per game for the Lakers last season, which was his lowest since his rookie year, but he remains a 7-footer who could help several teams.

– Julius Randle (restricted): He’s quietly turned into a promising young player with the Lakers, averaging 16.1 points and eight rebounds last season while shooting nearly 56 percent from the field.

GLUE GUYS

– Trevor Ariza (unrestricted): A valuable forward who can stretch the floor Rashaad Penny Youth Jersey , he’s provided solid shooting and good defense for the Rockets over the past four seasons.

– Avery Bradley (unrestricted): Struggled with injuries last season, playing just 46 games, but is still considered a solid two-way player that can help a team in many ways.

– Aaron Gordon (restricted): Still just 22 years old, the 6-foot-9 Gordon turned into a productive all-around player for the Magic last season, averaging 17.6 points and 7.9 rebounds. His ability to make 3-pointers last season is a big plus.

– Marcus Smart (restricted): The Celtics guard is not a great shooter, but can impact the game in many different ways. He averaged 10.2 points, 4.8 assists and 3.5 rebounds last season while playing great defense.

SHOOTERS

– Wayne Ellington (unrestricted): He’s emerged as a reliable shooter off the bench for the Heat the past few seasons. He averaged a career-high 11.2 points last years while shooting nearly 40 percent from 3-point range.

– Doug McDermott (restricted): Mr. McBuckets has turned into a very good role player, staying excellent from 3-point range while improving the other parts of his game.

– J.J. Redick (unrestricted): Had a solid season for the 76ers, averaging a career-high 17.1 points per game and shooting 42 percent from 3-point range. He just turned 34.



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elaine95
 
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