On the eve before the Toronto Defiant make their debut, even more Canadian Overwatch esports has been announced.
Defiant ownership group OverActive Media unveiled Thursday that it is launching a brand new Overwatch Contenders team in Montreal that will serve as Toronto OWL squad’s official academy club.
OverActive Media is partnering with Montreal-based esports organization Mirage Sport Électronique in the creation of this new team, which is being touted as “the very first professional esports team for the city of Montreal.”
Mirage Sport Électronique was founded in 2017 with the stated goal of developing professional esports athletes to a professional level in the province of Quebec.
“This is a huge step toward the democratization of esports in Quebec,” said Mirage Sport Électronique president Yannick Babin in a statement. “We want to prove that Quebec is able to compete with the giants of esports, and this the first step in doing just that.”
Though not yet announced, the team’s already been constructed and will include seven players, two coaches and a general manager. All members of the team will live and practice together in Quebec’s first-ever official pro esports gaming house in Montreal and the team will play out of the 600-spectator Esports Central Arena on Sainte-Catherine Street in downtown Montreal.
The team’s players, personnel and official logo are expected to be announced sometime next week.
This Montreal team adds to the growing portfolio of esports properties that OverActive Media has acquired in just the organization’s five publicly-known months of existence. It includes the Overwatch League franchise Defiant, the multi-esports organization Splyce and now this Montreal team.
“We are really excited about partnering with Yannick and his team to launch the first pro esports franchise in Quebec,” said OverActive Media president Chris Overholt in a press release. “Today is about continuing our commitment to growing esports nationwide, and expanding our Toronto Defiant fanbase in Quebec and across Eastern Canada.”
Overwatch Contenders is, essentially, the minor league of the major league Overwatch League, which begins its second season Thursday evening. Two Canadian clubs, the Defiant and Vancouver Titans, are among eight expansion franchises that will begin play this weekend with Toronto set to play Friday and Vancouver Saturday.
The Contenders season will begin play in June.