The Overwatch League has its first official team relocation. The Paris Eternal, one of the League’s two European teams, will move to Las Vegas for the 2023 season.
Rumors of a potential relocation started after an eagle-eyed fan noticed that DM-Esports, the company that owns the Eternal and its Call of Duty League sister team, Paris Legion, filed trademarks for Vegas Eternal and Vegas Legion. Shortly after that, both teams confirmed the rumors were true.
This is technically and also not technically the Overwatch League’s first team relocation. When the League split into regions to adjust to the COVID-19 pandemic, US-based teams like the Philadelphia Fusion, New York Excelsior, and the Los Angeles Valiant were placed in the Asian Pacific division to better balance the two regions. However, those relocated teams still ostensibly represent their home cities. If the League ever returns to its stated goal of emulating a traditional sports model, those teams would return to their cities to host events. In fact, this week the OWL is holding its first live event of the year with the Kickoff Clash tournament taking place in Dallas, Texas, June 2nd through June 5th. Unfortunately, the Eternal did not qualify and actually have not yet won a match this season. Oof.
With this relocation news, Paris will not have the chance to host such an event, unfortunately, which is actually kinda disappointing because Paris Overwatch fans are pretty amazing. There was that time during the Paris leg of the 2018 Overwatch World Cup (remember those?) when French fans broke out in song.
Then, in 2019, to commemorate the Eternal’s first match as a new expansion team, fans lit up the Blizzard Arena with their cell phone lights in honor of the team’s motto, “Fiat Lux” while holding up a saber arch of French baguettes.
Afterward, in a less than heartwarming display, fans passed the bread around for people to take huge, unsanitary bites out of. (Yes, seriously. I was there.)
When asked, neither the Overwatch League nor the Eternal front office were able to comment beyond confirming the news. It is not known why the owners chose to relocate the team, but there is a big fancy esports arena in Las Vegas, which might indicate that live OWL events are coming back in a big way in 2023.