Move over, Astros. Take a seat, Texans. Rest easy, Rockets. Sit back, Dynamo and Dash because Houston is about to get a new pro sports team.
A new eSports team, to be exact, given the recent Overwatch League announcement of its franchises for the upcoming 2017-18 season.
The league organizes events for the popular video game, which features teams of superpowered characters battling for territory and bragging rights.
Along with Philadelphia and Dallas, Houston was awarded a franchise to round out the 12-team league.
The other U.S-based teams include New York, Boston, Miami, San Francisco and two franchises in Los Angeles; international franchises will further be based in London, Seoul and Shanghai.
OpTic Gaming, an established team in games including Halo, Call of Duty and Gears of War, acquired the Houston Overwatch franchise:
“When you look at the Overwatch League and Activision Blizzard’s ability to bring together audiences for large gaming genres of this sort, it’s a natural extension for us to now jump into the next shooter and continue our story of trying to be reigning champions in another league,” Ryan Musselman, chief operating officer at OpTic, said in an interview regarding the acquisition.
Team Envy, which owns the Dallas franchise, shares a storied history of battling OpTic in other video game tournaments.
The bad blood between the two teams takes the Houston-Dallas rivalry to a whole new level, which some in the gaming press dubbing the Texas-sized matchup “eClasico.”
The preseason starts Wednesday, December 6 with a series of exhibition matches.
Regular season league play starts Wednesday, January 10, 2018, and will continue until June, with the playoffs and championship rounds in July.