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Overwatch League, the competitive video-game endeavor that Activision Blizzard Inc. launched last year, continues to model its future on traditional organizations like the National Football League and National Basketball Association.

Starting in 2020, most of the league's 20 franchises will leave Los Angeles, their home for the first two years, and decamp for New York, Paris, Shanghai and other cities. Nate Nanzer, the league's commissioner, made the announcement Friday at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas.

This has been the plan all along, though it's happening earlier than some expected. When Activision originally sold investors on franchises, some of which cost more than $30 million, each team got the exclusive rights to a major city or region. When the move happens, Overwatch League, based on Blizzard Entertainment's video game of the same name, will be a truly global enterprise.

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