Overwatch League moves forward with city-based teams

Overwatch League
Overwatch is doing great things for eSports, and with the Overwatch League, it helps to legitimize the competitive form to millions. This week Activision Blizzard has announced the major city teams (Los Angeles, New York, Seoul, etc) and their owners. Furthermore, it marks the first major global professional eSports league with city-based teams.

Here are the teams and the owners:

  • Robert Kraft, Chairman and CEO of the Kraft Group and the New England Patriots (Boston)
  • Jeff Wilpon, Co-Founder and Partner of Sterling.VC and COO of the New York Mets (New York)
  • Noah Whinston, CEO of Immortals (Los Angeles)
  • Ben Spoont, CEO and Co-Founder of Misfits Gaming (Miami-Orlando)
  • Andy Miller, Chairman and Founder of NRG Esports (San Francisco)
  • NetEase (Shanghai)
  • Kevin Chou, Co-Founder of Kabam (Seoul)

Fans can expect to watch the Overwatch League starting later this year. The league’s first season will have regular-season matches held in an eSports arena in the Los Angeles area. Future seasons will have the classic home and away sessions. Additionally, these matches will take place each Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. More information on full schedule and tickets will be available closer to the League’s start date.

Team owners will be getting revenue via advertising, ticketing, and broadcast rights revenues. And the teams will get an equal share from league-wide net revenues and revenues earned from local territory and venue for a certain amount yearly. The rest of the money will be shared to the league pool. Not to mention, teams will be able to set up five amateur events per year in their home territory for monetization including selling league-affiliated fan items in Overwatch. The net shared revenue for all teams is 50% of revenues earned from the amateur events.

“Overwatch already connects over 30 million players worldwide. The Overwatch League will celebrate and reward our most accomplished players and give fans more opportunities to engage with each other,” said Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick. “We’re excited to be working with leaders from esports and traditional sports to celebrate our players and to establish the Overwatch League.”

“Overwatch is a game about a diverse group of international heroes who fight for an optimistic vision of the future, and the Overwatch League is an extension of that spirit,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and Co-Founder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We’re building this league for fans – esports fans, traditional sports fans, gaming fans – and we’re thrilled to have individuals and organizations who are as passionate about professional competition as we are, and who have extensive experience in all three fields, representing our first major international cities in the league.”

“We have been exploring the esports market for a number of years and have been waiting for the right opportunity to enter,” said Robert Kraft, Chairman and CEO of the Kraft Group. “The incredible global success of Overwatch since its launch, coupled with the league’s meticulous focus on a structure and strategy that clearly represents the future of esports made this the obvious entry point for the Kraft Group.”

Overwatch is developed by Blizzard and has reached over 30 million players. eSports has been watched by 285 million people worldwide last year.

Source: Activision Blizzard

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