We now now seven Overwatch League owners

12 July, 2017, 16:18 | Author: Becky Perry
  • We now now seven Overwatch League owners

Seven worldwide cities will field Overwatch teams for Blizzard's upcoming Overwatch League: Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Miami-Orlando, San Francisco, Shanghai, and Seoul.

A New York team owned by Jeff Wilpon, COO of the New York Mets, the MLB team majority owned by his father, Fred.

The founding franchise owners, which Activision Blizzard announced today, also include Jeff Wilpon, chief operating officer of the New York Mets and a partner of Sterling Equities. For instance, a team in Miami-Orlando will be owned by Ben Spoont, CEO of Misfits Gaming.

Later this year Activision-Blizzard's Overwatch League will finally begin. "We wanted to make sure we were partnering with partners who, first and foremost, had a proven track record of building and growing a fan base". "We view our participation in the Overwatch League as a major opportunity to take a lead position where technology is converging with sports and media". "We're excited to be working with leaders from eSports and traditional sports to celebrate our players and to establish the Overwatch League".

Additionally, Overwatch League teams will share revenue from other sources, Nanzer said. For reference, a new MLS team today costs $150M to start, but was as little as $10M just ten years ago. By comparison, Major League Baseball has 30 teams and the NFL has 32.

"We don't have a set number in our mind right now", Nanzer said. We expect this to be the first of many announcements. But its close similarity to traditional sports, and involvement from sports heavyweights like Robert Kraft, will make it a closely watched venture. "Overwatch is a franchise that is going to be around for a long time", Nanzer added.

"This is not something that we're doing for a short-term gain". The league was announced late previous year to much fanfare, but Blizzard went mostly quiet. "It was really exciting for us given that that's one of the first time [a structured, global, city-based league] has happened in any sport, let alone esports", Immortals owner Whinston told Dot Esports. There will eventually be home and away matchups, just as with traditional sports.

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Activision Blizzard and team owners will split revenue generated by the league, while each team is also free to generate sales for themselves on a local level.

Teams also can profit from up to five amateur events a year in their home markets.

Additionally, there will be league- and team-based Overwatch content sold in the game, with 50 percent of revenue going to a shared revenue pool for all teams. The research firm also says that 285 million people globally watched e-sports a year ago. Kraft and Wilpon, titans of business, getting on board is clear indicator that competitive gaming is no passing fad.

"The announcement today of our first seven owners is a real watershed moment for esports", Nanzer said. More will be announced in due time.

During the league itself, matches will be played every Thursday, Friday and Saturday and we can apparently expect the match schedule soon™. "They see the opportunity that the Overwatch League presents", he said.

In an interview, Nanzer revealed that Blizzard is planning on releasing team-branded hero skins, sprays, and player icons. However, Nanzer says Blizzard would be open to having a discussion about that if players want one. An Overwatch League spokesman declined to disclose prices.

Last month, ESPN reported that some prospective team owners had expressed concerns over the Overwatch League's proposed financials, which reportedly include $20 million buy-ins for the team owners.

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